News & Views 3.1.2012

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REALTOR® Day on the Hill – A Sweetheart Day
More than 50 CAAR members met with local legislators on Wednesday, February 14th at the Richmond General Assembly offices to address vital issues of importance in the 2012 REALTOR® legislative package.  Members met with Delegate David Toscano (D-57) and Delegate Rob Bell (R-58), Senator Emmett Hanger (R-24) and Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25) to discuss the local market in their respective districts and to address the following key initiatives: 
 
Agency and 
Professionalism 
General provisions to strengthen the profession and consumer protections, HB 206.
 
Appraiser Management 
Companies 
The Federal Dodd-Frank Act requires states to bring Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) under the supervision and authority of  regulatory boards for Appraisers. REALTORS recommend taking the lead and beginning it now, before the 2014 requirement triggers, HB 210. 
 
Landlord and Tenant
A bill for Landlord Tenant Act modifications is recommended to handle how rents may be accepted with reservation, and more. Annual changes that, while not always exciting, are generally made with an eye to avoiding costly litigation, HB 1110. 
 
Property Owner Associations and Condominium Act
A broad bill for Property Owner Associations and Condominium Act issues is recommended to address issues that include delays in receiving vital information regarding owner occupancy and delinquency, as well as exempting auctioned property from various provisions, HB 377.
 
Virginia SAFE Act
This consumer protection measure does not expressly exempt owner financing from the burdensome requirements otherwise placed on mortgage lenders. Most states are attempting to address this issue this year, HB 572. 
 
Tenant Utility Liens
In an issue on which much work has been done over the past year, liens placed on property as a result of nonpayment of utility bills by tenants have caused many negative consequences for owners. VAR introduced legislation directly.
 
Members also attended a state-wide focused Housing Policy Forum sponsored by the Virginia Association of REALTORS moderated by Ken Harney of the Washington Post; NAR immediate past president Ron Phipps; Anthony Sanders, professor of real estate finance at George Macon University; and David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
 
Lending issues led the discussion with working broker/owner and NAR Immediate Past President, Ron Phipps discussing the length of time to process today’s mortgage decisions, noting the ready access to instant information, “That’s, to me, inconceivable.”
 
Bankers Association President David Stevens offered alternatives to limiting credit worthiness to FICO scores. “We have to find a way to lend to people who have been impacted by a recession,” he said, “and not think of them as criminals.” Moderator Ken Harney also took panelists through scenarios involving the future of the GSE’s and the impact of rampant partisan politics in the likely failure of proposed solutions. “There’s a real fear that folks in government… are just not able to get anything done,” said Harney. Beneficiaries of that inability to act, though, are the GSEs: Fannie and Freddie. “Given the tone in Washington — the inability to get anything done — is probably good for the GSEs,” Stevens said.
 
Phipps emphasized the need for increased focus by the real estate industry to work to ensure government has the capital available to make loans, said Phipps, “I think the average consumer really likes the idea of having a 30-year mortgage.”
 
To view a recap of the session, and results from our Hill Visits, go to VARealtor.com, too.
 
What’s 
Happening Around Town?
 
Robert Radifera Named Event Photographer for 
Design House 2012 
Local photographer, Robert Radifera, is the official photographer of Shelter for Help in Emergency’s third annual Design House fundraiser. Robert has been shooting professionally since 1993 when he graduated from college with a degree in Fine Arts. 
 
“One of the things I love about being a photographer is that the work can be so diverse,” said Radifera. “One day I may be photographing a family, another day I may be shooting a wedding, and another day it may be interiors for an architect’s portfolio.”  
 
Robert’s connection with the Shelter for Help in Emergency goes back over 15 years ago. His wife worked at the Shelter and later, sadly, a close friend of theirs had their daughter violently killed by her husband. For the third consecutive year, Robert will photograph Design House and his work will showcase talented designers and their creations. He also has the honor of working with the DC Design House in April.
 
Each year, a Charlottesville-area homeowner generously extends the use of his or her residence for the Design House event. Designers and their vendors assigned to individual rooms and spaces showcase their talents and the latest in interior design styles and techniques. The result is a unique tour for visitors, where each room reflects a designer’s creative vision and provides endless and inspiring ideas for the home.
 
This year’s Shelter for Help in Emergency’s design house is the Ivy Farms home of Sanjiv and Cindy Kaul, located at 2020 Wingfield Road.  Design House 2012 will be open to the public May 5-20. Tickets will go on sale in April.
 
The House is also available for private and corporate events. Visit us at www.CvilleDesignHouse.com.
 
PCA Announces Artists for Upcoming Exhibits
Piedmont Council for the Arts (PCA) is pleased to announce the four artists who have been selected for the 2012 Arts Inspire workshop and exhibit series. This series matches local artists with groups who work with under-served youth in the Charlottesville area for short-term arts workshops.
 
This year, the Arts Inspire theme aligns with Charlottesville’s “Celebrate250!” event, and artists were asked to submit proposals in response to the creative prompt, “Telling Charlottesville’s Stories.” PCA received over 30 proposals from local artists, and on Friday, February 17, a panel selected the following four workshops:  
“Nature Sculptures” with Patrick Costello
“Local Hero Portraits” with Julia Hauser
“Telling Charlottesville’s Stories Through Artistic Maps” with Lisa Kimball
“Dancing My Charlottesville Story” with the Terra Dance Project
 
Panelists included Ric Barrick (City of Charlottesville), Mary Anna Dunn (Enrichment Alliance of Virginia; PCA Arts Lead), Chris Engel (City of Charlottesville), Maureen Lovett (New City Arts Initiative; PCA Arts Lead), Nina Ozbey (PCA Board of Directors), Becky Reid (Big Brothers Big Sisters; PCA Arts Lead), and Steve Taylor (Second Street Gallery). 
 
Each selected artist or multi-artist project will receive one $500 stipend. Workshops will be held between March-July 2012. The artwork created during the workshops will be featured in May and August exhibitions at the CitySpace Gallery, located at 100 5th St. NE, overlooking the Downtown Mall.
 
This project is funded by the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in the CACF, and will be promoted as part of Charlottesville’s year-long “Celebrate250!” event. 

 

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