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NAR discusses legislative goals at meetings

By Staff | Jun 6, 2013

Contact Laurie Lowson for information on Kapalua Ridge #2914 (MLS #355998), a one-bedroom/two-bath unit available for $800,000 fee simple.

All Realtors in Hawaii belong to three associations: the local association, Realtors Association of Maui; Hawaii Association of Realtors; and National Association of Realtors. Each association has a function vital to our industry. In May, there is an annual “Mid-Year” meeting of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The Mid-Year meetings are always held in Washington, D.C. The focus of the meetings is Realtors bringing issues relating to home ownership to their members of Congress in a concerted, concentrated effort.

Dave DeLeon, Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) government affairs director, attended the D.C. meetings. The following are quotes from his notes while attending the meetings.

“This year, NAR’s top legislative goals: saving the Mortgage Interest Deduction or MID, defending FHA, and making sure the 30-year mortgage survives. NAR is responding to the House of Representatives’ mantra that the Federal Government should not be in the housing promotion business at all. The House Majority’s holy grail is to achieve tax reform that would flatten tax rates, resulting in smaller tax bills. To achieve that, the tax reformers have to eliminate other elements of the tax code that cause the federal government to leak money. The Mortgage Interest Deduction is high on that list. And the second home deduction is on the very top of the hit list. It is estimated that the second home deduction will ‘cost’ the federal government $34 billion in lost revenue over ten years, we were told. Other pro-housing tax incentives that could conceivably be wiped out are the deduction for local real property taxes paid and the capital gain exclusion for the sale of principal residences. Housing benefits are not the only targets. The deduction for charitable contributions and even the benefits associated with IRAs and 401s are being put on the table. Literally nothing is sacred.”

More from Dave: “On Maui, we have gone from about 40 properties where buyers could use FHA funding to two properties after HUD tightened its certification rules. Investors have flooded into this market, effectively forcing first-time home buyers out. Mainly because investors are more than 50 percent of the owners in most Maui properties now, our Maui HUD Team is finding it difficult to identify properties that even pre-qualify for HUD certification. For a number of years, NAR had next to nothing to say about the situation facing condominiums – until last year. Then they started talking about working on HUD to loosen up its rules for lending in residential condominiums. NAR has now set up an internal Condo Working Group to focus more attention on this issue and hopefully to seriously loosen the HUD certification rules by next year. A group of RAM Realtors… have been interacting with NAR staff on this issue, and they announced at the conference our HUD Team’s discovery of the existence of private businesses that will do the HUD certification process for a fee.”

If your condo association is interested in HUD certification, please have your association representative contact Dave DeLeon at gad@ramaui.com.

Buying or selling? Please give me a call: Laurie S. Lowson, Realtor, at (808) 276-8001, or e-mail me at Laurie@Lowson.com. For current Maui listings, visit www.Lowson.com.