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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In late January, VAR President Bradley J. Boland was asked to sit on the statewide Blueprint Virginia council. But what exactly is Blueprint Virginia?

In Pieces of Home, our 2013 Virginia Housing Market Report, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce explains just that — what it is, how it came to be, and why Blueprint Virginia is so important to the state’s economic future.

Have you grabbed your (free) copy yet? If not, head over to VARealtor.com/homesales and download it today.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What kind of electronic "tricks" can make a photograph violate Article 12 of the Code of Ethics? How can praising your competitors be a bad thing? Blake explains.

Monday, March 3, 2014

With the General Assembly session winding down, our bills are doing great -- and Heidi has the latest update, including an interview with Delegate Tag Greason, sponsor of our first-time homebuyers savings plan bill.

Monday, March 3, 2014

In “Modernizing Our Housing Finance System” — part of our Pieces of Home Year-End Home Sales Report — Virginia Senator Mark Warner explains how he, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), and the other members of the Senate Banking Committee have introduced a “responsible and bipartisan blueprint to reform the federal government’s role in mortgage finance to make sure that taxpayers will not be asked once again to be the first responders.”

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our signature legislation for the 2014 session (which had passed the House of Delegates 99-0 on February 11), passed the Senate 39-1 and will go to Governor McAuliffe for his signature.

It was a close call after some members of the Senate tried to kill the First Time Homebuyer Savings Plans bill. VAR’s legislative advocacy staff put out an urgent call for action, and nearly 700 Virginia REALTORS® responded. Combined with some one-on-one visits and phone calls, our all-hands-on-deck effort made a huge difference in the outcome.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Neat little infographic from the folks at Keeping Current Matters about what professions have the highest percentage of home ownership.

Not surprisingly, real estate agents were right there at the top — just behind farmers.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether and how to regulate renovation and remodeling activities in public and commercial buildings. To gather data, the agency is planning to send out a nationwide questionnaire to commercial-building owners, contractors, and tenants to ask about their renovation and remodeling practices.

On Feb. 4, the broad-based Commercial Properties Coalition — of which NAR is a member — sent a comment letter to the EPA regarding the proposed survey. It cautioned that that proposed survey appears to assume that lead paint hazards exist in commercial buildings.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released a draft tax reform plan today, and the National Association of Realtors® was quick to oppose it.

The plan called for limits on both the mortgage interest and capital gains deductions, as well as the repeal of deductions for state and local property taxes.

In a statement, NAR President Steve Brown wrote:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Congrats to the Richmond Association of REALTORS® which just saw its (successful) campaign to help fund area public schools featured on NAR’s Realtor® Action Center as a “Realtor® Party Success Story.

Quoth: