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As a REALTOR you have no doubt heard about tax reform plans from Washington, DC. Now Congress is threatening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction. These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities. Do not let tax reform become a tax increase for middle class homeowners.

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As a REALTOR you have no doubt heard about tax reform plans from Washington, DC. Now Congress is threatening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction. These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities.

Take action to tell Congress to reform our tax code AND protect middle class homeowners.

Click to sign.

Does anyone who is not from the other side of the galaxy really need to ask, “What is a bedroom?” Actually, yes. Welcome to the nuances of real estate speak, where not everything is as it seems.

There are, in fact, a number of details that make a room a “bedroom"—and both home buyers and sellers had best know them to avoid misunderstandings.

"Since a home and/or bedroom can go through many incarnations over its life, sellers should be familiar with what makes a bedroom a legal bedroom prior to listing their home, to ensure there are no issues holding up the sale when a buyer has been secured,” says Carl Ekroth of Douglas Elliman in New York City.

 

Read more here.

Becoming a homeowner is still the American Dream for many people. You apply for a 15- or 30-year mortgage and add as many home upgrades and improvements as possible. In addition to hoping it’s a seller’s market when you put the ‘for sale’ in your lawn, those home improvements determine how much profit you stand to make from your investment.

One of the best investments you can make is fireplace installation, according to a recent study from Angie’s List. The company surveyed 100 real estate agents on home values in relation to fireplaces and 2,000 homeowners/home buyers and found that fireplaces are a pretty hot commodity.

The majority of potential homeowners in the market today see fireplaces as an asset. They top so many home buyers’ must-have lists and are in such demand, in fact, that fireplaces increase over 76% of homes’ value anywhere from $1,000 to $4,999. The study has one caveat—electric fireplace inserts aren’t nearly as desirable as wood-burning or gas-burning fireplaces.

 

Read more here.

Last week, NAR launched a Call for Action asking you to contact your Congressman to ask that they pass House Resolution 2874 "The 21st Century Flood Reform Act."

While this bill makes numerous reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), it also reauthorizes the program for an additional five years. As we mentioned in previous Updates, this is extremely important because the NFIP will expire on September 30 without reauthorization!

The REALTOR® voice is needed on this key priority to ensure that properties across our state remain protected. This is not just a coastal issue, as numerous inland properties lie in river floodplains and can be more directly affected by irregular storms. North Carolina is no stranger to flooding and we have numerous examples about how having the NFIP helped property owners stay in their homes and repair them following flooding.