Despite some fresh snow and a few slick spots on the roads, over 300 Realtors® from around the state of Iowa made the trek to Des Moines on Tuesday, February 6 to meet with members of the Iowa House and Senate at the Capitol. The bus from Sioux City departed at 7:30 and, after a couple of stops, arrived in Des Moines around 11 AM, with 20 members of the Northwest Iowa Regional Board of Realtors® participating.
Lunchtime speakers updated attendees on the progress of legislation important to the membership, including a bill prohibiting local time of transfer mandates. That bill was passed out of a House committee during the afternoon, just as Realtor® members were on the Hill. Very cool!
NWIA members met with Senators Rick Bertrand (R, Sioux City), Jim Carlin (R, Sioux City) and Randy Feenstra (R, Hull), and with Representative Chris Hall (D, Sioux City) to thank them for their hard work in the 2017 session to pass legislation authorizing creation of new First-Time Home Buyer Savings Accounts. These accounts allow first-time home buyers to save up to $2000 per year if single, $4000 per year if married, in a tax-exempt account to be used toward closing costs or down payment on the purchase of a first home anywhere in the state of Iowa.
“We continue to be excited about the potential this legislation creates for first-time buyers,” said Katie Slater, President of the Northwest Iowa Board of Realtors® and broker/owner of NextHome TriState Realty in Sioux City and NextHome at the Lakes in Spirit Lake. “In the first few weeks of the first-time home buyer program, usage is already exceeding our expectations. Clearly, this legislation and home ownership is a benefit to our state, and is something Realtors® want to encourage.”
“Participating in legislative and legal matters is an important part of the Realtor® profession,” said Kelly Burge, Executive Officer for the Northwest Iowa Board of Realtors®. “Our members are the defenders of homeownership, and they take the obligation to both enhance and protect private property rights very seriously.”
Realtors® from around the area make the trip to Des Moines annually for the Legislative Bus-In Day event. Area Realtors® will have their next opportunity to participate in February, 2019.