It’s time to fall back…

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Before going to bed on Saturday, November 1, remember to “fall back” by setting your clocks back one hour. (The exceptions to DST are Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.)

Credit for Daylight Saving Time belongs to Benjamin Franklin, who first suggested the idea in 1784. The idea was revived in 1907, when William Willett, an Englishman, proposed a similar system in the pamphlet The Waste of Daylight.

The Germans were the first to officially adopt the light-extending system in 1915 as a fuel-saving measure during World War I. The British switched one year later, and the United States followed in 1918, when Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which established our time zones. This experiment lasted only until 1920, when the law was repealed due to opposition from dairy farmers (cows don’t pay attention to clocks).

During World War II, Daylight Saving Time was imposed once again (this time year-round) to save fuel. Since then, Daylight Saving Time has been used on and off, with different start and end dates. Currently, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November.

Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

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Drew Fristoe, ABR®, e-PRO®, SFR

Drew Fristoe was selected for NAR’s Convention & Expo as a featured attendee. Conference Live offers a virtual window into the REALTORS® Conference & Expo experience through live and “nearly live” sessions, attendee viewpoints, industry news, speaker interviews, exhibitor conversations, and much more. The site was initially designed as a free resource for members who could not travel to the conference. But it’s also a valuable resource for attendees to stay-up-to-date during the real estate’s biggest event. Click the links below to learn more and follow Drew.

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We experienced a fairly substantial decrease in sales from July to August this year, and based on consistent trends over the past 10 years we expected further, albeit relatively moderate decreases in September. That’s just what we got. The decrease in sales from August to September was moderate compared to decreases in 2013 and 2014. We can expect sales to continue to decline through the end of the year and early 2015, so long as unemployment and severe winter weather do not take a significant toll.

In the third quarter, we continued to see evidence that the market recovery has plateaued. 2014 sales remain lower than 2013 sales, but higher than 2012 and 2012 sales. Nearly every region in the state experienced a decrease in year-over-year sales in the third quarter, with the exception of Central and Southside Virginia. On the other hand, most of the state experience moderate or no year-over-year change in median sales price. Only Southwest Virginia experienced year-over-year decrease in median price. Since prices were slightly higher in the third quarter of 2014 compared to 2013, the year-over-year decrease in total volume of real estate sold (5.1%) in the third quarter was primarily related to fewer sales.

Click here to download the complete report.

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Analysis and commentary by Mel Jones, Research Associate, Gary Cummings, Graduate Research Assistant, and Ted Koebel, Senior Research Associate, of the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech

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A significant number of Americans are confused when it comes to what does and does not get reported to national credit bureaus. According to a new survey from TransUnion, for exmple, 48% of respondents assumed their rental payments are regularly reported to credit bureaus yet many landlords don’t.

And this is not the only area where Americans are confused. Click here to read the complete article.

Source: Housing Wire, Brena Swanson

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This year’s top-ranked company in the HW Fast50™, American Homes 4 Rent, posted an almost unbelievable 2,962% growth rate year over year. Equally impressive, the top five ranked firms grew an average of 1,944%.

That certainly qualifies as fast growth.

While SFR specialists dominated the top five in the HW Fast50™, they didn’t make a clean sweep: mortgage insurer NMI Holdings ranked second overall, demonstrating the opportunities that market innovation, a shrinking FHA and new government regulations can provide to agile market participants ready to capitalize on new trends.

And while astronomical growth was certainly the territorial ground of most SFR specialists, there are plenty of other high-growth companies making the top 50 in this year’s ranking. Click here to read the complete story.

Source: Housing Wire (October 1, 2014)

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2014 Real Show Recap

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VARNation Photo Gallery

The Real Show, the biggest real estate convention for Virginia’s Realtors had an amazing and successful event at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Hundreds of real estate professionals from across the state come to mingle, learn, and connect in on October 8 and 9. Take a look at the Real Show 2014 photo gallery.

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What’s this on my ballot?

When Virginians head to the polls on November 4 to vote for U.S. Senate and Congressional candidates, many will be surprised and possibly confused by another item on the ballot.

Ballot Question

Question: Shall Section 6-A of Article X (Taxation and Finance) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?

The Virginia Constitution currently requires the General Assembly to exempt a military veteran who has been one hundred percent, permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected injury from paying real property taxes on the principal place of residence.  When the veteran passes away, that exemption extends to the veteran’s spouse as long as the he or she does not remarry and continues to maintain the same property as the principal home.

The proposed Constitutional Amendment on this year’s ballot seeks to extend the same tax provision to the spouse of a member of the armed forces who is killed in action. A “yes” vote changes the Constitution to require the General Assembly to grant the real property tax exemption for the surviving spouse.  A “no” vote keeps the Constitution as is, with no tax exemption.

Check out RealtorsChoose.com for more information.

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Life gets busy. Don’t forget to vote.

Have a long work day? Traveling out of town for business or that well-deserved vacation? Have a kid away at college? If you or someone you know will be preoccupied on November 4, don’t miss your chance to vote in this year’s election. We’re less than two weeks from Election Day, so the time to act is now.

There are a couple ways you can absentee vote.

If you want to vote absentee by mail, you must have your application returned to your local registrar no later than 5:00pm on Tuesday, October 28. You can also vote absentee in-person at your local registrar’s office by the close of business on Saturday, November 1. Remember to bring an acceptable form of identification when voting in-person.

For all things voting related, be sure to check out the Virginia Department of Election’s website.

 

 

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NAR submits comments on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recent “Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft,” which specifically mentioned REALTORS® use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for taking property videos as being a commercial use and therefore prohibited under FAA policy. Click here to read NAR’s drone response from NAR SEPT 2014.

Also, take a look at REALTORS® Weigh In On Drones video:
NAR analysts talk about how the National Association of REALTORS® is letting the federal government know its members are ready to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) safely and responsibly in their business once such use is permitted.

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According to Housing Wire one in every three single-family homes is a rental, lots are shrinking, and one in 10 homes has had a mice or cockroach problem. Homes have fewer physical problems than two years ago.

Welcome to the American housing profile.

That’s among the findings of the 2013 American Housing Survey by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

This report, the 40th American Housing Survey looks at the U.S. housing stock including detailed information on housing costs, social life, and overall housing quality. Click here to read the complete story.

American Housing Profile

  • There were nearly 133 million total housing units in the U.S. in 2013, 87% of which were occupied.  This represents an increase of 413,000 since 2011.
  • 65% of all housing units were occupied by owners in 2011; 35% were occupied by renters.
  • As of 2013, the median size of all single-family detached housing units was 1,800 square feet with a median lot size of .25 acres (compared to .36 acres in 1973).
  • Approximately two-thirds of all housing units used warm-air furnaces for heating; 12.1% used an electric heat pump; and 10.4% used steam/radiant heating.
  • The most common cooking fuel is electricity (61.2%) followed by natural gas/propane (38.7%).
  • Between 2011 and 2013, there was a slight decline in the number of homes experiencing moderate or severe physical problems (including plumbing, heating, and electrical).  In 2013, there were nearly 2 million homes with severe physical problems and nearly 4 million housing units with moderate physical problems.
  • 10.3% of all households reported seeing signs of cockroaches within the prior 12 months.
  • 9.1% of households reported evidence of mice in the last 12 months.

Source: Housing Wire, Trey Garrison, Senior Financial Reporter (October 16, 2014)

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