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.

VIDEO – National Flood Insurance Program Call for Action

With the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire September 30, Jon Broadbooks and Neil Malone discuss the importance of this program, and why it’s so critical that REALTORS® answer the call in helping make sure the program is extended.

Watch the video, then go to realtoractioncenter.com to answer the call and help preserve this important program.

REALTOR® participation key in flood program Call for Action

Help consumers in 22,000 communities nationwide have continued access to flood insurance by taking part in an NAR Call for Action which debuts today.  

NAR is asking its members to ask their federal lawmakers to make sure the National Flood Insurance Program does not lapse. If it does, many current and future homeowners could find the cost of flood insurance too high. That could have as serious impact in the real estate market.  

Do your part by following directions outlined in REALTOR® Party mobile alerts, emails or by going to the REALTOR® Party webpage to send messages to policymakers. In previous Calls for Action, more than 20 percent of Illinois REALTORS®’ membership has participated.  

REALTORS® can also ask their congressional representatives to push for more accurate flood maps and better risk mitigation policies which would help keep rates affordable.  

The more REALTORS® respond to the Call for Action, the stronger the message to elected officials. 

For more information on this issue, go here. 

Real Estate License Act changes signed into law by governor

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed into law an important series of changes to the state’s Real Estate License Act.

House Bill 3528, which was backed by Illinois REALTORS®, was unanimously passed by both chambers of the General Assembly earlier this year, and had been sent to the governor on June 23. He signed it Friday.

Among the bill’s provisions:

  • The Real Estate Education Advisory Council (EAC) will become part of the Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board (READ). The EAC will operate as a subcommittee of the reconstituted READ board.
  • The changes streamline the licensing of brokers and CE instructors and schools.
  • It updates education requirements to allow two-hour CE courses rather than the previous three-hour mandated courses; and it allows modern course delivery options.
  • Clarifies that a leasing agent’s broker can be disciplined if a leasing agent operates outside of the narrow scope of the law pertaining to leasing.

Illinois REALTORS® has worked for more than a year with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on the changes.

The House sponsor was Rep. Robert Rita, and the Senate sponsors were Sens. Chuck Weaver and Dave Syverson.

Almost a decade later, REALTOR® effort has lasting effect

Howard Handler

In 2013, local Government Affairs Director Howard Handler described the domino effect of REALTOR® advocacy. Handler recounted how a successful REALTOR® effort from 2008, to beat back an illegal real estate transfer stamp program adopted by the city of Highwood, led to squashing a similar ordinance and proposal, respectively, in the villages of Golf and Riverwoods. Nearly a decade later, our advocacy still has legs.

When village of Deerfield staff, trying to tackle illegal sanitary sewer infiltration, toyed with the idea of requiring a village-issued transfer certificate prior to recording a deed, the North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS® (NSBAR) jumped in. NSBAR shared with Deerfield staff the written decision by the Lake County Recorder of Deeds to record deeds with or without Highwood’s faux-transfer stamp.

Deerfield staff in a memorandum to the Village Board wrote: “Upon reviewing the 2008 opinion issued by the Lake County Recorder’s Office… Village staff and the Village Attorney concluded that only non-compliance with a referendum approved transfer tax would be sufficient to prohibit real estate transfers in the Village.”

Deerfield village staff and Board of Trustees have instead decided to conduct an educational and incentive-based campaign to bring illegal sanitary sewer hookups into compliance.

“Deerfield staff were very receptive to our concerns that a transfer certificate requirement without voter approval was not only unlawful, but that it would unduly interfere with home sales,” said Handler.  “We recognize the problems caused by illegal sewer connections and look forward to working with the village on educating REALTORS® and property owners.”  Handler is also a Deerfield resident.