Today, Realtors from across the country are gathering on the steps of Capitol Hill to tell members of Congress that home ownership matters – to people, to communities and to America.
Why now? Because despite the heated rhetoric of an election year, Realtors remain focused on home ownership, housing and real estate issues.
We know that the challenges our country faces aren’t going away after November. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue the American dream of home ownership, and we will fight against obstacles that make it more difficult for people to buy, own and invest in real estate.
I’ve practiced real estate here in Wichita for 10 years. During that time, I’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of families invest in their futures through home ownership.
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Over the past few years, however, I’ve also seen buyers with good jobs and strong credit histories turned down for loans; hard-working families who are unable to refinance into lower monthly mortgage payments; and people lose their homes to foreclosure because their bank was too slow to process a short sale.
There are some who say we should turn our backs on home ownership — that the government should step away from insuring and purchasing mortgages, that homeowners shouldn’t be able to take advantage of certain tax benefits, and that maybe owning a home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, after all.
There’s no doubt that home ownership isn’t for everyone. The decision to own a home is a very personal one. But there’s a reason we’re a nation of homeowners, by and large.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “A nation of homeowners is unconquerable.”
That’s because home ownership fosters stronger communities, creates social stability and contributes to a strong economy.
Yes, Realtors sell real estate, and cynics may view our efforts as self-serving.
But in doing our jobs, we help people into homes that give them shelter, a sense of community and the opportunity to build financial security over the long term.
We help businesses find homes, too; commercial real estate is just as much a part of the fabric of our local economy as are homes for families.
As we look to America’s future, we must not lose sight of the values that helped make our country strong in the first place.
Realtors want our country’s current and future leaders to understand the vital role that real estate plays in both the long- and short-term health of this nation.
And that’s why I’m going to Washington.