By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
This week, I’m riding along with the Home Ownership Matters Bus Tour as it begins the southwestern leg of its journey across the United States. In case you haven’t heard about the bus tour, its purpose is to provide a forum and outreach to state and local REALTOR® associations, as well as talk to the public and the media about why public policy that supports home ownership is so vital, not only for the real estate industry, but for all current home owners.
From my perspective, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get out and meet members from different regions of the country, hear what’s happening in their market, and bring back their message to NAR. It also helps shape story ideas and tools REALTOR® Magazine can offer members in the future.
No doubt about it, the bus is working, the pro-real estate message is getting out, and people are listening. Numerous local and national media outlets have been writing about the housing industry. And guess what? Most of the stories have been spreading the message about the value of home ownership.
Yesterday morning, we were welcomed at the Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® with two giant hot air balloons! Yours truly climbed into one of the balloon baskets, but unfortunately, it was a bit too windy to fly. About 60 REALTORS® attended the event and both Board President Peter Parnegg and Steve Anaya, executive vice president of the REALTORS® Association of New Mexico, spoke poignantly about the industry. “We are going through a season that we’ve never experienced in home ownership in America. It doesn’t mean that it’s the last season, and it doesn’t mean that the basic dream that we’ve held for so long is to be extinguished,” Parnegg said. “It doesn’t mean that there is not spring and summer ahead of us.”
One interesting side note: Albuquerque is home to the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. How did hot air balloons get so popular there? Brenda Stewart, associate broker/REALTOR® with Real Living Premier REALTORS® explains.