Left to right: SILVAR Past President Gene Lentz, Board Director Bill Rehbock, Affiliate Chair Richard Miller, Board Director David Tonna, President-elect Carolyn Miller, C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold, President Suzanne Yost, Los Gatos/Saratoga Chair Cassie Maas, and C.A.R. Past President Jim Hamilton

SILVAR members from the Menlo Park/Atherton and Los Gatos/Saratoga districts had the opportunity to meet and listen to California Association of REALTORS® President LeFrancis Arnold at their meetings this week. Meeting California REALTORS® across the country is part of his duty as president of the state REALTOR® association, said Arnold.

Arnold said SILVAR REALTORS® are very fortunate to be working and living in Silicon Valley because compared to other parts of the state, the region was not hit as hard by the housing downturn. He has observed the growing interest in residential real estate here and in the state from foreign buyers.

“The housing industry is one of the most important assets in California,” said Arnold. Proof of this is in the billions of dollars of residential real estate purchased by international investors. Arnold noted the top foreign buyers come from Canada, China, Mexico and Great Britain, and they are looking at properties in California.

“No immigrant comes to America with a desire to be a tenant. They dream of homeownership,” said Arnold.

Global real estate is growing in importance, said Arnold. Foreign investors and immigrants create opportunities and bring diversity not only in housing, but also in the election process. It is important that everyone, regardless of race, is given the opportunity for homeownership. Arnold said another part of his duty as C.A.R. president is to meet with legislators and deliver this message. It is what C.A.R., SILVAR and the National Association of REALTORS® do at the state, local and national levels.

Arnold underlined the importance of political advocacy. REALTORS® at the local, state and federal level fight legislation that will negatively affect homeownership and allow REALTORS® to be political activists. He stressed advocacy for homeownership needs to continue because the threats are very real, particularly proposals to impose transfer taxes and continuing discussions on eliminating or reducing the mortgage interest deduction (MID).

Left to right: SILVAR President Suzanne Yost, Menlo Park/Atherton Chair Chris Isaacson, C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold and SILVAR Past President Gene Lentz

Arnold said REALTORS® at the local, state and national level will continue to work as a team and fight legislation that hurts the American Dream of homeownership.

“Each of us has a role to play,” said Arnold. “We have to continue to fight for homeownership rights.”