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.” 


Real Estate Transfers For Sept. 22-28

NOTICE: The Hamilton County Register’s Office did not publish this data. All information in the Register’s Office is public information as set out in T.C.A. 10-7-503. For questions regarding this report, please call Chattanoogan.com at 423 266-2325. GI numbers, listed when street addresses are not available, refer to the location of transactions (book number and page number) ... (click for more)

Jennifer Catlett Joins Crye-Leike

Crye-­Leike Real Estate Services announced that Jennifer Catlett of Ringgold has become affiliated with Crye­-Leike's North Georgia branch office. As a realtor and affiliate broker, Ms. Catlett serves the real estate needs of buyers and sellers in and around Hamilton County, as well as Walker and Catoosa counties in Georgia. She specializes in residential real estate. Prior ... (click for more)

County GOP Chairman Says Berke Should Resign For Admittedly Using Encrypted Messaging With Top Staff; Berke, Lee Call It Blatant Partisan Attack

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke "should immediately resign after admitting that he and his senior staff employ an encrypted message application that neither records or stores messages sent and received for the purpose of official city of Chattanooga business on a government-owned server." He said he was guilty of "deliberates ... (click for more)

Grohn Says Berke Use Of Encrypted Message Service Was Deliberate Attempt To Avoid Open Records

City Councilman Larry Grohn said Friday  that the use of an encrypted message service by Mayor Andy Berke was a deliberate attempt to avoid the Open Records Act. Councilman Grohn, who is running for mayor, said, " In recent days, there has been one story after another come out concerning how the Mayor and his head staffers have used end-to-end encryption apps to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Citizens Are The Best

Today, when I finished my shift, my wife and I had a rare kid-free time where she and I could enjoy a nice quiet dinner. So, when I left my extra job and she left her job, we met at a neat local place in St. Elmo. She and I had been looking forward to and planning this dinner all day. You see, between my work with the city of Chattanooga, my many hours of extra jobs, and our responsibilities ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)