FCBR’s REALTOR & Consumer Advocacy Department helps to ensure the success of our members via the 4 “I’s”- Involvement, Investment, Information, & Influence. Our Advocacy efforts are predicated on meaningful Community Involvement, Investment in key organizations, trustworthy local real estate Information, and effective Influence on local public policy.           

Key committees/task forces of this department include Government Affairs, REALTOR® Political Action Committee, Community Outreach, CARHOF, Linda Norton Good Neighbor Scholarship Fund, Public Relations, & Monthly Market Information.

To learn more about this department and its related activities please contact Department Director Clint Skutchan at 402-0852 or clint@fcbr.org.

REALTOR & CONSUMER ADVOCACY DEPARTMENT INFO

 

Call for Action: Construction Defects Legislation

We need your support on this one. As you’ve probably noticed, construction is once again revving up across Colorado. Those cranes and crews are a good sign as we continue to recover from the recession. But, one area of construction continues to lag because of almost-guaranteed litigation, and it’s impacting our residents and their housing options.

Along the 122 miles of FasTracks rail, in areas around Union Station and across the West Line, redevelopments and new developments are sprouting new high-density buildings—but we aren’t seeing a diverse array of housing options. Particularly, almost no affordable condominium homes are being built. In fact according to a recent article by the Denver Business Journal, only 2 percent of our new housing stock is condos, compared to around 20 to 25 percent in other metro areas around the country.

That means an entire segment of homebuyers—from young families and first-time homebuyers trying to build equity to empty-nesters and retirees who are downsizing—is being shut out from affordable homeownership.
Why the drought of affordable condos? Our members tell us that the likelihood of a construction lawsuit makes building affordable condos virtually impossible.

When there is a dispute with a builder over construction, a simple majority of the board of directors of a condo homeowners’ association (HOA) can decide on behalf of all owners to file a lawsuit. In Colorado, it’s less a question of if a lawsuit will be filed and more a question of when. Costs from litigation and additional insurance ultimately have to be paid by the consumer (in this case the homeowner). That means the only condos that are being built today are more expensive. And, when the association ties condo owners to litigation, they then face hurdles when it comes to refinancing or selling their home. Their units are encumbered by the litigation.

Mayors in the metro area have been working on this issue for months, and we have joined their effort. State Sen. Jessie Ulibarri has committed to helping us solve this problem with legislation that would ensure all owners are engaged in the decision to pursue legal action and have information about options to resolve the issue, as well as the anticipated costs and potential impacts on home value resulting from a lawsuit before pursuing litigation. The potential legislation could also require that if alternative dispute resolution (ADR) was a condition in the original purchase agreement, then ADR must be used to try to address any alleged defects.

We feel that this legislation will help rationalize how owners and builders deal with disputes and engage owners in the decision to litigate, fully aware of its potential consequences. It also preserves owners’ right to pursue litigation if they determine that’s the best course. Unfortunately, this potential legislation faces a number of major hurdles—starting with simply being introduced in the legislature.

Here’s where you come in. We need you to contact Senate President Morgan Carroll and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino to tell them why this legislation is so important to Colorado’s business community. Just click here to take action and send them a message.

We hope this bill will be the first step toward ensuring home buyers in Colorado can find the home they want. We believe that as lawsuits decrease, insurance rates will go down and our builders will no longer be deterred from offering a full array of housing options. Join us in supporting Sen. Ulibarri and encouraging community growth in Colorado.

Construction Defects Testimonials

CAR is still requesting that if you have a story or testimonial of a client who was looking for a particular price range, particularly in the more affordable $150-200,000 range, in a particular area but was forced to broaden search area in order to find an affordable property, or a client who was looking to buy near transit-oriented development but could not find any affordable housing, or one who had trouble receiving financing or re-financing due to construction defect litigation taking place in the association please let us know so we may use these scenarios to help explain the need for this legislation and the impacts that it would have on affordable housing in Colorado.  Please send these to GovAffairs@coloradorealtors.com

 

April Housing Report Now Available

April Housing Report: During this year's spring refresh, seller activity is the first item on the watch list. One-Year Change in Low inventory has been a national headline grabber, and many are eager to see if this is the year that brings a bevy of new properties to market for ready-to buyers. Investor activity and cash purchases should be monitored, as well, along with any increases in new construction. And although interest rates are up from their all-time lows, borrowing costs are still remarkably affordable. It's cheaper to own than to rent in most of the country.

2014 Future of Housing Investment Campaign Offers Chance to Win Broncos Experience

Have you Invested in our Housing Future yet? By investing $25 or more in the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) not only will you be supporting important REALTOR® & Consumer Advocacy efforts that protect your business, but once again this year you will be given a shot at an Ipad + over $1,500 in other prizes. Plus invest $50 or more and you will be invited to our recognition celebration where you will enjoy networking, beverages, & light food. Plus invest $50 before April 6th and get a shot at an amazing Broncos get-away and $5,000 in other prizes.

Should the Government Tell You Who You Can Live With? June 12th Junto @ William Olivers

Our Junto will meet every other month on the second Thursday of the month from 4:30-5:30p or until the mutual improvements have found their end. Each Junto will designate a participant ahead of time to pen a short information based paper to begin the improvement over beverages. From there the conversation will find its own way. The June Junto Topic is: Should the Government Tell You Who You Can Live With?

Help Shape the Future of Your Fort Collins Community with the West Central Area Plan

Share your thoughts on opportunities and challenges in the West Central Area of Fort Collins. Join us for light refreshments and discussion at any one of the upcoming listening sessions. All begin promptly at 6 p.m., and run until 8 p.m.

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