Homeownership Matters … to Commercial Real Estate

For more on this issue, listen to the latest podcast from Bill Armstrong!


The housing market remains troubled and as a homeowner myself, I’m especially glad there is an organization looking after my interests, a long-established and trusted group which exists, in part, to fight for my right to purchase and sell real property.  That group, of course, is the National Association of REALTORS®, a strong and ready consumer advocate for homeowners, business owners, and investors.

As REALTORS® from across the country travel to attend the Midyear/Legislative meetings in Washington, DC (May 10-14, 2011) a crucial component will be Hill visits.  NAR provides its members a rare opportunity to connect directly with their legislators to voice concerns.  The focus is well placed on Homeownership.  Lawmaker discussion and pending legislation continue to threaten housing access and sales.  Issues such as the elimination of the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID), affordable property insurance, access to affordable mortgage products, the stress of Short Sale transactions, and future of the GSEs are of great concern.   NAR’s Legislative Agenda addresses those issues and member talking points will be supplied.

Of immediate concern is H.Res.25, a bipartisan resolution offered by Rep. Gary Miller.  This resolution supports retaining MID, a consumer tax benefit that’s been in play for more than 100 years, and is important to a stable housing market.  NAR issued a Call for Action, and is urging all REALTORS® to lend support by responding.  As a homeowner who greatly appreciates and enjoys this benefit, I acted on the Call very quickly!

Just as vigorously, NAR addresses commercial real estate issues.  Never underestimate the power of the PAC!  It’s those RPAC contributions that have helped produce NAR’s recent wins:  the SBA is expanding its temporary 504 commercial real estate refinance program which helps small business owners struggling to refinance commercial loans;  the repeal of 1099 legislation which imposed burdensome requirements on small landlords and the real estate practitioners who work with them; and FASB’s decision to delay issuing a final ruling on expanding lease accounting rules which would force companies to capitalize commercial leases on their balance sheets, putting them in the red and limiting financing opportunities.

The housing issues up for debate have a direct impact on the health of the markets and a communities in which commercial real estate resides and vice versa.   Won’t you stand together with fellow REALTORS® to support all facets of the real estate industry?

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