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Your Outdoor Living Space


Design Your Space To Blur the Line Between Inside and Outside

Creating a seamless transition between your home’s interior and exterior isn’t as simple or low cost as adding some cushy cushions, but it’s seriously the best way to pull you outside more.  

  • The most affordable way: switch out a standard door with french or sliding doors.
  • The wow-way: add weatherproof flooring, such as stone tile or scored concrete, for the space outside and the adjacent room inside

Virginia’s Multifamily Rental Market Has Fared Relatively Well Amid Pandemic


Key highlights from the report:

  • Despite widespread concerns about rent challenges and vacancy rates in the multifamily rental market, conditions have been fairly resilient in most markets across Virginia. Some property managers and landlords have had to make concessions or work out payment plans with tenants. However, overall rents have been stable or have risen in Q1 2021.
  • The state’s highest-cost urban markets have experienced the most stress during the pandemic. There were some modest declines in rents and increases in vacancy rates through Q1 2021, particularly in Northern Virginia.
  • Demand for rental housing in suburban locations has been strong during the pandemic, as more people have been working from home and desire more space. In Q1 2021, rent growth was relatively strong in suburban markets across the state.
  • The multifamily rental market in Virginia should be strong in 2021. An opening up of the economy and an incredibly tight for-sale market will fuel rental demand and promote strong renter demand.

How is Virginia’s Commercial Real Estate Market Doing? Just Fine


Key highlights from the report:

  • Virginia’s economy has been improving steadily since the summer, with gains in all regions across the state. Employment is still below pre-pandemic levels, but economic conditions are expected to improve as a result of the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the third round of Federal stimulus spending.
  • Office vacancy rates have risen modestly in most markets in Virginia, but rents have risen or remained stable through Q1 2021. Mid-sized and suburban markets have fared best. However, urban markets have seen more resiliency than many expected.
  • The retail market has been hardest hit by the downturn, but the impacts have not been as severe as anticipated. Retail vacancy rates have edged up, and net absorption is down in most markets in Q1 2021.
  • The industrial sector has been performing well through the pandemic and into the first part of 2021. Growth in e-commerce and shifting retail practices has fueled strong demand for industrial and warehouse space in Virginia.



Sixty-three percent of real estate professionals surveyed said their buyers requested a home that looks like homes that are staged on television. Are their expectations too high? Sixty-eight percent of REALTORS® said their buyers were disappointed by how homes appeared compared with those seen on TV shows.

TV design shows may lead to unrealistic expectations when house hunters go to view homes for sale. “The magic of television can make a home transformation look like it happened in a quick 60-minute time frame, which is an unrealistic standard,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler. That said, these shows can also help educate some home buyers and sellers about the sales process.

FHA Statement on Financial Health

On March 30, 2021, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge announced that Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund remained strong given the financial challenges faced by homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages in 2020. The Fund has more than $80 billion in reserves and remains well above the 2 percent minimum capital reserve required by Congress. Unfortunately, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the number of seriously delinquent FHA loans and FHA loans in forbearance has grown considerably. Given ongoing concerns for those borrowers adversely affected by the pandemic, FHA has decided to maintain the current pricing of the FHA loan premiums in order to protect against potential future losses to the Fund.

How to Aerate Your Lawn for Healthy Grass


How to Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating your grass is easy when you follow these simple steps.

  1. Water the grass. It’s tough to aerate soil that’s too dry. Water your lawn the day before, or plan to aerate a day after it rains.
  2. Use the aerator. Go across your entire lawn with your aerator tool. Make two passes over areas that see extra foot traffic.
  3. Seed and fertilize. The grass seeds you lay down will take root in the holes formed by aeration. Water every few days after aeration and seeding to help the new grass grow.


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By:  REBAC Staff

There are two types of title insurance:

1. Owner’s title policy

An owner's title insurance policy is a one-time expense, paid at the time you purchase a home. It protects your ownership rights. 

Title insurance is a good idea for new construction too. Even though the home has never been owned by anyone else, the land has had previous owners. There may be earlier claims on the land, or liens could have been placed during construction.

Incidentally, title insurance is vital if you buy a home (or land) in another country since property tax records may not be well maintained or recorded consistently.

2. Lender’s title policy

Lenders also need title insurance to ensure that their mortgage documents are valid and enforceable and to allow lenders to sell mortgages in the secondary market. The value of a lender’s title policy equals the amount you borrow from them. 


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By:REBAC Staff

Securing a mortgage is one of the most confusing and challenging aspects of buying a home.

1. Banks

Banks offer numerous services, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and personal loans. Since they don’t specialize in mortgages, their financing options may be more limited.

Also, mortgage processing and underwriting may take longer. However, if you already have an established relationship with a bank and appreciate having all your accounts in one place, this could be a good option.

2. Online lenders

Companies like Rocket Mortgage and LoanDepot are significant issuers of digital mortgages and attractive options for borrowers interested in—and qualified for—a streamlined application experience.

While online lenders claim their platforms are faster and easier, keep in mind that you’ll probably be coordinating details with a call center instead of a personal loan officer, which can make it harder to control the application process and meet your contractual deadlines.

3. Mortgage lenders

Some lenders only offer mortgages and provide a broader range of products, including FHA, VA, USDA, and other loans tailored to borrowers’ unique circumstances.

Most mortgage lenders keep all their processing, underwriting, and closing services “in house,” which can shorten and streamline the process of closing your loan.

4. Credit unions

Since credit unions are designed to serve their members, you might be able to secure an attractive mortgage through one of these nonprofit lending institutions. Credit unions also tend to have close ties with their local community and offer a more personal touch.

5. Mortgage brokers

Brokers do not issue any loans but have relationships with many different lenders. They can help you pinpoint a program ideal for your needs and identify the best rates between lenders through their extensive network.



Is it time to paint your front door? In many homes, the entrance door sees considerable traffic, wear, and tear. Over time, chips and dents take their toll, and colors fade, prompting the need for a paint job. Or, maybe you’re eager to change the color of your front door. Regardless of your reasons, selecting the right paint will help ensure that your work will be worth the effort.

Exterior Paints

Although you can use interior/exterior paints on your door, products that are formulated specifically for outdoor applications are preferable since they’re more durable and designed to resist staining, chipping, peeling, and fading.

Exterior paints are also thicker, with a higher concentration of pigments and additives, which helps them “weather” the snow, rain, sun, grime, and other challenges that outdoor conditions present.

Paint formulations that are “fade-resistant” or “UV resistant” will be vitally important to your paint job’s longevity if you select a darker color paint.

If your door will be exposed to considerable rain or snow or already shows signs of decay or mildew, you may want to select paint that is “mold-resistant” or “mildew resistant” to avoid these issues in the future.

Latex vs. Oil-Based Paints

Paint store representatives should be able to help guide your selection of the perfect paint for your front door, which depends, in part, on the type of door you have.

Oil-based paint may be preferable for a metal door to reduce the possibility of rust showing through. Latex paints, on the other hand, are typically recommended for fiberglass doors.

Some wooden doors have dark tannins that will “bleed” through paint, creating patches or streaks. This is more likely to occur with darker woods like cedar, redwood, mahogany, cherry, red oak, or cypress. Oil-based paints may be more effective in preventing bleed-through.

Other wooden doors like pine, maple, birch, aspen, or white fir are less likely to bleed and may be good candidates for latex paint.

Latex over Oil vs. Oil over Latex

If you are painting over existing paint, you should also try to use the same type of paint already present.

It’s not a big deal to use oil-based paint over an existing water-based finish, but applying a water-based product over oil-based paint can result in problems. That’s because water-based paints don’t always stick well or evenly to oil-based finishes, which means they may split and separate.

If you aren’t sure if the old paint on your door is oil- or water-based, consider using a bonding primer to ensure the new paint will adhere evenly.

Primer and Paint or a Combo Product?

An all-in-one product that includes both paint and primer will save you time and money over buying two different products, but is only recommended when you are:

  • Painting a new door,
  • Repainting with the same or very similar color, or
  • Painting a darker color over a lighter color.

On the other hand, if you’re going from a darker to a lighter color, it’s preferable to use a primer product before painting. A primer will provide better results by “sealing” in darker colors to avoid bleed-through. It also provides a smoother finish that helps the paint adhere better and look smoother.

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If you apply primer before you paint, both products should be of the same type (water or oil-based). To apply fewer paint coats, see if the primer can be tinted to match your paint. Using a white primer for a red door, for example, will make your job harder than it needs to be.

Choosing the Right Color

The color of your front door is a matter of personal taste. You may prefer a bright pop of color, a classic white, or deep, dark shades. However, keep in mind that paints with higher light reflective values (LRVs) will reflect rather than absorb light and heat.

LRV refers to where a paint falls on a scale that ranges from 0 (for black) to 100 (for white). If you paint your door in a shade with a higher LRV, it will absorb less heat, and the color won’t fade as fast. Typically, lighter colors have a higher LRV, and deeper colors have a lower LRV.

You may also want to consider the direction your door faces. For example, south-facing doors without any shade protection are exposed to more intense sunlight.

The Best Paint Finish

Paints come in various finishes. Ultimately, the choice is one of personal preference.

Matte — Flat, matte finishes are an attractive, dramatic choice, but they will need to be repainted sooner since a matte surface doesn’t wear as well or offer as much stain resistance as other finishes.

Gloss — If you prefer the super-shiny characteristics of glossy paint finishes, make sure your door’s surface is smooth and blemish-free since glossy finishes will magnify any imperfections. Glossy paint also shows brush strokes more readily.

Semi-gloss — A semi-gloss paint is a solid “middle of the road” option that provides the advantages of stain resistance and longer wear without the surface perfection demands of a high-gloss finish.

REIN Report

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