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Buyers' Home Feature Preferences
The National Association of REALTORS® just released its 2013 Profile of Buyers' Home Feature Preferences, based on home purchases made between 2010 and 2012.

Geography and demography strongly influence what buyers value in a home. The typical home purchased was 1,860 square feet, built in 1996 with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Slightly over half of the homes purchased were on a single level.

Southerners tended to buy newer homes and placed a higher importance on air conditioning. Other highlights include:
  • 78% chose a home with a garage.
  • 57% purchased a home with a fireplace.
  • Having a laundry room rated highly.
Though 97% of home buyers were satisfied with their recent home purchase, the majority wished their home had more or larger closets and more storage.

Within 3 months of a home purchase, 53% of buyers undertook a home improvement project, spending an average of $4,550. The most common after-purchase projects were: a kitchen project, bathroom project, new or replaced lighting and new appliances.
 
Transportation Legislation Passed
The Virginia General Assembly has passed a transportation bill that guarantees new money for Virginia's roads, bridges and rail. This is historic legislation for Virginia, the first significant and sustainable allocation of new money for transportation infrastructure in a generation.

The Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR), supported by REALTORS® statewide, chose to be assertive in this year's transportation debate. VAR publicly supported Governor McDonnell's statewide plan and worked behind the scenes with legislators to help shape the final compromise legislation. VAR will continue to work with elected officials to address lingering flaws in the final bill, which now awaits the input of Governor McDonnell.

The bill would eliminate the $0.175 per-gallon gas tax that consumers pay at the pump, and it raises revenues through a variety of new and increased taxes:
  • A new 3.5% tax on gasoline at the wholesale level (about $0.12 per gallon at current prices)
  • A new 6% tax on Diesel at the wholesale level
  • Raising Virginia's sales and use tax from 5% to 5.3%
  • Raising the motor vehicle sales tax from 3% to 4.3% over five years
  • A new $100 annual tax for hybrid, electric and alternative fuel vehicles (except for those powered by natural gas.)
The plan is expected to raise about $880 million a year by 2018, much of it earmarked for transportation. There are also "regional congestion relief" plans for the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads areas.

Click here to read the message sent to all Virginia REALTORS® from VAR President Mary Dykstra and VAR CEO Scott Brunner.
 
2012 Profile of Buyers and Sellers
Did you know that the typical homebuyer in 2012 was 42 years old and searched for 12 weeks, viewing 10 homes before purchasing. The typical home purchased was 1,900 square feet in size, was built in 1992 and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Eighty-seven percent of buyers financed their home purchase, typically financing 91% of the cost.

The National Association of REALTORS® annually gathers detailed information about the buying and selling experience. Click here for a one page snapshot of the key survey findings.
 
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