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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.

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.

Gov. McDonnell to create Housing Policy Advisory Committee

Homeowners and Realtors® will be the beneficiaries of a comprehensive statewide housing policy created by Gov. McDonnell. He is expected to sign an executive order this week outlining the policy objectives. It is the first time Virginia has embarked on creating a statewide executive housing policy.

Reserve rebates for energy-efficient appliances starting Wednesday

Virginians planning to purchase high-efficiency appliances should hop on the Web April 28 to reserve rebates of up to $300. Appliances must be Energy-Star qualified to be eligible for the rebate.

Other limitations: program participants must be Virginia residents, and the appliances must be purchased for residential use. The new appliance must replace an existing appliance.

Northrop Grumman just weeks away from choosing location for new headquarters

Officials say that Northrop Grumman is just weeks away from deciding where to establish its new headquarters. Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are all under consideration. The company plans to open the new 300-person facility in about a year.

Fairfax and Arlington Counties are both in the running to be the defense contractor's new home town. Landing Northrup Grumman would be a significant economic boost for either county - to the benefit of local homeowners, who could see a bump in property values along with the creation of highly paid jobs.

HVCC at one year: What have we learned? What's coming next?

Yes, it's true: HVCC is one year old. To help members understand how to cope with the changes brought by HVCC , VAR published a feature story in the September/October 2009 edition of Commonwealth magazine and in 2010 helped to pass legislation (HB408) implementing regulations for appraisal management companies who operate in the Commonwealth. NAR continues pushing for changes to HVCC on the national level. 

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Hampton eliminates 78 positions to balance budget

The city of Hampton will eliminate 78 permanent full-time positions to make up for its $19 million budget shortfall.

About 55 of those positions are currently filled. City officials will try to move employees in those jobs to current openings. "We do have plans to try to place as many of those people as possible. We have over 106 positions that are vacant and open to try to place those folks into," said City Manager Mary Bunting.

On April 30 the Federal homebuyer tax credit expires. Last call!

The homebuyer tax credit expires on April 30.  If you'd like to receive up to $8000 in the form of a tax credit for purchasing a home, time's running out. You must have a ratified purchase contract by April 30 and close on the home by June 30.

There are rules to the Obama administration's program, of course. Check out this story we ran right after Obama signed the measure into law that answers many of the frequently asked questions.

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