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Animals Impact Home Decisions

In 2016, 61 percent of US households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future. When making decisions about buying, selling or renovating their homes, Americans, by and large, take their pets' needs into account, according to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS®.

The 2017 Remodeling Impact: Animal House report found that 81 percent of respondents said that animal-related considerations play a role when deciding on their next living situation.

According to the survey, 52 percent undertook home renovations to accommodate their pet. And 89 percent would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations. A majority of surveyed animal owners, 83 percent, own a dog; 43 percent own a cat; 9 percent own a bird, reptile, amphibian or small mammal.

 Click here to read NAR's full report.

 
Roanoke Region Offers Lowest Cost of Living in VA

When it comes to cost of living, Roanoke offers the best value of any metro in Virginia! Cost of living information is an important tool for individuals and businesses. It provides a baseline comparison for how far a dollar will go. And in the Roanoke Region, your dollar stretches further.

Annual numbers released by the Council for Community Economic Research for 2016 rank the Roanoke metro area as the 55th lowest cost metro in the nation with costs lower than 80 percent of participating metros. With an index of 89.1, costs in Roanoke are lower than the national average of 100.

The numbers put Roanoke well below the national average for costs and ahead of similarly sized metro markets in the South such as Richmond (94.3), Asheville (95.6) and Chattanooga (95.7). New York City ranked highest in cost of living with an index of 227.8.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services.

Thanks to the Roanoke Regional Partnership for sharing this good news!

 
NAR Focused on New Congress

The National Association of REALTORS® is gearing up for what is expected to be a busy first three months of the legislative session as a new Congress and new Administration tackle a number of priorities affecting real estate.

Health Insurance Reform: NAR is prepared to represent the interests of REALTORS® and real estate companies as the debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act begins. NAR favors retaining certain aspects of existing laws that benefit REALTORS® -- including not letting insurers deny coverage to people who have a preexisting condition, preventing insurers from charging markedly different premiums based on factors such as age, gender and health status, and allowing people to keep their children on their plans up to age 26.

Tax Reform: NAR's priority is to preserve longstanding tax incentives for home ownership and real estate investments, including the mortgage interest deduction and property tax deductions. On the commercial side, preserving 1031 like-kind exchanges is paramount.

Flood Insurance: Another pressing priority for NAR will be getting the National Flood Insurance Program reauthorized before it expires at the end of September. NAR is seeking another long-term reauthorization combined with additional reforms to increase the accuracy of flood mapping, provide financial assistance for more homeowners to mitigate their risk before a flood occurs, and develop a more robust private insurance market.

 Click here to read more about NAR's legislative efforts.

 
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