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Policy Position: Real Estate Financing & Transaction Issues

Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) Financing
Ohio REALTORS opposes Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) financing. R-PACE provides a mechanism for financing energy-related home improvement projects. But R-PACE financing is not a traditional loan. It is an assessment on the homeowner’s property taxes and becomes a super priority lien on the property. Ohio REALTORS believe that residential PACE liens should be subordinate to any first mortgages, meaning “super liens” should be prohibited. This will allow homebuyers to continue to easily obtain financing while supporting energy efficiency and ensure mortgage markets remain secure. Although the PACE program has worked well for commercial/industrial properties, there have been serious concerns raised regarding predatory, fraudulent practices in the residential market. Any statutes permitting residential PACE liens should also include consumer protections against predatory practices including disclosures and sound underwriting.

Prospective and First-Time Homebuyers
Ohio REALTORS supports legislation and programs that encourages and assists first time buyers in achieving homeownership. Homeownership is one of the best financial decisions an Ohioan can make. Additionally, homeownership is widely beneficial to the economy, builds strong communities, and creates generational wealth.

Point of Sale Inspections
Ohio REALTORS opposes any policy that would require a property owner to obtain and pass an inspection of any kind, and to make government mandated repairs prior to transfer of their real property. Point of sale inspections infringe on the rights of a private property owner and require expensive, unnecessary roadblocks to a home sale. Moreover, purchase contracts typically include an inspection contingency that allows the buyer to have a private inspection and provides for remedies in the event of an unsatisfactory report. Requiring the seller to pay for an additional inspection by the city is a duplicative and unnecessary expense for sellers.

Land Contracts
Ohio REALTORS opposes legislation that would significantly alter land installment contract law in Ohio, by imposing unnecessary burdens on the vendor to the extent that could eliminate this as a viable option to finance a real estate purchase. Land contracts are, for some, the only method by which they can purchase a home, and as such should remain a viable financing option for Ohio consumers.

Residential Property Disclosure Form
Ohio REALTORS continues to support current law requiring the seller to disclose known defects and other relevant information involving the condition of residential property via the Ohio Residential Property Disclosure Form. This form should be concise and clear to facilitate good faith disclosure by the seller and to assure the buyer has a clear picture of the current condition and history of known defects or hazardous substances within the home or property.

While Ohio REALTORS supports certain necessary updates to the form, we oppose policies that will expand the form to include information unrelated to the physical condition of the property and that would stray from the original intent of the Residential Property Disclosure form.