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11.27.19 Third PlanBeverly Public Workshop

On Thursday December 5th, PlanBeverly will be holding its third Public Workshop. The event will be held from 6:30-8:30pm at the Senior Center, 90 Colon St.

The main purpose of the meeting will be to review and comment on draft recommendations that have been developed from the last 7 months of meetings and analysis. A formal presentation will take place between 7:15-7:45pm.  Preceeding the presentation will be an open house to review the material and after there will be break-out tables with a scenario activity. 

PlanBeverly is a year long initiative by the city of Beverly to receive public comment for the upcoming 2020 Master Plan.

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11.26.19 2020 Conforming Loan Limits

Federal Housing Finance Agency has released the 2020 Conforming Loan Limits.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are restricted in the size of loans they are able to purchase.  Anything above this loan limit would be a jumbo loan.

For Essex County the limit is $690,000 for a single unit, $883,300 for a two family, $1,067,750 for a three family, and $1,326,950 for a four family.  Essex County has one of the highest loan limits in the state surpased only by Dukes and Nantucket Counties.

You can find the Conforming Loan Limits for every county in the country here

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11.26.19 Checklist for Condominium FHA Approval


The National Association of REALTORS® has created a checklist for condominium boards to use to streamline the process of gaining FHA approval.  The checklist is a comprehensive list of steps and documentation needed as well as instructions on how to submit those documents.

The checklist can be found online here, where you can also download a pdf for an easy handout to clients looking into FHA Approval.

If you need to check on whether a condominium already has FHA approval you can do so at here.


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11.22.19 Keep the Extensions Rolling

The National Flood Insurance Program was again extended, this time until December 20th.  In a small change from the more than a dozen other times NFIP has been extended in the last two years, NFIP was extended as part of the Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating.

NAR has received assurances from Congressional Leadership in both the House and the Senate that NFIP short-term extensions will continue to be included among any forthcoming government funding bills, which will ensure the avoidance of a lapse for the foreseeable future.

The National Association of REALTORS® continues to work on making progress with H.R. 3167, a bill that would approve a long term reauthorization of NFIP.

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11.22.19 HDIP Expansion Citywide Moves Forward in Salem

Thursday night the Salem City Council voted 7-3 to pass the expansion of the Housing Development Incentive Program citywide.

The purpose of HDIP is to afford developers incentives to overcome high redevelopment costs.  The incentives come in the form of a local-option real estate tax exemption and state tax credits that are awarded through a rolling application process.

HDIP targets the creation of market value properties.  Salem’s current HDIP zone is located within the Central Development zoning district (downtown).  The objective of expansion is to foster appropriately scaled residential development throughout the city.

Even with the expansion, HDIP incentives are not by-right.  City Council approval is required for all HDIP applications.

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11.19.19 Swampscott Passes Fee-in-Lieu Update

Article 9 passed with a two thirds majority vote at Swampscott’s Special Town Meeting on Monday.  The article further defined the Fee-in-Lieu payment that can be made by developers as an alternative to building affordable housing units per Swampscott’s inclusionary zoning bylaw.

"(The change will) make it easier to calculate and not leave funds on the table when a developer cannot produce the units and then is directed to make a payment," said Kimberly Martin-Epstein, chairwoman of the Affordable Housing Trust.

You can read a full description of the Town Meeting from the Lynn Item here.

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