The Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and The City of Southgate held a ribbon cutting event to mark the installation of the Little Free Library® and reading bench on Tuesday October 11th This project was a part of the National Association of REALTORS® Place-making initiative. Place-making is a relevant topic to REALTORS® because as a place becomes more desirable and welcoming, properties around that place increase in value and improve the quality of life in our communities. The City of Southgate and their citizens were both very excited about the Little Free Library® and reading bench as it made an existing public gathering place more robust by adding seating and the little free library which promotes literacy and community sharing."Southgate has always been a very walkable community, and this project will just enhance that even more," Mayor Hamberg said."I believe we are one of the few cities in Northern Kentucky that didn't have a park bench outside its city building, so we are very appreciative of this commitment to our community by The Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS®."And the Little Free Library® will be great for kids walking to and from school and for our residents to pick up and drop off books," he said.The back of the Little Free Library® reads USE A REALTOR® while the side panels sport the REALTOR® logo, we did this to promote the REALTOR® brand and to encourage the public to utilize a REALTOR® in their home buying & selling processes. The project also served as an excellent opportunity for REALTOR® members to engage with and strengthen the communities they do business in."We are honored to participate in this tremendous project along with the National Association of REALTORS® and The City of Southgate," said Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® president Jim Simpson. "The bench and library will enhance literacy, walk-ability and place-making, which improves communities by transforming public spaces into vibrant community places." We encourage all our members to get involved in their communities and in future community outreach projects.
On October, 11, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion in the case of PHH v. CFPB. In this case, the court vacated a $109 million penalty imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against PHH Corporation for allegedly violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by paying for referrals where there is federally related mortgage.
The court held in favor of PHH, stating that payments for bona fide services provided and made at fair market value do not violate RESPA, reinforcing NAR’s support of marketing service agreements. The court held the CFPB’s unreasonable departure from longstanding prior RESPA interpretations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and retroactive application of its novel interpretation of the law violated PHH’s due process rights. The court also called into question the legal authority and unchecked power of the CFPB and rejected the CFPB’s understanding of their essentially unlimited statute of limitations authority, remanding the case for further proceedings.
See President Tom Salomone's statement on the case
Read opinion here
For best practices on marketing service agreements, see NAR's RESPA Do's for MSAs.
On April 1, 2017, National Flood Insurance Program rates are set to rise an average of 6 percent. This is less than the 2016 average andconsistent with the annual 5-10% increases prior to 2012 Biggert-Waters reforms.
Under 2014 Affordability amendments, individual property owners may see a rate increase up to 18% for newer properties and 25% for olderones. Rates for newly mapped properties begin at the lowest or preferred risk rate and gradually increase to full risk using a multiplier tablewhich is also updated as part of the April 1 changes.
How can REALTORS® Help?
REALTORS® can assist consumers in flood prone areas by participating in the National Flood insurance program's Community Rating System (CRS) program. Particulary 340 Hazard Disclosure activities. The CRS program is a voluntary component of NFIP which allows communities to receive discounts for all policy holders based on taking steps above and beyond simply being part of the NFIP. The CRS is a "win-win" program because it reduces a community's vulnerability to floods while reducing the cost of flood insurance premiums for all policy holders in that jurisdiction.The CRS uses a Class rating system that is similar to fire insurance rating to determine flood insurance premium reductions for residents. CRS Classes* are rated from 9 to 1. Today, most communities enter the program at a CRS Class 9 or Class 8 rating, which entitles residents in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) to a 5 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums for a Class 9 or a 10 percent discount for Class 8. As a community engages in additional mitigation activities, its residents become eligible for increased NFIP policy premium discounts. Each CRS Class improvement produces a 5 percent greater discount on flood insurance premiums.
REALTOR® Place-making project with City of Southgate
We invite you to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, October 10th 2016 at Noon
outside the Southgate City building 122 Electric Ave.
We will be installing a Little Free Library and reading bench as part of the National Association of REALTORS® place-making grant initiative. Place-making is a way to make the communities that REALTORS® engage with better places to live, work and play by transforming public spaces into vibrant community places.This is relevant to REALTORS® because as a place becomes more desirable and welcoming, properties around that place increase in value strengthening residential and commercial real estate and improving the quality of life in our communities.