H.R. 3700 was passed by the U.S. House 427-0. Despite passing with NO OBJECTIONS, the U.S. Senate has not acted on H.R. 3700.
This legislation provides significant benefits to taxpayers, homebuyers and the real estate market by:
- Removing a burdensome and expensive FHA Condo approval process -- in Hawaii only 38 condos are FHA approved.
- Reducing FHA restrictions on the number of condos available to homebuyers -- let's reduce the owner occupany requirement from 50% to 35%.
Permanently streamlining Rural Housing Service loan processing.
Click here to take action on this issue
The Protecting American Taxpayers From Tax Hikes Act (PATH), enacted in December 2015, included several important changes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. The Path Act changes mean more foreign investment in U.S. real estate but also some compliance headaches. FIRPTA imposes a withholding tax on foreign persons disposing of real property in the U.S. Listen to a recording of the webinar that will explain the reasons behind the changes and also teach everything you need to know about complying with the new rules. PLAY RECORDING
"In the recently issued "Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions", the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) urges housing providers to exercise caution when implementing criminal history policies or practices used to make housing decisions. NAR's legal affairs department has posted an article that distills that guidance to assist in reviewing existing criminal history-based policies or practices or in the creation of a new one." READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Watch the Webinar "The Best and Latest in Taxes from Chris Bird".
The webinar covered;
- 1099 fling requirements and penalties if not filed;
- New $2,500 write-off for business equipment and rental property improvements;
- Vehicle write-offs including heavy SUV;
- Retirement plans;
- New rules for home office deductions;
- Gift deduction vs. business promotions... and much, much more!
Chris Bird has been in the financial business for over 30 years. He started his career with a degree in accounting and minor in Business Administration, and holds the Certified Financial Planner designation. Chris was a Senior IRS agent for 16 years and left to start his own company, Chris Bird Seminars, Inc.
Chris conducts over 125 seminars a year on taxes, wealth-building, residential rental property ownership, and tax strategies for real estate and financial industries worldwide.
If you missed our REALTOR®
BEWARE webinar, feel free to watch a playback of the session by clicking the link below. REALTOR® BEWARE Session
This video covers:
- What is seller financing?
- Why was there an issue with seller financing?
- Risk Management Review
- Standard Forms Revisions (PMM Addendum and Agreement of Sale Addendum)
"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seeks to delay until Oct. 1, implementing the new Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure regulation. The new rules were originally set to take effect Aug. 1. The proposal must still undergo a public comment period before it becomes official." Read the Full Article.
"The National Association of Realtors®' top-level domain .REALTOR will be available to local and state Realtor® associations as well as brokerages in the U.S. and Canada starting May 7." Read the Full Article
The Federal Aviation Administration has released a proposed rule on commercial drone use but until the rule takes effect, real estate professionals still need to apply for a permit if they want to use the technology to take aerial photos of their listings. The HUD-1 and other long-used closing documents are going away on August 1 and new reports say 2015 will be good for commercial real estate
Sandy Botkin, former IRS trainer, will show you in this FREE webinar:
August Webinar (8/6/15)
- How to get the equivalent of free gas for your car!
- How to write off significantly more of your meals and your entertainment
- Learn how to deduct the equivalent of your child's education and wedding
- Learn how a home office deduction works and why its worth thousands to you every year!
- We will also show you how technology can help you have confidence that your records would pass an IRS audit with flying colors.
The recent tragedy of an Arkansas REALTOR® is a stark reminder of the risks that come with the real estate profession: working with people you don’t know, working alone, being in unfamiliar locations, and working during off hours. There are resources available to members to help educate them on ways to increase their safety. Visit the NAR REALTOR Safety website at: http://www.realtor.org/topics/realtor-safety
The Hawaii Association of Realtors (HAR) is pleased to announce its officers for 2015.
President Arabel Camblor, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO, is the Vice President and Broker-in-Charge of Clark Realty Corporation – Hilo, a locally-owned real estate brokerage firm with six offices on Hawaii. She is a past HAR Treasurer, former chair of the Education and Finance Committees for HAR, and a past president of the Hawaii Island Realtors.
Camblor succeeds Trudy Nishihara, CIPS, CRB, CRS, Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, who now serves as the immediate past president.
The remaining 2014 officers include:
- President-Elect Moana Andersen, CIPS, CRB, CRS, GRI, Equity One Real Estate (Maui)
- First Vice President Susan Savage, CRS, SFR, Friendly Isle Realty, Inc. (Molokai)
- Treasurer Jodee Farm, Prudential Locations (Oahu)
- Executive Liaison Mary Begier, CRB, CRS, Mary Begier Realty, Executive Liaison
- Cherie Tsukamoto, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, SRES, East Oahu Realty (Oahu)
- CEO/Corporate Secretary Nancy Donahue Jones, CAE, RCE, PMN, Hawaii Association of Realtors.
Berton Hamamoto, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, Owner and Broker of Property Profiles, Inc., which specializes in residential sales and property management, has been selected as the 2014 Realtor of the Year by the Hawaii Association of Realtors.
The award was presented to him during the 2014 State Convention held from September 4 and 5 at the JW Marriott Ihilani at Ko Olina.
Hamamoto is being recognized for his efforts to promote education and professionalism in the real estate community. In addition to holding several designations, he is an instructor for the Graduate Realtor Institute program. He also works to further the image of Realtors to the public by writing articles on current real estate events in the local newspapers and has established himself as a source of real estate information in the media.
Hamamoto has been practicing real estate in Hawaii for nearly 30 years. He has volunteered for numerous committees and assignments, serving on over 30 committees on the local, state, and national level, including chairing six of them.
He is the 2004 CRB Pinnacle Award recipient, the 2007 President of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the 2009 Honolulu Board of Realtors’ Realtor of the Year, and the 2011 HAR President.
There will be a public hearing on October 2, 2014, at 10 a.m. where the Department of Health will explain proposed amendments to the Hawaii Administrative Rules for the Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, and Wastewater Branches. These changes to the Wastewater rules include an end to approving new cesspools for construction and provisions to upgrade existing cesspools to septic systems upon the sale of property.
You can find the proposed changes and the rationale for these changes to Ch. 11-62 for the Wastewater Branch here on its website: http://health.hawaii.gov/wastewater/home/public_notice/
Some proposed provisions:
- Proposing new language that requires upon sale of any building served by an existing cesspool, the building, no later than one hundred and eighty days after ownership transfer, shall be connected to a sewer or, where a sewer connection is not feasible, the cesspool shall be replaced with a new wastewater system, other than a cesspool.
- Requires the owner of a commercial or shopping center to upgrade their wastewater system when they have a new tenant that opens a restaurant.
- Imposes new requirements for farms.
The present rules allow for an exemption from a private wastewater treatment facility if the proposed subdivision is no more than 50 lots. After 50 lots, a private sewage treatment plant will be required. The new rules change the exemption to 15 lots. This is totally unreasonable as there is no way to amortize such a huge expense under so few lots. This virtually rules out subdivisions in the 16-50 lot size.
Some of the unintended consequences of the above are lenders will not want to lend on properties subject to conversion or the outcome will likely be that the cost will be born onto the Buyers in the way of higher housing costs. The argument by the Department of Health that Buyers and Sellers will not be adversely affected during the transaction is false speculation and truly misunderstands the real estate industry.
This issue is very important to Hawaii REALTORS® and their clients. HAR believes it is unfair for the government to mandate that a property owner upgrade at the point of sale when the cesspool system was built using DOH standards and approved in writing by the DOH. These cesspools should be grandfathered.
The Hawaii Association of REALTORS® has been discussing this issue in coordination with the Local Boards and will proceed in a coordinated effort, which may include a membership Call-for-Action.
There is an estimated cesspool residential property count of 50,000 on Hawaii, 14,000 on Kauai, 12,000 on Maui, 11,000 on Oahu, and 1,400 on Molokai.
HAR contributed $4,000 to the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center (HHOC) as part of the REALTOR® organization's commitment to increase the homeownership rate in Hawaii. HHOC Executive Director Dennis Oshiro received a check from President Trudy Nishihara at the Board of Directors meeting on July 23, 2014.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had made changes to its loan guarantee program resulting in a significant drop in the maximum loan guarantee for veterans in Hawaii. In 2013, the VA loan limit was $750,000 for Oahu (and slightly higher in 2012). For 2014, it has dropped to $625,500.
The Hawaii Association of REALTORS® (HAR) applauds the announcement that the VA will increase loan limits in several areas of the State effective immediately.
Due to our high cost of living and high home prices, it’s extremely difficult for Hawaii residents to gather together enough money for a down payment. For many, the VA loan is the only way they can purchase a home. Many of our active duty, reserve and national guard members purchase homes using no down VA loans.
Last year, more than 5,000 families in Hawai‘i relied on VA loan guarantees.
The Hawai‘i Association of REALTORS® (HAR) commends the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its announcement that it will resume guaranteeing home loans for veterans seeking to purchase rainwater catchment properties in Hawaiʻi.
“For several years, HAR has been working with local and Washington, D.C. representatives on finding a solution to a gap group of veterans that have been denied VA loans based on rainwater catchment systems,” said HAR President Trudy Nishihara. “We applaud the efforts by representatives in Washington, D.C., local governmental representatives, and the VA for coming to a resolution that provides an approval process and resuming the home loan guaranty program.”
Since 2011, veterans in Hawaiʻi have been unable to take advantage of VA benefits to purchase homes or refinance existing loans on homes served by rainwater catchment systems.
VA policy and details may be viewed here.