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Census workers contacting Realtors for info about vacant homes

The foreclosure crisis and Census taking have joined forces to create yet another new headache for Realtors®:

Some Census workers have been contacting the listing agents of vacant properties (or their brokers) if the last known occupant hasn't completed the Census form. Sometimes the Census workers have been very aggressive in attempting to acquire information about the owners or occupants. And the United State Code stipulates that it's unlawful for an "…owner, proprietor, manager, superintendent, or agent of any hotel, apartment house, boarding or lodging house, tenement, or other building, (to) refuse or willfully neglect, . . . to furnish the names of the occupants of such premises” during the Census.

Plan for Tysons Corner development could be scaled back

Officials may scale back plans for the transformation of Tysons Corner into a walkable urban center, focusing on the next 20 years rather than creating a blueprint for 40 years' development.

Virginia to improve public/private partnerships in road construction

In an effort to improve Virginia's roads, Governor Bob McDonnell is looking to encourage greater cooperation between the state government and private construction companies. One possibility: establishing an office that would identify and consider privately initiated transportation projects.

Read more:

New lead paint rules went into effect April 22

Editor's note: This story was originally posted on March 25, 2010. We're re-publishing it due to reports of a large number of members being unfamiliar with the new rules.

According to NAR, new EPA rules about lead paint are set to go into effect on April 22, 2010.

To help you comply with the new rules, your friends at NAR have set up a Lead Paint Renovation Rule Compliance Guide at

cover the earthQuoth NAR:

Fredericksburg, Kalahari Resorts compromise on bond fees

The Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority and Kalahari Resorts have reached a compromise on bond fees. The agreement calls for a fee on Kalahari's taxable bonds in exchange for the company agreeing to pay the standard fee on the tax-exempt issuance.

The compromise allows the Fredericksburg EDA to charge one-eighth of 1% annual fee to issue tax-exempt bonds. In return, the authority will reduce the charge on the taxable bonds.

Read more in The Free-Lance Star....

Legal battle ends over condemnation of Roanoke property

The legal battle over a three-acre plot of land on Reserve Avenue has ended, with B&B Holdings accepting its condemnation. The City of Roanoke had exerted eminent domain to take the land for a Carrilion Clinic biomedical park, but has since dropped those plans.

The case has been closely watched by advocates of property-owners' rights, who are pushing for stricter limits on the use of eminent domain to seize land. Ultimately, the owners in this case, Jay and Stephanie Burkholder, gave up the fight because it made good financial sense to do so. The legal battle cost them about $600,000.

Campbell County schools lay off 33

The Campbell County School Board eliminated 68 full-time positions, mostly through attrition and leaving openings unfilled. Thirty-three employees were laid off.

The cuts were needed to balance the division's $72 million budget.

School budgets -- and how they are balanced -- are important to homeowners because the schools are supported by taxes. Also, homes located in popular school districts may be more attractive to young families looking to buy.

Read more in the Lynchburg News & Advance....

Caroline County cuts jobs, salaries to balance budget

Caroline County has eliminated 10 jobs and reduced salaries across the board in an attempt to bring its budget down to a manageable level. The reductions will save the county $548,532.

County Administrator Percy Ashcraft said that residents should not feel a big impact from the changes. "The personnel decisions have been made to attempt to have the least impact on the delivery of services to our citizens," he said. "We have an obligation to have a high standard of serving the public at large. We must continue to do that despite having fewer people in place."

Homeowners benefit from carefully balanced budgets that avoid raising property taxes, as long as public services are adequately funded.

Round 2 of the Heavyweight Fight: Calling in the Big Guns

On January, 16, 2009, the Appraisal Insight blog brought to you the valuation fight that is appraisals vs. broker price opinions (BPO).  Today they bring you Round 2 – and this time it’s personal.  Well, it’s not really personal but there is a clear difference of opinion.

Virginia Homeowners Alliance offers local information for homeowners

Protecting the value of your home is a key interest of homeowners, and it's because of this that the Virginia Homeowners Alliance ( offers a comprehensive Web site to provide homeowners with up-to-the-minute local and statewide information.