Home inspections, eminent domain and education

HB2011: Residential Property Disclosure Act; amends required residential property disclosure statement

This is one of the bills that may have the most impact on buyers and sellers of real estate in Virginia. Currently, there are two forms from which to choose when selling a home – a Disclosure or Disclaimer (pdf). I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago, but now it appears that HB2011 is very likely to pass into Law. There will essentially no longer be a Disclaimer, but caveat emptor will still be present. Note the changes, of which there are far too many to itemize here. One of the more interesting changes is the advocacy of the home inspection:

(ii) The owner makes no representations or warranties as to the condition of the real property or any improvements thereon, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence a particular purchaser deems necessary including obtaining a certified home inspection, as defined in § 54.1-500, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event, prior to settlement on a parcel of residential real property.

HB2064: Salespersons & brokers; Real Estate Board to adopt regulations establishing educational requirement.

More education is typically a good thing.

SB1296: Eminent domain; not to be used for purpose of economic development or to increase tax revenue.

The public position of VAR, and an opposing view. I am torn in my view of eminent domain. If a broadband company is expanding into a rural area, and one landowner is stopping that progress, part of me supports the landowner’s right to keep his land and, in turn, harm all of those around him. The other side of me recognizes the need to progress and expansion, and realizes that this is an example of justified eminent domain. If government could be trusted, this I wouldn’t be so conflicted.

HB3202: Transportation funding; authority to certain localities to impose additional fees therefor, report

I don’t even know where to begin on this one. Transportation is such an extraordinarily complex, convoluted and conflicting issue, all I can do is hope that something productive comes to pass.

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1 Comment

  1. TrvlnMn February 13, 2007 at 18:04

    I know this was just an example…

    If a broadband company is expanding into a rural area, and one landowner is stopping that progress, part of me supports the landowner’s right to keep his land and, in turn, harm all of those around him. The other side of me recognizes the need to progress and expansion, and realizes that this is an example of justified eminent domain.

    But…

    Broadband utilizes the companies already existing infrastructure with the addition of some hardware, and in some areas remote terminals. In the rural areas some of the hardware needs to be upgraded to accomodate DSL. However, the reason the rural areas don’t have DSL isn’t because of lack of infrastructure but because it isn’t “cost effective.” Not enough potential customers vs cost of upgrade and delivery.

    If there is a real desire by a private interest to provide a service, eminent domain is not the proper vehicle to facilitate it. Instead of Eminent Domain being abused, to force a person to accept unsatisfactory terms, the old chestnut of honest negotiation should be used. Everyone has a price it’s just a matter of whether or not one is willing to pay it.