Notes From Readers: The Importance of a Proper Survey

Thoughts on mortgage plats, professionalism, the meaning of age, and more.

September 18, 2012

Barbara Nichols could not be more on target with the vital article about property surveys and the potential problems that arise if they are not obtained (“Uh, Your Living Room Is on my Property,” July/August 2012, page 37). In Tulsa, Okla., among other areas, lenders require what is correctly called a mortgage plat. However, this plat is not a survey. It just shows that the house is located within the legally described area such as a lot. The plat is only for the benefit of the mortgage company and does not provide protection to the land owner or purchaser. As a commercial practitioner for over 20 years, I can attest to the need, legal requirement, and practicality of obtaining a proper survey. In addition to the points Nichols raised, I would add that a survey is certified to specific parties and may provide title protection if there are problems. —Mike Craddock, First Commercial Real Estate Service, Tulsa, Okla.

How You View NAR

Your column (Editor, “How Americans View You,” July/August 2012, page 6) is excellent. Thank you for a serious and truthful perspective. I have been a REALTOR® for just under 35 years and witnessed amazing change in the business of real estate, predominantly that it has truly become the “profession” we all wish to see as well as be! Thank you. —Ginny Ollis McGibeny, retired, San Diego

Thank you for raising attention to how the nation’s real estate practitioners are viewed by American voters. REALTORS®, collectively and individually, do a lot to make a difference in the world outside of buying and selling real estate. For just about any cause that has a nonprofit behind it, you can find a REALTOR® passionately involved. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has the resources in talent and money to look at the big picture and help formulate smart home ownership ideas. We are in the ideal position to take the lead in thinking about how home ownership can be sustained as an option for future generations. We are capable of taking the lead in fixing the part of the housing collapse where we had a role. We can do that without placing those who trust us in harm’s way. The higher ground, and harder work, is in rebuilding the American home ownership landscape in a way that is best for the American public first. What might the result be if we discover a new way of making home ownership possible for people who should be owning and helping those whose time will come be better prepared with less risk?

REALTORS® have earned a place at the table in rethinking home ownership issues. Let’s think big and broad and creative. —Tom Meyer, Restaino & Associates, Middleton, Wis.

Editor’s Note: NAR introduced the REThink strategic planning initiative in August, which will engage thousands of REALTORS® and others in conversations about the future of the industry and its impact on consumers, agents, and the association. 

Is 30 the New 60?

This week, I turn 40. While we’ve never defined “under 40” as the Young Professionals Network’s age limit, it has turned into an awkward elephant in the room. But what if YPN is in the middle of turning the statement “60 is the new 30” on its head? What if 30 is the new 60? We’re in the middle of equipping, training, and inspiring a new generation to have the knowledge and street smarts of an industry veteran, and I would argue that this type of mentoring and nurturing is part of a new breed NAR has started to grow. —Posted Aug. 15 by Brian Copeland, Village Real Estate Services, Nashville, Tenn.

Drew Fristoe responded: This is something I talk about all the time at my local association. I do not believe YPN is for the young in age but the young in the business.

Chris Nichols responded: We need to stop looking at age and start looking at what a person brings to the table, and a big part of that is a willingness to serve. I’ve sat on too many committees at all levels of our organization and seen empty seats that could have been filled by someone who was willing to serve.

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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.