Real Estate Video Blog: “Important RPAC News, Key Issues, and an Update from the Field” Featuring Moe Veissi, National Association of Realtors President
National Association of Realtors President Moe Veissi came in to the Amoura Production’s Studios to give us a “News Update” about the key issues the RPAC is fighting for and one of their major accomplishments that just happened, even during a time when “Nothing could get passed” on the hill.
Complete Video Transcript: “2012 is the year that I’m president (of the National Board of Realtors) and in that year we were told, “Forget anything to do with congress, anything on the hill. Don’t worry about it. You’re not going to get anything done. It’s a very partisan group of folks, you know republicans want this and democrats want that and they are not negotiating or compromising on anything, you’ll never get any legislation passed at all during this year.”
Three really important aspects of our push this year have been the GSE’s like Fanny and Freddie to maintain and secure a long-term secondary market place for the real estate communities so that we can benefit through the establishment and the existence of a long-term mortgage, like a thirty year fixed interest rate, over that period of time. If we didn’t have the GSE’s, if we didn’t have the secondary market place, we’d have private investors; like me for instance, who would say, “Yeah, but I’m not going to give you a thirty year mortgage and I’m certainly not going to do it at four percent. I need a lot better investment return then that and I need a shorter period because I don’t know what’s going on,” so when the government does that it allows first time home buyers, even second time home buyers, to come into the market place. That’s a strong commitment to a really solid real estate community and that’s one of the things we espouse and we go on the hill and make sure the people understand and know about it.
The second thing was we wanted to make dog-gone sure that we saved the mortgage interest deduction, which has been around for an awfully long period of time, and that simply says, “You pay a mortgage, you pay interest on that mortgage, you pay some taxes on that mortgage, you get to deduct that from your income tax on your first and your second home.” And a lot of people say “Well maybe on the first ones okay, but on the second one? My golly only rich guys can have second homes, only rich people,” and that’s not the case. The majority of second homes in America are literally fishing camps, and hunting cabins, and small places where people have committed to getting away and having a pretty decent time. About sixty percent of the people that are invested in second homes are invested at less than two hundred thousand. So the reality is that both first and second home mortgage deductions are enormously important. The average American home owner saves about thirty five hundred dollars a year on mortgage interest deduction per year and that’s a pretty healthy return on your investment in that real estate and you can put it toward the equity of a house, you can go out and put that back into the community and in an economic way you can save it. You can do what you want but it’s one of the things that real estate has been able to accomplish.
The third thing that we really fought for, especially over the last several years, has been a flood insurance program. Ever since the catastrophe, literally, in Louisiana, there has been real concern about flood insurance and the cost of flood insurance and we’ve been working very diligently for that period of time with the federal government to make sure that flood insurance was re-upped so that all would be able (to get flood insurance), especially not just in coastal states but in those areas that were prone to hundred year flood plains, places like Kentucky and Minot, North Dakota and Wyoming. Places where you wouldn’t think you’d have flooding problems, not just Florida, Texas and the Carolinas.
Just recently, when no one said it could be done, the National Association of Realtors, “A Million Members Strong, their members rose up again and they made it happen. We have now gotten a National Flood Insurance program and that has been extended for a full five year period and that happened just a few weeks ago in an atmosphere that most of the Pondents would’ve told you, “You couldn’t have passed anything on the hill,” and we did.
Thank you to the National Association of Realtors’ and especially to President Moe Veissi, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come into our studios! We greatly appreciate all that you do for the industry and for your strong advocacy with the Realtors’ Political Action Committee.
National Association of Realtors’ President Moe Veissi
For more information on RPAC, visit www.realtoractioncenter.com/rpac/