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For Immediate Release                    

Sept. 19, 2011
Staff Contact
Melanie Green, Communications Director
Voice (904) 394-9139
Fax (904) 398-8025

NEFAR President
Dane Leslie
Voice (904) 288-6205

Bus Tour Brings Home Ownership Matters To Northeast Florida

National Association of Realtors "Home Ownership Matters" Tour Bus makes top at Jacksonville Marriott on Friday, Sept. 23.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Future home buyers across Florida may not have access to affordable mortgages, may not be able to deduct mortgage interest, nor have access to flood insurance. These are just some of the many issues that the National Association of Realtors and the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR) want northeast Florida residents to know about as the "Home Ownership Matters" Bus Tour pulls into town on Sept. 23.

The "Home Ownership Matters" bus will be open to the public and parked in the front parking lot of the Jacksonville Marriott at 4670 Salisbury Road from 10:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Local Realtor leaders will be available to answer questions and discuss concerns regarding issues currently facing home buyers and sellers from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

"Home ownership is under attack, and we want to make sure that people understand what's at stake," said NEFAR President Dane Leslie. "Whether you own a home today or want to own a home someday, it's important for all of us to engage on these issues right now. With this bus tour, Realtors are giving people the opportunity and the resources to make their voices heard."

If some regulators get their way, many future borrowers may have to come up with a 20 percent down payment under a proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage rule. Borrowers with less than 20 percent down would have to choose between higher fees and rates - up to three percentage points more - or a 9-14 year delay while they save up the necessary down payment. According to the recently released 2011 National Housing Pulse Survey, 51 percent of self-described "working class" home owners reported that a 20 percent down payment would have prevented them from achieving their dreams of home ownership.

"Reducing the current loan limits means that fewer people would have access to mortgage loans," says Leslie. "In addition, the loans that would be available would also be more expensive, as many buyers would be forced into jumbo mortgages. Home owners could also have a tougher time selling their homes because there would be fewer buyers who qualify to purchase those properties."

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors provides professional development, political advocacy, professional standards administration, media relations, and promotional activities and exchange of information among its members. NEFAR serves as the voice for real estate in northeast Florida; serving the public through efforts to protect private property rights and community affairs programs. NEFAR is Northeast Florida's largest professional association, comprising more than 4,900 members working in all facets of the real estate industry, including residential and commercial sales as well as property management. NEFAR is headquartered in Jacksonville, with satellite Service Centers in Orange Park, Jacksonville Beach, Palatka and World Golf Village.

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