The Bank of Mom and Dad is playing a growing role as lender of last resort for a housing recovery struggling to provide more traction for the nation’s economy. Virginia is one of few states to offer a First-Time Homebuyer Savings Plans, enabling parents (or any individual) to designate a bank account as a tax exempt savings tool for qualified distribution toward the purchase of a single-family home.

Last year, 27 percent of people purchasing a home for the first time used a cash gift from relatives or friends for a down payment, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. That’s up from 24 percent in 2012 and matches the highest share since the group began keeping records in 2009.

Those numbers will probably keep growing as younger Americans remain constrained by student debt, difficulty entering the job market and stricter mortgage-lending rules that require more cash up front. At the same time, rising stock and property values give their baby boomer parents the ability to help their kids lock in near record-low borrowing costs. With Virginia’s First-Time Homebuyer Savings Plans, parents have a long term opportunity to exempt taxes from money set aside to help a child with the purchase of a first home, reducing the hurdle of high cash requirements for a down payment and closing costs.

Click here to read the complete story.

Source: Bloomberg News (Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014)

Comment!

With more than two months left in hurricane season, the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginians to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting their property from loss.

Hurricane season runs through November 30, and the Bureau encourages homeowners, renters, and business owners to review their insurance policies now to make sure they have enough coverage in the event of a hurricane or other disaster. Know what each policy does and does not cover and contact your insurance agent or company or the Bureau of Insurance if you have any questions.

No matter where you live in Virginia, hurricanes and their accompanying winds and rains can threaten lives and property. Once a hurricane develops in the Atlantic, it will be difficult to find an insurance company willing to write related coverage until the storm threat passes.

“Whether you are a homeowner, renter, or business owner, the time to prepare for hurricanes and other disasters is now,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham. “Make sure you have the insurance coverage you need before a hurricane starts to form,” she said.

Click here to read the complete story http://augustafreepress.com/bureau-insurance-reminds-virginians-renew-insurance-hurricanes-disasters/.

Source: AugustaFreePress.com (September 17, 2014)

Comment!

 

Yes, of course you can use Pinterest to grow your business. Pinterest is more about engaging your followers and building trust. You want your followers to look to you as the expert on all things real estate related. Create Pinterest boards that are full of eye-catching images that are related to home living. Remember, the point is to find things that will prompt your followers to re-pin the image. NAR has several great resources including  a field guide.

Field Guide to Pinterest for REALTORS®
NAR’s Pinterest page

NAR Pinterest page

 

 

 

 

Comment!

The National Association of REALTORS® announced that the new .REALTOR top-level domain will be available Oct. 23 to NAR members.

There are more than 1,900 new top-level domains being created on the Internet, such as “.car,” “.music,” and “.doctor.” The launch of the .REALTOR domain will allow real estate professionals to brand themselves as a REALTOR®: JohnSmith.com can become JohnSmith.REALTOR.

NAR is offering a free one-year license to the first 500,000 members who register for a .REALTOR domain. For more information, visit www.about.REALTOR.

NAR_dot REALTOR infographic_10

1 Comment (keep it going!)

Patra

Lynne Wherry and Patra Brady, new Association Executive at the South Central Association of REALTORS® spent several hours together this week orientating her to the association and services available to the local association and its members. Please join us in welcoming Patra to the REALTOR® family by sending her a short note.

The South Central Association of REALTORS® serves real estate professionals and affiliate members in the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Price Edwards and a portion of Mecklenburg.

Comment!

Partner with Kaplan

[advertisement]

1409VCVKAPLA2_Button

Kaplan has the Virginia real estate courses your recruits and agents need to earn and maintain their real estate license. Offer discounted enrollment from your own branded online store. Partner with Kaplan Real Estate Education!

Comment!

Tradeshow Winner
VAR’s Lynne Wherry, Director of Member Outreach and Carol Thompson, Director of Accounting represented VAR during the Williamsburg Trade Show.

Comment!

DSCN4368
DSCN4369

Terrie Suit and Debbie M. Werling spent several hours talking about issues important to associations and the services we all provide to our REALTOR® members.  The association’s president and president elect both dropped by during the visit to say hello. The President, Tom Campbell brought his two adorable golden retriever puppies and we had a mini puppy party!  Wish we’d gotten pictures of that. They were so cuddly and cute all, tail wags one minute and then they just pooped out and fell asleep the next.

Did you know that one pint of blood can save up to three lives? Please help us give back to our community by being a blood donor. To Register Online, Click Here or call the GPAAR office at 540-347-4866.

The Greater Piedmont Area Association of REALTORS® serves real estate professionals and affiliate members in the counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock.

 

Comment!

Brad Boland @ FAAR SEPT 2014

Bradley J. Boland spent some time visiting the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® on Tuesday, September 8, 2014. Don’t forget that FAAR’s Education Conference & Trade Show is scheduled for September 17. Click here to learn more https://www.faarmembers.com/_iCore/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=SE14TRADES.

Founded in 1957, the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® is the trade association for more than 1300 REALTOR® and 81 affiliate members serving the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline. Members also work in the surrounding counties of Westmoreland, Louisa, Orange and Prince William and in Northern Virginia.

 

Comment!

Waters proposes sweeping credit reporting reforms

Comment!