Home Ownership Truly Matters. Beyond Western Massachusetts: The National Association of REALTORS

home ownership matters in western maHome ownership is clearly something I feel passionately about. Not everyone has to own a home and not everyone SHOULD, but for those that are working toward the American Dream of Home Ownership…it matters.

This week is the mid-year panels for the National Association of REALTORS and there are a lot discussions happening. The week isn’t JUST about discussions, however, it is about action and pro-action, too. Tomorrow, May 17, 2012 is the REALTOR rallyl in Washington DC.

I can’t be in DC, but there is a virtual rally, too and I am a firm believer in the value of home ownership for more reasons than the fact I am a REALTOR.

My parents brought me up in a small town in Western MA, Southwick Massachusetts. They chose Southwick, MA for the proximity to Springfield, MA and Hartford, MA which resolved both familial and work obligations. Their first home was purchased when I was about a year old for $16,000. We lived there, on Sefton Drive in Southwick, until about 1979 when my parents built a new home. We move “all the way across town” to Mort Vining Road, Southwick, MA. What a change! We went from a neighborhood (even though a very suburban one) to the true country. Barely paved road; cows; sheep and horses along the road and no cable tv.

As my parents grew, so did their real estate portfolio. They bought investments to keep (like the house my mom still lives in) and others to flip. I learned about flipping properties about two decades before it became popular. I was a kid, a teenager, but I painted, weeded, carried, sanded and did whatever labor needed to be done to help our family with our American Dream. I worked alongside my mom as an assistant folding newsletters and licking (yeah we had to lick em) stamps from 1982-1988. In 1988 I took the real estate license course and became a REALTOR, myself.

After college I wanted to move out. My mom offered me discounted rent in her multi-family in exchange for management duties. I took over the building operations from soup to nuts and I can tell you that I went nuts in that soup, but I learned lessons that no college degree can teach. I always knew the value of a dollar and the feel of a hard day’s work (one of my first jobs was tobacco in Southwick) but this was different. This was an adult responsibility.

Post graduation in 1992, there were no jobs in my degree (English PR and Communications) and I went to work once again for my mom at her real estate office in Westfield, MA.

Next up was my own home ownership. I have since owned several properties, both personal and investment and I credit my parents for the wonderful education….it has paid dividends that my college education (while amazing) never could.

Why do I share this?

Because…I believe. I believe in home ownership. I believe in Western Massachusetts. I believe that you do, too.

The following video is a national interview of the National Association of REALTOR’S financial guru, Lawrence Yun. He echoes thoughts that I have daily:

Paraphrasing NAR :

Home buyers need to stay within their means when purchasing a home. YES

The lenders are overreacting to the point where even a well qualified buyer can’t get a mortgage. YES

The pendulum has swung to overly stringent requirements in lending. YES

Cash buyers are helping to move the economy, but are preventing 1st time buyers needing a mortgage from getting the affordable homes. YES

This is a bi-partisan AMERICAN issue. YES

Home ownership truly matters. YES

Watch the video to see and hear what Lawrence Yun has to say. Comment below to let me know what YOU have to say…you already know what I have to say.

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