Working Hard For the Money – And For Change

by Chicago Agent

stephanie-sims-chicago-agent-managing-editor-zappos-real-estate-2011Every four years, the country starts thinking about the government. I mean, really thinking about the government. Citizens start thinking about what can be done to improve our country: what changes need to be made? What policies need to be implemented? What are the most important issues that elected officials should prioritize?

It’s no secret that housing is one of these issues. Chicago Agent has, obviously, diligently tracked the state of the industry – from when the bubble first burst in 2008 to when we asked if the worst was behind us (vol. 7, issue 16, “Is The Worst Behind Us?” 8.2.10) to how agents would fix the problems within the industry and get the market back to a healthy state (vol. 8, issue 11, “A Field Guide to Fixing the Industry” 5.15.11). And as everyone in the industry knows, though there have been marginal improvements in terms of home sales and housing starts quarter by quarter, the country is torn over whether we need the government’s help implementing policies or if it should stay out of the housing market completely to really get it back on track.

Both candidates disagree on what exactly should be done to fix housing: the mortgage interest deduction is of particular interest, as Obama would like to keep it, while Romney would like to get rid of it for second homes to offset other tax cuts; Obama wants to allocate $2.23 billion to HUD, a 17 percent increase, while Romney would like to abolish the agency; and while Obama created rules for loan regulation that many argue are highly stringent, Romney has criticized those rules, but it remains to be seen if he will recommend a solution.

And when it comes to local candidates, who does NAR endorse? How much money is donated to local candidates and why, and what are their stances? We have the list of all NAR-endorsed candidates on page 16, complete with why they have NAR’s support and how much in NAR contributions they’ve raised so far.

When Election Day does finally arrive, who has your vote? Will you be voting for whose housing plan is most sound, or do other issues outweigh the housing market’s performance? Email me at stephanie@chicago.staging312.com or visit our website and share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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