Arizona Housing Market Finding Its Pace Post Recession

Tucson’s housing market was riding high a decade ago. National Association of Realtors statistics show the market’s median-priced home was selling for more than $250,000.

Arizona was one of several markets experiencing a boom, and prices were not the only thing going up.

“At the peak in 2006, for a few months, we were building about 100,000 houses in Arizona. We probably needed 50,000,” said University of Arizona finance professor Michael Bond. “So all of those houses ended up empty, and prices collapsed.”

By the end of 2011, the median price in Tucson had dropped to $130,000.

The boom, according to experts, came because lenders relaxed their standards for mortgage approval, sometimes to the point that people who could not afford a home were given a mortgage.

“It’s very unlikely right now that if you can’t afford the repayments you’re going to be allowed to take the loan to buy the house,” said Phoenix-area real estate economist Michael Orr. “But for two or three years it was possible basically to get a mortgage just by fogging a mirror.”

Michael Orr
Phoenix-based real estate economist Michael Orr.

What followed was a recovery that has taken years.

“We’re about where I say we should be if we just continued on in the normal price appreciation from 2002, but we’ve been through some incredible highs and lows during that interim,” said Orr.

UA’s Bond agrees, though he said many people might not believe it.

“People look at this and they say: ‘Well my house was worth $200,000 in 2006 and now it’s worth $180,000 or $160,000.’ But they forget that in 2000 it was worth $100,000,” he said.

National Association of Realtors statistics from 2014 to 2016 show Tucson’s market grew by roughly 4 percent annually.

The pace has accelerated since then, with housing prices going up by 8 percent in the last year due to a lack of homes on the market.

Pam Ruggeroli
Tucson Association of Realtors President Pam Ruggeroli

“Our inventory is at an all-time low right now. It is helping increase our average sales price,” said Tucson Association of Realtors President Pam Ruggeroli. “There is also a less than three-month supply of inventory, anywhere up to $350,000 homes.”

Tucson has not been alone in going through this cycle. Another market that feels the pinch of low inventory is Flagstaff, where the home inventory is closer to three-and-a-half months.

“We are 9 percent lower on inventory than we were this time last year, and last year we were lower than the year before. That’s been a trend,” said Flagstaff realtor Sylvie Stuart.

The issue of low inventory cannot be fixed by traditional homeowners selling their houses, Ruggeroli said.

“There are things that we can do to increase that inventory, and one of those would be new construction.”

New Home Construction Home Building spot
A new home is built on Tucson’s northwest side. (PHOTO: Colleen Greer, AZPM)

Homebuilding could eventually cause a drop in the pace at which home prices have grown recently, but it would be a ways off.

“We don’t really have enough new homebuilding going on to satisfy the population increase that we’re seeing,” said economist Orr.

So until supply and demand for homes match pace, prices will most likely continue to rise.

6 Reasons I’m Attending NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings – Inman

Editor’s note: Tracy Freeman is YPN Chair for the North Central Jersey Association of Realtors. 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Midyear Legislative Meetings take place in Washington, D.C., next week.

I will be there and so should every Realtor in the United States. Midyear is unique because it takes place in our nation’s capital and highlights the impact that the real estate industry has on the financial health of our country.

As we all know, residential real estate provides housing for families.

It’s often the greatest source of wealth and savings for many of us. For this reason, the real estate industry, from the national to the local level, plays an integral role in the U.S. economy.

1. The National Association of Realtors is not only the largest real estate lobbying force on Capitol Hill, but one of the largest lobbying groups period.

Why should this matter to you?

Because this very large and vocal group is fighting on your behalf to ensure that issues like real estate tax deductions remain intact.

2. NAR is a trade association of more than 1 million members and functions in part as a regulator of the brokerage industry, setting the rules — for example — for how brokers use multiple listing services.

Why should this matter to you?

Before the creation of NAR, real estate was a highly unregulated industry with customers being taken advantage of by unethical sales agents. Now all Realtors must abide by our Code of Ethics.

If they are found to be in violation of these ethics, their licenses will be suspended or revoked.

3. According to an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics, NAR spent more than $64 million in 2016 on lobbying activities on behalf of our clients and our industry’s interests. This is the second highest amount spent by any group in any industry.

Why should this matter to you?

When local issues arise — like proposed changes to requirements for construction permits or CCU documentation — we have one of the largest voices advocating on our behalf.

4. Real estate plays a critical role in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country in two ways: through money spent on residential investment and on housing services.

Construction, including that of manufactured housing, remodeling and the fees charged by real estate brokers, are all components of residential investment.

Money spent on rent and utilities are what make up the portion known as housing services. In 2016, real estate contributed $1.2 trillion to the country’s economic output, which is 6 percent of the US GDP.

Why should this matter to you?

Homeownership is the American dream. Homeownership and real estate impact every aspect of our national economy.

5. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun will be speaking at Midyear and will provide Realtors with the latest information on economic activity, employment and monetary policy, with an eye on the outlook for the remainder of 2017.

Why should this matter to you?

I plan to be there, front and center, so that I am educated and up to date on what is next on the horizon for our local market. At the conference, you’ll learn about the latest statistics, laws and policies impacting us today.

6. As part of their week in D.C., Realtors are given the opportunity to meet with their state senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

This year we will be discussing tax reform, national flood insurance and protecting sustainable housing.

Why should this matter to you?

These are all key issues for New Jersey homeowners, and I plan to take full advantage of this unfettered access to our local representatives to make sure that issues affecting our local market are addressed.

I fully realize that each real estate transaction is a very personal and emotional process for each of my clients, and these big picture issues may not seem relevant to a client’s homebuying or selling process.

However, as a professional Realtor, I understand that the larger issues of our industry have an impact on our local market.

Taking the time to attend this conference in person is a no-brainer to me; I want to have this knowledge so that I can be the best, most educated representative for my clients.

Tracy Freeman is the Young Professionals Network Chair for North Central Jersey Association of Realtors and a broker/sales associate with Coldwell Banker in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Email Tracy Freeman.

California millennials face limited home-buying options


Marty Kovacs is the 2017 Chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. Courtesy photo.


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California’s millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2004,  faces unprecedented economic challenges and diminished prospects of owning a home, not the least because of an unfortunate fact — housing prices here are 230 percent above the national average.

That was a key conclusion of a white paper presented by Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange.

Kotkin detailed the report’s conclusions at a recent California Association of Realtors Center for California Real Estate event in Sacramento, hosted by Joel Singer, the association’s chief executive officer.

Earlier generations presumed they would do better economically than their parents. But the cost of living in California, particularly for housing, is the highest in the country, a reality that is driving substantial out-migration.

California has experienced a net loss in migrants for at least the last 15 years, according to the report, sponsored by the Center for California Real Estate. Indeed, for every two homebuyers who came to the state, five homeowners left. Younger families — those in their late 30s and early 40s — are most likely to leave the state.

Over the next decade, as the majority of millennials reach key home-buying ages, the long-term implications for employers and communities are profound.

Rising house prices and rents are already impacting employers, including in Silicon Valley, making it harder to attract and retain young top talent.

High prices also can mean a rapidly aging population is locked in place, unable to move, something that is likely to sap the economic potential and innovation of local communities.

Many of California’s problems are self-inflicted, the report found, the result of misguided policies that have tended to inflate land prices and drive up the cost of all kinds of housing.

Since housing is the largest household expenditure, this pushes up the cost of living.

California still has the land and the appeal to power opportunity for the next generation. But do we have the political will? It is up to us to reverse course, restore middle class prosperity, and rejuvenate the California dream — the American Dream — for the next generation.

Beware—Possible Phishing Attempt

Warning, not all emails are what they appear to be, so Realtors and members of the public need to be on high alert for email and online fraud.

For example, Realtors need to exercise caution if they receive an email with the subject line reading, “NAR: Urgent Update.”

The email will look like “no-reply@nar.realtor,” but it is NOT from the National Association of Realtors.

The email uses the phrase “all registered Realtors are hereby advised to view the recent publication released” with a link. Do NOT click any of the links, which may ask for passwords or compromise a computer’s security. Instead, delete this email.

For more information on cyberscams and cybersecurity best practices, visit Realtor.org to access topics and resources, including: “Wire Fraudsters Targeting Real Estate Transactions,” “Protecting Your Business and Your Clients from Cyberfraud,” “Request to Redirect Funds Should Trigger Caution,” “Data Privacy and Security,” Risk Management,” and “Internet Security Best Practices.”

Marty Kovacs is the 2017 Chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the 9,600-member Southland Regional Association of Realtors. David Walker, of Walker Associates, co-authors articles for SRAR. The column represents SRAR’s views and not necessarily those of The Signal. The column contains general information about the real estate market and is not intended to replace advice from your Realtor or other realty related professionals.

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GLVAR Hires Lance Ferguson as COO

The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS (GLVAR) has hired longtime local operations executive Lance Ferguson as its chief operating officer.LAS VEGAS – The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) has hired longtime local operations executive Lance Ferguson as its chief operating officer.

As COO, Ferguson will be responsible for overseeing the operations of GLVAR and its more than 30 employees, filling a position that became available earlier this year when longtime GLVAR executive Wendy DiVecchio was promoted to chief executive officer.

“Lance joins the association with many years of relevant experience,” 2017 GLVAR President David J. Tina said. “He has lived in Las Vegas for many years and knows the local market, which will serve him well in this job working closely with Wendy. He’ll be a great asset to the association.”

A native of Fontana, California, who has also lived in Utah, Ferguson has lived in Las Vegas for the past 19 years. Before joining GLVAR, he was the facility director for Implant Direct, a company that makes and distributes dental implants. He has 18 years of experience managing operations for successful organizations. He earned his bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

About the GLVAR
GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its nearly 13,000 local members with education, training and political representation. The local representative of the National Association of REALTORS®, GLVAR is the largest professional organization in Southern Nevada. Each GLVAR member receives the highest level of professional training and must abide by a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.LasVegasRealtor.com.

Realtors® Survey: Led By China, Foreign Investment in US Commercial Real Estate on the Rise

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — One-fifth of surveyed Realtors® practicing in commercial real estate closed a sale with an international client in 2016, and as foreign investors flock to smaller-sized commercial properties in secondary and tertiary markets, many Realtors® are confident that increased sales and leasing activity will occur in 2017.  

This is according to the 2017 Commercial Real Estate International Business Trends survey released today by the National Association of Realtors®, which analyzed cross-border commercial real estate transactions made by Realtors® during 2016. Most Realtors® who specialize in commercial real estate reside in smaller commercial markets where the typical deal is less than $2.5 million.   


NAR Commercial Real Estate Infographic

NAR Commercial Real Estate Infographic


Similar to NAR survey findings on foreign purchases of residential real estate in recent years, China was the top country of origin in both buying and selling commercial real estate in 2016, and Florida was the top destination of choice for international clients. NAR’s 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate is scheduled for release this summer.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the appetite for U.S. commercial real estate property was strong from foreigners last year and shows little signs of slowing in 2017.

“Multiple years of steady job growth and the strengthening U.S. economy – albeit at a modest pace – makes commercial property a safe bet for global investors looking to diversify their portfolios and generate returns outside their country of origin,” he said. “While Class A asset prices in many large markets have surpassed pre-crisis levels, Realtors® in many middle-tier and smaller markets stand to benefit from the increased interest from foreign and domestic commercial property investors.”

Added Yun, “Forty percent of Realtors® expect an increase in foreign buying clients this year. The healthy labor markets and lower property prices in smaller markets are poised to make up a larger share of activity.”   

Of the 69 percent of Realtors® who indicated they completed a commercial real estate transaction last year, 20 percent reported closing a deal for an international client. Realtors® completed a median of one buyer-side international deal and two seller-side international transactions. The typical buyer-side sales price was $1,000,000, and the median seller-side price was $550,000.              

Additionally, 22 percent of Realtors® said they completed a lease agreement on behalf of a foreign client. The median gross lease value for international lease transactions was $105,000, with most space typically under 2,500-square-feet.

Nearly two-thirds of commercial foreign buyer and seller clients were non-resident foreigners. The top countries of origin for buyers were China (17 percent), Mexico (14 percent) and the United Kingdom and Venezuela (both at 7 percent), while sellers were typically from China (17 percent) or Brazil, Canada, France and Mexico (all at 10 percent). 

Florida and Texas were the top two states where foreigners purchased and sold commercial property last year, with California being the third most popular buyer destination and Michigan ranking as the third top state where foreigners sold real estate.

The survey also found that foreign buyers of commercial property typically bring more cash to the table than those purchasing residential real estate. Sixty percent of international transactions were closed with cash, while NAR’s 2016 residential survey found that exactly half of buyers paid in cash. For those not using all cash, 34 percent of commercial deals involved debt financing from U.S. sources. An overwhelming majority of buyers either purchased commercial space for investment purposes or acquired it for business use.

“Nearly half of Realtors® reported that they experienced a greater number of international clients looking to buy commercial space over the past five years,” said Yun. “Economic expansion has slowly chugged along since the downturn, but in comparison to the rest of the world, the U.S. remains one of the most attractive and safest bets for investors. There’s little evidence this will change anytime soon.”

NAR’s second quarter Commercial Real Estate Outlook, released last month, offers overall projections for four major commercial sectors and analyzes quarterly data in the office, industrial, retail and multifamily markets.

The NAR commercial community includes commercial members, real estate boards, committees, subcommittees and forums; and NAR commercial affiliate organizations – CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtors® Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®, and Counselors of Real Estate.

Approximately 70,000 NAR members specialize in commercial real estate brokerage and related services including property management, counseling and appraisal. In addition, more than 200,000 members are involved in commercial transactions as a secondary business.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.nar.realtor. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website. Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab.

 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtors-survey-led-by-china-foreign-investment-in-us-commercial-real-estate-on-the-rise-300469438.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

Related Links

http://www.realtor.org

BCAR members advocate for homeownership and commercial real estate in DC

NAR does a very good job vetting the wide range of legislation that is important to homeownership, and is quick to oppose legislation that would hurt the consumer, or impede homeownership growth across the country.”

On behalf of current and future home and property owners throughout the country, more than 9,600 REALTORS® traveled to Washington, D.C., in May to advance key real estate issues during the 2017 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo.
Troy Wilson, Frank Malone, and Sheila Dodson of the Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) joined fellow REALTORS® from Alabama and across the nation to attend meetings and informational sessions, as well as meet with regulatory agency staff and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss and advocate real estate issues affecting their businesses, communities, and clients.
Attending REALTORS®, members of the National Association of REALTORS®, focused on several significant issues affecting the industry during the legislative-focused meetings, including flood insurance, tax reform and sustainable homeownership.
“The National Association of REALTORS® has a great influence in Washington, D.C., and their focus is to monitor legislation and its effect on real estate consumers and investors in the USA,” said Malone, 2017 BCAR Board of Directors President. “NAR does a very good job vetting the wide range of legislation that is important to homeownership, and is quick to oppose legislation that would hurt the consumer, or impede homeownership growth across the country.”
While in Washington, REALTORS® met with U.S. Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss and influence public policy decisions that directly affect consumers’ ability to own, buy, rent and sell residential and commercial real estate.
When speaking with U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne, one of the main issues discussed was the urgent need to pass a multiyear reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires on Sept. 30. Additionally, REALTORS® urged the protection of sustainable homeownership by advocating for responsible reform of the secondary mortgage market, prohibiting the use of guarantee fees for any purposes other than credit-risk management, improving consumer protections for energy-efficiency improvement loans and tax reform.
“We had the pleasure of meeting with Congressman Byrne and got to share some NAR concerns relating to tax reform, flood insurance, and the 1031 tax deferred exchanges,” Malone said. “Congressman Byrne is very knowledgeable about the issues and is a strong supporter of REALTOR® issues, and a strong supporter of issues that encourage homeownership.”
As the leading advocates for real estate, it is important for REALTORS® to meet face to face with our nation’s representatives to make sure homeownership and commercial real estate remains top of mind, since these help to shape our communities and play crucial roles in the economic health of America.
“We discussed the importance of these topics, not just for our state, but the real estate market in general,” said Wilson, BCAR’s Board of Directors President-Elect. “We also got more insight on how the legislative process works.”
The legislative meetings included roundtable discussions with Presidents and President-Elects from boards throughout the United States.
“It was very insightful listening to the issues that other boards are facing, and it was also very helpful exchanging ideas,” Malone explained.
Wilson echoed Malone. He also explained that in regard to the National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization, Wilson and Malone learned about the system North Carolina has in place for its flood mapping.
“Its accuracy is 10-times what any other state is using, including Alabama’s standard flood maps,” Wilson said. “We learned how important that is for insurance pricing and premiums, and had conversations with Congressman Byrne about what could be done to help get the technology used in North Carolina here in Alabama.”
Attendees also heard from industry experts and leaders, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, who spoke about the challenges facing potential homebuyers, including low home inventories, and tight mortgage credit. During the meeting, Carson confirmed that HUD is in “lock-step” with REALTORS® about an NAR-backed rule that would make it easier for consumers to buy a condominium with Federal Housing Administration-backed financing, which has been pending since September 2016. Carson agreed that this rule would “make a big difference to a lot of Americans.”
In addition, attendees heard from Fox News’ Chris Wallace and CNBC’s Ron Insana, who shared their insights on the administration’s agenda and other legislative and regulatory happenings in Washington; Mark Calabria, chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, who said reversing weak productivity and the low labor force participation rate are necessary to boosting the economy; John Worth, senior vice president for Research and Investor Outreach, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, who shared his perspectives on commercial market activity; Roy Wright, deputy associate administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Administration, who said that challenges remain in ensuring access to affordable flood insurance and a multi-year reauthorization of the NFIP is critical; and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, who shared residential and commercial real estate market updates and forecasts for the remainder of 2017.
During the week, REALTORS® also participated in a series of on-site visits with regulatory agency staff at the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In addition to the informational legislative sessions and meetings with legislators, members had the opportunity to explore the latest industry innovations and receive up-to-date information on the newest products and services from more than 100 industry-leading companies that participated during the trade expo.

About BCAR
The Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is a professional trade association supporting the success and advancement of over 1,700 REALTORS® in the Baldwin County area. BCAR supports members through professional education, peer networking, and MLS services. We work for the protection of private property ownership and promote the work of our members in the local community. REALTORS® are held to a high standard of conduct by their peers and the National Association of REALTORS® code of ethics.

CONTACT:
Allison Woodham
allison@baldwinrealtors.org
23280 County Road 65
Robertsdale, AL 36567
251-517-0167

Real Estate Dealmaking Platform RealConnex Partners with Miami …

MIAMI is known as one of the most innovative Realtor Associations in the U.S. The organization is working as a design partner with RealConnex to implement new features and toolsets for its membership. The RealConnex platform will provide members with broader visibility and access to connections and specific transaction opportunities — access that cannot be identified as quickly and easily anywhere else. RealConnex plans to roll out the program to other real estate associations around the U.S.

RealConnex was founded in 2013 by Roy Abrams, a technologist and real estate developer, to solve a problem faced by many real estate developers: funding mid-market projects and connecting to the right capital sources and service providers. RealConnex currently has a community of 72,000 developers, sponsors, capital sources, service providers and owners. It expects to reach the 100,000 member mark by the end of 2017, and it is on track to facilitate up to a billion dollars in transacted deals on its platform within the same time frame.

The Miami Association of Realtors, which was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920, has seen its membership increase from 162 at its inception to more than 46,000 in the present day. Through educational training programs, strategic partnerships and networking events, MIAMI has dedicated nearly a century to helping its member realtors drive professional growth and expand their business opportunities. As the largest local Realtor Association in the country, MIAMI has played an instrumental role in promoting South Florida and its local economy by creating alliances with more than 160 international real estate partners, the most of any Realtor Association in the United States.

“RealConnex will provide our members with a powerful competitive advantage,” said Teresa Kinney, CEO of Miami Association of Realtors (MIAMI). “The platform will make it significantly easier for our members to collaborate, share, network and distribute listings locally, nationally and internationally.”

“The Miami Association of Realtors is one of our most valued strategic partners, and we look forward to broadening and extending our collaboration as we continue to build the largest professional network for commercial real estate professionals,” said RealConnex founder and CEO Roy Abrams. “As a New York– and Miami-based real estate technology startup, we are excited about working with MIAMI to offer better service to its member realtors and promote South Florida’s booming economy.”

About RealConnex
RealConnex is the world’s first B2B platform aggregating the commercial real estate community and connecting its members to capital, investments, and services. The company was founded in 2013 by Roy Abrams, a 25-year veteran of the real estate and technology industries, who set out to create the leading platform where commercial real estate professionals could network, prospect and connect to expedite transactions. It currently has a community of 72,000 developers, sponsors, capital sources, service providers and owners and expects to reach the 100,000 member mark in late 2017. It is on track to facilitate a billion dollars in transacted deals within the same time frame.

About the Miami Association of Realtors
The Miami Association of Realtors was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 97 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward Council, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound (JTHS-MIAMI) Council, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Council and the award-winning International Council, it represents 46,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S., and has official partnerships with more than 160 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is http://www.miamire.com

Contact:
David Wamsley
Rosebud Communications
415.259.9104
dave@rosebudpr.io
www.rosebudpr.io

Lynda Fernandez
SVP of Public Relations and International
Miami Association of Realtors
305.468-7040
lynda@miamire.com
www.MiamiRE.com

 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/real-estate-dealmaking-platform-realconnex-partners-with-miami-association-of-realtors-300466777.html

SOURCE RealConnex

Realtor® Volunteering Works Program Announces 2017 Mentoring and Grant Recipients

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — REALTOR® Magazine and the Good Neighbor Society have announced the recipients of the ninth annual Volunteering Works grants and mentoring program, which matches Realtors® who work on small-scale charitable efforts with mentors and awards them grant money.

The five Volunteering Works recipients will receive a $1,000 seed grant and a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society, which is comprised of past recipients of the National Association of Realtors®‘ annual REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Award for volunteer service.

“Realtors® have an extraordinary reach into their communities. Many of them guide, mentor and volunteer in the places they live and work, and these Volunteering Works recipients are improving lives in ways that will continue far beyond 2017,” says NAR president William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties.

The Volunteering Works recipients were selected based on their devotion to their communities through volunteer work and the potential for their good works to be expanded or improved with the help of an expert mentor. Their mentors are past winners of the Good Neighbor Awards, the highest honor that NAR awards to Realtor® members who are involved in community service.

2016 Volunteering Works recipient Diana Bowler of Allen Tate REALTORS® in Charlotte, North Carolina, says the Volunteering Works experience has given her the opportunity to network with other real estate professionals across the country and share ideas with others who have made a difference. Bowler says the $1,000 grant is in a special fund designated for a flag pole in the Charlotte-area Dogwood Park in 2018. “I am thankful for my mentor Susan Stearns who is a godsend in helping me organize our organization and professionally handle adversarial situations.”

Volunteering Works is generously funded by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Wells Fargo values volunteerism and giving back to the communities we serve,” says Senior Vice President/Executive Director of Wells Fargo Housing Foundation Martin Sundquist. “We are excited to sponsor Volunteering Works, a program that recognizes and celebrates Realtors® who are making a difference in their communities.”

The 2017 recipients of Volunteering Works grants and mentoring are:

Karen Cunningham, Fontana Realty, Ocala, Florida

Since 2013, Cunningham the board president of Marion Therapeutic Riding has helped provide therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults with mental, physical and emotional disabilities including autism, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Cunningham’s goal is to create a steady source of revenue by establishing two major annual fundraising events. She will receive guidance from her mentor, 2014 Good Neighbor Gail Doxie of RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers, Florida, about creating compelling fundraising events and engaging board members.

Priyanka Johri, Woodlands Eco Realty, The Woodlands, Texas

In 2008, Johri founded Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary after Hurricane Ike left many pets injured and homeless. She runs a no-cage shelter for dogs that are sick, older or injured – often taking in dogs that other shelters are unable to care for – and finds them permanent homes. Johri’s goals include training domestic violence survivors to be pet sitters or dog groomers and taking in dogs whose elderly owners are going into assisted living facilities. She will receive guidance from her mentor and 2013 Good Neighbor Brenda Breit of the Empowered Team, LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona and co-founder of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation.

Vickie Lobo, RE/MAX Champions, Upland, California

For the last three years, Lobo’s Community Miracle Makeover has facilitated home makeovers for people in need, including people with cancer or disabilities, or people moving out of a homeless shelter into an apartment. She recruits volunteers willing to work on these projects and donate furniture. Lobo’s vision is to rent a storage facility to hold donations to enable her to help more families. Lobo will seek advice from 2016 Good Neighbor Cindy Barrett of Keller Williams Realty in Spartanburg, South Carolina, co-founder of Christmas In Action, on obtaining nonprofit status and fundraising more effectively.

Janet Tanner, RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS®, West Hartford, Connecticut

In 2014, Tanner founded Real Estate Agents Recycle, which picks up unwanted household items from home sellers and donates them to local nonprofits. The effort keeps waste out of landfills, employs several people, and supplies nonprofits like Salvation Army and Habitat ReStore with household goods to help the people they serve. Tanner’s goal is to build the base of participating real estate practitioners and generate consumer demand. Tanner will seek guidance from 2014 Good Neighbor Beth Smoot of NextHome City of Oaks in Raleigh, North Carolina and founder of the Green Chair Project, on marketing, recruiting and training volunteers.

Kimberly Watson, Lions Realty Group, Quartz Hill, California

In 2014, Watson founded Project Joy Inc., which fills gaps in services to meet the needs of homeless shelters and underfunded schools. She has provided winter coats, holiday meals, Christmas gifts, and college scholarships that have impacted 4,000 children. Watson’s goal is to properly brand and secure funding for core programs and to create an annual signature fundraising event. Watson will be advised by 2016 Good Neighbor Ed Liebzeit of Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty in Jackson, Wyoming, board president of Community Safety Network, on creating a new fundraising event, restructuring her web page and incorporating social media.

To learn more about Volunteering Works or the Good Neighbor Awards, go to www.nar.realtor/gna.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the nation’s leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages, offering home loans to consumers through the country’s largest network of mortgage locations and bank branches, online, and via phone. With more than 7,500 Home Mortgage Consultants across the country and robust digital capabilities, Wells Fargo is committed to meeting Realtor® expectations and homebuyer needs. Focused on a culture of caring for communities, Wells Fargo is a proud new sponsor of the Volunteering Works grant and mentoring program to recognize the extraordinary contributions made by Realtors® in the communities where we, together, live and serve.

Information about NAR is available at www.nar.realtor. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Video” tab on the website.   

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtor-volunteering-works-program-announces-2017-mentoring-and-grant-recipients-300468641.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

Related Links

https://www.nar.realtor/

BCAR members advocate for homeownership and commercial real …

NAR does a very good job vetting the wide range of legislation that is important to homeownership, and is quick to oppose legislation that would hurt the consumer, or impede homeownership growth across the country.”

On behalf of current and future home and property owners throughout the country, more than 9,600 REALTORS® traveled to Washington, D.C., in May to advance key real estate issues during the 2017 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo.
Troy Wilson, Frank Malone, and Sheila Dodson of the Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) joined fellow REALTORS® from Alabama and across the nation to attend meetings and informational sessions, as well as meet with regulatory agency staff and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss and advocate real estate issues affecting their businesses, communities, and clients.
Attending REALTORS®, members of the National Association of REALTORS®, focused on several significant issues affecting the industry during the legislative-focused meetings, including flood insurance, tax reform and sustainable homeownership.
“The National Association of REALTORS® has a great influence in Washington, D.C., and their focus is to monitor legislation and its effect on real estate consumers and investors in the USA,” said Malone, 2017 BCAR Board of Directors President. “NAR does a very good job vetting the wide range of legislation that is important to homeownership, and is quick to oppose legislation that would hurt the consumer, or impede homeownership growth across the country.”
While in Washington, REALTORS® met with U.S. Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss and influence public policy decisions that directly affect consumers’ ability to own, buy, rent and sell residential and commercial real estate.
When speaking with U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne, one of the main issues discussed was the urgent need to pass a multiyear reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires on Sept. 30. Additionally, REALTORS® urged the protection of sustainable homeownership by advocating for responsible reform of the secondary mortgage market, prohibiting the use of guarantee fees for any purposes other than credit-risk management, improving consumer protections for energy-efficiency improvement loans and tax reform.
“We had the pleasure of meeting with Congressman Byrne and got to share some NAR concerns relating to tax reform, flood insurance, and the 1031 tax deferred exchanges,” Malone said. “Congressman Byrne is very knowledgeable about the issues and is a strong supporter of REALTOR® issues, and a strong supporter of issues that encourage homeownership.”
As the leading advocates for real estate, it is important for REALTORS® to meet face to face with our nation’s representatives to make sure homeownership and commercial real estate remains top of mind, since these help to shape our communities and play crucial roles in the economic health of America.
“We discussed the importance of these topics, not just for our state, but the real estate market in general,” said Wilson, BCAR’s Board of Directors President-Elect. “We also got more insight on how the legislative process works.”
The legislative meetings included roundtable discussions with Presidents and President-Elects from boards throughout the United States.
“It was very insightful listening to the issues that other boards are facing, and it was also very helpful exchanging ideas,” Malone explained.
Wilson echoed Malone. He also explained that in regard to the National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization, Wilson and Malone learned about the system North Carolina has in place for its flood mapping.
“Its accuracy is 10-times what any other state is using, including Alabama’s standard flood maps,” Wilson said. “We learned how important that is for insurance pricing and premiums, and had conversations with Congressman Byrne about what could be done to help get the technology used in North Carolina here in Alabama.”
Attendees also heard from industry experts and leaders, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, who spoke about the challenges facing potential homebuyers, including low home inventories, and tight mortgage credit. During the meeting, Carson confirmed that HUD is in “lock-step” with REALTORS® about an NAR-backed rule that would make it easier for consumers to buy a condominium with Federal Housing Administration-backed financing, which has been pending since September 2016. Carson agreed that this rule would “make a big difference to a lot of Americans.”
In addition, attendees heard from Fox News’ Chris Wallace and CNBC’s Ron Insana, who shared their insights on the administration’s agenda and other legislative and regulatory happenings in Washington; Mark Calabria, chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, who said reversing weak productivity and the low labor force participation rate are necessary to boosting the economy; John Worth, senior vice president for Research and Investor Outreach, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, who shared his perspectives on commercial market activity; Roy Wright, deputy associate administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Administration, who said that challenges remain in ensuring access to affordable flood insurance and a multi-year reauthorization of the NFIP is critical; and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, who shared residential and commercial real estate market updates and forecasts for the remainder of 2017.
During the week, REALTORS® also participated in a series of on-site visits with regulatory agency staff at the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In addition to the informational legislative sessions and meetings with legislators, members had the opportunity to explore the latest industry innovations and receive up-to-date information on the newest products and services from more than 100 industry-leading companies that participated during the trade expo.

About BCAR
The Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is a professional trade association supporting the success and advancement of over 1,700 REALTORS® in the Baldwin County area. BCAR supports members through professional education, peer networking, and MLS services. We work for the protection of private property ownership and promote the work of our members in the local community. REALTORS® are held to a high standard of conduct by their peers and the National Association of REALTORS® code of ethics.

CONTACT:
Allison Woodham
allison@baldwinrealtors.org
23280 County Road 65
Robertsdale, AL 36567
251-517-0167

New ‘Welcome Guide’ available

Posted: Sunday, June 4, 2017 6:00 am

New ‘Welcome Guide’ available

Paco Arguello/For The New Mexican

The Santa Fe New Mexican

The Santa Fe Association of Realtors has published a revised version of the Santa Fe Welcome Guide for new residents and emergency-services workers. The first edition of the Guide was produced with the support of a $2,500 Housing Opportunity Program grant from the National Association of Realtors. The Guide features information on city and county services, affordable housing programs, recreation, health care, education, transportation, homeowner tips, things to do and see, social services, and even a lingo section to help newcomers pronounce place names like a Santa Fean. More importantly, the Guide incorporates a detailed and extensive list of affordable-housing programs found here in Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe Association of Realtors (SFAR) is committed to ensuring that emergency (fire, police, and hospital) workers have access to the best and most comprehensive affordable-housing information to encourage them to live and work in Santa Fe. It remains a vital need that our local police and fire workers can find affordable homes or rentals in Santa Fe to prevent long, out-of-town commutes as well as being a part of our local community. Realtors continue to work to find ways to address the problem. The association has attracted national funding to encourage the redevelopment of the St. Michael’s corridor to encourage multi-family housing through regulatory advocacy, a local Midtown Alliance, the development of a website to promote the city’s new Midtown LINC Overlay District, and other supportive projects.

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