How The Federal Reserve Will Scale Back Its Balance Sheet

During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve built up a store of roughly $4.5 trillion in Treasuries and other assets, like mortgage-backed securities, on its balance sheet. Since then, when these assets have come due, the Fed has turned around and reinvested the principal back into new assets, maintaining the size of its balance sheet. Now, nearly a decade after the start of the financial crisis, the Fed has announced its plan for shrinking the size of its balance sheet. The basic idea is that the Fed will stop reinvesting the principal of securities when they mature. Put another way, when a 10-year Treasury on the Fed's books comes due, the money it gets back from that investment will not be used to go out and buy another Treasury. The slowing of reinvestment will be phased in over time. To start, the Fed will invest money back into the market only if it gets back more than $6 billion in principal returned a month. From there, the "cap" will increase by $6 billion every three months over the course of a year until it hits $30 billion a month. The Fed said it would ultimately have a balance sheet "appreciably below that seen in recent years but larger than before the financial crisis" in part because the Fed expects banks to maintain higher demand for reserves supplied by the central bank. But that is a pretty broad end point given that the Fed held roughly $800 billion in assets before the financial crisis and $4.5 trillion now (source: Business Insider).

Information courtesy of Bill Holmes with Front Street Mortgage

TAAR Community Steward Program

For generations, REALTORS® have served as the stewards for those entering new communities and others moving on to other destinations.  The TAAR Community Steward Program was developed to acknowledge those REALTORS® who, in addition to operating as agents and brokers, also donate their valuable time to foster those communities and individuals living within them through volunteer service and other contributions. 

Any TAAR REALTOR® member who has completed two qualifying activities within the calendar year is eligible to receive this recognition.  Successful applicants will receive a certificate of appreciation suitable for framing, a TAAR Community Steward lapel pin and public recognition in print and online venues. To all those who give their time, thank you, on behalf of TAAR, for all you do to shape our communities and the families and individuals who live work and play there. 

For more information including criteria and to submit an Application,  CLICK HERE

Confidence in Housing Again at All-Time High

Confidence in housing is again at an all-time high in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), showing the share of home sellers who believe now is a good time to sell reaching a new record in June—a sure sign of a seller’s market. The HPSI overall posted 88.3, up 2.1 percentage points from May.

The share of sellers who believe now is a good time to sell moved up seven percentage points in June to 39 percent, according to the HPSI. The share of home buyers who believe now is a good time to buy, at the same time, also rose, but by just three percentage points to 30 percent.

Article courtesy of Bill Holmes  with Front Street Mortgage

Millennials Fleeing the Nest!

Fannie Mae says that young adults are finally beginning to flee the nest in droves, with the number of those millennials  who are moving out from their parent’s homes growing fast!

The finding comes from a  new study   by Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, which says the number of adults in their mid to late 20s and early 30s living with mom and dad fell significantly between 2013 and 2015. That period covers the economic recovery following last decade’s housing crisis (source:

The accelerated rate of millennials fleeing the nest bodes well for housing demand.  Hooray!

Bring Back the Reduction in the FHA Insurance Premiums

The National Association of REALTORS® believes that the Administration’s recent decision to suspend a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s annual insurance premiums will keep as many as 40,000 potential homebuyers from becoming actual homebuyers in 2017, and wants the premium cut reinstated “as soon as possible,” the trade organization said. “NAR estimates that the premium reduction would have reduced costs for 750,000 to 850,000 homebuyers in 2017 with home loans backed by the FHA. In addition, it would have made homeownership possible for an additional 30,000 to 40,000 homebuyers,” the trade organization said in its letter to Carson (source: HousingWire).

Article courtesy of Bill Holmes with Front Street Mortgage

Support Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Big Little Hero Race on April 15th

NMC Business Students are raising  money for Big Brothers Big Sisters and you can help!


Big Little Hero Race   on  Saturday, April 15, 2017  - 9am  at the  NMC Main Campus in Traverse City (1701 East Front Street, Traverse City)

Features a 5K Run/Walk, 10K Run and a FREE one mile fun run AND every kid gets a superhero cape!

Register by APRIL 1ST  to receive a FREE Technical Running Shirt! NMC has provided  all TAAR Members with a $5 off code for registration, the code is SAVE55k (for the 5K) or SAVE510K (for the 10K). 

100% of the registration goes to TAAR's Primary Nonprofit Partner Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan! 

Register Now at

Current List of Prominent Michigan RPAC Issues

Thank you to Doug Merriam with Michigan REALTORS®  for providing us with a list of prominent Michigan RPAC Issues currently being worked on in the Michigan State Legislature. A few highlights include:

  • Your RPAC dollars  working to fight any potential expansion of the sales tax base to enhance Michigan infrastructure while  cutting income tax
  • Introduction of legislation to prevent local government's from banning short-term vacation rentals
  • Legislation being drafted to create a tax-free savings account for  first-time home purchases

Read the full one-page update on RPAC Issues  HERE.

Protect Yourself and Your Clients from Wire Fraud

A big thank you to Dennis Pearsall, President of Real Estate One Northwest and its franchise divisions,  for bringing to our attention the extent of the issue of wire fraud in our country and providing the TAAR with materials to help craft a Wire Fraud Prevention Policy and Customer Fraud Warning and Acknowledgement for the TAAR. As mentioned in the  Traverse City Business News Cover Article: Wire Fraud Strikes Local Real Estate Firms, Home Buyers, wire fraud in real estate transactions has been an escalating issue that we want to make sure our TAAR members stay on top of.  View the TAAR Wire Fraud Prevention  and Customer Fraud Warning and Acknowledgement  Policy HERE, under Forms on the TAAR Members Only Website.

Below are two great pieces from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Michigan REALTORS® on what you can do to prevent wire fraud. Unfortunately, the incidents of wire fraud seem to still be on the rise. However, by taking some basic steps you can help to fend off wire fraudsters. Check out this  video  from the NAR and the article "Wire Fraud: It Can Happen to Your Client" from Michigan REALTORS® to learn more about what you and your buyers can do.  

NAR Voice for Real Estate 60: FHA MIP, Debt Cancellation

FHA dropped the mortgage insurance premium on FHA loans. Also, homeowners can benefit from mortgage debt cancellation relief in the 2017 tax year if the lender signed an agreement in 2016 to write down part of the mortgage in 2017. Other segments look at working with customers who have a criminal record, how to use social media without turning off followers, and what's ahead for sales this year. An excerpt from a recent Real Estate Today radio show gives consumers a tip for saving for a downpayment. Watch it HERE


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