REALTORS® Gary Bohn (Titan Real Estate of Illinois), James D. Smith (RE/MAX Showcase), Donna M. Linder (Coldwell Banker Residential), and Matt Silver (Urban Real Estate) converse with Congressman Brad Schneider after the forum wrapped. Photo by Howard Handler

U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) met this morning with about 30 members of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) as part of the “Let’s Talk Real Estate” forums hosted by IAR to connect members of Congress with their REALTOR®-constituents.

Among the topics discussed were:

  • Chair-elect of the North Shore–Barrington Association of REALTORS, Wayne Paprocki (Troy Realty) introduces Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) to the audience. Seated in the center is the Congressman; seated to the far left is REALTOR Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) Matt Silver (Urban Real Estate).

    FHA Loan Limits: In August FHFA announced the intention to lower the loan limits to encourage private growth in the mortgage market.  NAR has sent a letter to FHFA urging them not to make such a change – asserting they do not have the authority to do so, and arguing against reducing mortgage liquidity across the nation.  A number of Senators and Congresspersons have asked FHFA to demonstrate both their authority for doing so, and an impact analysis on housing markets and the economy.

  • The Marketplace Fairness Act: This legislation was passed in the Senate and awaits House action.  This legislation that will level the playing field in taxation for consumer goods, whether purchased online or at a bricks and mortar retail store.
  • The Mortgage Interest Deduction: An exploding federal debt and continued growth of tax complexity have forced tax reform into the limelight once again.  Throughout 2011 and 2012, and continuing into 2013, the tax-writing committees of Congress have held hearings about broad issues that must be considered as part of tax reform.  NAR is particularly concerned about threats to eliminate or abate the mortgage interest deduction (MID), and is diligently working to ensure members of Congress are educated as to its benefit in promoting homeownership.

REALTOR® and Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) Matt Silver reacts to a joke made by Congressman Brad Schneider.

REALTORS® Brian Barrett (Troy Realty), Mary Vallely (Baird & Warner), and Marjorie Rissman (Coldwell Banker Residential) provided oral market reports to the Congressman, and a number of REALTORS® posed questions on topics ranging from the role of multi-unit housing to the rising costs of flood insurance.

Wayne Paprocki (Troy Realty), President-elect of the North Shore – Barrington Association of REALTORS® introduced the Congressman and welcomed the attendees, and the forum was moderated by the IAR designated Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) for the 10th District, Matt Silver (Urban Real Estate).

Congressman Schneider shared that meetings with REALTORS®, whether in in-district forums or in his Washington office, are invaluable to better understanding real estate issues.  The Congressman joked that he was biased toward REALTORS® as his mother is a REALTOR® in Colorado.