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June 2009



Chairman’s Corner



Don’t miss your chance to meet Kendra Todd, host of HGTV’s popular program, My House is Worth What? On Friday, June 26 from 6 to 8 p.m., ABoR members will have an exclusive opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet session with Todd and Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. The event, which will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, 6505 IH 35., is free and includes light appetizers and a cash bar.  However, due to limited seating, advance reservations are required. Click here to reserve your space online.


Todd and Gaines, along with representatives from Austin Energy and the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, will take part in “Here & Now: Facts About Homeownership in Central Texas,” a consumer-oriented educational event, on Saturday, June 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel. 


REALTORS® are encouraged to invite their clients to this free summit, which will touch on topics including an overview of the Central Texas economy, details on mortgage financing and the City of Austin’s green energy rebate programs and how to build wealth through homeownership.


For more information on this event, e-mail the Marketing Department at



I hope to see you there!


Jay Gohil
2009 Chairman of the Board



Energy Audit Ordinance: Let Us Hear From You

Tell us how the city’s energy audit ordinance is affecting you in our new Energy Audit Ordinance online community.  Because the ordinance is very new, your expert opinions are necessary to help us create strategies and resources that address your concerns and provide you with the information you need.


The Energy Audit Ordinance community contains discussions touching on every aspect of the ordinance, as well as a wealth of helpful resources and links to timely news stories.  This community is also your best source for staying abreast of ordinance developments.


Members are also welcome to contact the Government and Community Affairs Department at 512/454-7636 with your comments, concerns and questions.  And remember: your feedback helps us create a stronger association. 



Take the Lead in Giving Back

Have fun while helping your neighbors – become an ABoR Foundation director!  Foundation directors play an important role in ensuring ABoR serves the local community.  Click here to apply online.  Deadline is July 30.


Director positions require a three-year commitment, and applicants must be primary ABoR members for at least three years prior to application.  For details on the ABoR Foundation and its leadership, contact 2009 Foundation Chair Carol Medley Parker



Changes to First Time Taxpayer Home Credit

Here’s great news for potential home buyers: the 2009 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit can now be used to fund closing costs or help with a down payment.  The $8,000 tax credit was previously only available as a credit on federal income tax returns filed after the home was purchased.  Now, however, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will allow FHA-approved lenders to use the credit to develop a bridge loan that will help cover closing costs; buy down the mortgage interest rate; or add to the minimum 3.5 percent down payment.  Certain restrictions, including income limits, apply.  Details on the tax credit are available online



Visit Online Communities for a Chance to Win

Stay current on the rapidly changing world of real estate by visiting ABoR’s Learning Communities. This online forum allows you to communicate with other ABoR members on a variety of real estate topics, sharing ideas and finding solutions to common problems. Visit the Learning Communities and start or participate in a discussion by July 1 and you will be entered for a chance to win a car detail package from AutoShine.


ABoR’s Learning Communities offer a number of specific groups to help you sharpen your business focus. When joining a new group, please be sure to set your notification preferences for that group to ensure you do not miss important updates. To set your notifications, select the “Notifications” link in the top right corner of that group’s page.



NAR Announces Policy Changes, New Services at Midyear Meeting

Learn what changes were made at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Midyear meeting and how they will affect your business. In May, NAR’s board of directors announced several updates including changes to MLS regulations and updates to the Standards of Practice. All NAR members are responsible for understanding and adhering to the new policies.


NAR also announced the launch of its own credit union, REALTORS® Federal Credit Union. Open only to REALTORS®, this online-based financial institution offers convenience and competitive rates.


Finally, NAR now provides a REALTOR® Core Health Insurance program for NAR members ages 18-65. The program provides guaranteed coverage of affordable Limited Medical insurance. Click here to learn more.



Volunteers Wanted for ABoR Committees

Looking for a way to get involved with ABoR? Applications for 2010 committee assignments are now available. Committee involvement is a great way to make a positive mark on your industry while building valuable business connections. All prospective committee members must have a valid e-mail address and be able to make a one-year commitment. For more information, contact the Executive Department.



ABoR listens to Member Feedback on ValueMap

After further testing by members and feedback given to the ACTRIS Board of Directors, the decision has been made to discontinue the use of the Realist product ValueMap. The estimated values the product was producing would have been counter-productive to agents using a CMA to valuate a property for a buyer or seller.