Florida's Nature Coast Lifestyle

There’s More to Being a Realtor® – Part 1 of 2

Citrus County Florida Real Estate

Did you know that there’s more to being a Realtor® than just selling property?  Yes, we help people achieve the American Dream of home ownership. A small group of Realtors® fight every day for that dream in the halls of Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and Citrus County. 

In March, nine Citrus County Realtors® traveled to Tallahassee. They spent two days meeting with our local representatives, Senator Wilton Simpson and Representative Blaise Ingoglia.  Before heading to the state capitol, we had the honor of Governor Ron DeSantis address hundreds of Florida Realtors®.  The energy and enthusiasm in the room was infectious. 

While we met with Representative Ingoglia and Senator Simpson, we had four major issues of advocacy that we stressed were important to Citrus County. 

1. Preserving Florida’s Natural Resources

  • There’s hardly a county in Florida that doesn’t have some access to a body of water. 
  • South Florida, especially the west coast, has been hit hard by the blue-green algae and red tide. 
  • Likewise, there is a need to restore our springs to keep our aquatic life healthy. 

2. Affordable Housing

  • Each year we ask the Florida Legislature to fully fund the Housing Trusts funds. 
  • These funds help first-time home buyers with down payment assistance. Additionally, it alleviates the affordable housing crisis throughout the state. 

3. Private Property Rights

  • The ability to rent your home is a fundamental property right. However, many local governments have enacted ordinances that discourage short-term rentals. These ordinances infringe on this right.
  • Moreover, local licensing requirements, mandatory inspections, and guest restrictions, set by the local or county authorities, have unduly infringed on owner’s rights. 
  • To sum up, by empowering the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to have sole authority over short-term rentals, this will provide protection of these rights through uniform statewide regulations. 

4. Open and Expired Permits

  • You get to the closing table and find that the seller hired a contractor to do work.  The permit was pulled, but the final inspection was never done.  Consequently, this can sometimes make the sale fall through. Now, the seller must jump through hoops to get the permit closed.  On the other hand, the buyer is unwilling to accept the problems and uncertainty that comes with an open permit. 
  • Therefore, having legislation in place allows remedies for open and expired permits. This includes hiring a new contractor to perform any necessary work to close the permit. Also, hiring an engineer or architect to inspect the work and oversee repairs that may be necessary. Or lastly, allowing permits to “sunset” 5-10 years after they were issued. 

These are all important issues not only here in Citrus County, but throughout Florida. 

There’s More to Being a Realtor®…Click Here for Part 2

About the Author:

Ruth Edwards, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty, Citrus County Realtor

Ruth Edwards, serves as the 2019 President of the Realtors® Association of Citrus County. Additionally, she is an active Realtor ® with Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty. Contact Ruth for assistance in buying your first home or any other real estate needs. Either by email: ruthedwardsrealtor@outlook.com or by phone at (352) 586-0115.

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