NAR President Steve Brown sent letters to both the House and Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture last week, urging support for
Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans. Programs such as the Section 502
loan program are instrumental in providing opportunities for
homeownership for rural families. Section 502 loans can be used to
build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare
sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. These loans are
funded by private lenders, and simply insured by the RHS. These
guarantees are at no cost to the federal government – as the loans are
fully supported by the premiums paid by borrowers.
Currently, those loans are approved on a case by case basis by Rural
Housing offices nationwide. The Administrations's FY15 budget proposes
to allow RHS to approve Direct Endorsed lenders, similar to the process
used by FHA and VA. This would greatly speed processing of these loans,
which have seen significant delays in recent years due to federal
The letter urges the Appropriations Committees to include the
proposal in their legislation. NAR will continue to work on this issue,
to ensure rural families have access to safe, affordable mortgage
What outdoor feature would you most like for your home? This question was posed by Money.com in the June Money Poll. The results of the poll are below.
$598 billion Total projected home improvement spending in 2014.
63% Architects who worked on more outdoor living areas in 2013 than in 2012.
83% Homebuyers who say they'd like a house with a patio.
33% Buyers who want an outdoor kitchen.
$9,539 Average price of a wooden-deck addition last year.
$33,560 Average cost of installing a basic in-ground pool.
31% Real estate agents who say a pool adds more than 5% to a home's value.
Harvard University, the American Institute of Architects, National
Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, the
Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.