America’s most (and least) affordable housing markets

Over the past year, affordability for homebuyers has fallen in 89 of the 100 largest housing markets thanks to rising home prices and stagnant income growth in many metros, according to new analysis by real-estate website Trulia. It also found a polarizing trend in affordability, says Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s housing economist. “The least affordable markets have become even less affordable for homebuyers over the past year, while the most affordable markets have remained relatively stable.”

Over half of Americans (52%) struggle with home affordability and have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to a recent study — “How Housing Matters Survey” — commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. These include getting a second job, deferring retirement saving, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt or moving to a less-safe neighborhood with worse schools.

Click here to read the complete story.

Source: Market Watch


Take these steps to prepare for hurricane season


In recognition of September as Preparedness Month, REALTORS® are encouraging Virginians to ready themselves for hurricane season by making plans for how to stay safe and communicate during an emergency. Preparedness Month reminds us all to collect supplies and make and share a plan for the protection of our families, homes, and communities. We’ve got a long way to go during this hurricane season – what steps should you take now to protect your family and property?

  • Download the free Ready Virginia app for iPhone® and Android™ devicesUse the app to prepare for disasters and to stay informed during emergencies.  Features include:
    • Push notifications of weather warnings for your location issued by the National Weather Service
    • A customizable emergency plan that can be easily shared with family and friends
    • A checklist for gathering emergency supplies
    • The latest disaster news on widespread emergencies from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • Build an emergency kit.  Start with three days’ water and three days’ food that doesn’t need electricity or refrigeration.  Then add:
    • A battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with a weather band and extra batteries to hear information from local officials
    • Flashlights and extra batteries
    • First aid kit and extra supply of medications
    • Special items for babies, older family members and pets

People with disabilities or access and functional needs may need to take additional steps to be ready.  Plan now how to handle power outages and/or being asked to evacuate.  See for more.

Additional information about preparing for hurricane season: and


New Households add to housing demand

Over the first half of the year the number of new households has grown by 1.7 million over the same period a year ago, the largest annual growth in a decade.

Households will continue to grow as young workers earn enough to live on their own and marry, adding about 1.2 million per year, on average, for several years according to Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic.

In fact, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has projected an increase of 11 to 13 million households over the next decade, depending in part on the pace of immigration into the U.S.

“A stronger pace of household formation has been a missing ingredient needed to bolster the housing recovery. Household formation, which refers to an individual, couple, group or family that forms their own independent living quarters, had been running at very low levels since 2007 but has recently accelerated,” Nothaft said in a post on CoreLogic’s blog.

Click here to read the complete story.




Tamara Dorris gives you the tools to overcome sellers objections

Graphic video shot Tamera Dorris
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Tamara Dorris discuss the foundation for REALTOR®success. With an extensive background in real estate and communication, Tamara Dorris will give you the tools you need to think like a seller! As the author of over 16 books and decades devoted to research, Tamara Dorris can help you improve your mindset, and create positive habits.

Register now for the VAR Convention & Trade Expo and don’t miss this opportunity! Click here to register before the best rates expire on September 28th.

October 6-8, 2015
VAR Convention & Trade Expo
Williamsburg Lodge
310 South England Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185



VAR Convention & Trade Show: Presents the first YPN-RPAC Casino Night


Shake, rattle & roll
Are you ready to play? Join us for YPN-RPAC’s first ever Casino Night, October 6, 2015 at the Williamsburg Lodge. Get your ticket online for this event and have the chance to network with peers, hear a live band, and become a RPAC Major Investor. Put your cares aside and try your hand at Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, and Craps. Register today!

Presented by:

Ticket: $50 per person (This ticket purchase is a RPAC contribution.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
9 pm – 11 pm
YPN/RPAC Casino Night
VAR’s Convention & Trade Expo
Williamsburg Lodge

Click here for more information and to register for the best rates which expire on September 28th.



Over 23% thinking of selling. Why the hesitation?

Last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that housing inventory was down 4.7% from the same time last year and that the month’s inventory of homes for sale stood at 4.8 – far below the six months necessary for a normal housing market. Why is there such a shortage of inventory?

The recently released Homeowner Sentiment Survey suggests that the American homeowner may not be fully aware of the opportunities that exist in the current real estate market. The survey, conducted by Edelman Berland for HSF Affiliates, also reports that many homeowners would be placing their home up for sale if they were better informed about today’s market.

Since the housing industry is facing a shortage of housing inventory, the survey’s findings are crucially important.

The survey reported that 23% of current homeowners questioned are considering selling their home, but haven’t yet put it up for sale. That’s almost one out of every four houses. This is the inventory necessary to normalize the balance between “supply & demand” in the current market. Click here for the complete story.


Sources: Keeping Current Matters




Why is going green important in real estate?

Healthy homes are designed to enhance the health and wellbeing of the home’s occupants. These healthy homes are great option for families as awareness grows about the dangers of building materials and other environmental factors in a home’s design. Many builders and architects are beginning to specialize in this design style meaning the availability of homes like these are now more widespread. Green building is much more than a trend. It’s a result of prioritizing human health and environmental responsibility. Click here for the complete story.

Other resources:

NAR Field Guide to Green Homes & Green Mortgages
NAR’s Green Designation
Healthy Home & Neighborhood Check List

Source: Powerhouse Growers


Reversing the trend: Urban growth in america

After a more than 90-year rule, suburban life has been pushed off its throne by a preference for city living. For the first time since 1920, most large American city centers are growing faster than their suburban counterparts.

U.S. census data shows in 33 of the nation’s 51 largest cities, city centers grew faster than suburbs in 2011. Overall, the population of city centers (in U.S. cities of over 1 million) grew by 1.1 percent in 2011, while the surrounding suburbs grew by only 0.9 percent.

Click here to read the complete story


Hear legal experts’ view for property management pros

The VAR Property Management Conference is the best way we know how to combine networking events and education including the best informative speakers. This year, we’ve added what we’re calling “bookend” keynote speakers; one at the beginning of the conference and one to end this annual event.

Tenant’s Assertion

On Wednesday, November 18, Grimes Creasy, Partner at Johnson, Ayers, & Matthews, PLC, will present Residential Housing: Tenant’s Assertion.

Creasy, who practices in the Roanoke area, works in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, civil litigation, corporate and commercial law, insurance, and landlord-tenant.

Legislative Update and Property Management Issues

On Friday, November 29, John G. “Chip” Dicks of FutureLaw, LLC will present Update on Legislative and Property Management Issues.

Dicks served as an elected member of the Virginia General Assembly during the 1980s. Since leaving the Legislature, Chip has represented associations and businesses on administrative, legislative and regulatory matters before state government agencies and the General Assembly. Chip has expertise in the field of landlord tenant and fair housing laws.

Register to attend today!

Don’t miss this exciting event happening November 18, 19 and 20. Click here to register today!

Date & Location:
November 18 – 20, 2015
VAR Property Management Conference
Doubletree Charlottesville Hotel
990 Hilton Heights Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901





NAR Study: New home construction trailing job growth in majority of metro areas

NAR measured the volume of new home construction relative to the number of newly employed workers in 146 metropolitan statistical areas1 (MSAs) throughout the U.S. to determine whether homebuilding has kept up with the steadily improving pace of job growth in the past three years2. The findings reveal that homebuilding activity for all housing types is underperforming in roughly two–thirds of measured metro areas.

NAR’s study analyzed job creation in 146 metro areas from 2012 to 2014 relative to single–family and multifamily housing starts over the same period. Historically, the average ratio for the annual change in total workers to total permits is 1.2 for all housing types and 1.6 for single–family homes. The research found that through 2014, 63 percent of measured markets had a ratio above 1.2 and 72 percent had a ratio above 1.6, which indicates inadequate new construction.

Looking ahead, Yun says there’s no question the homebuilding industry continues to face many challenges, including rising construction and labor costs, limited credit availability for smaller builders and concerns about the re–emergence of first–time buyers. However, the strong job growth seen so far in 2015, and only muted gains in single–family housing starts, suggests that sustained price growth will continue to put pressure on affordability.

Source: National Association of Realtors®