Category Archives: General Real Estate
This is not real estate related story other than the fact that many people choose to move to Charlottesville because of our excellent health care. Also, knowing what you are going to pay for something in healthcare is an oddly radical and seemingly impossible achievement.
Graelyn Brashear at C-Ville reports that the “Monticello Community Surgery Center (MCSC), an independent outpatient center owned by 22 shareholding physicians, is embarking on a new model centered around price transparency.” (although I cannot find a website for them other than this page)
When the list price for medical care is arbitrary and obscured, nobody can make an informed decision, and cost and quality become uncoupled.
“What’s wrong with our current system is that nobody understands what the cost of services are that they’re able to obtain through insurance, unfortunately in part by design,” he said.
I’m wondering – is what they’re doing similar to what the Surgery Center of Oklahoma is doing?
The two doctors who started the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, Dr. Keith Smith and Dr. Steven Lantier, are committed to charging fair prices, and they founded their hospital with the goal of price transparency. “What we’ve discovered is health care really doesn’t cost that much,” Dr. Smith told KFOR-TV. “What people are being charged for is another matter altogether.”
They have been posting all of their prices online for the past several years, and they charge significantly less than other hospitals in the area.
Anyone who knows me knows how frustrated I’ve been whenever I’ve broken myself playing soccer. Getting injured stinks; not knowing how much an MRI or X-Ray or doctor’s visit cost adds enormous stress and frustration to the equation.
So – will more people from around the country see this progressive option and move to Charlottesville? Conveniently, they’re going to be located close to the SOCA soccer facility … surely they will be some cross marketing, right?
Related reading: Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us
“I don’t want to play your game. It sounds monstrous.” “TOO LATE WE ALREADY DESIGNED MODERN CITIES AROUND IT” pic.twitter.com/YU5sCmQxJ6
— Peter Sachs Collopy (@collopy) March 7, 2014
- Four reasons bikes should not pay the same fines as cars
- The most revealing broadband maps we’ve ever seen
- 7 Essential Elements of your Home Inspection
- NAR: Pending home sales index down 9% year-over-year
- Why home prices are climbing again and what you should do about it
- New-home building is shifting to apartments
- Albemarle County Schools are building their own fiber network (search the doc for “dark fiber”. Continue reading
Assessments are up. So might be the mil rate.
Recommended budget value: $349.3 million
Increase over current year: 8.3 percent ($26.8 million)
Proposed real estate tax rate: 80.8 cents/$100 assessed value
Current rate: 76.6 cents/$100 assessed value
Impact: The annual tax bill on a property assessed at $300,000 would increase from $2,298 to $2,424 at the proposed rate.
Proposed raises: 2 percent for county staff
So … the tax rate cannot go higher than 80.8 cents/$100 assessed value. And it could stay at 76.6 cents. Of the proposed 4.2 cent increase, nearly half of that would be dedicated to the Albemarle County schools. This should be an interesting debate.
If you’re curious to learn even more about the Albemarle County budget, the County has a lot of information on their site.
I’m aiming to publish by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Curious or interested in reading some stuff I’ll likely never publish elsewhere? Too many posts in a month and you want just one email a month in which I recap some of the better stories from the previous month? Two clicks and you can subscribe.
I was curious about what assessments were doing in Crozet so I did a quick look. If you’re curious about background, context and methodology, please read the full post at RealCrozetVA.
If you look solely at the numbers, it looks like housing inventory is up. Not so.
I’ve been thinking for months that we’d be seeing more housing inventory on the market by now. It’s not yet here.
Comparing the first 9 days of February of this year versus last – 116 new listings came on last 1-9 February versus 50 this 1-9 February.
For the MSA (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson) – 84 this 1-9 February and 210 last 1-9 February.
I’m confused. I know this: I have buyers who are looking for homes to to, and we can’t find them. I get emails frequently from buyers’ agents who are looking for homes for their buyers, and they can’t find them.
If you’re interested, here’s a bit more data:
Update 18 February 2014: this is not merely a Charlottesville – Albemarle MSA trend. Redfin’s post today is outstanding.
Redfin agents say the downturn in demand is uneven. “The picture-perfect homes are selling just as fast as last year, often drawing a dozen or more offers,” according to Redfin Washington, D.C. agent Philip Gvinter. “But now the undesirable properties that would have sold in a few months last year aren’t selling at all. The biggest change is in between, with the sort-of-desirable homes. Last year, these homes got multiple offers and sold quickly. Now, they are getting only one offer during the first week, sometimes having to reduce their price, and the home is taking three to six weeks to sell.”
It’s always great to hear NAR’s chief economist talk. He’s in a tough spot – he’s a great economist. But he’s the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors – the trade association for Realtors*. Part of his job is to be both an honest economist and to spin the research positively for Realtors. That said, he’s infinitely better than his predecessor. I’m inclined to follow up on our lunch from a couple years ago to see how, if at all, his perspective has changed. That said …
A few takeaways -
- Rents and renters are rising
- Interest rates are likely to rise this year – he says to 5.3%
- Home sales are up (nationally)
- Home prices nationally have risen 20% (way to fast/high in my opinion)
(results from my running data)
For Charlottesville-Albemarle, contracts were down 11%:
226 – from 12/1/13-1/31/14 – number of homes went under contract in the Charlottesville MLS
254 – from 12/1/12-1/31/13
For Charlottesville MSA (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson), contracts were down 7%:
366 – from 12/1/13-1/31/14 – number of homes went under contract in the Charlottesville MLS
393 – from 12/1/12-1/31/13 –
One of the most striking things I heard him say was this:
Woah. National # from Lawrence Yun – home prices are up 20%; income is up 4%.
— Jim Duncan (@JimDuncan) February 6, 2014
Some (many?) parts of the Charlottesville area market are doing better, but if you were about to have a day like I’m about to have, you’d know that there remains a lot of pain and suffering – financial, personal and psychological – in our market.
Click through to see the slides from Dr. Yun’s presentation. Continue reading
In the “something cool coming to Downtown Charlottesville” category …
If the number of times this story was shared and discussed on Facebook is any indication of success, the new movie theater on the Downtown Mall is poised for tremendous success.
The Downtown theater, that just successfully drove the Vinegar Hill theater out of business, will now be an art house theater with a bar and restaurant.
Regal Cinema’s movie theater monopoly in Charlottesville has ended, and the new kid on the block is planning to serve up something sure to have local cinephiles salivating: a Downtown theater that offers upscale food and cocktails along with indie film fare.
He said the movies the new theater will show will be in line with the mostly indie fare currently screening at the Downtown Regal—which will continue to be the tenant in the space for the immediate future—but he also plans to show some more mainstream films.
Patience is recommended though.
The first step is getting approval from the city’s Board of Architectural Review for a new facade. He’ll present initial plans to the BAR on February 18, but he’s aware it might take awhile to get the O.K.
As it turns out, when my small one and I went to the UVA Women’s soccer tournament in December, we had an occasion to try what I perceive (and hope) this new theater will be.
At an old school theater in Raleigh. Drinking a Lagunitas. Why doesn't Charlottesville have such a movie theater? Other than "home"?
— Jim Duncan (@JimDuncan) December 8, 2013