Henrico County VA

Housing market shows positive signs

The housing market in Central Virginia showed signs of improvement during the third quarter of the year, according to the Richmond Association of Realtors.

Home sales in the region rose 23 percent from the same period in 2010, and pending sales (a strong indicator of final sales) were up 11 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2010.

“The fact that the housing market in 2011 has outperformed the 2010 housing market through the first nine months of the year is amazing, considering that buyers had the inducement of a tax credit to spur their decision making last year and no such inducement exists this year,” said Cheryl Hamm, president of the Richmond Association of Realtors and Central Virginia Regional MLS. “Of course, sales prices continue to lag, but we've known all along that sale price would be the last indicator to turn around."

The main factors dampening the resurgence of home prices are the foreclosure inventory and the economic uncertainty of buyers and sellers, Hamm said.

“The continued presence of foreclosures in the market makes it difficult for sale prices to rebound when the region is viewed as a whole,” she said. “We are seeing some modest price increases in certain neighborhoods; we've even seen some multiple offer situations. In many instances, whether a home is selling and for what price is dependent upon the factors that have always been most important – location, the condition of the home, and the sale price.”

As major banks have resumed with processing foreclosures, an initial foreclosure uptick may be in store, but in the long run this will help promote the movement of foreclosure inventory.

"If positive economic indicators continue to show promise, consumer confidence should also improve, Hamm said.

“Can I predict what the fourth quarter will look like or how 2012 will shake out? No. The fourth quarter is typically seasonally slow, so I would not be surprised if that held true for this year as well," she said. "As for 2012, there are just too many variables abroad and here in the U.S. for me to make a prediction."
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Community

Tree seedling giveaway planned April 2-3


The Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District will sponsor a tree seedling giveaway on April 2 at Dorey Park Shelter 1 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on April 3 at Hermitage High School parking lot from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Bare-root tree seedlings are available to Henrico County residents free of charge for the spring planting season.

The following seedling species will be available: apple, kousa dogwood, red maple, river birch, red osier dogwood, loblolly pine, sycamore, bald cypress, white dogwood and redbud. Quantities are limited and trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each participant is allowed up to 10 trees total, not to include more than five of the same species. > Read more.

State provides online directory of Bingo games


Wondering where to go to play Bingo? Wonder no more.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently launched an online directory of permitted bingo games played in Virginia. Listed by locality, more than 400 regular games are available across the state. The directory will be updated monthly and can be found on VDACS’ website at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/gaming/index.shtml.

“Many Virginia charities, including volunteer rescue squads, booster clubs and programs to feed the homeless, use proceeds from charitable gaming as a tool to support their missions, said Michael Menefee, program manager for VDACS’ Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs. > Read more.

Local couple wins wedding at Lewis Ginter


Richmonders Jim Morgan and Dan Stackhouse were married at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Lakeside Mar. 7 month after winning the Say I Do! With OutRVA wedding contest in February. The contest was open to LGBT couples in recognition of Virginia’s marriage equality law, which took effect last fall. The wedding included a package valued at $25,000.

Morgan and Stackhouse, who became engaged last fall on the day marriage equality became the law in Virginia, have been together for 16 years. They were selected from among 40 couples who registered for the contest. The winners were announced at the Say I Do! Dessert Soiree at the Renaissance in Richmond in February. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Two events this weekend benefit man’s best friend – a rabies clinic, sponsored by the Glendale Ruritan Club, and an American Red Cross Canine First Aid & CPR workshop at Alpha Dog Club. The fifth annual Shelby Rocks “Cancer is a Drag” Womanless Pageant will benefit the American Cancer Society and a spaghetti luncheon on Sunday will benefit the Eastern Henrico Ruritan Club. Twin Hickory Library will also host a used book sale this weekend with proceeds benefiting The Friends of the Twin Hickory Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A taste of Japan

Ichiban offers rich Asian flavors, but portions lack

In a spot that could be easily overlooked is a surprising, and delicious, Japanese restaurant. In a tiny nook in the shops at the corner of Ridgefield Parkway and Pump Road sits a welcoming, warm and comfortable Asian restaurant called Ichiban, which means “the best.”

The restaurant, tucked between a couple others in the Gleneagles Shopping Center, was so quiet and dark that it was difficult to tell if it was open at 6:30 p.m. on a Monday. When I opened the door, I smiled when I looked inside. > Read more.

One beauty of a charmer

Disney’s no-frills, live-action ‘Cinderella’ delights

Cinderella is the latest from Disney’s new moviemaking battle plan: producing live-action adaptations of all their older classics. Which is a plan that’s had questionable results in the past.

Alice in Wonderland bloated with more Tim Burton goth-pop than the inside of a Hot Topic. Maleficent was a step in the right direction, but the movie couldn’t decide if Maleficent should be a hero or a villain (even if she should obviously be a villain) and muddled itself into mediocrity.

Cinderella is much better. Primarily, because it’s just Cinderella. No radical rebooting. No Tim Burton dreck. It’s the 1950 Disney masterpiece, transposed into live action and left almost entirely untouched. > Read more.

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