When I first became a REALTOR® over 26 years ago, I remember hearing the phrase “If real estate is your profession then politics is your business.” It didn’t mean anything to me then, if anything, it was a tad confusing….my plan was to put buyers and sellers together, sell houses and everyone would be happy. Right? Over the years I learned that there is a lot that needs to happen behind the scenes in order to get to that point where sellers and buyers can conclude a transaction at the closing table. And that’s where the politics came in. As I became more involved in leadership at the local, state and national levels of the REALTOR® Association, I learned that there are constant obstacles that need to be overcome to protect The American Dream of home ownership, the most recent being the financial crises and it’s after effects.
Many economists state that housing is a major piece of the economic recovery and that is why over 13,000 REALTORS® from across the country recently held a rally at the foot of the Washington Monument to protect the American Dream, to let Congress know that we support legislation that protects home ownership. We also held meetings with our members of Congress to review specific legislation and issues that we feel need to be addressed to keep the slow economic recovery moving along in the right direction. Why does home ownership matter to you, our community and the economy? Housing accounts for more than 15% of the gross domestic product. Additionally, six of the last eight recessions have ended as a result of hearty housing markets with war spending ending the other two. The National Association of Realtors® estimates that each home sale contributes about sixty thousand dollars to the GDP and that one job is created for every two home sales. Additionally, research shows that there are many positive social benefits of home ownership to a community that include higher academic achievement, more cohesive communities, better connected family units, improved health and safety and an overall stronger local economy. It’s also interesting to note that in the last few years research shows that the consumer’s perspective on home ownership has shifted psychologically from financial to more emotional in nature. Buyers have become more practical by seeking a home they can comfortably afford, that is a truer reflection of who they are as opposed to stretching themselves financially to obtain a larger home.
Home ownership continues to be the American Dream but it is under siege.
Some of the critical issues we are addressing with Congress pertain to preserving the Mortgage Interest Deduction, mortgage affordability, expediting the short sale process and secondary mortgage market reform. This is why I was in DC in May and why I continue to work with The National Association of Realtors® and Congress. Preserving home ownership is important to our future and the stability of our economy. So that saying I heard long ago turned out to be true after all. Yes, my primary focus is to put buyers and sellers together and sell real estate but “real estate is my profession and politics is my business” because I wholeheartedly believe in the American Dream of Home ownership. For those who might be interested, The National Association of Realtors® has a comprehensive web site for the public where you can pick up handy house related tips and ideas and keep track of issues affecting homeowners at www.houselogic.com.
Judy Moore CBR, CDPE, GRI, PMN, SRES Certified Residential Specialist
2012-2013 NAR RPAC Trustee
2012 NAR Major Investor Council
2009-2012 NAR Executive Committee
2008 Region 1 NAR Vice President
2004 Massachusetts State President
The Higgins Group Realtors