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YOUR VIRGINIA brings you up to speed now that the General Assembly has adjourned

Virginia's state legislators have gone home for the year, but not before approving a very thin budget and three homeowner-friendly bills that will help increase the value of your Virginia home in these ugly economic times. We've got the need-to-know information for homeowners in the latest installment of YOUR VIRGINIA, the official newsletter of the Virginia Homeowners Alliance.

Didn't get a copy? Check out the third edition now, and register at VAHomeownersAlliance.com to make sure you get the next one.

School districts across the Commonwealth consider their options

School boards and the officials that report to them are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for battles and tough decisions. The state budget, passed on Sunday, included $253 million in cuts to public education. School districts now must decide where those cuts will be felt.

Read more about how local districts are handling the pinch....

Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®)

Date: 
March 18, 2010 - 9:00am - March 19, 2010 - 5:00pm
Location: 
Dulles Area Association of REALTORS®, 803 Sycolin Road, #222, Leesburg, VA 20175

The ABR® designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, to real estate practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria. This is a two day course.

Fees - $299 members/non-members

Web site, phone number and/or e-mail address where members can learn more – www.dullesarea.com, amarteney@dullesarea.com, 703/777-2468

 

NAR Green Residential Elective

Date: 
March 24, 2010 - 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: 
Dulles Area Association of REALTORS®, 803 Sycolin Road, #222, Leesburg, VA 20175

The GREEN Residential Elective Class for those who took the two-day GREEN Designation course. This course provides REALTORS® with the knowledge of green building principles as applied to residential.  Learn how to help buyers in purchasing and retrofitting homes as well as help sellers by listing and marketing green properties.  The course encourages REALTORS® to be an advocate for green principles in the design and use of homes and a positive force for creating sustainable communities. 

Fees - $129 members/non-members

Web site, phone number and/or e-mail address where members can learn more – www.dullesarea.com, amarteney@dullesarea.com, 703/777-2468

NAR Green Designation

Date: 
March 10, 2010 - 9:00am - March 11, 2010 - 5:00pm
Location: 
Dulles Area Association of REALTORS®, 803 Sycolin Road, #222, Leesburg, VA 20175

This two-day course highlights what makes a property green, strategies for educating clients about green features, financial incentives and rebates available to home buyers and how to market yourself as a green real estate specialist once you obtain the GREEN designation.

 

Fees - $299 members/non-members

Web site, phone number and/or e-mail address where members can learn more – http://www.dullesarea.com/, amarteney@dullesarea.com, 703/777-2468 

Discover social media & financing strategies with Pat Zaby at 2010 CRS Sell-a-Bration

The Virginia Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists is holding its 8th Annual Sell-a-Bration Event on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at the Glenmore Country Club in Charlottesville, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Featured national speaker Pat Zaby is giving two seminars:

The scoop on the Realtor legislative agenda's progress: Capitol Connections #7

Things are looking good for the Realtor® Legislative Agenda as it makes its way through both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. Read all about it in today's Capitol Connections newsletter.

VAR bills that have passed both houses:

VHDA increases income limits statewide

Good news for first time homebuyers! Now, more homebuyers may qualify for a VHDA FHA Plus or Homebuyer Tax Credit Plus loan that offers an affordable fixed rate and help with the down payment.

Income limits increased in all areas of the state and sales price/loan limits increased in most areas.

Visit VARbuzz.com for a chart containing a summary of the new limits and VHDA.com/loanlimits for complete details.

Need a new digital camera? Check out Realtor Magazine's new camera guide

A camera is one of the most important business purchases a Realtor® can make. With so many buyers starting their search online, poor-quality images just don't cut it. Digital cameras have come way down in price and offer some pretty amazing features. But how do you decide which camera to buy? 

This new buyer's guide from Realtor® Magazine is a good place to start. And check out the September/October issue of Commonwealth magazine, where Andrew Kantor dishes out some awesome photography tips.

VAR participating in Nationwide Open House Weekend: April 10-11

Open House Logo

Write it down: April 10-11. Nationwide Open House weekend.

Buyers agents, grab your clients — it’s too convenient an event to miss. (“No, no — you don’t have to buy anything. Let’s just take a look, because there are so many open houses around here. I’ll pick you up at 10, OK? Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with something.”)

Brokers, man your listings! Make sure as many homes as possible are open and inviting. Schedule your Realtors to be there with smiles on their faces and warm cookies on the table.