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Eviction Moratorium


Smelly Sink Drain?

First, make sure your disposal is operational, and then turn the unit off at the switch.  Pack the disposal with a mixture of ice cubes and about 1/4 cup of baking soda; then turn the unit on at the switch.  Once the ice-grinding noise slows, pour a kettle of boiling water into the sink.

Your Monthly Maintenance Minute

  • Clean your dryer vent - inside and out.  Note: If you have a gas dryer make sure the the vent that leads outside is not covered by snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Wash or replace your shower curtain liner.
  • Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if needed.
  • Check all downspouts and gutters to make sure they are not blocked or being weighed down by ice or icicles.
  • Check to make sure ice is not preventing your garage doors from closing properly.
  • Check filter in HVAC system.  Change it if needed.
  • Check unfinished areas of basement and attic for leaks near foundation and roof.
  • Check water softener. Refill salt if necessary.
  • Clean shower and sink drains. Take your sinks apart by shutting off the water to the sink, removing the trap (put a bucket underneath!) and pulling out the gunk! Put the sink back together and then disinfect it. Boil two quarts of water. Put a cup of salt, a cup of baking soda, and a cup of vinegar into the drain. After about 30 seconds, pour in the boiling water. Do not use the sink for a few hours after disinfecting. You won’t be able to take the shower apart, but you can disinfect it the same way.
  • Disinfect garbage disposal. (Follow steps above for disinfecting drains.)
  • Dust the air/heat vents and returns in each room.
  • Clean the oven.
  • Disinfect all trashcans.
  • Put WD-40 on cabinets or drawers.  (January’s list included doors and windows.)
  • Check and clean dehumidifier or humidifier filters.
  • Run all water in sinks and showers and flush toilets that are not used frequently.
  • Make sure all flashlights and lanterns have working batteries.

Ban on Evictions and Foreclosures Extended


Ban on Evictions and Foreclosures Extended

The Department of Veteran Affairs has again extended its ban on foreclosures and evictions for properties secured by VA-guaranteed loans until June 30. The timeline has also been extended for requests from veterans for mortgage forbearance, which would allow veterans to pause their mortgage payments or pay those mortgages at a lower rate

Hampton Roads Market Summary: January 2021


Hampton Roads had a great start in the new year despite challenges due to the pandemic in 2020. Residential settled sales were strong in January 2021 with 2,293 homes sold compared to 1,723 homes sold in January 2020. That’s a significant increase of 33.08% year-over-year. Pending (or under contract) sales also continued to see increases moving into the new year rising 22.87%, from 2,147 in January 2020 to 2,638 in January 2021.

January’s residential active listings dropped 44.89% year-over-year with only 3,664 homes on the market, as compared to 6,648 back in January of 2020. With homes selling faster than new listings added to the market, the trend of record low inventory continues.

Virginia’s Economy by the Numbers


3.9 million is the total number of nonfarm jobs in Virginia at the end of 2020. The state has added back jobs steadily for seven consecutive months.

57% is the share of total jobs that were lost in March and April 2020 but have been regained as of the end of the year. The economic sectors with the largest continued employment losses include the Leisure & Hospitality, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Local Government sectors.

5.6% is the statewide unemployment rate at the end of 2020. The state’s unemployment rate is lower than the U.S. rate (6.7% in December 2020).

3.02% is the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate for the week ending March 4th, according to Freddie Mac. This is the first time the average 30-year FRM has been above 3% since the end of July.

4.1% is the fourth quarter 2020 growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Overall, the U.S. economy shrank 3.5% in 2020, which is the worst economic contraction since World War II.

For more information on the economic recovery in Virginia, check out the Virginia REALTORS® Monthly Economic Snapshot.  

Real Estate Interests in the Latest COVID Relief Package

$350 Billion
The latest COVID-19 relief legislation passed by Congress includes $350 billion in aid for state and local governments, helping to protect real estate interests in small and struggling communities. Other NAR priorities contained within the bill include $21.55 billion for rental assistance (on top of the $25 billion allocated in December).

Unemployment Rate Virginia

4.9% is the November 2020 unemployment rate in Virginia. The state’s unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national rate and has improved relatively quickly.

Virginia Economy

8,100 is the number of jobs added to the Virginia economy between October and November 2020. This is the 7th consecutive month of job gains in the Commonwealth. More than half of the jobs lost last spring have been gained back. The Richmond region led job growth with about 6,000 jobs added between October and November 2020.

Unemployment Benefits

19,530 is the number of Virginians who applied for initial unemployment benefits during the week ending January 2nd. New claims for unemployment had been falling for months before an uptick in December. With an extension of Federal unemployment benefits, it is likely we will continue to see this number rise in early 2021.
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