Rally for Homeownership [SLIDE SHOW]

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Tallahassee, FL -- Hundreds of realtors from across the state of Florida flooded the Capitol courtyard Wednesday.

Waving signs and touting how home sales positively impact the economy, the crowd's "Rally in Tally" was a chance for the home sellers to meet with legislators and push their policies.

"I think we need to do the things that are important to keep government out of the way of business and allow realtors to interact with their customers, and to make sure that ultimately we can provide the opportunity for the American Dream," said Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples).

On top of talking about the legislative issues, the Florida Realtors gave one veteran the surprise of a lifetime. They gave Sergeant Michael Burke a new home in Port St. Lucie, Fl. The Florida native was wounded in Afghanistan and received the Purple Heart for his service. He and his wife and two kids have been renting since 2009.

"It means a great deal to me and my family, we've been trying for a couple years now to get a home and just the debt and the stuff we accumulate, it means so much to us and just takes a burden off. It helps because we don't have to move around no more or anything like that," said Burke.

If you're wondering how Florida's housing market is doing, home sales were up more than 10 percent in February of 2013 compared to 2012.

Press Release: Florida Realtors®

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - April 9, 2013 - On Wednesday, April 10 at 1 p.m., a historical turnout of Realtors from around the state will converge on the Florida Capitol Courtyard for Florida Realtors®' first-ever "Rally for Homeownership" to boisterously highlight the link between the housing market and economic performance, both of which have shown continued improvement in Florida recently.
The Rally takes place as part of Great American Realtor Days this week, a two-day annual event during which members of Florida Realtors meet with lawmakers to discuss pending real estate legislation and issues that affect Floridians and visitors to the Sunshine State.

Florida Realtors 2013 President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando, and state Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples), a real estate broker, will lead the event, which includes a salute to U.S. military families and their service to America. The Rally will feature a surprise announcement - a powerful and emotional reminder that homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream.

Housing and homeownership are critical to a strong and prosperous Florida economy. New home construction and home purchases spur productivity in a "domino effect," creating jobs for millions of Floridians. According to the Florida Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research, real estate remains the No. 1 economic generator in the state. Real estate, rentals and leasing accounted for $117.4 billion, or 15.6 percent, of Florida's Gross Domestic Product in 2011. Add in construction, and it accounts for $147.4 billion, or 19.6 percent, of the state's GDP in 2011. As homeownership increases, Florida's economy strengthens with it.

Florida Realtors is the largest trade association in the state with more than 118,000 members. Its mission is to support the American Dream of homeownership, build strong communities and shape public policy on real property issues. Florida Realtors strives to encourage, promote and teach consistent standards for ethical practice and professionalism and to partner with local boards/associations to provide the information and tools for members to succeed in their business. Florida Realtors serves as the voice for real estate in Florida.

WHO: Florida Realtors®

WHAT: Rally for Homeownership

WHEN: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Florida Capitol Courtyard

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 118,000 members in 63 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org

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