By Peter N. Lamandre
While I was at the Rally to Protect the American Dream last Thursday during the NAR Midyear meetings in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to interview some of the YPNers in attendance. See what they had to say about the importance of homeownership.
By Chris Nichols
Approximately 60 REALTORS® from the state of Utah spent last Wednesday afternoon discussing issues vital to the housing market with their Congressional Delegation. The afternoon started with a state caucus meeting with Jamie Gregory, one of NAR’s chief lobbyists, walking us through the major talking points of the day. Then it was off to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Representatives Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and Jim Matheson.
The meetings were a tremendous success and we are fortunate in Utah to have a congressional delegation that gets it when it comes to the importance of homeownership.
Following the close of the Senate session, we had the amazing opportunity of a private tour with Senator Lee’s chief of staff, Spencer Stokes. The Capitol was empty and we had the opportunity to enjoy the rotunda with no one else around. There is certainly something about standing in these hallowed halls and quietly soaking in the history and importance of this special place.
Spencer was such a gracious tour guide, showing us amazing places such as the President’s Room, the House Chapel, and a very special visit to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Room. The staff there was wonderful and shared many interesting and insight stories about what happens in that room.
My evening ended on a high note with a private dinner at the Capitol Hill Club with my Congressman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz. I had a great time discussing a variety of things ranging from the presidential election to everyday life with him. As always, it’s a great opportunity to come to Washington, D.C., and spend quality time with our elected officials.
*Originally published on NAR’s Midyear Live Blog.
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
With everything that is currently going on in many parts of the Middle East, specifically Egypt, it really made me think about how blessed we are to live in this country. Being a first generation Palestinian-American, it hurts me to see what the Egyptian people are going through. But I am proud that they are standing up for what they believe in, a true and fair democracy.
Sometimes, we take for granted the rights and freedoms we have as Americans. Many people around the world only dream to have the freedom, justice, and liberties that we have. We live in a country that allows us to vote for our leader, as well as many other rights. Freedom of religion, the right to a fair and just trial, the right to bear arms, and the freedom to own property, to name a few.
While you may think: “Most, if not all, countries around the world allow their citizens to own property.” Yes, this may be true. But there are not too many countries that have a government in place that is actively involved in assisting its citizens with home ownership. With the existence of our government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tax incentives and deductions — The American Dream of owning a home can very well become a reality for those who desire it.
Another thing that I am greatly thankful for is level of organization and accountability that we have in this country. A perfect example is the NAR Code of Ethics that we are upheld to as REALTORS®. Article 10 in the NAR Code of Ethics says:
“REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.”
This statement just shows how diverse our country is, and that everyone has the right to own a home without being discriminated upon. We all came to this country on different boats, and different times. Let’s not criticize our differences, but rather learn to appreciate them. It is our diversity that makes this country so great.
By Chris Nichols
At his inaugural, NAR President Ron Phipps, issued a challenge to the members. He said, “We shouldn’t merely be the voice of real estate; we should be its architects and engineers.” I remember hearing those words and thinking about the responsibilities that architects and engineers have in the building process. Both refer regularly to a set of blueprints to accomplish the task of building.
As REALTORS® we have a set of blueprints that we need to refer to regularly. That set of blueprints would be the local real estate statistics for the market in which we practice.
Our clients are being bombarded by a barrage of negative statistics. Time Magazine’s September 2010 issue chose to attack the value of homeownership. The headline read, “RETHINKING HOMEOWNERSHIP: Why owning a home may no longer make economic sense.” This was the cover story they decided to focus on instead of the 5-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
In response to this attack, NAR has quickly and effectively launched a public awareness campaign to combat the misinformation being spread by the media. It’s called the Home Ownership Matters campaign and you are at the core of its success. Please visit Realtor.org and download the flyer and learn about the facts of home ownership and how you too can spread the word. Home Ownership Matters to People… to Communities… to America! Continue reading »
Prospects waffling over the value of buying a home? Share the free article “7 Home Ownership Tax Advantages” from the REALTOR® Content Resource.
At the REALTOR® Content Resource, you can share consumer articles directly to Facebook, Twitter, and email. You can also add them to your blog, website, or e-newsletter or even print them as handouts with your branding. Want to share a different article? It’s easy to search the REALTOR® Content Resource.
The REALTOR® Content Resource, brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is a member resource that entitles you to download free home ownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.
HouseLogic is the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® comprehensive consumer website geared to helping home owners make smart decisions to enhance, maintain, and protect the value of their home.
By Nobu Hata
An article recently came across my Twitterstream from Wired.com which, punditry (and ‘Granted, I live in Manhattan…’ caveat) aside, is a pretty good read.
Go ahead, it’s a short one, I’ll wait for you right here. (http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/11/st_essay_ownership/)
Where my and the writer’s opinion splits is that to me, a home DOES have sentimental value. A house is something everyone connects with emotionally. A house becomes a home, a member of the family. The rentorship attitude is a copout – if I was a writer in New York City, I’d want everything on the cheap, without commitment too. But I digress.
Was it a horrible essay? No. But what it does is epitomize the current state of consumer confidence in home ownership, as does the 90 or so comments, many rebutting the article itself, and that’s the key to remember.
Our generation agent is working in a time of unprecedented backlash from both our buyers and sellers, and the media. We live amidst a “throwaway” and non-committal culture. Simply stated: Home ownership isn’t for everyone. But what I like saying is that everyone knows someone who wants to buy or sell. Naysayer aside, I’ll take a few of those folks sticking up for homeownership rebutting him any day.
Our job will be to find those 90 people; our client base, those buyers and sellers who see value in home ownership, and give them the service they want and need. So what do you say? How will y’all be reaching these people in 2011?
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.