Illinois REALTORS® Invite Veterans for a Session on Homeownership



In partnership with the City of Aurora Veterans Advisory Council, the Illinois REALTORS® are hosting a Homeownership 101 session in an effort to equip and educate our American Heroes on the basics of homeownership.

Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, who is also a U.S. Air Force Veteran, will be kicking off the afternoon on May 22 at the Prisco Center in Aurora Illinois. He will be followed by a series of presenters that will cover credit and credit scoring and preparing for the loan application.

Also participating in the afternoon event is Jack Persin, chair of the Illinois REALTORS® Veterans Task Force and Veteran of the U.S. Navy. He will walk through the basics of a home search and writing an offer. Download a flyer for the event.

Full information of this session and the rest of the weeks events can be found at

About 750 REALTORS® attend luncheons, legislative briefings before visiting State Capitol

With the largest crowd ever expected for the annual Capitol Conference & REALTOR® Lobby Day, members attended three luncheons and legislative briefings, one at Illinois REALTORS® headquarters and two within the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® gathered at the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters while several central Illinois associations met in the Lincoln Room at the DoubleTree and all others gathered in the Presidential Ballroom of the DoubleTree. With assistance from association leaders, Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin, Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan and Manager of Grassroots and Political Programs Neil Malone conducted the legislative briefings.

REALTORS® at the two locations then grabbed bus rides to the State Capitol to meet with their legislative leaders, some planned and some spontaneous.

See photo gallery below.

Illinois REALTORS® take stand against Home Rule in 4 Illinois communities

This mailer was sent to Lynwood residents to alert them to the dangers of Home Rule. The community has tried a number of times previously to implement the policy, and failed each time. Illinois REALTORS® was engaged in this effort with Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®.

Ads and mailings funded by Illinois REALTORS® explaining the dangers of Home Rule have been used in four communities in the state where voters will cast ballots on April 4.

The ads appeared online in Lynwood, Creve Coeur, Ottawa and Coal City.

In Ottawa and Coal City, online advertising was supplemented by a series of full-page newspaper advertisements warning residents about the potential costs of allowing elected officials to take their communities to Home Rule status.

In each of the four communities, a series of mailings slammed home the message that Home Rule would be a bad move for property owners. The fight was a joint effort by Illinois REALTORS®, Real Property Alliance and local REALTOR® associations.

Home Rule ballot initiatives pose a number of threats for communities which have fewer than 25,000 residents.

If voters were to sanction the change, elected officials would have more say in taxation and the amount of debt a community could take on. Often, that power can directly translate into higher property taxes and even additional fees for property owners.

Illinois REALTORS® and its partners have worked closely to explain the pitfalls of Home Rule to communities considering Home Rule. The organizations have been involved in several communities where ballot initiatives have been torpedoed as a result of wary property owners voting to make sure they keep a say in tax policy.


Illinois REALTORS® shine at National Policy Conference

The spirit of service is inherent in so many of Illinois REALTORS® members, it often goes unnoticed since most are not looking for accolades, they are looking for progress. However, this week at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Annual Policy Conference and Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., these members got both.

Accolades for service

Congratulations to the Chicago Chapter of NAHREP for receiving the Chapter of the Year award and earning recognition for its success in Financial Performance, Sponsor Engagement and Board Management at the Leadership Academy.

These awards are no surprise since the commitment of members extends beyond the local chapter to involvement at the state and national levels. At the gala, Joe Castillo, Broker/Owner of Mi Casa Real Estate in Chicago was installed as a national board member, and Genie Birch, Broker at Century 21 Affiliated in Lincolnwood, serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee at NAR and welcomed the group at their reception. Gaspar Flores, Jr., the current Chicago Chapter president, serves on the Illinois REALTOR® Strategic Thinkers Working Group and the Housing Opportunity Working Group. This is a short list of their involvement but underscores why they have achieved so much success.

Members of the Chicago Chapter are contributing to NAHREP’s advocacy efforts this week. They headed to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to share with members of Congress their position on topics like: immigration, the building of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, homeownership, the mortgage interest deduction and promoting small business.

Progress realized

These members have seen results from the NAHREP Hispanic Wealth Project through the increase in Hispanic homeownership. According to the 2016 State of Hispanic Homeownership that was presented at the conference, Hispanic homeownership accounted for almost 80 percent of the year-over-year homeownership growth from 2015 to 2016.

A Fannie Mae survey cited as part of the project explained that Hispanics have many reasons for valuing homeownership, including:

  • The environment for raising children,
  • control over one’s living space,
  • building wealth and
  • property rights through the ability to control one’s own living space.

The conference provided a great opportunity to see Illinois REALTORS® show their commitment to real estate and homeownership while celebrating their culture and community.

Congratulations NAHREP Chicago from all of us at Illinois REALTORS®!

(Photos by Sharon Gorrell, Jessica Barrera, Erika Villegas and Gaspar Flores, Jr.)