Charlottesville Breaking News

Dodd-Frank: Wanna make a $54K down payment?

There’s a big buzz these days in the real estate blogosphere about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law last July. Including 16 titles that address everything from the regulation of hedge funds to the Federal Reserve System, Dodd-Frank has been described as the most sweeping change in financial regulations since the Great Depression. While few seem to disagree that the intent behind the legislation is indeed to offer protection to the consumer, many in the real estate community are concerned about the proposed rule that was released March 29 regarding Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRMs).

And just what is a QRM? 

In an effort to shield borrowers from unscrupulous lending practices, Dodd-Frank requires lenders that securitize mortgage loans to retain 5 percent of the credit risk unless the mortgage is exempt. The logic behind this seems solid: if lenders have to retain a portion of the risk, they’ll be less likely to originate shaky loans, right?

FHA loans, which currently require a 3.5 percent down payment, are exempt, as are QRMs, which must meet the following criteria: 

• The loan must be for an owner-occupied property, not an investment.
• The borrower must have no judgments, defaults, or bankruptcies for three years prior to application and must ha...

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The Hook presents: A Restaurant Week guide to summer entertaining

It never truly feels like summer until you throw (or attend) that first al fresco cocktail party; whether you look forward to the tasty and fruity cocktails or the delicious hors d'oeuvres to nibble on, summer entertaining is generally the highlight of the season.

Just throwing together a few friends, lawn games, and beer in your back yard? Don't be afraid to serve restaurant-quality munchies for your guests to graze on. Summer 2011 is all about spoiling your palate with pops of flavor, color, and class. The Hook asks our favorite restaurateurs– with some of the best patios and outdoor eateries in town– to plot the perfect cocktail party menu for any summer soiree.




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Rock Hill forever: Charlottesville's not-so-secret gardens

Forget about the impending Meadowcreek Parkway and the 250 Interchange project for a minute, as well as the fabulous history of the nearby eight-acre Rock Hill estate, once the site of a circa-1820 two-story Federal style house (which, thanks to a mischievous youngster, burned down in 1963). Forget that famed architect Eugene Bradbury once called it home, and that the Rev. Henry Alford Porter, minister of Charlottesville’s First Baptist Church (Park Street), who bought the place in the 1930s, created the extensive rock gardens that one UVA architectural historian has called the "most complex residential garden landscapes in all of Charlottesville."

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Assault history: Haskins gets 25 years for child sodomy

For a 27-year-old, Robert Terrell Haskins has racked up a pretty lengthy rap sheet consisting largely of sexual assaults. His latest day in court June 28 resulted in his lengthiest sentence: 25 years on two counts of forcible sodomy of a minor. Yet some are wondering if that's enough.

Haskins began his notorious career on December 30, 2002, as the Greenleaf Attacker. He knocked down a 34-year-old mother who was in the park with her toddler, and told police he intended to have sexual relations with her; but when she fought him off and screamed, he fled.

In court a year later, police were outraged that instead of a felony attempted rape conviction, an out-of-town judge convicted him of misdemeanor sexual battery and sentenced Haskins to six months time served.

He picked up another misdemeanor sexual battery conviction for grabbing the buttocks of a female jogger in February 2003 on Locust Avenue, and almost immediately after his release from jail in October 2003, he allegedly chased another woman down that same street.

In 2005, he followed a woman who lived on Little High Street several times, asked to use her bathroom, kissed her, then attempted to break into her house, and stole her purse and a laptop, for which he was ...

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Whatever happened? 10 updated stories

Whatever happened after authorities slew the geese in Forest Lakes? Whatever happened to Oliver Kuttner's remarkably light car? What's the latest on the search for Morgan Harrington's killer? This week, we look back at ten classic cover stories– dramatic tales, poignant remembrances, investigative reports, and colorful profiles– to learn the very latest.–Hawes Spencer, editor


Historic decision: Tax credit case stalls School rehab

 When the Hook checked in a year ago on the project to rehabilitate a  historic-yet-decrepit African-American school into a community and cultural heritage center, plans were drawn, tenants lined up, and the project was just waiting on a loan. Despite almost $6 million in city funding, the private partnership in charge of the renovation said there was one other essential: historic tax credits.

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit threw a wrench into that plan. Until now, Virginia's credits have been handed out to virtually any rehab deemed historic, but the Court is now declaring them taxabl...

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Editor's Note
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