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REALTORS® discuss issues with Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

 

The leadership of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) joined more than 9,000 REALTORS® and guests from across the country in the nation’s capital this week for the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo to advance policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to buy, invest, own and sell real estate.

On their agendas this year were visits with members of Congress, regulatory agency officials and top industry leaders; attending some of the nearly 100 available conference sessions on topics ranging from policy to technology; and focusing on the yearlong commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

REALTORS® are advocating support for several important legislative initiatives, including strong net neutrality protections to ensure the internet is open and competitive for consumers and businesses; renewing and strengthening the long-term viability of the National Flood Insurance Program; indexing homeownership tax incentives for future inflation and permanently extending the tax exclusion on mortgage debt forgiveness; and adopting sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the Fair Housing Act.

NAR is also urging Congress to adopt sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the Fair Housing Act. As members of NAR, REALTORS® subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics, which includes a commitment to provide equal professional services regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, and as of 2009, sexual orientation, and since 2014, gender identity.

SILVAR leadership met with U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, who represents California’s 18th Congressional District, Jackie Speier, who represents the state’s 14th Congressional District and Ro Khanna, who represents District 17. Representing SILVAR at the Hill meetings were SILVAR President Bill Moody, President-elect Alan Barbic, NAR Directors Leannah Hunt and Jim Hamilton, Federal Political Coordinator of Congresswoman Eshoo Carole Feldstein, Executive Officer Paul Cardus and Government Affairs Director Ryan Carrigan. Also at the meetings was Board Director Joanne Fraser.
 

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Pictured are members of the Japanese real estate delegation with SILVAR board directors, Global Business Council members and guests.

Fifteen real estate professionals from Japan came to Silicon Valley early in this month to network with Silicon Valley REALTORS®, bring cultural awareness, and learn about similarities and differences in doing business in the U.S. and Japan.

 

At the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR), the Japanese real estate professionals also learned about home inspection and typical inspection services provided to homeowners in the U.S. SILVAR Global Business Council member Atsuko Yube, a REALTOR® with Global Estate Link, arranged the visit. Yube, who is also a past president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America Silicon Valley (AREAA SV) and a board director of AREAA Global Inc., said home inspection is new in Japanese real estate because typically, when purchasing property, the Japanese buyer will tear down the home and build new.

Yube explained it has been the custom in Japan to build new homes because the Japanese like things new. There is also the traditional belief that bad fortune can transfer from the previous owner to the owner. Because of the preference for new and their beliefs, secondhand homes are not as desirable and are heavily discounted. Homes that are newly constructed begin to depreciate in value from the day they are purchased. Most homes are rebuilt after 25 to 30 years.

“The re-sale market has not been strong historically, so when the age of a property is more than 20 years old, its value drops to zero with the property essentially having no value,” said Yube.

Upon arriving at SILVAR, executive officer Paul Cardus and president-elect Alan Barbic welcomed the visitors and shared some information about organized real estate in the U.S., the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTORS®, the REALTORS® Code of Ethics, and membership in the Association of REALTORS®. The real estate professionals met with board directors Mark Wong, Ryan Nunnally and Joanne Fraser, members of the Global Business Council, and leadership from other real estate associations, including Tess Crescini, chair of SILVAR’s Global Business Council and co-president of the Filipino American Real Estate Professional Association Silicon Valley (FAREPA SV), and Anna Maria Valenzuela and Tracey McNeeley, president and director of membership services, respectively, of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Silicon Valley (WCR SV).

Introductions were followed by a presentation by Yube on Silicon Valley real estate in Japanese. SILVAR member Chika Mori, a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty, presented information about the MLS, also in Japanese. Her presentation was followed by a presentation on home inspection in the U.S. by Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, who flew all the way from Chicago to speak to the group, and Larry Tringali, with Property Inspection Services.

After the presentations, the visitors, members and guests, met for a special evening mixer. Like many foreign guests that visit Silicon Valley, the Japanese real estate professionals were interested in the giant tech companies and were fortunate to tour Google and Facebook during their visit.

 

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Top left to right: 2017 REALTOR® of the Year Chris Isaacson; Affiliate of the Year Darrell Monda; Spirit of SILVAR Leannah Hunt. Bottom left to right: 2017 C.A.R. Region 9 Chair Chris Isaacson; 2017 President Denise Welsh was presented with her own gavel, a thank you for her service; President’s Award Susan Tilling.

The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® Installation Dinner on Jan. 25, SILVAR 2017 President Denise Welsh and Executive Officer Paul Cardus presented the 2017 Appreciation Awards to recognize certain members for their valuable contributions to the Association last year.

Welsh first thanked her fellow board members and committee chairs for their support last year, and said it was a privilege to serve the membership of SILVAR as president. Recognized for their outstanding contributions were:

2017 REALTOR® of the Year: Chris Isaacson (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
Welsh said Chris Isaacson has been a REALTOR® for slightly over a decade and in that time he has achieved so much for the Association in many different roles, from serving on the district council, as 2015 president of SILVAR, a California Association of REALTORS®® (C.A.R.) Region 9 director, 2017 SILVAR Region 9 chair, and National Association of REALTORS®® (NAR) director.

Welsh described Isaacson as a quiet and effective leader. Working on issues ranging from political to financial, Isaacson has shared his vision and expertise with the Association and its members. “Through his strong, calm leadership, and with an unflappable demeanor, he has strengthened and grown our Association,” said Welsh. Isaacson was also recognized for his leadership and excellent work on behalf of SILVAR and members as 2017 SILVAR Region 9 Chair.

2017 Affiliate of the Year: Darrell Monda (TourFactory)
Welsh said Monda, a longtime affiliate of SILVAR, “has proven to be a dedicated workhorse and a great proponent of our Association.” His firm provides essential state-of-the-art services to SILVAR’s REALTOR® members. Welsh recognized Monda’s professional support for all programs across the Association, from tour meetings, to the CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) Institute, to the bocce ball tournament in Los Gatos.

“His generosity of spirit and willingness to roll up his sleeves and help where needed enhances the image of our Association and our REALTOR® and affiliated professional members,” said Welsh.

Spirit of SILVAR: Leannah Hunt (Sereno Group)
Leannah Hunt is a REALTOR® who reflects the Association’s commitment to supporting and contributing to the communities it serves and is one of the leaders in real estate in Silicon Valley. Welsh said Hunt “has worked on the frontlines and behind the scenes for the success of the Association.”

Welsh praised Hunt’s efforts to give back to the community by being active in an array of political and civic causes, serving on numerous boards.

“She is generous with her financial support as she is with her time. She is the REALTOR® face in her community,” said Welsh.

President’s Award: Susan Tilling (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
The President’s Award is presented at the discretion of the president to an individual whose service to the Association is worthy of special thanks and recognition. Susan Tilling has devoted many years of her time acting as a representative at C.A.R. and is a C.A.R. Director for Life.

Upon presenting this award to Tilling, Welsh said, “We are often asked why we get involved and volunteer. We are trying to find our ‘why.’ There are people who are involved out of a deep conviction that the time spent, the purpose of the organization, provides enough motivation for them to donate their time to the cause.

Welsh said Tilling “embodies the values and principles that drive so many of us to dig in and get involved with organized real estate, to fight for property rights and the ability of every man to achieve the American Dream. It is our ‘Why.'”

 

 

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The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation donated $49,203 in 2017 to non-profit organizations that help homeless and low-income individuals and families in Silicon Valley. Funds this year also went to scholarships for graduating seniors from public high schools in the region. This was also the first year funds were disbursed from The John Tripp Silicon Valley REALTORS® Veterans Scholarship Endowment to a student at Foothill College and at DeAnza College, with each student receiving $500.

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is a trust that makes grants available to organizations from donations by REALTORS® and affiliate members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR). The foundation grants are also funded by proceeds from SILVAR’s District fundraisers, like the annual Los Gatos-Saratoga District’s bocce ball tournament, which raised $3,362, and the Los Altos-Mountain View District’s annual pumpkin auction, which raised over $5,000 this year.

“We are thankful that with our members’ continued support we are able to continue our commitment to the welfare of the communities where our members work and live,” said Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation President Eileen Giorgi. “We thank our members for supporting the Foundation year after year.”

The 2017 Charitable Foundation grant recipients include Community Services Agency, which provides social services for residents of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills; East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, which promotes educational opportunities for students in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park; Family Connections, which offers a tuition free cooperative preschool program for low-income children in San Mateo County; My New Red Shoes, which provides homeless and low-income children new clothing and shoes at the start of the school year; and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, which makes loans and grants for first-time homebuyers.

Also in 2017, the Charitable Foundation presented a $1,000 scholarship grant to each of 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley. Since its creation 18 years ago, the program has presented a total of $324,000 in scholarships to Silicon Valley youth. SILVAR’s districts, through the Charitable Foundation, also donate to their local community nonprofit groups. 2017 District donations included $5,257 raised at the annual Los Gatos-Saratoga District pumpkin auction for Operation Reindeer (Family Giving Tree); $2,000 to the Cupertino Education Endowment Foundation and $750 respectively to West Valley Community Services and Sunnyvale Community Services from the Cupertino-Sunnyvale District; and $946 from the Los Altos-Mountain View District’s Legal Update sessions to Community Services Agency.

SILVAR represents over 5,000 REALTORS® and affiliate members engaged in the real estate business on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Serving on the foundation’s board of trustees are Giorgi, Phyllis Carmichael, Chris Isaacson, Karen Trolan, Denise Welsh and Paul Cardus.

 

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Top left to right: 2016 REALTOR® of the Year David Tonna, Affiliate of the Year Eric Temple, Spirit of SILVAR Nina Yamaguchi. Bottom left to right: 2016 C.A.R. Region 9 Chair David Tonna, President’s Award Paul Cardus, President’s Award Brett Caviness
At the installation of the 2017 leadership of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) on Jan. 19, special recognition awards were given to members for their valuable contributions in 2016. Presenting the following awards were SILVAR 2016 President Karen Trolan and Executive Officer Paul Cardus.

 

2016 REALTOR® of the Year: David Tonna (Alain Pinel Realtors, Los Gatos)
A REALTOR® for almost 30 years, Trolan noted there is not a committee in which David Tonna has not served or chaired, from Lock Box Selection, MLS Advisory, PRDS Forms Advisory, Budget and Finance, the Legislative Committee, Education/Membership, Tour Policy and Sign Ordinance, Global Business Council, the Board of Directors and C.A.R. Region 9. Tonna helped found the Bay Area REALTOR® Leadership Academy (BARLA) and initiated SILVAR’s Ombudsman program. His service to communities includes RSVP, Little League Baseball, AYSO soccer, his local school board, and his church.

Tonna was also recognized for his work as the local trade association’s 2016 California Association of REALTORS® Region 9 Chair.

2016 Affiliate of the Year: Eric Temple (Willow Glen Organics, San Jose)
Describing 2016 SILVAR Affiliate Chair Eric Temple, Trolan said, “He has proven to be a dedicated workhorse and a great ambassador for our Association.” In 2016, Temple was successful in bringing SILVAR’s affiliated professionals together so they could learn about their role, benefits and opportunities as members of SILVAR. Temple also spearheaded and worked hard to bring to his District other successful events and fundraisers, like bowling and the annual member ice cream social.

Spirit of SILVAR: Nina Yamaguchi (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Cupertino) As one of the leaders in real estate in Silicon Valley who began her real estate career over 40 years ago, Trolan noted Nina Yamaguchi to this day continually works behind the scenes for the success of the Association. Yamaguchi is a past president of SILVAR and was a longtime California Association of REALTORS® Director. Yamaguchi, who believes in giving back to the community, founded and chairs the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Scholars Program, a program that has been close to her heart for nearly two decades.

Upon its 18th year this fall, the scholars program will have provided $324,000 to more than 300 students in Silicon Valley who have been recipients of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Scholars Program.

President’s Award:
Brett Caviness (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Menlo Park)
Paul Cardus (SILVAR Executive Officer)
The President’s Award is presented at the discretion of the president to an individual who’s service to the Association is worthy of special thanks and recognition. Trolan presented the first President’s award to SILVAR Executive Officer Paul Cardus. She thanked him for the tremendous support and guidance he had given her in her role as president last year.

Trolan presented the second President’s Award to Brett Caviness for his service as chair of the Menlo Park/Atherton District. She said as 2016 chair of the Menlo Park/Atherton District, Caviness, who is a new REALTOR®, worked hard to raise member attendance at the District’s monthly meetings by bringing in many interesting speakers. Caviness has also helped members be more in touch with technology, especially in the area of video marketing, with classes at SILVAR.


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Cupertino, CA – The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) announced today that it has been re-certified as a Bay Area Green Business by the California Bay Area Green Business Program, after meeting new and stricter standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste. SILVAR promotes the highest ethical standards of real estate practice, serves as an advocate for homeownership and homeowners, and represents the interests of property owners in Silicon Valley.

The professional trade organization representing over 4,500 REALTORS® and affiliate members engaged in the real estate business on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, was the first REALTOR® association in the state to obtain the green certification in 2007. With stricter guidelines in place, SILVAR this month completed the re-certification process administered by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Santa Clara County.

Certification as a Green Business is in line with the REALTOR® association’s goal of community involvement by being proactive in conservation and concern for the environment. SILVAR educates its members and collaborates on projects that create a more sustainable environment. Many real estate offices in the communities SILVAR serves have followed suit and achieved green certification.

“We are very pleased that we have been recognized as a Green Business. Undergoing re-certification under more stringent requirements was a task worth achieving. We want to continue to be an example for our region and members,” said SILVAR Executive Officer Paul Cardus.

The Green Business Certification Program is a successful partnership of environmental agencies and utilities that assists, recognizes and promotes businesses and government agencies that operate voluntarily in a more environmentally responsible way. To be certified “green,” participants must comply with all regulations and meet program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste. This certification focuses on helping businesses improve and implement green best practices for office operation.

Since 2007, SILVAR has been following most of the best practices required by the county as part of its policy to recycle and conserve energy, resources and money. Some of these practices included recycling, double-sided printing, use of email to communicate with members and providing member and customer services via the phone and Internet, including tour sheets and PRDS forms, to decrease the need for member travel and use of paper.

To be re-certified under the new guidelines, SILVAR expanded its conservation practices by using recycled paper and envelopes, recycling printer ink and batteries, transitioning all cleaning supplies, including paper towels, to items that are environmentally-friendly, and installing low-flow faucets in its restrooms and breakroom. SILVAR has joined the Spare the Air Day Program and encourages members and staff to participate in efforts to cut down on pollution by combining or eliminating trips and carpooling to meetings and association functions.

 

 

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The 2016 Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR)  leadership team was installed Thursday night at La Rinconada Country Club in Los Gatos. California Association of REALTORS® 2013 President Don Faught administered the oath of office to SILVAR’s new president, officers and board of directors. C.A.R. 2005 President Jim Hamilton served as master of ceremonies and welcomed about 180 members and guests to the special event. Alain Pinel REALTORS® Vice President/Regional Manager Jeff Barnett led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and delivered the inspiration message.

Karen Trolan, a REALTOR®, broker and assistant manager of the Alain Pinel REALTORS® Los Gatos office, was installed as 2016 President; Denise Welsh, a REALTOR® with Alain Pinel REALTORS®, Los Altos, President-elect; and Phyllis Carmichael, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Los Altos, Treasurer.

Joining SILVAR’s lead officers as this year’s board directors are Chris Isaacson (Coldwell Banker), past president; David Tonna (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Region 9 Chair; Brett Caviness (Coldwell Banker), Menlo Park/Atherton District Chair; Amy Sung (Pacific Union International Real Estate), Palo Alto District Chair; Katherine Frey (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Los Altos/Mountain View District Chair; David Hunt (W.A. Krauss & Co. Property Management), Cupertino/Sunnyvale District Chair; Suzanne Yost (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Los Gatos/Saratoga District Chair; and Directors At-large Jeff Bell (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage), Davena Gentry (Sereno Group), Eileen Giorgi (Sereno Group), Gene Lentz (Keller Williams Realty), Cassie Maas (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Ryan Nunnally (Alain Pinel REALTORS®); and Affiliate Chair, Eric Temple (Willow Glen Organics).

Trolan is a Los Gatos resident and has been a REALTOR® and broker for 30 years. She began her real estate career with Van Vleck REALTORS® and continued on with Cornish & Carey and later Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. From top agent, Trolan moved up the ranks quickly to vice president and manager of the Cornish & Carey’s Palo Alto Midtown office, vice president/managing broker for the Los Altos office, and finally, when Coldwell Banker bought Cornish and Carey, Trolan was named senior vice president and regional manager of Silicon Valley Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Despite suffering severe injuries from a tragic airplane accident in 2009 that left her paralyzed from waist down, Trolan through sheer perseverance and hard work went back to doing most of the activities she did before the accident. In April 2011, Trolan joined the Alain Pinel REALTORS® Los Gatos office, where she is currently assistant manager, responsible for agent improvement, community involvement and other special projects.

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C.A.R. Region 9 Chair Carolyn Miller installs FAREPA's 2015 leadership team.

C.A.R. Region 9 Chair Carolyn Miller installs FAREPA’s 2015 leadership team.

The Filipino American Real Estate Professional Association of Northern California (FAREPA) 2015 leadership team was installed last Wednesday at the Milpitas Community Center. California Association of REALTORS® Region 9 Chair Carolyn Miller administered the oath of office to FAREPA’s new officers and board directors.

The 2015 FAREPA officers are Ric Bareng, Jr. (Century 21 Alpha); Melanie Holthaus (Premier Century Real Estate Services), president-elect; Anna Lopez (Wells Fargo Home Mortgage); Jerry Quintos (Abbott, Stringham & Lynch, CPA), treasurer. The association’s 2015 board of directors are Dinah Casibang (ERS Mortgage), Barbara Kuang (Allstate Insurance); and Mike Santana (ADT Home Alarm Services).

On behalf of SILVAR, National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Director John Tripp and NAR President’s Liaison to the Philippines Jennifer Tasto congratulated Bareng, Jr. and FAREPA’s leadership team and reaffirmed SILVAR’s support for FAREPA and its mission. FAREPA’s mission is “to promote the interests of Filipino American real estate professionals, elevate the level of professionalism within the global community through education, networking and partnership, and create a united voice within the real estate community.”


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In his address to members and guests, Bareng, Jr. noted the pillars that made FAREPA strong since its formation over 11 years ago and enabled the association to meet and overcome past challenges were FAREPA’s commitment to educate its members, increase the level of professionalism, rebuild FAREPA’s brand and support other chapters along the way, and always giving back to the community here and abroad. FAREPA raised money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda last year. Proceeds from a drawing of prizes during the evening’s installation dinner will benefit the WoundedWarriorProject.org. Bareng, Jr. is a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

A highlight of the evening was FAREPA’s thanking SILVAR for its support through the years. In recognition and gratitude, past president Paul Stewart presented SILVAR Executive Officer Paul Cardus the “Honorary Filipino” award.


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Also representing SILVAR at the event were Global Business Council member Jimmy Kang, Sue Bose, and Public Affairs & Communications Director Rose Meily.

 

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Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® will soon have access to real estate developments worldwide in addition to their ability to connect and share listings with other agents domestically and around the world through a global networking site, which is a membership benefit of the local trade association.

SILVAR REALTORS® currently have access to Proxio, a global networking platform, as a member benefit. The global network is much like LinkedIn for real estate agents, providing them with networking opportunities and an agent and property search.

Agents can connect with over 600,000 real estate professionals in the U.S. and in 140 countries. Their listings and marketing materials are automatically translated into 19 languages, 55 currencies and metric measurements. Members also get the entire MLS in different languages with a widget for their website that includes a full MLS search and translations of all properties in MLSListings Inc. and the Proxio SocialSearch™ Facebook app for their business page with full IDX in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

In mid-July, SILVAR REALTORS® will have access to Proxio Developer Showcase, a new product that goes a step further by helping property developers and real estate agents connect and work together to generate more sales and commissions. Agents can get to choose the developments they want to promote and the listings will be customized with their name and contact information. The website stands alone or can be linked to an agent’s website.

“As a REALTOR® association, we constantly strive to give our members the best tools so they can serve their clients fully and more efficiently. We live in a global community. Providing members access to a global network allows our members grow their business and provide international, as well as domestic clients the highest quality service,” said Paul Cardus, executive officer of SILVAR.

Janet Case, CEO of Proxio, said Proxio helps agents promote themselves as a professional agent who has a network of domestic and international agents. She noted consumers highly benefit from the new product.

“Proxio Developer Showcase can generate web pages, brochures and postcards for each project with the agent’s contact information, so every agent can increase their inventory by promoting new developments and providing interested clients with information on the latest real estate developments here and abroad,” said Case.

Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) were in Washington, D.C. this week attending the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo, with nearly 8,500 other REALTORS® from across the country, advocating policies that impact the residential and commercial real estate markets. REALTORS® met with legislators, congressional and regulatory staff, as well as top industry executives.

This year’s convention focused on critical real estate issues such as preserving the mission and accessibility of the Federal Housing Administration’s loan programs, protecting real estate-related tax policies, and reforming the secondary mortgage market.

“This week is important, not only because REALTORS® want to ensure their points-of-view on important real estate issues are heard, but also to remind our country’s leaders of the vital role that real estate plays in both the long- and short-term health of this nation,” said NAR President Steve Brown.

SILVAR members attended U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s weekly constituent breakfast and met with staff of U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier and Mike Honda. During meetings on Capitol Hill, SILVAR REALTORS® urged support for legislation to reinstate the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which expired at the end of 2013; preservation of the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction; and not to pass legislation that will weaken and ultimately eliminate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA.

SILVAR members also participated in a number of NAR meetings. David Barca, California Association of REALTORS® Federal Committee chair, briefed California NAR Directors on legislative issues. SILVAR Executive Officer Paul Cardus shared information on SILVAR’s global program with other REALTOR® associations at the State and Local Forum on Global Business.

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