As I reflect on the California Association of REALTORS Legislative Day meetings in Sacramento held on May 4 – 7, I feel that it is such an amazing time to be involved in organized real estate! Legislative day is when thousands of REALTORS throughout the state gather in Sacramento to storm the Capitol and meet with our elected officials. We discuss the hot issues that affect homeowner’s rights and the real estate industry!
For those of you who may never have attended Legislative Day I encourage you to inquire with our Association about how you can attend next year or how you can become an AAR Pepster to win a chance to go for FREE! After experiencing what we do at these meetings 4 years ago, I was motivated to get involved with our local association and C.A.R. Below I will be sharing some of the hot topics of the week from the Legislative Day meetings in Sacramento and I hope it encourages you to become more politically active, both in organized real estate and in your community.
One of the hottest topics of the week was preserving the mortgage interest deduction and it is clearly one of C.A.R.’s top priorities! If the mortgage interest deduction went away there would be no incentive for homeowners to buy a home. Advocates have responded that the deduction encourages homeownership and U.S. has achieved one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world sincethe deduction came into common use. Therefore when we met with our Assembly Member and/or Senator we urged them to oppose the following ideas: imposition of a forced over withholding onindependent contractors; taxation of services; or any alteration of the mortgage interest deduction!
Another hot topic of the week was QRM, (Qualified Residential Mortgages), which is the proposal from the banks to impose a 20% minimum down payment to acquire a home loan. The proposed QRM rule would create an enormous down-payment requirement and reduce the availability of affordable mortgages for qualified consumers. Few borrowers would be able to meet these requirements andthose that do would be forced to pay much higher rates and fees for safe loans if they do not meet the exceedingly narrow QRM criteria. According to NAR Research, 60% of recent home buyers made lessthan a 20% down payment, and it would take 14 years for a typical American to save up a 20% downpayment to buy a median-priced home. Please go here and tell Congress that a 20% down payment to purchase a home would adversely affect the real estate industry in a time when we need the U.S.housing market to recover the most!
Short sales were another heated debate of the week, as well as, the extension of the higher loan limits! This is why we need all of you to be educated on the hot topics which will affect the real estate industry.We need to unite when we are called into action, which is the case right now. We need to make Congress understand that 20% Down Payments will put The American Dream Out of Reach!
Finally, some exciting news to come from the Arcadia Association of REALTORS is the YPN Million DollarPledge! After taking my idea to our government affairs director, Chip Alswede, we came up with the idea that has spread through C.A.R. and N.A.R. like wildfire. The YPN Million Dollar Pledge’s goal is to educate and raise awareness with ALL of our REALTOR members about the importance of advocacy and how government and politics play a critical role in our industry. We are encouraging our YPN REALTORS to get into the spirit of voluntary contribution to the REALTOR Action Fund to protect and preserve our business. Our minimum goal is 100 REALTORS, pledging $10,000 in contributions to RAF over their lifetime as a REALTOR. 100 REALTORS multiplied by $10,000 = the $1,000,000 dollar pledge fromYPN. Each pledged must contribute a minimum of $100 in voluntary funds in order to sign the pledge.We launched this campaign from C.A.R.’s YPN on May 5th and since then have had numerous newand seasoned REALTORS sign the pledge, promising to join the $10,000 contribution. Even our C.A.R. President-Elect, LeFrancis Arnold has matched the pledge by promising an additional $10,000 to his lifetime contribution during his speech at the board of directors meeting.
With all this information I hope you take the initiative and become involved with our amazing local association of REALTORS. Be informed and bring this valuable information back to your clients. Take care and I hope to see you all at C.A.R.’s Legislative Day 2012!Ryan Asao * DRE# 1331834
Not Just Another REALTOR. A Friend For LIFE!
2011 President Elect of the Arcadia Association of REALTORS