I read an article this morning about The Giving Keys necklaces and how this business gives back to charity to keep young homeless of the streets. I was taken by just how the founder of this jewelry company had her “ah ha” moment and figured out a way to help a young couple finally get a second chance and achieve the goal of a “roof over their heads”.
That got me thinking about what is now taking place in our industry. We, as REALTORS® joining forces with the National Association of Realtors, our state and local associations, have that second chance. We have the unique opportunity to help reshape the way consumers, our buyers and sellers, purchase and sell real estate. Our careers and our profession is at risk right now. Look at the mortgage industry – they have been so regulated that it has literally destroyed how they can do business, their future shaped by other interests.
More than ever we need to stand up and be heard. Moving forward responsibly is essential in finding the solutions that will be a win-win situation for all parties. We are the force that helps our clients find that “roof over their heads”, right? So, now you are asking, where is Laurie going with this?
To ensure that our industry is not reshaped for us by other interests, our responsibility to our clients and customers is to be involved. The simple way to be involved is to be aware of the issues we as REALTORS® face. Some examples:
- Housing conditions have not improved enough to warrant letting the FHA loan limits drop. Only 8 states will see no decline. To check your location, go to NAR’s Estimate of Loan Limits and see for yourself the significance of striving to keep them at current levels.
- Did you know that the Mortgage Interest Deduction is under scrutiny? Did you know that more than 3/4 of homeowners utilize the deduction over the period they own their home? NAR opposes any changes to current law.
- Do you know about the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule? Perhaps you know this as the Dodd-Frank act. The unnecessarily 20% down payment requirements under the proposed QRM rule will jeopardizes the fragile housing recovery. NAR wants federal regulators to honor congressional intent by crafting a QRM exemption that includes a wide variety of traditionally safe, well documented and properly underwritten products.
- For more on current issues, check NAR’s Advocacy Agenda.
In March 2011, NAR launched the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative. What does this mean? The real estate industry is facing monumental issues, from Congress, regulatory agencies, state legislative bodies and local municipalities & counties. It is important that the Associations that represent us have the power to shape our future in a responsible way. It is important that we as REALTORS® are able to continue to assist those we work with find that roof they will call “their” home. Home ownership does matter.
For some background, Wall Street financial interests and other corporations are pouring unprecedented amounts of money into political advocacy efforts to advance their agendas. The U.S. Supreme Court last year opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending in elections when it overturned 100 years of legal precedent in its Citizens United decision, which effectively gives corporations the same political speech rights as individual citizens. A thorough explanation of what this impact is on you and your profession, please visit www.realtor.org or Political Survival is the Job at Hand
More than ever we need to stand up and be heard.
Laurie Barrera, ABR, GREEN
2011 President, Ada County Association of Realtors
Some content used with permission of the National Association of Realtors, Government Affairs, or visit http://www.realtor.org/government_affairs