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Salem Named Virginia's Best City to Live In

When it comes to living in Virginia, people have lots of choices: the mountains or the beach, urban or rural, big city or small town. If you are looking for the best place to live in Virginia, look no further than Salem, Virginia.

Salem was recently named the Best City to Live in Virginia by The rankings were based on data from five key areas: violent crime, commuting, income, college education and restaurants per capita. Salem was also noted for its strong athletic presence, its spectacular views and proximity to attractions such as Dixie Caverns, Natural Bridge and Smith Mountain Lake.

Christiansburg took the number two spot -- and Martinsville ranked 10th on the list.

Advertising Alert: Rental Scams Continue

Online rental housing scams persist in the Roanoke Valley. RVAR was notified just last week of three rental scams -- involving postings on craigslist, Postlets and Oodle Marketplace. NOTE: These are legitimate websites which facilitate many legitimate transactions.

Criminals search legitimate websites that list homes for sale. They take the photos and information in those ads and post it, with their own email address, in an online ad as an available rental. The supposed rental is often listed with a below market rate. Potential renters may be asked to send a deposit out of state and/or fill out credit applications asking for personal information like credit history and social security numbers. Criminals can use this information to commit identity fraud and/or steal money from their victims.

Click here for tips on what REALTORS should do and how to report rental scams.


New Credit Scoring Calculation Will Improve Access to Homeownership
REALTORS® welcome the recent announcement from Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO, that it will no longer penalize borrowers for certain debt-collection activities when calculating credit scores.

Beginning this fall, FICO will no longer weigh medical debts -- which account for about half of all unpaid collections on consumers' credit reports -- as heavily as it did previously. Also, FICO will ignore any collections that have already been paid.

According to the National Assocition of REALTORS® President Steve Brown, "This move will ultimately make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans, who have been shut out of the housing market or forced to pay higher mortgage interest rates because of flawed credit scores. Since the housing crash, overly restrictive lending has been the greatest obstacle to homeownership."
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