Notes From Readers: A Tradition We Must Preserve

A collection of letters from readers of REALTOR® Magazine this month.

March 1, 2011

In his article, "Home Ownership & The American Dream" (February 2011, page 24), author Brian Summerfield makes a very good point about the fact that property ownership is an important part of who we are as Americans. The belief and practice of owning property in our country has been around for longer than our constitution. Even the earliest English Puritan colonists believed that private property was linked to liberty, and they and others spelled it out in various charters and declarations, such as the Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, enacted in 1648. I think many people in America today don’t know the principles upon which our founders and the first colonists built the legacy of property ownership. Congratulations on your campaign to encourage home ownership. I hope people will pay attention.
Luke Buzea

Sustainable Vision Is Needed

Ronald L. Phipps’ column, "Home Ownership Matters!" (February 2011, page 5), prompted introspection. I agree that home ownership is important, but maybe we need a new vision. The four-bedroom home in the suburbs has been a financial disaster for many Americans. We should be promoting a more sustainable plan, one that encourages high density, urban neighborhoods that are more affordable. Buyers should be encouraged to consider homes that are walking distance to public transportation, schools, and grocery stores, and homes that are energy efficient and reasonably sized. If we go back to business as usual, when the recession ends, we will have missed an opportunity to build a plan that will work for our children and grandchildren.
Jack Gustafson, RE/MAX Executive, Charlotte, N.C.

Upon Closer Inspection . . .

While reading your online handout, "What a Home Inspection Should Cover," I noticed a small typo in the URL for the American Society of Home Inspectors. The Web site address should be By the way, thank you for the many wonderful articles and your great Web site. REALTOR® Magazine is a wonderful resource.
Tony Amstutz, Century 21 Bradley, Fort Wayne, Ind.

A New Sheriff in Town

At the end of 2010, the FCC essentially made itself the "sheriff" of the Web—a move NAR supports—which prompted a lawsuit from Internet service provider Verizon. The lawsuit alleges the FCC is overstepping its regulatory authority with rules that prohibit ISPs from entering into agreements with Web sites to serve up their content more quickly.
Posted Jan. 31 by Robert Freedman, senior editor

Joe Collins responded: The government shouldn’t be doing anything on the Internet except for making sure there is no illegal activity. It’s reaching beyond its powers and authority with this one.

Jim Dropps responded: Does anyone really think that a corporation (or investors) would choose to keep the Internet free and fair when given the chance for huge profits? That is the problem, and before we know it our small business real estate Web sites [will be] slowed to a halt (driving away customers), while . . . anyone who can pay large amounts for premium service speed forward.

Be Careful, Buyers!

An agent in my office recently had a deal in which the clients on the other side of the transaction carelessly posted information online—and it cost them big time. A couple who had made an offer on a home shared a detailed account of their deal on a social networking site. They severely compromised their negotiating position by writing about how badly they wanted the house, and even the actual amount they were willing to pay!
Posted Jan. 31 by Cory Brewer, YPN  Lounge blogger

Nobu Hata responded: Social media use consultation is part of my seller and buyer prep talk. Cases like this are the reason why. Great post!

Steven B. Harkness responded: What is it with the social networking phenomenon that makes people feel compelled to share every detail?

Note: Letters and blog posts are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter doesn’t constitute an endorsement of the writer’s views by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® or ­REALTOR® Magazine. Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium.

Kelly Quigley

Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.