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by Emily Merkley, association executive, Cache-Rich Association of REALTORS® 

The ideals of the American Dream, Democracy and The Land of Opportunity are what make a nation, and particularly this nation, something to be admired. Strength, integrity and equality are pillars that create a sure foundation — a foundation that rests upon the backs of its people. At a time when trust and confidence in federal and local government are found wanting, it’s important to know that there are elements in the legislative processes functioning to protect our freedoms and defend our rights as citizens.

The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations that works with local, state and federal government to protect and promote property investment and homeownership through candidates and public policies. The REALTOR® Party truly represents the interests of citizens, and works tirelessly to bring stability to the real estate markets that play an integral role in our communities and business environments.

“An unprecedented number of bills that pass through the legislative session each year affect property rights one way or another, and the REALTOR® Party supports candidates who lead the charge and get things done through extraordinary lobbying efforts,” said Curt Webb, Utah State legislator.

The REALTOR® Party is well-respected throughout the different facets of government due to their method of communicating issues in a way that others can fully understand the scope and direct effect issues have on real estate and property rights in general. The group is “level-headed and truly a first class operation that is a major asset and benefit to the public as they defend and protect individual property rights,” Webb said.

Some crucial points of legislature that can have a large impact on home and property owners include the State Construction Registry, of which the REALTOR® Party is a stout champion. This involves a registration of property lien rights made available to the general public, which in turn helps maintain the balance that keeps mortgage loans available, something that impacts almost every citizen. Political subdivisions, related to the power cities have to determine taxes and zoning rights, protects property owners from foreclosures due to unpaid developer taxes. These are facets of personal property rights, and the Party works to avoid unnecessary cost, burden, time and hassle that accompanies policies and other housing transactions in an effort to encourage home ownership.

“We are going to need new housing options at various levels of income and all demographics, which requires that we be forward-thinking,” said Justin Allen, Utah Association of Government Affairs Director. “We work with cities to plan for future housing needs and demands, and it’s important that REALTORS® and others continue to work with local government at the city level to focus on future planning, and how we can grow and develop to meet housing and land needs while maintaining a good quality of life.”

Further explaining the role of REALTORS®, Justin explains how “members of the REALTOR® Party and Association have an above average knowledge of neighborhoods, schools and the quality of life within their communities,” which plays a crucial part in the planning commissions and in the legislature for their constituents.

The REALTOR® Party strives to be held to an elevated standard, to ensure that trust, integrity and confidence are restored to the citizens of a state and nation with endless possibilities. This work and relationship with elected officials ensures that valuable rights are maintained and that communities function on a higher working level. It also makes comfortable living and home ownership, specifically in Cache Valley, more affordable than it otherwise would be.