Thu, 14 August 2008
Dear Lynnsy Logue,
This week President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, immediate measures that will help homeowners facing foreclosure find ways to refinance and will help strengthen mortgage markets. The package also includes a very substantial tax credit available to first-time home buyers.
In this email, you will find a series of links that provide comprehensive details of the legislation package. We hope you will share this good news with your agents.
To summarize, the legislation package includes Federal Housing Administration Modernization that will simplify and make FHA-backed mortgages more available while helping thousands of families refinance existing mortgages and keep their homes. Other important components of the bill are reform of the government-sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), permanent increases to both GSE and FHA loan limits, a first-time home buyer tax credit and a program to expand FHA that would allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages.
“Realtors® are in the business of building communities, and our 1.2 million members understand that this legislation will go a long way in helping people buy and keep their homes,” says Dick Gaylord, NAR’s2008 president.
Wendell Bullard, 2008 president of the NC Association of REALTORS®, agrees. “This is good news for our more than 43,000 members and even better news for our clients,” Helpful links:
Wed, 13 August 2008
August 13, 2008
While the presidential campaign was mired in the egregious and the trivial last week, there was a hearing in
Put aside for a moment all the talk about alternative fuels. They are important and the wave of the future, but the fastest, cheapest, easiest and cleanest step toward a sane energy environment is the powerful combination of efficiency and conservation.
That was the message delivered again and again at a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee that carried the title, “Efficiency: The Hidden Secret to Solving Our Energy Crisis.”
Two political leaders who are no longer very fashionable were on to this long ago – former Gov. Jerry Brown of
It may be hard to believe, but largely because of far-reaching efficiency and conservation measures imposed by Brown's administration,
Sen. Chuck Schumer of
A national to-do list
It's not widely understood how profound a change in overall energy consumption could be realized from a big-time, coordinated efficiency and conservation effort.
In addition to the obvious need for more fuel-efficient vehicles, we should be demanding more efficiencies from utilities, we should be requiring states to revamp their commercial and building codes; and we should be trying to weatherize homes from coast to coast, including the homes of families without enough money to make such improvements themselves.
And, of course, there are the everyday good energy deeds that would help make a world of difference: car-pooling; taking public transportation when possible; using more efficient lighting; dropping the thermostat a couple of degrees; buying more efficient appliances; unplugging appliances that aren't in use, and so on.
A leadership shortage
Combining the development of alternative fuels with a real efficiency and conservation effort is the winning hand in the global energy crisis.
People in many parts of the country are already frightened, in the heat of the summer, about next winter's heating bills. Families are worried about having to choose between mortgage payments and fuel bills, or fuel bills and medicine.
The Senate considered but was unable to pass a measure that would have substantially increased financing for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It was a bad sign. If the government can't get that done in the current atmosphere, it hardly seems likely that it could move to an even more important step: finding a way to get the homes of these cash-strapped families weatherized so they use substantially less fuel each winter.
We know what we should be doing. What we lack is the leadership, the common sense or the will to get it done.