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Are you fully knowledgeable about the federal first-time home buyer tax credit to be able to explain it to a consumer who inquires about its provisions? If not, you should be. Below are some important points about the tax credit, taken from an article appearing the current issue of Bay State REALTOR® magazine, that every REALTOR® needs to know. 
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In the latest edition of the report, entitled House Prices in America, the U.S. housing market is described as “slightly undervalued” based on fourth quarter 2008 market data. That’s good news for prospective home buyers because it means home prices have become increasingly affordable over the past couple of years, falling at an annualized rate of 13 percent over the past year nationwide. It also suggests that the risk of additional future price corrections is easing throughout much of the country. Read More

GBREB is opposing a local option building code that will add substantial new upfront costs to a new home without any immediate and measurable energy cost savings to homeowners. The “stretch code” in effect mandates that any new home built must exceed Energy Star certification. Before a local building inspector could issue an occupancy permit the home would also need to be certified by a 3rd party Home Energy Rating Standard (HERS) inspector. According to estimates provided by the Board of Building Regulations and Standards these proposed requirements would add $10,000 to the cost of a new single family home.  Read More

On March 30, 2009, Fannie Mae issued Announcement 09-08, implementing the 2009 conforming loan limits for high cost areas ("high-balance" loans above $417,000). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) raised loan limits for high cost areas for 2009 to the higher of the permanent limits in effect for 2009 or the temporary limits in effect for 2008. In most cases the 2008 limits are higher. The guidelines apply to loans delivered to Fannie Mae starting May 1, 2009.
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For more than two decades, REALTORS® from across Massachusetts have been making their voices heard among state representatives and senators at the annual REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill. If you’ve never been, we urge you to attend on June 9 to meet with your current Representative and Senator. Read More

Do you know a colleague or a fellow REALTOR® who exemplifies the service and professionalism most REALTORS® strive for? Then why not recognize that person by nominating him or her for this year’s GBAR awards? Read More