What’s New and Updated in the Library – Oct. 2013

The following Field Guides have recently been updated in the Library at Realtor.org:

Association Mergers & Partnerships
Mergers and partnerships can be advantageous to a Board or Association for a variety of reasons, including: overlapping markets, similar services, geographic considerations, cost-savings, membership benefits and wider recognition in the marketplace. This Field Guide will provide you with information regarding association mergers as well as information specific to REALTOR® Association mergers. Plus, you’re sure to uncover valuable information pertaining to nonprofits in the collection of eBooks offered to you for free from NAR’s eBook collection.

Credit Scoring
Credit scoring has become a serious issue in the lending community and it can affect your ability to obtain or refinance your next mortgage. Credit scoring systems can gauge a mortgage applicant’s credit rating and assign an interest rate and risk value based upon information provided in the loan application. Credit scoring offers several advantages. It provides quick recommendations while taking human judgment out of the equation. Credit scoring also is extremely efficient and, usually, inexpensive. This updated field guide includes articles and books relating to credit scoring.

Dealing with Stigmatized Properties
Do you dare disclose if there is murder or mayhem at your listing? What if the owner was a controversial person? What are the professional and logistical challenges if there is a well-publicized ghost on your next property? Don’t despair, help is here! This page offers some creative marketing tools and advice for selling properties with an unsavory past.

Development Impact Fees
Impact fees, or development fees, are expenditures that developers are required to make as a precondition to approval of their projects. Impact fees are generally used to finance roads, schools, affordable housing, transit systems, and other projects and services in municipalities throughout the United States. The fees are frequently passed on by developers to purchasers in the price of a new property and, therefore, increase the cost of housing and decrease the profitability of a particular project. This Field Guide includes articles, studies, Supreme Court decisions, and other material on the debate over impact fees.

Disaster Insurance
Disasters can happen any time. Do you have disaster insurance? Find out what a standard policy should cover, NAR information, pricing and reform issues, aspects of choosing a disaster insurance policy and much more in this updated field guide.

Homeowners Insurance
“Homeowners insurance covers the structure of your home and your personal property, as well as your personal legal responsibility (or liability) for injuries to others or their property while they’re on your property.” It is important to note that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not typically include earthquake damage or flood insurance.

International Referrals
With NAR Global, REALTORS® can diversify their clientele. By completing the Certified International Property Specialist Designation, the At Home with Diversity Certification, or the Resort and Second Home Property Specialist Certification, our members gain the global perspective to fully serve clients here and abroad. With this global perspective in mind, this Field Guide to International Referrals provides information on international legalities, education, best practices, etiquette, research, and more. Also check this guide for current news on the international real estate market, as well as a sample international referral form created by NAR’s CIPS group.

Mediation & Conflict Resolution
Traditionally, real estate industry disputes rely on negotiation for solutions. If negotiation fails, litigation is often initiated. Mediation involves the skillful intervention of a third-party professional to help resolve disputes that arise between two or more parties. This page includes a variety of resources, including articles, website links, books and other sources relating to mediation, conflict resolution, arbitration and dispute resolution.

Office Property
What is the impact of property tax on commercial property? How is the economy affecting office buildings? Get the latest on office building trends and much more in this updated field guide.

Private Transfer Fees
Private transfer fees are the latest money-making tool for developers. Also known as reconveyance fees, recovery fees, capital recovery fees, or resale fees, a private transfer fee is a charge that is required to be paid to a developer, HOA or individual at closing each time a property is sold. The transfer fee is attached to the property as a covenant and usually runs for a set period, often 20 or 99 years. While developers say it is a way to spread improvement costs over a longer period, opponents believe private transfer fees decrease affordability, increase potential liability, and provide no benefit to property purchasers of the community in which the property is located. In 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a rule prohibiting the fees on mortgages handled by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. As of 2013, over 35 states have either banned or placed conditions on the practice. This updated field guide provides background information on the fees, their impact, as well as information on where to turn for the most current information.

Real Estate Organizations
Need to find a real estate organization? Look here for associations and federal agencies that deal with fair housing, appraisals, housing finance and other real estate issues. Find out how these organizations are playing their part in the real estate world.

Redesigning Association Websites
Web design has evolved dramatically since the Internet was founded. Is your association website W3 or ADA compliant? Do you use XML? Are your navigation menus logical and easy to use? Is the writing acceptable for the Web? Would a blog or twitter feed work on your site? Consult the information below for articles and helpful tips to assist in the redesign of your association’s website for the 21st century.

Reverse Mortgages
A reverse mortgage can provide cash to homeowners who do not want to move but would like to tap the equity in their home by allowing senior citizens to borrow against the equity, but they can pose risks to homeowners. This page includes articles, books and websites relating to reverse mortgages. Books can be borrowed through the Information Central library by clicking on the book title.

Sale-Leasebacks & Synthetic Leases
Often used as a financing alternative, sale-leasebacks offer financially struggling companies access to cash to pay down debt and improve the bottom line. And in a post-Enron environment, sale-leasebacks provide an alternative to the less favorable option of synthetic leases. Find out how sale-leaseback transactions have helped the balance sheets of hotel, restaurant, retail, and other businesses, in the articles and books in this guide.

Selling New Homes
Interested in selling new homes? Learn about the latest market conditions, how to market new homes, and how to spot new home design trends in this updated field guide.

Site Selection
Successful site selection begins with the basics – traffic flow, market analysis, property size, and zoning restrictions, among other factors. But site selection considerations for a restaurant differ widely from those for warehouse properties. Learn the basics, and then venture into site selection for office, retail, restaurant, hotel, and warehouse properties, in this regularly updated Field Guide.

Surviving and Thriving in a Slow Market
Every market has its ups and downs, and real estate is certainly no exception. In difficult times, it is more important than ever to find your niche, to discover new marketing methods, and to explore how you can separate yourself from the competition. And whether you are a residential or commercial specialist, your clients will be looking to you for advice on coming out on top. This Field Guide offers tips and ideas to help you and your clients survive and thrive in a challenging market.


Senior Information Specialist

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  1. Are there any circumstances in which the $50,000 limitation can be exceeded?
    For instance, could my 405(k) hold a mortgage on my new home for, say, $400,000?
    We would just be exchanging the investment vehicle from stocks and bonds to a true
    estate holding. Posted by : Kathy