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SCAM ALERT: Deed Processing Solicitation

RVAR alerted members last summer. But the scam has become so widespread, Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring has just issued a statewide scam alert.

A company with a return address based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has been mailing solicitations to homeowners attempting to sell them copies of property deeds for $83. The solicitation looks official and lists specific property information, including parcel and zone identification.

Citizens may obtain a copy of their deed or related documents from the local Circuit Court Clerk's Office where the recording was made for a copying fee of 50 cents per page (typically 2 or 3 pages) at any time they need it.

If you believe you have been a victim of this or any other fraud or consumer crime, call the Virginia Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-552-9963.

3 Trends That Predict the Home of Tomorrow

The home of tomorrow isn't about Jetson-esque wonders and smartphone apps. It's about home value, the environment and our lifestyles. In an effort to predict what home features will be most valued in 25 years, we focus on 3 rising trends.

1. Extreme Energy Efficiency:  Utility bills are expected to skyrocket over the next couple of decades. You can expect to see:

  • Waterless toilets: Residential water rates are rising in the US and toilets are responsible for nearly 27% of our total water use.
  • Grey water systems: These systems will reuse up to 60% of your household water for watering the lawn and flushing toilets.
  • Energy dashboards: You know how cars share the miles per gallon we're getting? An energy dashboard will do the same for our homes.
  • And garages wired for electric vehicles.

2. The Rise of Super Storms: Since super storms are becoming the norm, homeowners can be left without electricity for weeks, even months. Expect to see whole house generators become a more common feature in homes.

3. The Locally Grown Movement: The desire to eat healthier, better-tasting foods continues to increase. This will make indoor gardens more common, allowing people to create the farm to table experience in their own kitchens.

Source:   Deirdre Sullivan


Roanoke MSA Lowest Unemployment Since November 2008

New unemployment figures confirm the recovery is strengthening in Roanoke, which just experienced its lowest level of unemployment since November, 2008 and the lowest December figures since 2007. Unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show there were 1,591 fewer unemployed in the Roanoke metro area in December, 2013 when compared to December, 2012.

Last year appears to have been a good year for Roanoke's economy. Data on economic growth revealed Roanoke outpaced 75% of metros in gross metro product growth in 2012. Regional employers have responded by adding jobs to meet growing demand. Consumers have responded as well: 2013 home sales were at their highest level since 2007 in terms of number sold.

Thank you to the Roanoke Regional Partnership for sharing the positive news!

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