Author Archives: Jim Duncan
I've said for years that if you're in the Charlottesville area and are thinking about selling your home in the Spring, you should be having pictures taken of your home Now. If you decide in the dead of winter and want exterior photos taken those pictures will be of a desolate landscape - and that doesn't look so great to potential buyers.
Also, if you're thinking about selling, now is the time to start truly learning the market, evaluating comps, and determining whom to hire to represent you.
If you have questions or would like a recommendation for a photographer (or a market analysis), please ask me.
Me? I was somewhat surprised at how few found their new home via real estate agents ... but upon reflection, not really.
For years I've written and said that a good real estate agent's skillset is far, far more than having a login to the MLS and a lockbox key (although I'd argue that that's the primary skillset for at least half of licensed real estate agents).
A great real estate professional helps buyers (and sellers) put together puzzles, serves as a guide - a navigator of the market, and a filter and interpreter of the seemingly endless morass of purportedly relevant information available. Searching for homes online is easy; ascertaining whether that home is the right one for you is often much more difficult.
Heck, in 2007, I wrote about 12 reasons to to use a Realtor.
With that preface, have some fun with the data the NAR just put out about where buyers find homes.
A friend wrote some time ago that part of finding success is to give a sh*t.
Giving a sh*t is hard. But it's rewarding and meaningful. This post? Not about real estate, other than that a tremendous component of "real estate" is community.
Just over nine years ago, I started RealCrozetVA with a simple goal -"to provide a forum for Crozet to (hopefully) discuss their thoughts about Crozet’s growth." At the time of the blog's inception, Crozet was smaller, Old Trail hadn't yet begun, the new Crozet Library was still being designed, and there was palpable concern, and questions, about what was happening.
In the past nine years, a lot has changed. Facebook and Twitter, for example, didn't exist. Now those channels have become major components of the RealCrozetVa communication voice. I've never spent the time to figure out a "strategy" per se, but some things are more appropriate for Facebook, some for Twitter, and I've started a "recently on facebook" category on the blog to archive the conversations there.
Two thoughts on the changing technology - 1) I wish I'd done a better job of archiving photos of Crozet. 2) One of the constants in this journey has been WordPress.
The Crozet Gazette launched a few years ago and has provided consistently great reporting, something I'm just not going to do.
I'd love to be able to make some changes to the design (like add an "add to calendar" button) but that's likely to not ever happen by me.
But really? The "success" of RealCrozetVA is thanks to the community's involvement, their comments, likes, replies, etc.
Have I "gotten business" from RealCrozetVA? Maybe, but that's never, ever, been the goal. I occasionally write about the Crozet real estate market (46 posts in 9 years - about 3% of the time), merely as a reminder that I do happen to earn a living as a real estate agent.
One thing that is absolutely critical is Blue Ridge Internetworks who provide the hosting and support for RealCrozetVA for free. Thank you. (I'd get their fiber to my house if I could)
I'm grateful for the community in which I live, and hope to continue writing about it for some time.
* I'm always looking for guest posters, though!
The #1 Question buyers and sellers ask - whether in the conference room, the coffee shop, beers or dinner, is "how's the market?" The underlying question tends to be a variation of, "can I sell?" or "should I sell" or "can I buy a home" or "should I buy a home"?
Update: NBC29 had a nice report last night and I've immensely glad they used what I've been saying for years -
“Get advice on what this report means to them because the report gives them good guidance but every market truly is extremely localized. The Charlottesville and Albemarle areas can vary neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street,” Duncan said.
For example -
I was pulling some data this afternoon on condos in the City of Charlottesville. Comparing 3rd Quarter 2014 with the 3rd Quarter 2013, condo prices in the City were up about 15%. But. Looking at the data a bit more granularly:
In 3rd Quarter 2013, 32 condos sold in the City versus 22 in the 3rd Quarter 2014 ... and one sold in this 3rd quarter for $1.1 million, with the next highest sold price being $485k. Compare that with the 3rd Q 2013 where the highest sold price was $450k.
The data matters, but the context - and relevance to your particular situation - matters more.
The below reports will provide some top-level insight, but be cautioned ... top level analyses provide just that - insight into what others are able (or unable) to accomplish.
More digging to be done, but for now here is CAAR's 3rd Quarter Market report.
The Nest Report will be released a bit later today has just been released - Download the 2014 Q3 Charlottesville Market Nest Report.
I'd call this, generally, good density - in the urban ring, less than 10 minutes (east/south east) to the Downtown Mall, good access to schools and 64, close to stuff (including the coming Wegmans), and (hopefully) meeting the needs of the marketplace. If the end result looks close to the rendering ... (and if there are sidewalks and crosswalks).
More infill neighborhoods, so long as the accompanying infrastructure improvements, are examples of relatively good growth.
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has approved construction of as many as 100 new homes between Avon Street Extended and Route 20 in the county’s southern urban area.
“We live in a county that increases population by about 2,000 people per year,” Cetta said at the board’s meeting earlier this week. “There has been very little change here as opposed to most places in the country that would be filled with subdivisions by now. We want density in these spots, and the county is looking terrific as a result of that.”
Ello. The newest, greatest social network that's hoping to supplant Facebook. I hope they succeed. But what is it? (what's this have to do with real estate? Not much, other than real estate is in part a social business, and ello is social.)
I'm still figuring Ello out, and it's a bit fun to be in the early days of something new and somewhat undefined. The loneliness there is a bit different from the loneliness I perceive on Google +; to me, Ello is new while G+ is tried and mostly failed.
But really, I signed up in order to further my lifelong battle to be thought of as Jim Duncan from Charlottesville rather than Jim Duncan the weatherman.
NB: My blog is in transition right now; the tag isn't working, so to read the rest, click here.
Charlottesville (meaning: Charlottesville + Albemarle) is a great place to live, and a great place to retire as well.
Neil Williamson poses a great question, highlighted by one of the better opening sentences I've read in some time:
Rather than asking if they aspire to be Austin or Aspen, the real question for Albemarle County is a choice between fostering job growth or becoming a land of newlyweds and nearly deads?
Great question that speaks to the dearth of "ladder jobs" and the need for the County to actively seek out employers who will provide said ladder jobs. For an example of how Albemarle is competitively outmatched, look no further than how they were completely outmaneuvered (so I'm told) in the recent battle to woo Stone Brewery to Crozet.
Part of the conversation should also be - how can the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle cooperate to bring businesses that will benefit all parties (residents, local coffers, tourists).
The subscription-only monthly note from Jim Duncan/RealCentralVA - this month, the Charlottesville real estate market, perspective & thoughts on home inspections and the always-popular roundup of the previous month's best blog posts from RealCentralVA and RealCrozetVA.
One change that I've made recently: I'm publishing the archives a few months after they're published. If you're curious, you can read 2013's notes, and I think I'm going to publish them all here on RealCentralVA in December. (me? I tend to print them to edit them)