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.” 


This Old House To Open Show House Near Chattanooga This Fall

This Old House Ventures Inc.   will reveal its newest show-house project this fall. The house, which is currently under construction, is in Cloudland Station, a 450-acre community nestled along the side of Lookout Mountain, in Chickamauga. This is the first time the brand has built and decorated a show house from the ground up.  The TOH Cottage at Cloudland Station ... (click for more)

Home Builders Association Of Greater Chattanooga Awards Record Number Of Scholarships

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga announced the recipients of its fall 2015 scholarship awards. Seven outstanding students were selected to receive the scholarships. Cynthia Blackwell, interim executive officer said, “We applaud these students for their decision to enter the construction industry, and we are excited about our future workforce. These ... (click for more)

Boyd Asks Coppinger For Public Apology; Does Not Get One

County Commissioner Tim Boyd on Wednesday morning read a letter in which he asked County Mayor Jim Coppinger for a public apology. However, he did not get one. Instead, County Mayor Coppinger called remarks last Wednesday by Commissioner Boyd that the county mayor had $4.4 million in discretionary funds "ridiculous." He said that money includes such items as the Humane Educational ... (click for more)

New Family Justice Center Opens Near Eastgate

    The fourth Family Justice Center in Tennessee opened on Wednesday in Chattanooga to much fanfare from community members and advocacy groups with comments from Executive Director Valerie Radu, Mayor Andy Berke and City Council Chair Carol Berz among others.       Ms. Berz, who has been an advocate for the establishment of such ... (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

As the month of July dawns this morning, a walk through my garden shows some flowers blooming, my marigolds dying, and the grass is greener than I thought it would be. But as I look for what’s good and what’s bad, let’s remember that some firecrackers pop while others fizzle. Here we go… A BANG to career criminal Whitely Bulger, the 85-year-old master criminal who in a recent ... (click for more)