Where The Kids At?

Where are the family neighborhoods in Charlottesville?

Which neighborhood in the Charlottesville area (Charlottesville City or Albemarle County) does this sign reside?
(and why does it matter?)

Street signs are not a protected class. Yet.

One of the most common criteria I get from families looking for homes in the Charlottesville area is – We want to live in a neighborhood that has a lot of kids.

1- Are there kids in this neighborhood?

Look for balls, bikes and playground sets. Despite the fact that most families with kids want to live in neighborhoods with other kids, this is (per my training) deemed to be a Fair Housing Law violation.

Did you know?

So a broker who says something like, “There are tons of little kids in this building neighborhood — it’s really family friendly” could be accused of specifically steering families to the building and driving people without children away from it.

* Editor’s note: I inserted “neighborhood”


Some may argue that my approach is extreme, but:

1) I’d rather just treat everyone the same
2) I’d rather not be sued and lose my ability to practice what I love.
3) Fair is an arbitrary term, in my opinion – my fair is likely different than a teenage girl’s fair is different than a 72 year old retiree’s fair. I like “same”. Merriam Webster doesn’t define “fair” as the real estate world interprets it until 6a:

1 : pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming, or flawless quality
2 : superficially pleasing : specious
3 a : clean, pure b : clear, legible
4 : not stormy or foul : fine
5 : ample
6 a : marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism
b (1) : conforming with the established rules : allowed (2) : consonant with merit or importance : due c : open to legitimate pursuit, attack, or ridicule


Walkable neighborhood” apparently might be construed by some as discriminatory.

* Title shamelessly inspired by Toyota’s Swagger Wagon.

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  • downtownenvy

    Jim,
    I remember when I first asked you this same question and you gave me a very similar, diplomatic answer. Can we please put consistency down as a great quality in your broker/realtor?

    • http://realcentralva.com Jim Duncan

      Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but it’s invaluable this part of the real estate world. :) Misunderstandings can lead to very bad things.

      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

  • http://www.DougFrancis.com Doug Francis

    “Let’s keep a look-out for swing sets, is that important to you?”

    “Oh, so not little kids but teenage kids?”

    I feel questions like this are impossible for real estate agents to answer. Even if there is a perfect child next door for their child to play with, who can guess if their parents are about to move too? It isn’t being evasive on an agent’s part but it is just too vague a question.

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