Several Realtors® and leaders from the Northwest Iowa Regional Board of Realtors® took to Capitol Hill last week to meet with their elected officials as part of the 2016 Realtors® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.
Nearly 70 individuals from across the state of Iowa took part in the event, which offered an opportunity for senators, representatives and their staff to learn more about important issues facing homeowners and the real estate market and industry.
The Northwest Iowa Regional Board of Realtors® took an active role in the meetings, sitting down with Congressman Steve King and Senator Charles Grassley to discuss real estate issues in the community, as well as challenges and opportunities for homeownership.
“Realtors® know that the work we do is important to strengthening all of northwest Iowa and the Realtors® Legislative Meetings offered a chance to take that message straight to decision-makers on Capitol Hill,” said Kathy Miller, broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Premier Realty in Sioux City. “As a former president of the Iowa Association of Realtors® and active member of our local board, I know it’s vital for elected officials to hear directly from the people they represent, and we’re thankful to Senator Grassley and Congressman King for taking time to learn more about our industry and the people we serve.”
At their meetings, representatives from the Northwest Iowa Regional Board of Realtors® honed in on important residential and commercial real estate issues for homeowners and investors across the region, including protecting real estate-related tax provisions like the mortgage interest deduction and 1031 like-kind exchanges, as well as reforming current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condominium financing. Realtors® also urged lawmakers to consider additional steps to give responsible borrowers greater access to safe, affordable mortgage credit, whether for first-time homebuyers entering the market or established borrowers moving into a new home.
“The work of a Realtor® encompasses more than simply helping clients buy, sell or invest in properties,” said Katie Slater, broker-owner of NextHome at the Lakes Realty in Spirit Lake, and first vice president of the Northwest Iowa Regional Board of Realtors®. “Realtors® offer expert advice to their clients during some of the biggest personal and financial events they’ll ever experience. There are real opportunities to improve the landscape for consumers, and the Realtors® Legislative Meetings in Washington was a chance to highlight those opportunities for our representatives in office.”
National Association of Realtors® President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida, praised members of the Northwest Iowa Regional Board for their contribution to industry, their work to advance real estate issues, and their commitment to homeownership. “The individual voices of our extraordinary members are critical to making sure our message is heard in Washington,” said Salomone. “Realtors® are trusted advisors to millions of homebuyers, home sellers and commercial investors across the country, and our meetings in Washington this week were a chance to create connections with lawmakers and put our expertise to work on behalf of consumers everywhere.”
In 2015 a merger brought together 500 Realtors® under the umbrella of the Northwest Iowa Regional Board of Realtors®. The organization is now one of the largest real estate associations in the state of Iowa and serves residents in a 13 county region. Realtors® have served residents of Northwest Iowa since 1908.