Call to Action from Homebuilders Association of Fayetteville

The North Carolina General Assembly has passed bipartisan legislation to stop the NC Building Code Council from adopting outrageous energy code requirements that would add approximately $20,400 to the cost of the average new home in North Carolina.

Moreover, we estimate that the cost of these code requirements would price more than 102,500 North Carolina families out of a new home.

We need YOU to send an email to Governor Roy Cooper urging him to protect housing affordability by signing House Bill 488, “Code Council Reorg. and Var. Code Amend.” or otherwise allow it to become law.

Copy and paste the following with your name and address in the signature line and email it to: [email protected]

Governor Cooper,

I urge you to sign House Bill 488, “Code Council Reorg. and Var. Code Amend.” or otherwise let it become law. This important legislation helps protect housing affordability in North Carolina by preventing an additional $20,400 in construction costs. Enactment of this legislation would make sure that more than 102,500 North Carolina families are not priced out of purchasing a new home.

Please let this legislation become law.

Sincerely, (your name & address)

Fee Changes by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

NAR Is Making the REALTOR® Voice Heard on LLPAs

April 26, 2023

Mortgage FinancingFannie Mae & Freddie Mac (GSEs)

By: Stacey MoncrieffFee changes announced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lead to both legitimate concerns and misunderstandings.

Black couple paying bills on computer at home
© skynesher – E+/Getty Images

Beginning May 1, some Americans will see higher fees on their mortgages while others will see fees reduced or eliminated. These changes to the so-called loan-level price adjustments—or LLPAs—have caused consternation in the industry. And in the week leading up to their effective date, National Association of REALTORS® advocacy staff have been busy both clearing up misunderstandings and reassuring REALTORS® that their concerns are being heard.

LLPAs aren’t new. These borrower-specific fees were instituted in 2008, on top of the base guarantee fee that borrowers pay. Over the years, there have been multiple changes to LLPAs, and the National Association of REALTORS® has regularly lobbied against adverse impacts on borrowers, including on these latest changes. According to an analysis by Experian, the latest LLPA changes will result in higher fees for consumers doing cash-out refinances and those with high-balance adjustable-rate mortgage. Mortgage News Daily reports that most borrowers who put down between 5% and 25% and have credit scores greater than 680 will also see a fee increase but will still pay less overall than lower credit borrowers. (In the article(link is external), author Matthew Graham provides a handy chart that shows how LLPAs are applied based on FICO score and LTV.) In addition, 2022 changes that reduced or eliminated fees for first-time homebuyers and those with low or moderate incomes will become permanent. And many borrowers with lower credit scores but strong down payments will see reduced fees.

Critics have said the changes amount to a penalty for those who have maintained high credit scores. However, at a housing policy forum hosted by NAR in April, FHFA Director Sandra Thompson indicated that “there was no uniform targeting of a borrower with a higher LTV for a lower.” While supporting some of the changes, NAR has consistently said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the wherewithal to lower fees for lower-wealth borrowers without increasing fees for those with greater wealth. Furthermore, supporting both groups dovetails with their congressional charter obligations and their function as market utilities.

However, some of the criticism of the new LLPAs has mischaracterized the changes, according to NAR. For example, one commentary said the changes amounted to “leveraging high-risk loans to people without the ability to pay them” and compared the changes to policies that led to the 2008 financial crisis. “That’s not accurate,” says Ken Fears, NAR director of conventional housing finance and valuation policy. “Every loan financed by the GSEs must comply with the Ability to Repay Rule, put into effect after the financial crisis, which requires that borrowers be able to afford the payments for the first five years based on their income,” he says. Furthermore, while some fees will change, the fees paid by lower-credit borrowers will still remain higher than those of borrowers with stronger credit.

When FHFA announced the changes in January, NAR released a statement saying it supported adjustments that reduced costs for some borrowers but had concerns about increases for other borrowers. “In the wake of a three-percentage point increase in mortgage rates, now is not the time to raise fees on homebuyers,” NAR President Kenny Parcell said in the statement.

NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn says the association will continue to make its voice heard on the issue of mortgage fees. REALTORS® will be meeting with Washington legislators and policymakers during the May 9 REALTORS® National Block Party(link is external) at Nationals Park. The block party, part of the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, will also be the national stop of NAR’s Riding with the Brand tour.

Stacey Moncrieff

Stacey Moncrieff

Executive Editor, Publications

Stacey is executive editor of publications for the National Association of REALTORS® and editor in chief of REALTOR® Magazine.

Harnett County Projects

(The Sanford Herald)

A new development with 54 single family lots will soon see construction in north west Harnett County. Construction on the first home as West Preserve will begin this Spring. The neighborhood is located five miles south of Sanford and 16 miles north of Spring Lake and will have easy access to NC 87.

Weaver Homes will be spearheading the project. The West Preserve neighborhood, situated on McDougald Road, in miles east of NC 87, the major North-South corridor between Sanford and Fayetteville/Fort Bragg.

“Drive times are reasonable” Frank Weaver said. “So you can work in Fayetteville or Raleigh, but live away from the city pressure.”

Lot sizes in the neighborhood will range from half-acre lots up to 1.5 acres. The development also has high-speed fiber optic internet service. Marketing for West Preserve is handled by Tony Weaver with Property Pros Group and Coldwell Banker Advantage.


(Dunn Daily Record) January, 2023

Harnett Regional Jetport broke ground on a new 5.1 million terminal.

“Today is a great day for aviation in Harnett County,” said County Commissioner Lew Weatherspoon, who opened the program in a hangar at the airport.

Demolition of the existing terminal, which opened in 1981, is expected to begin at the end of this month. The new building is scheduled to be complete by March of 2024.

Sen. Jim Burgin cited the airport’s expansion as the “first part of the long-term plan to make Harnett County a place people want to be.”

He said 64% of Harnett County’s workforce now leaves the county to reach their jobs. Airport improvements, he said, can help attract new employers to address that problem.

The new building, at over 7,300 square-feet, will also house Harnett County Economic Development, which works with new and existing employers to bring jobs to the county.

Fayetteville City Council Rezonings

The followings rezonings were approved as they relate to the real estate industry

Case P23-04 – rezoning of 16.98 acres of an 18.85 acre parcel from single-family, agricultural residential and neighborhood commercial to 16.98 acres of mixed-residential and retain 1.87 acres of existing neighborhood commercial.

Location: 0 Morganton Road
What’s Proposed: Future Commercial or multi-family use. The zoning change would make the site most adequate for apartment development.

Case P22-48 – rezoning of 12.23 acres from conditional single-family residential to mixed-residential conditional.

Location: 7237 April Drive
What’s Proposed: 72 apartment units located off Rim Road

New Multi-Use Development Planned in Sanford

from The Sanford Herald

A Sanford businessman has purchased a parcel of land that is intended to be used in bringing a mixed-use real estate development to the area.

George Avent, president of AVENT DSI, Inc., purchased the property, which is located on Kelly Drive between the U.S. 421 bypass interchange and Central Carolina Community College, in a deal that closed on Dec. 15 and said the planned development will feature 250,000 square feet of retail space, including a hotel, and a bowling alley, several eateries; and 30 lots to accommodate 20 affordable single-family homes and 10 townhouses.

The company presently owns approximately 60 acres spread over six parcels in Lee County.

The main attraction that the site holds for the national retail chains such as Home Depot, Target and Harris Teeter and the multinational home builders such as Caruso Homes is its location.

“Sanford is one of the hottest markets in the Greater Triangle for new residential commercial development,” Terrie Tinney, sales manager for Caruso headquartered in Crofton, Maryland, said Tinney heads the Caruso local office in Raleigh.

Avent conceded that rising interest rates and the high costs of infrastructure have slowed this project, but he expects conditions to get better during the duration of the project.

Such conditions caused the company to decline an offer to purchase a favorable Swann Station Road site from Charles C. Tacia III (Chris) and James M. Wood to add to its real estate portfolio. However, Mr. Avent and his representative Phillip Singer hopes to reengage the sellers at a future date when conditions improve if the property remains available.

Important Housing Information from NC REALTORS®

The Advocate
January 6, 2023 Federal Funding Update

President Joe Biden signed H.R.2617, the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, into law on December 29, 2022. The bill is a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund the US federal government through fiscal year 2023. The bill includes funding for domestic and foreign policy priorities. The sweeping spending package includes numerous real estate provisions. The funding, which is supportive of the real estate industry, includes: Federal Housing Administration Funding – Up to $400 billion in FHA commitments to guarantee single-family loans. Fair Housing – $86 million for HUD’s fair housing grants and activities. HOME Investment Partnerships Program – $1.5 billion in funding to provide grants to states and localities for affordable housing initiatives. Housing Supply – $85 million for grants to reward state and local jurisdictions that reform land-use policies and remove barriers to affordable house production and preservation. Rural Housing – $2 billion for USDA’s Rural Housing Service. Flood Insurance – Extends the National Flood Insurance Program through September 30, 2023. Increased flood map funding to $313 million. Broadband – $364 million in broadband grant funding. Infrastructure – $62.9 billion for Federal Highway Administration. To view a list the full list of real estate related funding, click here.

State Issue Update – Elevator Safety Reporting Form for Residential Rental Properties

The NC Department of Insurance recently released an elevator/hoist safety reporting form. The elevator safety reporting requirement is the result of the passage of Weston’s Law in 2022.

Weston’s Law, HB 619, is a bill addressing elevator safety by requiring elevators in rental homes eliminate or reduce the space between elevator doors and landing doors. It was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2022 and became effective October 1, 2022.

The bill is named in memory of a young child from Ohio who died because he was trapped between the elevator car and elevator shaft at a rental home in the Outer Banks.

The safety requirements in the Act applies to any elevator in a private residence, cottage or similar accommodation subject to taxation under G.S. 105-164.4F.

To access the reporting form, click here. Once the door baffle, door space guard, door or gate is installed, the landlord will need to provide the Commissioner of Insurance one of the following: A statement signed by a professional elevator installer certifying installation of the door baffle, door space guard, door, or gate meeting the requirements of the law. A receipt for purchase of the door baffle, door space guard, door, or gate meeting the requirements of the law, a signed statement by the landlord stating the date of installation, and photographs depicting the door baffle, door space guard, door, or gate as installed. The reporting form also requires property owner information such as the name, address and contact along with the required documentation listed above. The one page form provides additional details along with contact information.

If you have any questions or comments about the Advocate, please contact Pam Melton, Director of Political & External Communications.

LINKS TO MORE RESOURCES NAR Washington Report NC General Assembly NC REALTORS® Action Center NC Real Estate Commission NAR REALTOR® Party NC Homeowners Alliance
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