Archive for November, 2013

VAR Out & About: Prince William

VAR CEO Terrie Suit visited the Prince William Association of REALTORS® to meet with its new CEO, April McMillan, as well as the rest of the PWAR leadership team. Here’s a picture:

(l. to r.) PWAR 2014 President-Elect Terrylynn Harrell, PWAR 2014 President Michael Hill, PWAR CEO April McMillan, VAR CEO Terrie Suit, and PWAR 2013 President Bev Frowen.



VAR Out & About: South Central

VAR team member Political Field Representative Kathy Diradour attended the South Central Association of REALTORS®’ membership meeting, which included an update on issues of import to local REALTORS® — as well as discussion of VAR’s upcoming Get Active conference (and REALTOR® Day on the Hill) in February.

Members of the South Central Association of REALTORS® at their membership meeting. SCAR CEO Michelle McCadams is in the front center.



Help your fellow REALTORS® in Illinois and Boulder

The folks in Boulder, Colo., haven’t recovered from the floods that hit the area in September, and last week 10 separate tornadoes struck parts of Illinois. People in those places can use your help picking up the pieces.

You can help through the REALTORS® Relief Foundation. It will work with the Colorado and Illinois REALTOR® associations to distribute funds as quickly as possible to those in need within the REALTOR® family and the community at large.

Keep in mind that 100 percent of the money you give to the foundation directly benefits disaster victims; NAR covers all the administrative costs of the fund. Every penny you give goes to those in need. And all donations are tax-deductible.

Giving is easy. Just click here to go to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation site.

A simple way to help some children in need

The Angel Tree in the lobby of VAR’s Glen Allen building.

The end of the year is a season of miracles. It’s a time for celebration — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the winter solstice, when the days finally start getting longer.

But it’s not always a time of joy for everyone. There are many among us for whom the season is a reminder of the things they don’t have.

VAR is working with the Salvation Army to help at least some of those people. The Army has what it calls Angel Trees. On each tree hang small cards with the name of a child (or in some cases even adults), something he or she needs, and something he or she wishes for.

They aren’t asking for much: coats, mittens, stuffed animals, crayons, pajamas… small things, but important things.

We urge you to reach out to your local Salvation Army office — there’s a list below — and ask about its Angel Tree. There are many of them, and many children who can use your help. Or if you’re in the Richmond area, come to the VAR office and take a card from our Angel Tree. As an organization, it’s an opportunity to give back to our communities during this season of miracles.

Salvation Army locations in Virginia

VAR Out & About: Chesapeake Bay

VAR team members Marketing and Communications Manager Christine Hodges, Editor and Information Analyst Andrew Kantor, Information Technology Manager Michael McFall, and Creative Manager Mike Rupertus visited the staff of the Chesapeake Bay and Rivers Association of REALTORS®, where they met with CBRAR CEO Alice Hazelwood and MLS Coordinator Catherine “Cat” Grigelis.

Check out these photos:

(l. to r.) VAR Information Technology Manager Michael McFall, CBRAR MLS Coordinator Catherine Grigelis, and VAR Creative Manager Mike Rupertus.

(l. to r.) VAR Creative Manager Mike Rupertus, Marketing and Communications Manager Christine Hodges, CBRAR CEO Alice Hazelwood,
and VAR Information Technology Manager Michael McFall.

(l. to r.) VAR’s Marketing and Communications Manager Christine Hodges, Editor and Information Analyst Andrew Kantor, and CBRAR CEO Alice Hazelwood.

VAR Out & About: Williamsburg

VAR’s 2014 President, Bradley J. Boland, attended the Williamsburg Area Association of REALTORS®’ annual membership meeting and installation on Monday, November 18. WAAR welcomes Andrew Nelson as its 2014 President and the Williamsburg MLS welcomes Donna Magoon as its 2014 President.

Representatives from several neighboring local associations also attended to join in the festivities, including the Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association, the Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®, the Southside Virginia Association of REALTORS®, and the Chesapeake Bay & Rivers Association of REALTORS®.

See the photo below:

(l. to r.) 2014 VAR President Bradley J. Boland, WMLS 2014 President Donna Magoon, and 2014 WAAR President Andrew Nelson

Two Virginia REALTORS® make the national media

Wolcott_BarbaraTwo Virginia REALTORS® were featured in national publications this month.

First, Barbara Wolcott, chairman and CEO of Prudential Towne Realty in Virginia Beach, was interviewed by RIS Media’s Real Estate Magazine for “Reaching the Pinnacle with Professionalism and Care” in its November issue.

“The secret to my success is simple,” says Wolcott, who has also served as president of the local and state real estate associations and on the boards of numerous business and charitable organizations. “Surround yourself with the best people and then get out of their way.” But as those who know her best are aware, there is a lot more than that to her working strategy. In this exclusive interview, Wolcott shares what makes her company strong—and how she plans to meet and exceed the expectations of her agents and their clients.

Sasha_Cannon_FarmerAnd Sasha Farmer with Montague Miller and Company in Charlottesville was featured in The Residential Specialist Magazine‘s November/December “Up Close” column (which features “Profiles of people to watch”).


Low interest rates may have boosted sales in October

Uncertainty in the market prompted low interest rates in October.  The partial government shutdown, rising unemployment, and diminishing consumer confidence encouraged the Federal Reserve to maintain its bond purchases. Low mortgage interest rates likely stimulated sales in October, tempering the seasonal decline.  While the pace of sales declined, prices did rise slightly.  This combination could be a result of restricted inventory.

We can expect the usual seasonal decline in sales to continue through November as interest rates have risen slightly this month and folks are turning their attention to the holidays.

blogimage_2_111913[1]Analysis and commentary by Ted Koebel, Senior Research Associate & Mel Jones, Research Associate, of the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech.

Click here for full October 2013 home sales report

Cover Oct2013

SM_FEATURE_CFA_NFIP_11-2013NAR Past President Maurice “Moe” Viessi will be testifying before the House Financial Services Committee. A webcast of the hearing will be available on The House Financial Services Committee Website beginning at 1:30 PM Eastern Time today, November 19, 2013

The hearing is entitled “Implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012: Protecting Taxpayers and Homeowners”.

Housing and Insurance Subcommittee
Click here for the Committee Memorandum.

Witness List:
Panel I

  • The Honorable Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Panel II

  • Mr. Josh Saks, Legislative Director, National Wildlife Federation
  • Mr. Michael Hecht, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater New Orleans, Inc.
  • Mr. Maurice “Moe” Veissi, Immediate Past President, National Association of Realtors
  • Mr. Barry Rutenberg, Immediate Past Chairman of the Board, National Association of Home Builders
  • Mr. Chad Berginnis, Executive Director, Association of State Floodplain Managers
  • Dr. Douglass Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum

Thank you to Moe and the National Association of REALTORS® for standing up for homeownership!

Call for Action: Protect the NFIP

BLOCK-CFA-NFIP-11-2013Congress provided a 5-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but severe implementation problems threaten to undermine real estate transactions where flood insurance is required to obtain a mortgage. Take action to ask Congress to delay implementation of new NFIP regulations.

The Problem: Congress provided a 5-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but severe implementation problems threaten to undermine real estate transactions where flood insurance is required to obtain a mortgage.

  • New NFIP rate structures have caused serious confusion and hardship for property owners.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to delay and miss deadlines.
  • The legally required transition to true risk rates has plagued consumers with increases in rates beyond what anyone imagined possible.

The Solution: A four-year time-out. Congress has legislation in the House, H.R. 3370 and Senate, S. 1610, to delay changes to the NFIP. These bills would:

  • prudently defer rate increases until FEMA completes the affordability study mandated by law
  • create a system for targeted rate relief
  • establish an office of the Advocate for flood insurance rate and mapping concerns.

Please Take Action today and tell your Member of Congress and Senators that NAR supports the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.”

And don’t forget to download the Realtor Action Center App for your smartphone. Who knows where you’ll be when you need to take action! Click here for information about the app.