By Bob Walsmith Jr.
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, one of the great honors that I have as President of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR) is to be able to attend various meetings during the year on behalf of our association and for our clients and neighbors. One such trip happened two weeks ago. I was in Washington DC for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Spring meetings. It was similar to the meetings that I attended in Sacramento the week before, however the big difference was these meetings were on a national level and featured Realtors from all over the country.
Like the CAR meetings in Sacramento, one of the main purposes of these meetings was to meet with our nationally elected officials and let them know the issues that our clients are facing locally that impact them with regards to home ownership, affordable housing, climate issues, lack of inventory, taxes, government restrictions, and the list goes on and on.
I met, along with a few other local area Realtors, with the legislative assistant to our Congressman Salud Carbajal. Because home prices are so high in California, we discussed ways that he can help assist, through possible new legislation, potential homeowners with down payment assistance, incentives and other means of making the American dream of homeownership a reality for more and more people. It is so vitally important for our legislators to hear directly from us about the topics that mean so much to our clients and neighbors.
It was also nice to meet with other Realtors from around the country and hear from them about what problems and issues that they are facing in their part of the country. It is also important to hear from them about how we can better serve our clients and what is working for them as well as what is not working so well. Topics such as low inventory, sky high prices, and rising interest rates are not only issues here in Santa Barbara, but throughout the country.
Other seminars dealt with trying to find ways to build more houses, to alleviate the growing housing shortage, fair housing to try and eliminate discrimination when it comes to making sure that everyone, regardless of race, religion, etc., has an opportunity to buy a home. There were seminars on professionalism within our ranks, which means that each Realtor understands the right way to treat every person that we come across. The public deserves this and much more because we, as Realtors, are dealing with the most important and expensive purchase that anyone can ever make.
Another highly topical issue that was discussed had to do with how long home prices will rise and if they will even decline anytime soon. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, believes that home prices will continue to rise until late 2023, however the rate at which they are rising will severely diminish. In other words, the “housing bubble” that some are predicting is probably not going to happen. Statistics like these are important to share with our clients and potential clients, to help educate them and guide them through the home buying and selling process.
I was impressed by the many Realtors that take time out of their careers and lives to volunteer on various committees to strengthen and enhance everyone’s way of life by ensuring home ownership can be had by all Americans. NAR is a collection of over 1.2 million professionals whose sole purpose is to treat our clients and the public with the utmost respect, kindness, professionalism, and respect.
Bob Walsmith Jr. is a native to Southern California and a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Santa Barbara. During his work with the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Bob has served on the CORE Committee, Education Committee, been Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, and the Multiple Listing Service Committee. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara. Bob lives in Goleta with his beautiful wife Julie. When not working, Bob enjoys playing golf, fine wine, fine dining, and walking our beautiful coastline. Bob can be reached at 805.720.5362 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org