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Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Bill Signed into Law

ObamaSigning WhiteHouseFlickr160x160
Presiden Obama signs a bill
into law in the Oval Office
courtesy: White House Flickr
President Obama signed the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act" into law on Friday, March 21, 2014. This repeals FEMA's authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map and refunds excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. Premium increases will be limited to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% on older properties. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance.

National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has provided a section-by-section analysis of the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act".

Senate Passes Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

NFIPCheck160x160Source: NAR

On Thursday, March 13, 2014, the United States Senate voted 72-22 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370). The Senate acted quickly to pass the bill as amended by the House to avoid the need for a conference committee to reconcile any differences. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law when it arrives at the White House.

The new bill further reins in and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for the Biggert-Waters implementation issues.

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Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act Passed the House

NFIP160x160The United States House of Representatives passed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act on March 4, 2014. Changes were made to the bill text so the next step is to send the legislation back to the Senate for approval and finally to the President's desk for enactment. As of today, March 13, the timing for a vote on the measure in the Senate remains uncertain.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is urging the Senate to vote on HR 3370 quickly.

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2013 Awards Announced, 2014 Directors Installed

Recently the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® recognized members who have given back to the community, gone beyond the call of duty, and exemplified other high principles of the REALTOR® name.

The awards are presented annually, each honoring a different quality of the REALTOR® brand.

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2013 in Review, a President's Message

What an amazing year it's been!

PatWattamWe hosted some fabulous education events, Pat Diamond and Ed Hatch provided amazing special sessions to help our members grow their businesses. We also brought in Chuck Bode for the second year in a row to help agents with CRS designations and provide invaluable CE opportunities. Look forward to three more CRS classes already scheduled for next year!

2013 brought so much new tech to help you work smarter! We:

  • Launched the Weekly Education Digest to respect your inboxes and help you plan ahead.
  • Launched "GBRAR Homes" apps for Android, iPhone/iPad and Blackberry, through an agreement with Smarter Agent
  • Expanded lists of IDX vendors to 27 providing members' lots of choices for IDX products and services.
  • Integrated RPR and ESRI Tapestry consumer segmentation data within the LACDB to create decision engines to assist in site selection and marketing of commercial real estate.
  • Released updated mapping platform in GBRMLS
  • Launched 10k Market Research Monthly Statistical Reports and Quarterly Market Video Updates - presenting market statistics in an approachable and beautiful way. Beginning in 2014 we'll be releasing monthly video updates!
  • Very recently, brought wonderful new MLS tools online for you, powered by CoreLogic, including integrated public records along with listing data and a platform for sharing MLS data from around Louisiana and across the U.S. Look forward to using these in years to come.
  • Released CloudCMA with GBRMLS data giving members opportunity to create stunning listing and buyer presentations. Full integration with List-it is scheduled for late January.

There was a lot of work with the MLS. There are many wonderful things coming our way in 2014. Exciting things. Things that will make our lives and business easier and better.

We raised a lot of money for LARPAC, through what has become the annual Cajun Cookoff and through LR-sponsored raffles, one for a fancy television and one for an amazingly generous offer from Linda Gaspard for a week in her beach home. GBRAR raised more money for LARPAC this year than in any other single year AND we had more people contribute than ever before! This is definitely something I want to see become a trend.

2013 has been a year of pretty steady market improvements. We've seen it in our professional lives. We've seen it in the number of new peers we have. This market growth also brought lots of positive press to our association. There were multiple interviews with radio and television stations. This helps spread the word of the REALTOR® brand and helps strengthen your business.

All of these accomplishments make for a great 2013. But, more importantly, they set GBRAR up for a fantastic 2014.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Pat Wattam
2013 GBRAR President


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