About Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks is Vice President/Communications for Illinois REALTORS®. He serves as editor of online and print content for the association's communications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and e-newsletters. He conducts spokesperson training seminars and oversees website development for the Association.

Don Ursin, 1981 Illinois REALTORS® president, dies at 84

Donald J. Ursin, an Illinois REALTORS® president who led the association’s efforts to eliminate the state’s usury laws and who was a fair housing champion, died Monday. He was 84.

Ursin was association president in 1981. His tenure came at a time when national interest rates soared above 15 percent and created a pronounced market slowdown.

Ursin is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joyce, and four children.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Thursday at Leonard Memorial Home at 565 Duane St. in Glen Ellyn, with a memorial service 11 a.m. Friday at Faith Lutheran Church, 41 N. Park Drive, Glen Ellyn. (Details)

At the time of his presidency, statewide usury laws limited the amount of interest a lender could charge on a residential mortgage. As a result, many lenders either would not or could not make loans as interest rates climbed dramatically. The association was instrumental in removing the artificial ceiling on rates, allowing more money to flow into the market for home financing.

Additionally, legislation was passed which allowed pension systems in the state to have broader investment authority, providing additional capital in the real estate market.

“Don Ursin took the helm of Illinois REALTORS® at a particularly challenging time,” said current association president Doug Carpenter. “Under his leadership he made sure that the association did everything it could to help homebuyers and its members in the face of a crushing economic downturn.”

An advocate for fair housing, Ursin served on the boards of a number of housing-related non-profit organizations. He began his real estate career with Baird & Warner and later worked for Coldwell Banker.

Power outage forces closure of Illinois REALTORS® Springfield office on Wednesday

Source: Bigstock

A truck accident has taken down part of the downtown Springfield power grid and is forcing the closure of Illinois REALTORS® offices for the day.

The accident, which occurred just after 8 a.m., may take as long as seven to eight hours to resolve, officials say.

Calls to Illinois REALTORS®’ office will be returned Thursday. Messages can also be sent to info@illinoisrealtors.org.


State, local tax deduction loss would hit Illinois property owners hard

Source: Bigstock

Illinois homeowners would face a double hit if two key tax provisions are eliminated through a rewrite of the federal tax code, according to Illinois’ REALTORS®‘ Local Government Affairs Director Brian Bernardoni.

Brian Bernardoni

Already a point of discussion is the Mortgage Interest Deduction, which homeowners have enjoyed for decades. But the article in Crain’s Chicago Business notes eliminating the state and local tax deduction provisions would particularly hurt Illinoisans, and could send billions of dollars to the federal government.

Since Illinois has among the highest property taxes in the country, the loss of both the MID and the state and local tax deduction could really hurt.

Bernardoni, who also works with the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, said as much as $2.9 billion could go to federal coffers instead of staying in the state if the state and local tax provision was eliminated. In the article, he says:

On top of that, the mortgage interest deduction​ “is most valuable when you first buy your house and loses its value over time.” Because the early years of payments on a mortgage are mostly interest and little principal, the possible deduction is far larger then​ than in later years, as the interest portion of the payment diminishes and the principal part grows.


The state and local deduction, though, “gets more valuable over the years, as your home’s value appreciates and the taxes on it go up,” Bernardoni said. “That’s the one that will hurt more homeowners, including people who’ve already paid off the house but still get a property tax bill.”


Callan meets with Roskam at tax policy luncheon

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, left, talks with Illinois REALTOR® Pat Callan in Washington, D.C.

Illinois REALTOR® Pat Callan met with U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Callan, a former Illinois REALTORS® president who serves as federal political coordinator for Roskam, helped host a lunch the congressman attended at the D.C. headquarters of the National Association of REALTORS®. At the lunch, industry leaders discussed upcoming efforts to revise the nation’s tax code.

Federal political coordinators work closely with assigned congressional representatives to update them on market conditions and the impact of policy decisions on the real estate industry.

Roskam, serves as chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy, which will play a key role in any attempt at tax reform. He represents Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District.

REALTORS® have been especially wary of the tax code rewrite effort. Key provisions such as the Mortgage Interest Deduction and 1031 Like-Kind Exchange are seen as potentially vulnerable in the process.

Illinois REALTORS® have joined their colleagues throughout the country urging policymakers to consider the value of these provisions and others which encourage homeownership and real estate investment.

Chicago Agent’s Who’s Who lists Illinois REALTORS®

Source: Chicago Agent

From Mack Alsaidi to Deena Zimmerman, Chicago Agent has its annual list of some of the best in the real estate business as part of the publication’s 2017 Who’s Who.

Included in the feature is Illinois REALTORS® leadership team, made up of President Doug Carpenter, President-elect Matt Difanis, Treasurer Dan Wagner and Immediate Past President Mike Drews.

See the feature online here, or check your mailbox for a copy. The latest issue should be arriving this week.