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As you probably know, the first-time homebuyer tax credit is set to expire on November 30, 2009.  The National Association of REALTORS® supports both the extension and expansion of the tax credit and is working closely with other real estate industry trade groups to urge Congress to act.  This is where you come in.  

By participating in the Call for Action released by the NAR, you can send a template letter to your legislator(s) urging him or her to act now.  And you can do it in less than 30 seconds.

Out of the 16 local REALTOR® Associations in Massachusetts, GBAR (the largest) is in 11th place with regards to participating in this Call for Action.  We can do much better and ask that you participate in this urgent Call for Action today.

Gary Rodgers, president of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®, also wrote a letter to the Boston Globe promoting the extension of the tax credit, which you can access here.

Members of GBAR leadership present Robyn Frost, executive director of the Coalition with a $13,000 in 2008.

Members of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors® (GBAR) donated $20,000 last month to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless – GBAR’s designated charity.  In total, GBAR has donated more than $33,000 to the Coalition since 2007.

A small part of the funds will go toward a furniture drive that GBAR’s Community Service Committee is sponsoring November 3-6.  The drive will benefit the Coalition’s furniture bank, which is used to furnish the homes of families making the transition from homelessness.

This is the second annual furniture drive GBAR has sponsored for the Coalition, which is the country’s oldest statewide homeless advocacy organization, founded in 1981.

 “The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless is thrilled to again be partnering with the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® in their efforts to help homeless families make a house a home,” said Robyn Frost, executive director of the Coalition.  “With the help from the Board we are able to ensure that families making the transition out of homelessness into permanent homes will have free of cost furniture to set up their new homes.  We can’t thank GBAR enough for their continuing partnership in the fight to end homelessness in the Commonwealth.”


Members of GBAR’s Community Service Committee volunteered
to wrap Christmas presents at
the Prudential Center last year.


Are you interested in becoming more involved with GBAR?  Then we invite you to sign up for a 2010 committee.  There are nearly a dozen, so there’s definitely something to fit your interests.  Simply fill out the Committee Request Form by October 30, 2009.  For a full description of each committee, click the link toward the middle of the form.  Click here for Committee Request Form.   


GBAR has been contacted by an independent television company that is casting for a new show on HGTV.  This new series will follow a group of friends/acquaintances/strangers who have collectively purchased (or are currently seeking to buy and renovate a property) which they will live in and own together.

Independent couples/families/singles who have banded together to pool their resources to purchase something better are also welcome to submit their story.

- Two couples and a friend who buy an old apartment complex to renovate and rebuild
- Three people who buy a triplex that would be more economical (and better) to live in than anything they could afford individually

So if you meet the following criteria or know a client who does:

  • Between 25-45 years old
  • Single or in a relationship; with or without kids
  • Are part of a group looking/thinking about buying a home together

Contact Julie J Fitzsimmons at with information and details on your story. 


More than a dozen GBAR members received awards last month at the annual awards and networking dinner held aboard the Spirit of Boston yacht.  The second GBAR Good Neighbor Award was presented to Wendy Rocca of Century 21 Commonwealth in Watertown who created Operation American Soldier with her husband.  Robert Shortsleeve, Jr., Regional Vice President of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Waltham received the Andrew F. Hickey Distinguished Service Award while immediate past GBAR president David Friedberg a senior vice president and office manager with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Brookline was named the Greater Boston REALTOR® of the Year.  He is now in the running for the Massachusetts REALTOR® of the Year which will be announced in October.  And finally, many GBAR members received the prestigious REALTOR® Emeritus membership status granted by the National Association of REALTORS®.  This status is granted to REALTORS® who have been in the industry for 40 or more years.  This year’s recipients are:
  • Robert Banker of The Banker Real Estate Group in Cambridge
  • Marie Antoinette Beaupre of ERA Key Realty Services in Framingham
  • Ann Blackham of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Winchester
  • Diane Boudreau of Sweeney & O’Connell in Arlington
  • Robert Bowes of Bowes Pennell & Thompson in Arlington
  • Maureen Copithorne of Sweeney & O’Connell in Arlington
  • Joseph Festa of Central Realty Company in Revere
  • Allan Fields of RE/MAX First Realty, Inc. in Newton Centre
  • Richard McBride of H.R. McBride, REALTOR® in Watertown
  • John Milligan of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Needham
  • James Quinn of J. Henry Quinn, REALTOR® in Cambridge
  • Albert Rondeau of A.E. Rondeau Real Estate in Boston
  • Thomas Townsend of Townsend Associates Real Estate in Boston
  • Beverly Winthrop of Hammond Residential in Waban

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!