State Roundup: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, and Oregon

January 1, 2004

Massachusetts: Doubled up

Soaring home prices have driven up the number of families living with relatives by 95 percent from 26,685 in 1980 to 52,008 in 2000, or 3.3 percent of households statewide, according to the University of Massachusetts. The report was previewed in the Nov. 17 Boston Globe.

New Jersey: Needed: inspection injection

Municipal inspectors looking at new homes aren’t always qualified and tend to be overworked, allegedly leading to under-reporting of new-home construction defects, the New Jersey Commission of Investigation says. The state attorney general has said he’ll work with lawmakers to improve regulation of inspectors.

Virginia: Business buddy

Virginia is the country’s most business-friendly state, says Pollina Corporate Real Estate, an Illinois-based site selection company. Business friendliness is based on criteria such as tax rates, right-to-work laws, energy costs, and workers’ compensation laws. Other friendly states: Alabama, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. The findings were reported in The Wall Street Journal Nov. 19.

Oregon: Good sign

The Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® continues working with local governments on their sign ordinances. The association in late November was working with officials of Tigard, Ore., on ordinances prohibiting A-frame-style open house signs and the number of signs practitioners may place on a property. The association has already worked with five other localities to enable practitioners to use public rights of way for sign placement during limited hours.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.

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