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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....

Martinsville City Schools budget slimmer than last year's

The Martinsville School Board has passed a $20.1 million budget for next year. That's about $3.5 million less than the current budget. The spending plan calls for 52 positions to be cut, and 31 people will lose their jobs.

School budgets are of interest to homeowners because they directly impact property tax levels. They can also indirectly affect property values -- homes in school districts with good reputations are sought after by young families.

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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 to access the Guide as an e-book today.


Did you know?

Being a Realtor®….


Arlington plans to update Crystal City

Arlington County will spend about $90 million to improve roads and parks in Crystal City over the next five years, according to budget documents.

Officials are planning improvements such as pedestrian walkways, bike lanes, and a streetcar at Potomac Yard. The funds will come from local, state, and federal sources, and from private contributions.

Homeowners benefit from improved infrastructure, as greater usability and aesthetic appeal raise property values.

Arlington's suit to force impact studies allowed to proceed

A lawsuit aimed at slowing the HOT lanes project planned for Interstates 95 and 395 in Northern Virginia has received an early vote of confidence.

A U.S. District Court ruled that a lawsuit filed by the Arlington County Board against the Virginia, the U.S. departments of transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration can proceed. The suit alleges that the agencies should have performed environmental and health studies, as well as traffic analysis, before moving forward with planed HOT lanes on Interstates 95 and 395.

Arlington homeowners to pay more taxes

The Arlington County Board has approved a nearly $956 million budget for 2011. Increased taxes and fees will cost the average homeowner an additional $346.

The new tax rate of 95.8 cents per $100 of a home's assessed value represents an 8.3-cent increase. The board also approved a rise in utility fees and a motor vehicle decal tax.

Chairman Jay Fisette said the general fund budget increased by 1%, the second smallest increase in 25 years. The smallest increase was last year.

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.

Hampton medical facility awarded $7.9 million

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute has been awarded $7.9 million by the Department of Defense Naval Health Research Center. The money will be used for equipment, research, and increasing staff levels. More than 2000 patients will be treated annually at the center, which is located off Magruder Boulevard and scheduled to open this summer.

The award is likely to spur growth, and in turn benefit local property values.

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.


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