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.” 



Mike Croxall: Dream Up A More Functional, Appealing Garage

When you think about the spaces in your home where you most enjoy spending your time, the garage is probably not at the top of the list. Here are some ways to make it a more functional — dare we say — attractive space.  Wall, Freestanding and Overhead Storage There are several types of sturdy, free-standing shelving units and hanging fixtures available. But pay close ... (click for more)

Couple Gets Recommendation Of Approval For Bed And Breakfast At East Brainerd Farm

A couple on Monday gained a recommendation of approval from the Planning Commission for a bed and breakfast inn in existing space at their East Brainerd Farm. Philip and Jennifer Clay said the income from the room rentals is necessary for their overall operation of Everlee Farm on 20 acres on Davidson Road. Councilman Darrin Ledford praised the farm operators, saying they ... (click for more)

Person Shot With Life-Threatening Injuries On The Southside Early Sunday Morning; Delivery Driver Carjacked On Southside

A person was shot on the Southside early Sunday morning. Police said the victim had life-threatening injuries. The shooting happened just before 3 a.m. at 1400 Cowart St. One resident said, "I was walking my dogs this morning in SouthSide and there has been a shooting (again) in the parking lot off of 13th Steet. "There have been two shootings in this lot in the last ... (click for more)

Bradley County Deputy Shoots And Kills Stabbing Suspect At Charleston

A Bradley County deputy shot and killed a man who was a suspect in a stabbing early Sunday morning. The Sheriff's Office said, "At approximately 11:54 p.m. on Saturday, a call was received at the Cleveland/Bradley County 911 Center to report a stabbing at a residence on Leyland Drive in Charleston. "The caller indicated a male had been stabbed and another male had fled from ... (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Those We All Ignore

I was in the midst of my “morning readings” the other day when a number leapt off my computer screen. Hark, heralded angels, did you know in the state of Iowa there are two (2) inpatient psychiatry beds for every 100,000 people? I’m not the best with percentages but there are some people in Iowa who aren’t getting the help they need. There are roughly 3.2 million people living in ... (click for more)