Realtors, U.S. Senators Talk Legislative Priorities That Protect Homeowners, Buyers And Sellers

Friday, May 16, 2014

Leaders of the Tennessee Association of Realtors met this week with U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, along with key staff members of Tennessee’s U.S. congressional delegation, to discuss vital real estate-related legislative issues. 

As a part of serving its members statewide, TAR champions legislative priorities that help to protect homeowners, buyers/sellers and private-property owners from Memphis to Knoxville, Jackson to Chattanooga, Nashville to the Tri-Cities.

Nationwide, the real-estate industry is facing monumental issues—such as the future of mortgage finance and keeping housing affordable—and elected officials are making decisions that will affect America’s 75 million homeowners and those who aspire to own a home. 

As part of its annual visits with elected officials in Washington, TAR officials Neal Clayton (2014 president), Pat Beech (2014 president-elect), Randy Durham (2014 secretary-treasurer) and Steve Harding (executive vice president), leading a delegation of 60 Tennessee Realtors, met with Senators Alexander and Corker, along with staff designees of several Tennessee congressional leaders (who are in recess).  Mr. Clayton also serves as a federal political coordinator for Senator Corker.

The TAR delegation expressed its appreciation for the meetings. 

“As always, we are grateful for the chance to sit down with our elected officials in Washington and discuss timely real-estate subjects that affect so many Tennesseans,” Mr. Clayton said. “Senator Alexander, Senator Corker and the congressional staff members we spoke with also noted how much they appreciated the opportunity to talk about these key issues.”

The topics that TAR raised included the need to: 

Preserve the Mission and Purpose of the FHA Program. Ensure that the Federal Housing Administration single-family program has the tools and policies in place to meet its mission of providing access to safe, affordable mortgage financing to qualified borrowers nationwide, without imposing burdensome limitations. 

Preserve Real Estate-Related Tax Policies. Remember the vital role that real-estate tax provisions play in the nation’s housing markets and economy. Tax reform is important but should first do no harm. Several tax provisions vital to distressed homeowners and commercial real estate have expired and need to be extended. 

Reform The Secondary Mortgage Market To Provide Certainty In The U.S. Housing Market. Restructure the secondary-mortgage market to ensure that affordable mortgages are available to consumers in all types of markets, and avoid a major disruption to the nation’s economy that would result from the total collapse of the housing-finance sector. 

TAR is “committed to identifying, analyzing and acting on issues that affect the real-estate industry and private-property owners throughout Tennessee,” Mr. Clayton said.

“From city hall to the Tennessee General Assembly to Washington, governmental leaders are engaged in debate and making decisions that have a huge impact on real estate.

“Homeowners and the housing industry continue to face a number of challenges. Tax incentives like the mortgage-interest deduction are targeted for change; affordable insurance is harder to find; mortgage credit is still tight, even for well-qualified buyers; communities are increasingly burdened with transfer fees and higher property taxes; and dedicated state and local housing resources are being diverted to offset budget shortfalls. 

“It is essential that we continue to help our elected officials understand the importance of these issues and of the need to protect the rights of homeowners, buyers and sellers.” 


Tennessee 2nd-Quarter 2016 Home Sales, Median Price Rise 7.4%; Inventory Drops 27.9% In June

For the second quarter of 2016, Tennessee home sales rose 7.4 percent (20,191 to 21,687 sales) and the median price also rose 7.4 percent ($181,450 to $194,900) over the second quarter of 2015, according to statistics compiled by the Tennessee Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, second-quarter condominium sales were up 8 percent (1,964 to 2,113) and the median condo price ... (click for more)

Thrive 2055 Named Finalist For National Award

Thrive 2055, a collaborative regional initiative hosted by the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, has been named a finalist for a national award presented by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). Thrive 2055 focuses on proactive engagement of the tristate, 16-county region around Chattanooga to make the most of economic opportunities while preserving ... (click for more)

Morning Fire Destroys Vacant Valleybrook House; 2 Firefighters Suffer Burns

Fire destroyed a vacant house in the Valleybrook Community early Thursday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 5:35 a.m. and responded to a reported fire at the Valleybrook Golf and Country Club off Hixson Pike. When the first firefighters from Station 19 arrived on the scene, they could not find the fire. Lt. Scott Sheets with Quint 19 said that ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)