Joliet REALTORS® and affiliates partner to promote homeownership

 

Nearly 50 housing-oriented organizations came together on Saturday, Sept. 9 to laud the benefits of homeownership at the Second Annual Joliet Housing Expo in Joliet.

Real estate professionals, mortgage lenders, attorneys, title company representatives, insurance company representatives and home inspectors were on hand to answer questions and provide expertise on the home buying process. Additionally, representatives from the Joliet Public Library District, Rialto Square Theater, Will County Forest Preserve, City of Joliet and the YMCA attended to promote Joliet’s quality of life.

The Housing Expo was sponsored by the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® through a National Association of REALTORS® Housing Opportunity Grant. The First Midwest Bank and Neighborhood Loans sponsored a portion of the marketing materials. Approximately 100 attendees learned about Joliet’s Down Payment Assistance Program and other homeownership incentives during a presentation from First Midwest.

Also attending and supporting the event were city officials, including Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, City Councilman Mike Turk and City Councilman Don “Duck” Dickinson.

REALTOR® association helps Lockport with grant for pedestrian plan

(l to r) Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® CEO David McClintock, Renee Saban (Lockport city council), Joanne Bartelsen (Lockport city council), Three Rivers President Matt Persicketti, Steven Streit (Lockport Mayor) and Three Rivers Secretary-Treasurer Ken Pytlewski.

The Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® presented Lockport officials with a $5,000 donation last week to help the city’s pedestrians.

The local REALTOR® association secured the funds through the National Association of REALTORS®’ Smart Growth Action Grant program. Three Rivers’ President Matt Persicketti and Secretary/Treasurer Ken Pytlewski spoke during a Lockport City Council meeting.

“As part of our local community involvement, the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® prides itself on securing National Association of REALTOR® grants for projects that line up with the vision local leaders have for their communities,” said Persicketti.

“Lockport has excellent transportation assets with a Metra stop, access to Interstate 355 and the I&M Canal Trail,” said Pytlewski. “The pedestrian plan update is a great way to add character and value to an already great town.”

Lockport boasts a network of bike trails and roadways and access to major tollways and commuter rail service. Recent growth and the potential for more development, however, uncovered the need for changes to the city’s pedestrian plan, which was last updated in 2003. The plan provides a guiding document that city officials and residents can use for future pedestrian infrastructure development. Pedestrian plans are crucial tools for creating desirable, livable communities that preserve historical elements while embracing growth. Pedestrian amenities can also improve property values.

The NAR Smart Growth Action Grants encourage REALTOR® participation in community and economic development. Three Rivers is a non-profit organization that represents more than 900 members in Will and Grundy counties dedicated to professional and ethical service to their real estate clients.

Elwood nixes 2-year old fire sprinkler mandate

Source: Bigstock

It all started with a text message.

Nearly a year later, the village of Elwood killed a policy mandating costly fire sprinkler systems be installed in all new residential construction.

The move on Wednesday is significant because Elwood stood alone in Will County as having the policy, one which property rights advocates say can add $10,000 or more to the cost of building a home.

REALTOR® Matt Persicketti

In that July 2016 text message to Illinois REALTORS® Member Outreach Manager and Local Government Affairs Director Gideon Blustein, Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® president-elect, Matt Persicketti texted Gideon to see what could be done about the Village’s strict requirement for residential fire sprinklers in all new construction.

Persicketti had a homebuilder client who had run into red-tape with the Village of Elwood in the middle of a construction project. Because of the sprinkler regulation, his future homeowners would ultimately have to pay more than $10,000 in unforeseen costs. The price was especially high because they had to have a special water main installed to accommodate the required sprinkler system.

The situation prompted Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® members and Blustein to repeatedly reach out to then Village President, William Offerman.

Offerman also serves as the Fire Chief in Elwood, and efforts to discuss the policy with him were unsuccessful.

Many weeks later, when Elwood hired a new Village Manager, REALTORS® finally got a meeting with the municipality’s staff.

Gideon Blustein, Illinois REALTORS®

In preparation, Blustein pulled the number of new residential building permits for Elwood and the surrounding communities; the numbers were staggering. While surrounding communities had seen steady growth over the past few years, Elwood’s growth was basically stagnant. Armed with these numbers and the RVOICE brochure, “The Impacts of Mandating Residential Fire Sprinklers,” Blustein met with the village’s staff. While they found the arguments compelling, they relayed that the issue was unlikely to gain favor with the village’s president and board.

In April, Offerman was ousted by a challenger, Todd Matichak, who stressed in his campaign that he wanted to see the sprinkler mandate rolled back.

In advance of Matichak’s first official meeting as Village President, he worked with the village board to shore up the votes necessary to repeal the residential fire sprinkler mandate.

Blustein assisted by sharing the RVOICE brochure and a letter outlining our opposition with Board members. Among the efforts to obtain a repeal:

  • REALTOR® Jim Sim

    Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® Immediate Past President Jim Sim stepped to the podium to speak out against the residential fire sprinkler mandate.

  • Blustein provided updated residential building permit statistics for areas surrounding Elwood which showed their growth as Elwood’s recorded stagnate numbers.
  • And the board was given as evidence the quote from the property owners whose case prompted the debate.

With arguments made, the vote on whether to repeal the residential fire sprinkler mandate was the final item on the June 21 agenda. The measure repealing the sprinkler mandate was adopted with a 5-1 vote in favor of repealing the fire sprinkler mandate.

After the meeting, property owners, builders and Blustein congratulated and thanked Matichak and board members for their leadership.

Matichak urged homebuilders to get to work building in the community.

Mainstreet offers RPAC headshot incentive to REALTORS® in June

Yes!

No! (Bigstock)

It’s a recurring source of humor in real estate circles: the outdated headshot photo. At some point in your career you’ve done a double take when an agent hands you a business card with a headshot that is a decade or more out of date. Perhaps you are the culprit – still using the headshot of a younger, less experienced version of yourself!

It is an easy task to put off. It takes time to find a good photographer, schedule the photo shoot and justify the expense. Now the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® has removed these barriers! Mainstreet has scheduled a professional fashion photographer to travel to the association’s regional offices on Mondays in June to provide headshots to members in exchange for a small RPAC investment.

REALTORS® can choose from the basic package which includes electronic files of two poses with color editing or the premium package which includes electronic files of two poses with facial touch-ups and color editing. To get more information, click on the image to the left, then schedule your appointment by email marisa@succeedwithmore.com or call 630-324-8436.

(The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) solicits contributions from Illinois REALTORS® members only.)

Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® donates to local Boys and Girls Club

 Pictured from left to right: Judy Panozzo, Jim Sim, Matt Persicketti, Khalil Diab, Ken Pytlewski and David McClintock

TRAR donated $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Joliet. (l to r) Judy Panozzo, Jim Sim, Matt Persicketti, Khalil Diab, Ken Pytlewski and David McClintock.

Oct. 26 was a happy day in Joliet as the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) leadership team presented a donation of $1,000 to the George Werden Buck Boys and Girls Club of Joliet.

Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Khalil Diab accepted the donation for the nonprofit organization, which helps more than 1,000 children annually, ages 6 to 18. During the school year, the Joliet club provides after-school activities for about 120 children per day and serves more than 36,000 after-school snacks. During the summer, programming ramps up while kids are off school. Attendance averages 380 per day with a total of 3,800 lunches served throughout the summer.

TRAR is proud to support this local institution and REALTORS® across the United States are supporting Boys and Girls Clubs as a priority under the leadership of 2015/2016 National Association of REALTORS® President Tom Salomone. For more information about the national initiative, you can go to: http://www.realtor.org/programs/boys-and-girls-clubs-of-america.