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Not Just a Voice in the Wilderness

By NAR 2013 President Gary Thomas


REALTORS® are finally being heard, and it makes you want to jump and shout!


Today President Obama delivered the message loud and clear—Home Ownership Matters!


I’m pleased to say that our efforts to make our voices heard by the Administration have had a positive impact. The President agrees with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) on an overwhelming majority of the housing finance issues of the day.


In a speech at the Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, the President spoke to area REALTORS® and others about housing policy and his vision for reform of the housing finance system. In the speech, he stated his commitment to ensuring consumers retain access to the 30-year mortgage—traditionally the quickest route into the middle class—and cutting red tape so that families have access to safe, reliable mortgages.


Additionally, the President expressed support for reform of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). He said the Administration plans to continue the phase-out of GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now in conservatorship. At the same time, he supports the creation of a common securitization platform to encourage investment in mortgage-backed securities. NAR agrees with the Administration’s view that any new system includes a government guarantee.


The President said he supports the historic affordability role of the FHA, which is critical to first-time homebuyers. While we support the goal of maintaining the FHA as an affordable option, NAR believes the FHA should preserve access for all qualified middle class families.


The Administration calls on Congress to approve refinance programs that provide more relief to troubled borrowers. NAR supports the government’s refinancing program, known as “HARP,” along with “bright line” standards that provide certainty to community banks selling loans on the secondary mortgage market.


While we have concerns about specific FHA reforms, protecting loan limits and keeping down payments low, we believe recent bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate is a good place to start.  President Obama made good use of the bully pulpit in stating his commitment to protecting the dream of homeownership for all Americans.


Over the past year, REALTORS® have sometimes felt like a voice in the wilderness. No longer.

Comments
  1. Carmen Pappa

    Congratulations and Thank You for All that you Do for REALTORS@!!!
    God Bless the President and Our Nation

    Carmen Pappa

  2. Nae Kyoung Kim

    I joined NAR to sell houses not to join the political party. Realtor party?
    What is going on here. Did I miss something?

  3. All politics aside, I realize investing in property is very lucrative, but when the investors don’t care about the condition of their homes, it ruins neighborhoods – which bring property values down.

    As professional Realtors, we should want single ownership that will help make neighborhoods stronger, where people can take pride in their home and keep values up across the board. Thank you, Mr. President, regardless of party

  4. Real Estate is Politics’ For God’s Sake……That’s why it goes up and down, up and down, check out the History of it all.

  5. Everything is based on Politics one way or another. Let’s get involved as Realtor’s and protect the industry. As Realtor’s, we only have the best interests for our clients future. Moving forward to get more families secure and stable, and most importantly, affordable housing, is our main goal and why we work so hard for so little money. Everyone in the country will benefit in the long run. A 30 year mortgage is really not a very long time if you consider that the average lifespan will soon be 100.

  6. Realtor

    The Article is POORLY written. “The President agrees with the National Association of REALTORS” is a misleading statement. The President was not in contact with the NAR and the president did not say that he agrees with the NAR. May be some idea of the Obama administrations are similar to those of NAR and vice versa …So NAR don’t try to get credit for something you did not do!!

  7. Jennifer Furey

    I believe the President is encouraging pursuit of the American

  8. Christina Banasiak

    Thank you President Gary for continuing to promote the Realtor Party.
    It is critical at this time to continue to be proactive on the legislative front as our industry continues to get attacked.
    As a realtor I sell HOMES, we help build communities and give people a sense of belonging. The most rewarding feeling is going to a closing with a first time homebuyer.
    I invest in RPAC to support those legislatures who support REALTOR issues.
    Once again thank you and NAR for continuing to protect our industry and private property rights.

  9. As Freddie & Fannie are phased- out, let’s require a 1% down payment the 1st year and a 1% increase each additional year or 2 until the rated is level with funding. Average homes in some areas selling for $350,000 would require a $70,000 down payment @ 20% and who has that to give to a bank? Let’s get moving!

  10. Frank Strubhart

    “Reform of the housing finance system” that sounds scary. “Retain access to 30 year mortgage” what does the government have to do with that? “Cutting red tape” ok I like that. Phase out FHA & GSE ok but what is the creation of a common securitization platform sounds like more government control. I would like to see what HARP has accomplished if anything. “Protecting the dream of home ownership” now that is what the government should be doing, arresting the people that break the law starting with the people at Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae.

  11. I have been Realtor,for 47 years,isn’t it a little naive to think being a member of N A R, that selling houses would not be impacted by politics? Whats going on here is what needs to be going on,to help us sell homes and advocate for our buyers and sellers. Yes,I think other wise , something is missing.

    jerry feagley

  12. Realtor

    The Article is POORLY written. “The President agrees with the National Association of REALTORS” is a misleading statement. The President was not in contact with the NAR and the president did not say that he agrees with the NAR. May be some idea of the Obama administrations are similar to those of NAR and vice versa …So NAR don’t try to get credit for something you did not do!!

  13. Good Realtor

    The Article is POORLY written. “The President agrees with the National Association of REALTORS” is a misleading statement. The President was not in contact with the NAR and the president did not say that he agrees with the NAR. May be some idea of the Obama administrations are similar to those of NAR and vice versa …So NAR don’t try to get credit for something you did not do!!

  14. Judy Pokorny

    Government control in anything is heading us in the wrong direction. That isn’t the principle by which our country was built or fought for unto death ! Sorry, Mr.President that’s not what we want more control.

  15. Wow!!! I’m pretty sure Obama is more interested in killing more people in Syria than anything to do with helping Americans. It also seems as though Gary Thomas is more interested in helping Obama spread propaganda than he is with helping Realtors. How about putting some of these banksters and corrupt politicians in jail where they belong?

  16. Home ownership in America really matters to the overall economy and we should really get out and educate the buyers of that point, it effects us all.

  17. Thomas Lawler

    Amen! The biggest “learning” of the housing boom/bust is that we need to ensure that there is a de minimus chance that home buyers are ever in a negative equite position. That doesn’t mean that all home buyers need to make a 20% down payment; but if a potential home buyer only has a de minimus 5% down, that buyer should probably be put into a 20-year amortizing loan. some might say, gosh, that buyer can’t buy as much home as a person who has money for a down payment? well, of course not! Jeepers!

    The biggest learning of the housing bust is that we need to make sure homeowners have a de miminuis probability of ever ever, being in a negative equity position. Potential buyers who only have a small, barely evident, and not even enough to cover the bid/offer spread of a home purchase should only be able to buy a home if they can qualify for a 20-year or shorter amortization mortgage. Y’all are so right on this!

    Change is good.

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