Although it was a typical March day in Chicago with blustery Lake Michigan winds, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Home Ownership Matters Bus Tour got started at Navy Pier this past Saturday with the opening of the Chicago Flower and Garden Show.

NAR President-Elect Moe Veissi along with Chicago Association President Mabel Guzman and myself, President-Elect of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, were there to greet consumers.

We were fortunate to have the tour start in Chicago. The next stops will be in St. Louis and on to Denver, Colorado, finishing up in Portland, Oregon.

At the Navy Pier event, consumers registered to win three raffles: one at 11 a.m for a $500 Lowe’s gift card, another at noon for a $1,000 Lowe’s gift card and at 1 p.m. for a $2,500 Lowe’s gift card. It was great to talk to consumers and ask how they feel about homeownership. There was a resounding voice from them that homeownership is important and we should not eliminate the mortgage interest deduction.

The winner of the $1,000 Lowe’s gift card  said it best: “I grew up one of seven children and my parents always rented. The first thing I did when I got married was buy a home.”

Chicago Aldermen Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) and Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward) stopped by to lend their support for continuing the mortgage interest deduction.