June 2016: Real Estate Roundup

Realtors meet members of Congress

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

From May 9 to 14, the National Association of Realtors held its Realtor Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. Approximately 8,500 attendees from across the country and around the world attended the annual conference. The week included about 200 meetings and events that covered many real estate topics and allowed NAR members to take an active role in advancing the real estate industry, public policy, and the association.

From the tri-county area, Debbie Gilson, County Seat Realty, Janet Handschuh, Heart Homes Real Estate, Lisa L’Huillier, Hefferon Real Estate, Jennifer Stevenson, Blue Heron Realty, and I participated in NAR and Women’s Council of Realtors committee meetings, engaged in idea exchanges with other Realtors and staff, and listened to information and updates that will help us to better serve the real estate consumer and market.

The highlight of the conference was when we went to Capitol Hill and, with others from across New York, sat down with U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, to discuss real estate issues in the community, as well as challenges and opportunities for homeownership. Realtor members come from all political stripes and do not support a particular political party, but support legislators and issues that pertain to real estate and its effect on the consumers.

“Realtors know that the work we do is important to strengthening the north country, and the Realtors legislative meetings offered a chance to take that message straight to decision-makers on Capitol Hill,” said Debbie Gilson, St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors president. “It’s important for elected officials to hear directly from the people they represent and we are grateful to Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand and Congresswoman Stefanik for taking the time to learn more about our industry and the people we serve.”

At our meetings, we emphasized important real estate issues for tri-county homeowners, including protecting real estate-related tax provisions like the mortgage interest deduction. We also urged lawmakers to consider additional steps to give responsible borrowers greater access to safe, affordable mortgage credit, no matter whether they are first-time homebuyers entering the market or established borrowers moving into a new home.

Tom Salomone, National Association of Realtors president and broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Fla., praised the St. Lawrence County and Jefferson-Lewis Boards of Realtors for their contributions to the 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,” Salomone said. “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.”

The Tri-County Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors will hold its fifth annual golf tournament Friday, July 29, at Highland Meadows Golf and Country Club north of Watertown at 24201 state Route 342. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit River Hospital’s Wellness Center Art Therapy Program and local WCR chapter events. There are three platinum sponsors for the event: Timothy Farley, P.C., Northern Credit Union, and Community Bank. In addition, F.X. Caprara Chevrolet is donating a car for a hole-in-one contest.

This will be an 18-hole, four-person captain-and-crew tournament. The $75 per person entry fee includes golf, cart, lunch buffet, prizes and, of course, fun. A “cash” skins game and a putting contest will also be available. There will be men’s, coed and women’s divisions. To enter a team, donate a prize, or learn more about various sponsorship opportunities, contact event chairman Chris Andiorio, 727-2154, candiorio@mynorthern.com, or call the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors, 782-1322.

Lance M. Evans is the executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors and the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors. Contact him at levans@nnymls.com. His column appears monthly in NNY Business.