The Weekly Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. New Home Sales Are Up
2. You Did It!
3. HOT LINE: What is a PUD?
4. HOT LINE: Tenants in a Foreclosure?
5. WORKING SMARTER: Reducing Junk Mail
6. Upcoming TAR Courses & Events!
7. Rates Bump Up Slightly

To ask a TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line question, go HERE.

For other questions about this newsletter, please use the “CONTACT” form HERE.

1. New Home Sales Are Up

The Commerce Department reports that new-home sales grew in July at the fastest pace in 10 months. Volume climbed 9.6 percent — the most since February 2005 — to an annual rate of 433,000, topping economists’ estimates of 390,000.

Also, the median price of a new home slipped 0.1 percent from June to $210,000; and the inventory of available properties contracted 3.2 percent to a 16-year low of 271,000. The data suggests that increasing affordability and government stimulus efforts, most notably a first-time home buyer tax credit, may be helping the economy to claw its way out of recession.

NOTE: There are several bills in Congress to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit. It’s not guaranteed that any of them will pass, but some commentators feel that an extension is likely!

[SOURCES: Investors Business Daily; Information, Inc.]

2. You Did It!

As of Friday, August 28, we passed our goal of 1,000 orders for the new specialty REALTOR license plates …the number needed to put these license plates into production!

Thank you, TAR members!!!

Even if you were not one of the initial 1,000, you may STILL purchase one of the attractive new plates by going to the TAR Newsroom HERE and scrolling down until you see the license plate!

We will post an update later when we know more about the timetable for production, etc.!

3. HOT LINE: What is a PUD?

QUESTION: I have seen four different definitions of a PUD in four different publications. I have title attorneys and real estate attorneys arguing over what is and what is not a PUD and whether this form needs to completed. What is exactly is the definition of a PUD? What if the seller does not know if it is or is not a PUD?

ANSWER: The State of Tennessee recently passed a new law that went into effect on July 1, 2009, concerning planned unit developments, or PUDs.  The new statute provides a definition of a PUD. It also requires that the seller disclose whether the property is located within a PUD:

Section 66-5-2__.
(a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Bylaws” mean guidelines for the operation of a homeowner’s association which define the duties of the various offices of the board of directors, the terms of the directors, the membership’s voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the homeowner’s association as a business;

(2) “Planned unit development (PUD)” means an area of land, controlled by one (1) or more landowners, to be developed under unified control or unified plan of development for a number of dwelling units, commercial, educational, recreational or industrial uses, or any combination of the foregoing, the plan for which does not correspond in lot size, bulk or type of use, density, lot coverage, open space, or other restrictions to the existing land use regulations; and

(3) “Restrictive covenant” means any written provision that places limitations or conditions on some aspect of use of the property, such as size, location or height of structures, materials to be used in structure exterior, activities carried out on the property, or restrictions on future subdivision or land development.

(b) In addition to any other disclosures required in this part with regard to transfers described in 66-5-201, the owner of the residential property shall, prior to entering a contract with a buyer, disclose in the contract itself or in writing, including acknowledgement, if the property is located in a PUD, and make available to the buyer a copy of the development’s restrictive covenants, homeowner bylaws, and master deed upon request.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2009, the public welfare requiring it.

The agent’s responsibility is to make the seller aware of this new law.  It is NOT the agent’s responsibility to determine whether the seller’s home is in a PUD. This is for the seller to determine.

We would recommend that the seller consult with his own attorney. The new law is found at Public Chapter 112, Senate Bill 0324, and House Bill 0380.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

4. HOT LINE: Tenants in a Foreclosure?

QUESTION: Does Tennessee State law give tenants in a leased property the right to reside there up until the expiration of their lease, even if the property is being foreclosed on? If so, where can I find that law?

ANSWER: The U.S. Congress passed a new law that went into effect on May 20, 2009, called the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act 2009”. This new law makes it much more difficult for a bank to evict tenants on foreclosed property. It is possible, but under limited circumstances. We would recommend that your clients consult with an attorney to determine whether this new law deals with their specific situation.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

5. WORKING SMARTER: Reducing Junk Mail

If you are tired of getting “pre-qualified” insurance and credit card offers in the mail, there IS a way to reduce the flow!

Go to:

This website works like the National Do Not Call Registry for your credit report! By opting out, you are telling the Credit Bureaus that you do not wish them to sell your credit information for credit and insurance “Pre-qualified” offers.

The home page explains the pros and cons to Opting Out.

6. Upcoming TAR Courses & Events!

GRI 2: Smart Marketing — Sept. 3-4 (Nashville/Cool Springs area), 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

GRI 3: Financing the Successful Transaction — Sept. 10 – Oct. 14, (E-Class distance learning course), 16 hours CE.  For more information, go HERE.

TAR’s 2009 Annual Convention! — Sept. 15-18 (Point Clear, AL), 12 hours CE. TAR is hosting the 2009 TAR Annual Convention in Clear Point, Alabama, at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa. National speakers include real estate guru Stefan Swanepoel, Karel Murray, Internet-savvy Randy Eagar, and productivity wizard Merlin Mann! NOTE: The deadline has passed for advance registrations, but you may still register on-site!

GRI 4: From Offer to Contract to Closing — Sept. 28-29 (Knoxville, TN), 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

Watch each week’s TAR DIGEST for schedule changes and additions!

7. Rates Bump Up Slightly

Long-term mortgage rates bumped up slightly this past week, but they remain near record lows. Freddie Mac reported that average interest on a 30-year fixed loan was 5.14 percent, up from 5.12 percent a week ago. Rates for 15-year home loans, meanwhile, rose to 4.58 percent from 4.56 percent last week.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]

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