Changes to National Flood Insurance Program need serious consideration says REALTOR®

Robertson

With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, the Illinois REALTORS® and about 42,000 Illinois homeowners who live in a flood plain are watching closely to see what action Congress takes in the meantime.

Several bills have been prepared by Congress to sustain the program, and at least one includes the possibility of raising premiums on flood insurance, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. But the program faces debt problems incurred from large-scale catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy, and relies on feedback from policyholders and communities to keep flood plain maps up to date, pass ordinances limiting the construction of new homes in flood plains and to price the product accurately. Resolving shortcomings in many of these areas and streamlining the process would help, says Shorewood REALTOR® Karen Robertson.

Further, a McHenry County official says if the program isn’t renewed by Sept. 30, future home sales in flood prone areas could be delayed. Read the Tribune article, “If flood insurance program lapses, it’ll be ‘total chaos,’ warns official.”

Why the National Association of REALTORS® supports the National Flood Insurance Program.

 

REALTORS® put themselves in clients’ shoes when they visit Lake County government offices

Circuit Judge Daniel Jasica helped REALTORS® understand evictions so they can be better resources for landlords and tenants. See photo gallery at bottom of this story.

Lake County REALTORS® braved unprecedented flooding and closed roads to attend a special, REALTOR®-only real estate related walking tour of Lake County government offices Monday.

REALTORS® met with Recorder of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer to learn more about the recording process and how to access real estate records, then met Treasurer David Stolman to learn more about property tax bills and collections. Circuit Court Judge Luis A. Berrones taught them about the foreclosure mediation program, Circuit Court Judge Daniel L. Jasica spoke about evictions, and Chief County Assessment Officer Martin P. Paulson explained about the property assessment process and appeals.

Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor was scheduled to appear but he and numerous REALTORS® were unable to attend due to area flooding.

Outreach and advocacy help REALTORS® build relationships in local communities

(l to r) Gideon Blustein, Local GAD Illinois REALTORS®; Matt Persicketti, Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® President; Larry Walsh, Will County Executive; Martha Sojka, Will County Land Use Department; Curt Paddock, Will County Land Use Director; and David McClintock, Three Rivers CEO.

The Illinois REALTORS® Outreach Team points out some of the reasons why REALTORS® are making positive impacts in their own communities in the July Illinois REALTOR® article, “What common values connect Illinois REALTORS®?

Sometimes elected officials show their thanks for REALTOR® support with ceremonies like the one captured by photographers in April in Joliet. At that time, the Will County Land Use Department Community Development Division recognized the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® for promoting and protecting the tenets of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (photo above).

Community Development Director Ron Pullman stated, “Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® has been an excellent partner in our mission to affirmatively further the goals of the Fair Housing Act.”

Three Rivers’ Board President Matt Persicketti accepted the proclamation saying, “While assisting people buy and sell homes, it is the duty of REALTORS® to encourage flourishing communities that are open to everyone.”

The Fair Housing Act originally recognized four protected classes:  race, color, religion and national origin. Sex was added as a protected class in 1974 followed by disability and familial status in 1988. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development website states that the purpose of the Act is “to eliminate housing discrimination and create equal opportunity in every community so that every person can live free.” See our Fair Housing resources.

All REALTORS® must abide by The National Association of REALTORS© Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice which outlines duties that REALTORS® have to clients and customers, the public, and other REALTORS®.  Article 10 of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics provides that, “REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Watch your mailbox for July issue of Illinois REALTOR®

The July issue of Illinois REALTOR® features a cover story about the “Value of a REALTOR®,” a photo spread about Lobby Day, 9 tips about working the luxury real estate market, an interview with REALTOR® of the Year Sue Miller, a story about Dan Goodwin and much, much more.

Keep your eyes open for the magazine, which is due to arrive at your home or office this week. But if you can’t wait, you can download a PDF or view the digital flipbook version online.

While you’re in the archive of Illinois REALTOR® magazines, you can check out any of the previous issues, too.

 

Sullivan advocates for property tax freeze during Committee of the Whole meeting Friday

Illinois REALTORS®Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan prepared to speak during a Committee of the Whole hearing in the Illinois House of Representatives on Friday.  Source: Illinois General Assembly

The Illinois General Assembly has been back in Springfield this week for a special session, and Illinois REALTORS® Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan testified before a Committee of the Whole held in the Illinois House on Friday.

Sullivan was part of a series of speakers on Friday advocating for a property tax freeze. A freeze is a subject of negotiation as lawmakers grapple with how to pass a budget for the state. Sullivan said this was the first time in her decades at the association she had been asked to present before a Committee of the Whole.

Because Illinois has some of the highest property taxes in the U.S., Illinois REALTORS® has long advocated for some type of property tax relief.

High property taxes are preventing young consumers across the state from becoming first-time home buyers, said Sullivan, while other homeowners say they can make their house payments but struggle to pay their property taxes. Senior citizens can feel the effects of rising property taxes when their incomes are fixed.

“It affects all levels of homeowners and small businesses as well,” said Sullivan. “It has a cascading effect.”

Sullivan said the association is also supportive of measures which would allow for consolidation of some of the state’s record number of taxation districts.

Illinois leads the U.S. in the number of government entities, and Illinois REALTORS® has long held that there is a direct correlation between the number of taxing bodies and the high level of property taxes.