Colorado Congressman on Real Estate Issues: By Barbara Koelzer
MID: Jared Polis, who represents the 2nd Congressional District, told a group of Fort Collins Realtors® that he intends to protect the mortgage interest deduction (MID) but said balancing the federal budget should be the number one priority for everyone. At the same time, he said he supports the Simpson-Bowles deficit plan which would eliminate the MID. When questioned, Polis said that he would not support any budget plan that targeted the MID or homeowners. However, he said we all must share the pain; if a reduction in the MID was part of a broaderplan that would require concessions from a variety of sources he would be supportive. He argued a balanced budget is in the Realtors® best interest; if the deficit continues to grow interest rates will rise and hurt the chances of a robust market recovery. (***Note from Congressman Polis:The Simpson-Bowles budget does not eliminate MID, but rather caps it at $500k instead of $1mm. It is important that we do not balance the budget on the backs of homeowners and we need a mechanism like MID or a refundable interest credit to ensure that the dream of home ownership is reachable for the middle class.)
In his remarks, Polis predicted that Congress will not address GSE reform during this session. He feels that thereforms are important and said he wants to be sure the American dream of home ownership is still viable. In responding to a question from the audience, Polis said the reason the Senate never seems to get anything done is procedural. Since approval requires 60 votes (out of 100), one senator can hold the whole body “hostage”, he said. He agrees with Senator Mark Udall (Colorado) who has been an advocate of procedural reforms.
Affordable Housing: Congressman Jared Polis (CD2) is asking local associations to support the Affordable Housing Regulation Simplification Act of 2012. The bill’s purpose is to ease the condominium financing restrictions imposed by Fannie, Freddie and FHA. The bill would create a new category of “affordable workforce housing mortgages.”These mortgages would not be available to individuals looking to get a second or third home. Rather, the bill applies to potential homeowners who: Work and live full-time in high-tourism areas for at least 8 months of the year; Generate at least 75 percent of their income from their tourism-related job; and, have an income that falls below 160 percent of the area median income.
Fannie and Freddie have established guidelines stating that they will not purchasecondominium mortgages unless these properties meet a litany of unrealistic standards, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has matched these standards with similar restrictions on the loans it will insure. Without a commitment from Fannie and Freddie to buy these loans, or from FHA to insure them, banks are unwilling to lend, even to homebuyers who would otherwise be qualified.
For affordable workforce housing mortgages only, this bill would ease some of these unnecessary requirements by: Relaxing the commercial space restriction to no more than 50 percent of the property units; Relaxing the owner-occupancy requirement to no less than 25 percent of the property units and allowing properties to include short-term rental units, as well as a front desk, concierge, marketing services and other components necessary for rental properties. Note: NAR supports this bill.
Clint Skutchan is has been the Executive for FCBR since 2008. Prior to joining the REALTOR® association he ran a Medical Society and was a local talk show host for nearly 10 years
November 2013 Housing Report
A comprehensive Housing Report from the Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®. Residential Market Statistics for single family detached and attached homes plus Townhome/Condo stats provided by IRES. Please note that IRES no longer includes "to be built" and "under construction listings. For more information please call 223-2900.
FCBR is focused on enhancing our members’ success via a core service department approach.
Under the Policy Governance model we have implemented a number of tracking mechanisms and reports to provide useable data that provides a greater level of understanding and accountability for our Departments and Administrative services.
The following report is offered to our valued members on behalf FCBR’s Leadership so that ever FCBR member has a better understanding of how your association is performing.
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Thank you for your support and participation over this past year!