Defending the Mortgage Interest Deduction
By Kim McClellan, Government Affairs Director
hile the media ﬁrestorm around “Homeownership Matters” as a way to edu- will utilize this campaign to work with our
the Deﬁcit Reduction Commis- cate elected ofﬁcials and the public about local elected ofﬁcials so they understand
sion and the elimination or re- the beneﬁts of homeownership. Wealth the value of the work that you do and the
duction of the mortgage interest deduction creation, stable communities, and steady tax important beneﬁts homeownership brings
(MID) might have died down, the battle is revenues are just a few of the many beneﬁts to the Fredericksburg area.
far from over. MID is an integral part of of homeownership to individuals and
the foundation of homeownership in this communities. Over the next year, FAAR You can do your part, too. On the back of
country. Any suggestion that it be changed, this newsletter are some talking points you
even if it never comes to fruition, is detri- can use when talking with clients who may
mental to the real estate industry. Potential be concerned about what they heard on
buyers who are on the fence may decide the news. You will also ﬁnd a sample letter
not to buy until they see what happens with on that same page you can send to your
MID. Even discussion about reducing or Senators and local Congressman. If you
eliminating the deduction can have a chilling are not sure who represents you, visit the
effect on the already frozen housing market. REALTOR® Action Center website www.
NAR has initiated a campaign called realtoractionceneter.com, sign in, and click
“Manage Your Proﬁle.” There you will ﬁnd
Citation System to streamline the resolution of a tab called “Elected Ofﬁcials” that will
include every member representing you at a
complaints local, state and federal level.
embers often complain about FAAR and four other area Associations
the unprofessional behavior of have joined to launch the Citation Program.
fellow members but refuse to do The best feature of this system is that a
anything about it. member can agree to pay a ﬁne regarding
alleged misbehavior and avoid the hearing SAVE THE DATE
REALTORS® don’t ﬁle Ethics Complaints
against other REALTORS® for a variety of
process. Of course, the Respondent retains
the right to have the full hearing to defend
reasons: his or her case. The program only covers Key Conversion
Feb. 15 & 16
• Takes too much time certain Articles of the Code- 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9,
• Don’t want to sit through a long hearing and 12. The ﬁnes range from $150 to $500.
with someone who might be involved
in a future transaction With the Citation System, cases move
• Nothing ever gets accomplished quickly through the system without neces- More Details
• The penalties aren’t harsh enough sarily having to go through a lengthy hear- Coming Soon!
• And a myriad of other excuses ing process and justice is still served.
continued on page 4, Citation System
We made it, welcome to 2011! Save the Date!
A Message from FAAR’s President January 20 RPAC Chili Cook-off
Claire Focier-Rowe, ABR, ABRM, CRB, GRI January 28 FAAR Awards Sub-
Coldwell Banker Elite-Massaponax mission Deadline
FELLOW MEMBERS, upcoming hurdles and tackle them with February 3 Bingo Fundraiser
ease because we are prepared, practiced,
For the last several years we have seen February 8 FAAR Blood Drive
and professional. We must be ready for
great changes in our industry. I’m not business; we are engaged and we utilize the February 24 Quantico BRAC
just talking about the drop in house values tools of our trade association. Forum
or the problems with short sales, or the
communication delays when dealing with So how do we do this? Well, we March 10 Member Mixer
REO properties. I am referring to the loss acknowledge that IT’S TIME!
of excitement and fun that comes with this March 17 Homeless Shelter
job. How do we get it back? How do we It’s time for what……….. Dinner
make every day exciting when we know we It’s time to invest in your business.
It’s time to educate yourself to be better April 2 Awards Dinner with
have so many challenges? To be truthful, Guest Speaker Terry
I don’t know either! What I do know is we skilled.
have to! It’s time to understand the importance of Foundation Silent
RPAC and invest. Auction
We have to stop having others tell us about It’s time to turn back the negativity that
April 16 RideVA 2011 Poker
all the problems we are having and turn surrounds our business. Run Beneﬁting Habi-
it around. NOW IS an amazing time to It’s time to let everyone know NOW is a tat for Humanity
purchase, house prices are within reach, great time to buy a home!
May 2 Golf Tournament
plus your client can afford more home than It’s time for you to sell some homes!
they could four years ago. Interest rates are It’s time for us to be thankful for this May 19 RPAC Cruise
still low, yeah, so they have gone up to 5% wonderful profession – after all we picked it!
- but 5% is still an amazing rate! Loans are It’s time for you to ask what you can do to June 16 Homeless Shelter
harder because the underwriters are doing make FAAR better.
their job, ok deal with it; make sure your It’s time for you to look in the mirror and July 12 REALTOR® Family
clients are pre-approved with a lender you make a decision – success or failure! Day Kings Dominion
trust! We still have 100% loans – some with
restrictions but if you look they are still out As your President for 2011 it is my hope September 15 Homeless Shelter
there! The market is different, we are the that we lighten up, have some fun, sell some Dinner
lucky ones since we live in Virginia. Many homes, work hard and be acknowledged for September 21 Conference &
other states saw their real estate market our dedication to our clients and customers. Trade Show
crash. We saw a correction, yes it was a big We need to re-engage with each other.
one, but every day we still have business! October 14 Member Mixer
For the record, your Leadership Team and
Barbara Kenny Art Show
How do we keep our momentum going? I really care about all the members of our
We must continue to make sure that our Association and our business after all, we
October 1-27 Cereal Drive
Representatives not only on the local or too are members. I expect that 2011 will
state level but our Congressman knows that be another year with challenges but with
October 27 Halloween Mixer
we are facing challenging times. They need the right attitude and determination, we will
to know that even though we have these continue to prevail.
December 8 Installation Dinner
challenges, we are committed to making
homeownership matter! We must be December 15 Homeless Shelter
prepared by educating ourselves to handle Claire
2010 in Review
Highlights show dedication to the members and the public
By Pat Breme, RCE, CIPS, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer
he following are just some of the • Met RPAC Fair Share Goal. ber to re-examine the strategies/goals
activities and milestones of the As- • Achieved 100% ethics class renewal for of FAAR.
sociation during 2010. NAR’s Quadrennial Ethics Training. • Convert to the new SUPRA key.
• Re-certiﬁed as an Association in com- • Continue meeting with the ﬁve Asso-
Activities pliance with NAR regulations. ciations of the Ethics Dialogue Group
• Added new events- Muvico/Spiltsville • Signed a new Regional Professional to identify other challenges to ethical
and King Dominion Family Day. Standards Agreement with NVAR, behavior. Enhance and add new feature
• Participated in Capitol Ale House Ok- DAAR BRAR, GPAAR, PWAR. to the Ethics Dialogue website.
toberfest and raised over $4200 for the • Agreed to be part of a doctoral thesis • Launch the Citation Program, a shorter
Foundation. research on organizational and indus- professional standards process, for
• Co-hosted a legislative breakfast with trial psychology on how the emotions dealing with complaints.
FABA. of agents and employees toward an • Launch Stellar Service, Phase II- “Our
• Held about 200 RECA classes at- company determine its performance Commitment to You” campaign.
tended by 2400 students. 240 members and achievement of its goals. • Work with DAAR and PWAR and
acquired a SFR certiﬁcation. • Launched an extensive marketing GPAAR to resume the Association
• Participated in annual Ride VA to sup- campaign to increase awareness and Leadership Development Program in 2012.
port Habitat for Humanity. discussion about the lock box system • Participate in the Affordable Housing
• Held annual Golf Tournament at Fawn decision. Leadership and staff took the Awareness Week.
Lake and October Halloween Mixer. issue on the road and visited numerous • Continue ofﬁce visits by staff and
• Hosted ﬁrst ever President’s Reception ofﬁces. leadership.
for FAAR’s Past Presidents. • Created a Property Management Work- • Re-format the annual RPAC cruise as
• Hosted 6th Annual RPAC cruise. ing Group. well as creating new fundraising initiatives.
• Sponsored Trade Show that had 13% • Added a fan page to Facebook to • Apply for NAR’s Young Professional
more venders than 2009. enhance FAAR communications. Over Network status for Emerge.
330 members are following. • Rename Public Outreach to Public
Achievements & Services Relations. Working Group will focus
• Collected 82 pints of blood through New Staff on the NAR’s Homeownership Mat-
three blood drives and 5219 boxes of Hired a new Educa- ters campaign to protect the Mortgage
cereal in two Cereal Drives. Interest Deduction tax policy.
tion Director, Valeri
• Won an honorable mention in NAR Colon, who is tasked
Game Changer program- $500 prize. to grow RECA, recruit New for 2011...
• Launched a free prescription card new instructors, and Terry Watson
member beneﬁt program. look beyond the FAAR at Awards Dinner
• Created an Affordable Housing Task jurisdiction for revenue opportunities.
Make plans to attend FAAR’s Award
Force, chaired by Christine Singhass
Dinner on April 2. “I have heard Terry
to discuss with local agencies and 2011 Promises More Change Watson multiple times at VAR and NAR.
organizations about the accessibility of He is the funniest motivational, real
• Purchase and migrate to a new mem-
workforce housing. estate speaker I have ever heard. His
bership database. knowledge base and ability to relay
• Received $9500 in an Ira Gribin grant
• Create a new website. that information with humor and logical
for FAAR to create Hands Up for Educa-
• Continue to explore social media op- application is outstanding. I cannot
tions that will assist members in their wait to take my husband to hear and
• Received $3000 in a NAR Housing experience a wonderful evening. Terry
business and the Association communi-
Opportunity Grant to fund activities Watson is a pure joy to listen to.”
cations to the membership.
during the 2011 Affordable Housing —Latana Locke
• Hold a Strategic Planning session in Octo-
Invest in RPAC
FAAR recognizes RPAC Investors 2010 Key Investors
By Kim McClellan, Government Affairs Director
$1,000 Level $99 Level, cont.
t would not be possible to have such RPAC chairs will be making ofﬁce visits to Kevin Breen Lewis Graves
an effective Government Affairs talk about the importance of investing and Claire Forcier-RoweBettina Grein
program at FAAR if it wasn’t for we will be hosting a series of local events Betty Jasmund Frances Heatherman
the generosity and commitment of our sponsored by RPAC throughout the Freder- Suzy Stone Thomas Innes
RPAC investors. In the past 8 months, icksburg area. Investing the Fair Share Goal Melanie Thompson Judith Jones
the Government Affairs Committee and I of just $25 a YEAR will ensure that FAAR Cynthia Joskowiak
have met with the entire General Assembly has the resources it needs to represent your $250 Level Philip King
delegation, supported Cong. Rob Wittman interests. FAAR also knows that many of Pat Breme Jo Knight
in his bid for reelection to the U.S. House, you go above and beyond your Fair Share Latana Locke Cindy LeBrun
and supported Stafford Supervisor Susan Goal and for you, we are unveiling some- Brooke Miller C. Lynn Lenahan
Stimpson in her quest for reelection to the thing extra special. Daniel Lesher
Board of Supervisors. FAAR hosted a very $175 Level Debra Matalavage
well attended Legislative Breakfast and the For all FAAR RPAC investors of $250 or Suzanne Brady Gregory McCracken
Government Affairs Committee attended more, you will get an exclusive invitation to Dottie McGinnis
numerous meetings with Planning Commis- an all-expense paid multiple course meal at $99 Level David Moberly
sion members, Supervisors, and allies in the a lovely location in the Fredericksburg area. Sabrina Anderson Betty Jo Morecock
industry. RPAC is the muscle behind our You can pledge $250 or more now and pay Sherry Bailey Thomas Neal
legislative efforts. These elected ofﬁcials in installments throughout the year. FAAR John Baker Kathy Rice
know that the support of REALTORS® recognizes the commitment and dedication Ann Black Georgia Richardson
is incredibly important because we are an it takes to be a major investor and we want Michelle Bohn Robert Rochon
active, engaged group with many ties to our to thank you. Mike Boitnott V. Lisa Rush-Smits
communities. Milton Brown Sharon Shade
FAAR would like to recognize all the inves- Allan Burrell Priscilla Sheeley
FAAR is revamping its RPAC program for tors from 2010 and we look forward to a Suzanne Carlson Harrison Simpson
the next year to make it even easier and very successful 2011. Thanks to our 2010 John Carruthers Christine Singhass
more appealing for you to invest. Your investors! James Dixon Ralph Skidmore
Kathleen Elim Sarah Stelmok
Citation System, continued from front page Pamela Erber
The Citation System is for Code of Ethics agree to participate in the Citation System. Andrew Fristoe Denise Vrabel
Complaints. Arbitration services are avail- If the Respondent agrees, he/she would pay Dale Gabardy Jane Wallace
able only through the normal processes. a pre-set ﬁne associated with that Article Rebecca Glazebrook Catherine Welch
and/or attend mandatory education. Sarah Gordon Sha Williams-Hinnant
How does it work?
A REALTOR® or member of the public Complaints coming from the other par- tion System avoids an uncomfortable and
ﬁles a complaint in the customary ticipating Associations (DAAR, PWAR, often times consuming hearing process.
manner completing a Complaint Form with GPAAR, NVAR) will be treated in the same
potential violated Articles cited and attach- way as outlined. A Complainant may have less time involved
ing a narrative to describe the situation plus and still feel that justice was served, thereby
any documentation to defend the position. Why take this option? Sounds like a protecting the industry from unethical
If the Grievance Committee rules that the trafﬁc ticket process. behavior.
Articles cited make the case eligible for the The Citation System does operate much like
Citation System, the respondent will be getting a trafﬁc ticket. The alleged offender Look for a brochure from FAAR that will
notiﬁed. Once notiﬁed, the Respondent has may accept the ticket or ﬁght the ticket in detail the program.
a certain amount of time to agree or not court. As a Respondent, electing the Cita-
RPAC raises the stakes
By Suzy Stone and Hilary Fay, RPAC Chairs
ooking back at 2010, it was another protecting the mortgage interest deduction, getactive. If you’d like to come down just
challenging year for real estate. The ﬁghting against potential tax increases, and for Day on the Hill visits to the General
ﬁrst-time homebuyer tax credit, protecting the dream of homeownership Assembly, FAAR will be running a van on
which greatly helped stimulate the housing for our clients. You can help by doing your Wednesday to Richmond for your conven-
market, came to a close and the real estate Fair Share for FAAR. ience, check the FAAR calendar for more
industry had to readjust to an incentive- details.
free market. Foreclosures and short sales Investing your Fair Share Goal of just $25
continue to plague many neighborhoods will help protect your business and your NEW EVENT - REALTOR® Head Shots!
and the discovery of potential mistakes in clients from onerous regulations and higher This event will be held in March and will
the foreclosure process only exacerbates taxes. Investing in RPAC protects your feature a sitting with a photographer for
that problem. In December, the President’s business but it’s also FUN! Here a few professional headshots for JUST $25!!! De-
Deﬁcit Reduction Commission issued highlights of RPAC events scheduled for 2011: tails will be announced soon, don’t miss this
recommendations that suggested either re- great opportunity!
ducing or eliminating the mortgage interest January 20th: Chili Cook-Off!
deduction. Compete against your fellow REALTORS® May 19th: RPAC Cruise!
for the best chili or come enjoy sample The newly revamped RPAC cruise will fea-
In addition to issues at the federal level, tastings and cocktails for just $15! Register ture the Glass Onion Band, BBQ, and cock-
every state and locality across the nation is online at www.faarmembers.com. tails while cruising the beautiful Potomac
facing major budget deﬁcits. Local elected River in the Vivian Hannah. The boat will
ofﬁcials will be looking to cut money wher- February 9th: Day on the Hill! depart at 4:00 p.m. and return promptly at
ever they can and raise revenues however Attend VAR’s Legislative Conference by 8:00 p.m. No sitting on the river waiting for
they can. While all of these issues can seem registering at http://www.varealtor.com/ Dahlgren weapons training to end!
overwhelming for you and your business,
there is something you can do about it:
INVEST IN RPAC!
RPAC dollars at all levels of government
helped REALTORS® accomplish many
victories last year. The homebuyer tax
credit was expanded and extended to help
even more individuals and families take
advantage of historically low interest rates
and realize their dreams of owning a home.
REALTORS® have sat down at the table
with the big banks to negotiate standardized
rules for short sales and have worked with
government agencies to keep the lines of
credit open for worthy homebuyers.
At the state level, RPAC dollars helped ﬁght
against increases in the recordation tax and
helped support approval of a VRE station
in Spotsylvania County. Looking at 2011,
we must continue to have the resources nec-
essary to support REALTOR® issues like
Real Estate Career Academy
Kick-off the new year with RECA
Upcoming RECA By Valeri Colon, Education Director
Classes Meet your license renewal education RECA is proud to be offering new and up-
To register for classes, go to www. requirements at one of our Post Licensing dated courses. Keep a look out for Broker
faarmembers.com / click on the Edu- or Continuing Education Seminars. These Prelicensing, technology essentials, topics in
cation button and then select “Online seminars are designed to meet all your Real Estate courses and a variety of other
Registration.” mandatory and elective course requirements courses.
in just a few days. To register online, visit
January www.faarmembers.com/education. RECA Promises to...
11 Ethics • Guide you through license renewal
26 Broker Seminar RECA is hitting the road with our classes education requirements
27 New Instructor Orientation and is heading to an ofﬁce near you with • Offer you high quality and relevant
our RECA Road Shows. courses
• Offer courses that keep you updated
Feburary Road Shows include: on the latest information in Real Estate
2 GRI 409 • CE Seminar • Read your feedback and suggestions
3 Tech Share: iPad • Ethics • Attract and retain highly qualiﬁed
4 New Members Orientation/Ethics • Designation/certiﬁcation classes instructors
8 PL Seminar - Day 1 • plus many more
9 The Key to HUD & FHA Loans If you have any suggestions for RECA,
10 PL Seminar - Day 2 To request a Road Show at your ofﬁce send please contact Education Director Valeri
14 Technology Seminar - Day 1 an email to email@example.com Colon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
15 PL Seminar - Day 3
16 Technology Seminar - Day 2
17 PL Seminar - Day 4
18 Technology Seminar - Day 3
22 CE Seminar - Day 1
22 Pre-Licensing Program Begins
23 Tax Strategy for REALTORS ®
24 CE Seminar - Day 2
FIND US ON...
RECA’s schedule can also be found
online at www.FAARmembers.com.
Click on the calendar link in the top
right corner of the home page.
To see the class description, download
the ﬂier, or register online, click on the
class and then click on “Event Details”
in the pop up window.
FAAR Award Winners
FAAR members recognized at Installation
t the December 8 Installation, Afﬁliate of the Year complishment of the recipients was that his
FAAR recognized the recepients A special company and a special representa- or her team placed ﬁrst in the annual Golf
of the following awards. tive…this 2010 Afﬁliate of the Year is Wells Tournament.
Fargo Home Mortgage loan ofﬁcer Peter
Silver Circle Award Habib. A member of FAAR since 2006, Code of Ethics
The Silver Circle Award is presented to Peter has been a Award
members who have been with FAAR for 25 consistent volun- This year’s REAL-
continuous years. teer during those TOR® Code
years. He has been of Ethics award
Brenda Andrews - Long & Foster, Inc. Fred. a member of the winner is Sha Wil-
Audrey Gardiner, GRI - Long & Foster, Inc. Fred. Special Functions liams- Hinnant of
Working Group Previous winner Sherry 1st Choice Better
Sue McDonnell, GRI - Long & Foster, Inc. Fred. Bailey presents the
Previous winner since 2008. He has Code of Ethics Award Homes and Land.
Debbie Bailey, ABR - REMAX Supercenter Michele Freemyers
to Sha Williams-Hinnant She knows the
presents Afﬁliate of the done the heavy
Becky Glazebook - Johnson & Glazebrook Year award to Peter lifting for FAAR’s importance of education and training in her
Rusty Knight, CREA - Aquia Realty, Inc. Habib
Trade Shows, career as a REALTOR®. Sha sets the ex-
Marilyn Love-Cody, GRI, CRS - Coldwell Halloween Mixers, Bingo nights and many ample to other members of ethical behavior
Banker Elite Stafford other events. He is also an active member in business. She is a member of the Profes-
Diane Mullen - Century 21 Battleﬁeld Dahlgren of Emerge, FAAR’s young professionals sional Standards Committee and a hearing
group and is also an RPAC contributor. panel member.
Richard Snow, GRI, CBI, RECS - Snow
His company is an Afﬁliated Marketing She believes in participating in the organiza-
Keith Upshaw, GRI, ABR - Upshaw Realty Partner and supports many of FAAR’s tions that she is a member. Sha is a FAAR
Joy Veazey - REMAX Allegiance Fred. actives with their sponsorship. He is well re- Past President and was a watchful steward
spected professionally by the REALTOR® of FAAR’s ﬁnances during her time on the
REALTOR® Emeritus Recognition community who often seek his advice. Board of Directors. She was selected 2006
NAR recognizes REALTORS® who have REALTOR® of the Year.
been a member of the national, state and Peter co-chaired Special Functions in 2010
local Associations for 40 years or more. and is Vice Chair for 2011. A big 2010 ac- She takes advantage of opportunities to
FAAR recently approved the membership improve the REALTOR® image and serves
status and is proud to acknowledge that ﬁve on Community Outreach, Legislative &
members have achieved the status and have Government Affairs, Special Functions, and
been approved as REALTOR® Emeritus Multicultural Working Groups.
members. While recognition is always
appreciated, perhaps the best part of this Sha is always available to help someone,
distinction is that the dues of the recipi- no matter what time of day or night. She
ents are waived for as long as they are also makes time to serve on VAR working
members. groups and special projects.
Ruby Hawkins, Champion Homes Realty
Nick Calamos, Coldwell Banker Carriage
John Tulloss, Meekins & Associates Clockwise from top: Melanie Thompson pres-
ents the Emeritus Award to Carole Williams,
Jo Knight, Aquia Realty Jo Knight, Nick Calamos, and Ruby Hawkins.
John Tulloss is not pictured.
Carole Williams, Long & Foster, Inc.- Fred.
Protect the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID)
Send a letter to Congress MID Talking Points
se the following letter to send to Senators and Congressmen. To receive this letter
• The mortgage interest deduction
in an electronic version, email Kim McClellan at email@example.com. Be
is still alive and well and has NOT
sure to sign your name to the letter. To ﬁnd out their contact information for your
area, go to www.realtoractioncenter.com and click on the “Manage Your Proﬁle” then select
• President Obama appointed a com-
the “Elected Ofﬁcicals” tab.
mission to look at ways to reduce
the federal deﬁcit. One of the
Dear <Input name of Member of Congress here>:
Commission’s many suggestions
On behalf of the more than 1,400 members and afﬁliate members of the Fredericksburg was to reduce or eliminate the
Area Association of REALTORS®, I urge you to reject any attempts to change the mort- mortgage interest deduction. It
gage interest deduction. was just a suggestion; not a law,
not a bill proposed in Congress,
Over 75 million homeowners in the United States take advantage of the mortgage interest not a federal regulation.
deduction every year. The deduction has been in place for over a hundred years and has • Any reform of our nation’s tax
incentivized home purchases that lead to stronger communities, steady local property taxes, code will take a long time and will
and wealth creation for American families. Reducing or eliminating the mortgage inter- be complete with public com-
est deduction would further erode property values across the country and put a chill on ments, debate, and signiﬁcant input
the already hard-hit housing market. Our economy would be faced with another round of from REALTORS®.
foreclosures, further destabilizing recovery and harming the American public. • There are currently no votes
scheduled in the U.S. Congress on
Fredericksburg REALTORS® are on the front lines of the real estate economy in Virginia changing the mortgage interest
and I respectfully request that you protect homeownership for your constituents by reject- deduction.
ing any proposals to change the mortgage interest deduction. • If you are concerned about
preserving this deduction, call or
Thank you for your attention to this important issue.
email your Member of Congress
Sincerely, today and let them know how
NAME important MID is to you.