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RE BarCamp RVA: June 23 at RAR

The Richmond Association of Realtors and VAR are teaming up to bring you RE BarCamp RVA. "RE BarCamp RVA? What the heck is that?" you say?

A BarCamp is a FREE unconference, meaning there is no set agenda of topics before everyone arrives at the site.  At the beginning of the event anyone in attendance can “pitch” an idea such as leading a discussion on the use of Twitter for real estate, a discussion on best practices in dealing with a Short Sales, hot mobile applications or using Facebook for real estate.  Each idea is written on a post-it note and posted on the wall at the front of the room.

Virginia Realtors to gather for annual convention at the REal Show

The annual convention for Virginia Realtors, The REal Show will be held October 1-3 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Featured speakers will include legendary Washington Redskins quarterback JoeTheismann and Richard Bitner, managing editor of Housing Wire.        

The 90th annual convention of the Virginia Association of REALTORS (VAR), offered in cooperation with the Hampton Roads REALTORS Association (HRRA), is expected to draw several hundred attendees from around the state, with Realtors, brokers and specialists coming for education sessions and a large real estate trade expo.

State negotiating to keep tolls low for Midtown Tunnel drivers

State officials are negotiating for lower proposed tolls with Elizabeth River Crossings, a private group that wants to expand the Midtown Tunnel. Officials put the cost of adding a second tube to the Midtown Tunnel, refurbishing the Downtown Tunnel and extending  the Martin Luther King Freeway at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion. Transportation officials say the proposed construction would fix two of the region's worst traffic bottlenecks.

The planned estimated base toll for both the Midtown and Downtown tunnels is $2.17 for cars and $6.52 for trucks. State officials are trying to get the tolls lowered -- perhaps to as low as $1.50.

Fairfax County School Board adopts $2.2 billion budget

The Fairfax County School Board passed a $2.2 billion spending plan, $35 million less than the current budget. The plan includes nearly $200 million in budget reductions and cost avoidances, including the elimination of 204.3 positions, nearly half of which are from central offices. Spending per pupil decreased by approximately $300 from last year.

Homeowners benefit from a strong school system, and young families looking to buy often seek out homes in "good" school districts.

Danville's economy may be improving

Signs pointing to economic improvement in Danville include an uptick in building permits and retail sales tracking slightly higher than average for Virginia. That's good news for a city burdened by high unemployment -- 14.6% in March.

As the overall economy improves, homeowners can expect house prices to stabilize as more people look to buy homes.

Read more in the Danville News....

What do you get for your Realtor dues? Here’s the real answer.

Realtors® are in business to make money, not give it away. So, why do they pay dues year-after-year?

Get the real answers online in VAR’s 2010-11 Member Guidebook. This year’s Guide is one-stop resource for answers on the real return on Realtor® dues. Visit www.VARealtor.com/MemberBenefits to access the Guide as an e-book today.

 

Did you know?

Being a Realtor®….

DAAR Education Day

Date: 
May 22, 2010 - 8:00am - 6:00pm
Location: 
Dulles Area Association of REALTORS®, 803 Sycolin Rd. #222, Leesburg, VA 20175

Register nowFun, Lively and Educational: Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks included; Door prizes; Mandatory, Elective and Informational Classes all day.  All this for only $99. 

Register and learn more.

Virginia's housing market risk declining according to new report

The risk of a Virginia home losing value over the next two years is dropping as the economy improves, according to the latest PMI Market Risk Index report. The report doesn't discuss how much a home's value could change -- only the likelihood that in two years it will be worth more or less than it is today. The Market Risk Index is historically about 80% accurate.

Researchers calculated the risk using factors such as unemployment rates, housing affordability, and past price appreciation.

Q1 Virginia home sales report released

Our quarterly home sales report for transactions completed between January 1 - March 31, 2010 was released today.  The highlights:

Gov. McDonnell's development deals will create 3,100 jobs for Virginians

In Governor Bob McDonnell's first 100 days in office, Virginia closed more than 50 economic-development deals that together will create 3,100 jobs and generate $360 million in investments in the Commonwealth.

Jobs and community investments are key issues for homeowners. New jobs allow existing homeowners to pay the mortgage and stay in their homes. A strengthening economy also encourages buyers to shop for new homes, possibly driving up prices and holding down the number of days houses stay on the market before being sold.

Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch....