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Negative impact on property values

SoVaNow.com / October 11, 2012
Dear Viewpoint:

At a recent meeting where uranium mining was discussed, I expressed my view strictly from my prospective as a business owner of a local real estate company. I was later asked to write a letter to the editor sharing those thoughts. This is my first ever such letter which is indicative of how strongly I feel about this issue.

It is my personal opinion that if the uranium mining ban is removed, there will be a major negative impact on our future property values and on our real estate market in general. Here’s why. The first thing I need to do before I even attempt to sell a property to prospective buyers considering our area is to sell them on our community. My husband, Jim, and I relocated here over twenty years ago, and we fell in love with Halifax County. I have always enjoyed showing out of town buyers around while telling them why this is such a wonderful place to live. It’s fun to watch their surprised faces after they realize how many things we have here in our “little corner of the world.” Most people who “shop our area” are retirees, people in the health care business, teachers, or business and industry professionals. They are looking for a location that will best suit their needs and those of their families. The “world is their oyster” and they can very choosey because lots of communities would absolutely love to have them. The competition is brutal.

Unfortunately, on numerous occasions over the past year, I have encountered a new and unpleasant challenge. When I have been driving just such prospects around pointing out the many assets we have to offer, they have either seen the no uranium mining signs, or have heard people discussing fears about the possibility of a lift of the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. They have looked at me and asked if there is even a possibility of a uranium mine nearby. At that point, even though I then talked until I was “blue in the face” explaining all the efforts afoot to prevent the lifting of the ban, I could just see it in their eyes. I was afraid I had lost them. Just the perception of uranium mining can be a game changer for us as a selection for relocation when there are plenty of other choices in areas that have no uranium mining issues.

We simply cannot afford to lose this pool of buyers. Historically our market place has always had a healthy balance of both in-area and out-of-area purchasers. If we lose this fragile balance of supply and demand, in my opinion, our property values will suffer a devastating blow.

Best regards,
Rebecca “Honey” Davis
Owner/Broker, The Davis Company Realtors

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