Tag Archives: charlottesville real estate

What is “Usual and Customary” in Charlottesville? – Part 1

Question Mark Graffiti

Part 1 of 2.

What’s “normal" in your market may not be (and probably isn’t) normal in the Charlottesville real estate market.

So what’s “normal” in the Charlottesville real estate market? It’s a question that’s asked of me by buyers coming from other markets (agents, too) and sellers who haven’t sold a house before (or for many years). Note: what you see on HGTV is not what is “usual and customary” in the Charlottesville market. (or any market on Planet Earth).

“Usual and customary” is always changing. Radon inspections weren’t "usual and customary" a couple years ago; now they are. Heck, buyer agency wasn’t usual and customary 15 years ago.

Tina, a colleague in the Nest Blacksburg office, asked a few questions and naturally I felt the answers would be well-served to be posted here, particularly for buyers moving to the Charlottesville area and for sellers who may be moving to other market and not have relevant experience selling a home in our market. Answers are mine.

Q: Do agents use a standard contract? If so, is it the VAR (Virginia Association of Realtors) contract, one provided by your Realtor Association, or a combination of both?

A: Most Realtors in the Charlottesville area use the VAR contract for almost all of our forms, including home inspection, radon etc. We tend to craft specific addenda as needed.

Posted in Albemarle, Charlottesville, General Real Estate, Stupid Real Estate Questions - AKA: What are the questions you think you should know but have never asked? | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Real Estate Radio – WNRN on 20 January

If you're feeling like the past month of real estate data releases hasn't satiated your need for real estate information and analysis, you're invited to listen to Matt Hodges and me this Sunday morning at 11am on WNRN radio. Whenever we do this, it's a lot of fun - talking for an hour about real estate, mortgages, the market and often times quite a bit more generally leads to a useful and informative conversation.

If you're local, tune in to 91.9. If you're not local (or don't have a radio) the interwebs have you covered.

We tend to prep for four hours' worth of radio, talk for about and hour, and get through 20% of what we have available. Live radio is always a bit nerve-wracking as the conversation is largely unscripted, but the resulting hour podcast is something that:

1) Usually generates inspiration for at least five stories

2) I tend to refer to frequently as I typically learn something from all of the prepping and resulting conversation.

So … in prepping for the show, we're tentatively planning on talking about:

- The Charlottesville real estate market (naturally) - how it's doing, how it might do in 2013

- When buyers and sellers should start their respective processes. (now)

- Real estate assessments (they're coming out very soon) and their impact on actual market value

- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recent rules (800 pages of them) and their potential impact on the market.

- Qualified Residential Mortgages (see above)

- New construction in Charlottesville

- Shadow inventory

- Redfields' buying open space

- More quality inventory

Suggestions welcome.

After some more thought, I 'm thinking we might talk about the coming Wegmans and Fresh Markets, energy efficiency in homes, realtor productivity … one of the best parts of these shows are the recap posts I write that afternoon or next morning, replete with links, research, supporting information and more.
Posted in Albemarle, Charlottesville, General Real Estate, Shameless Self Promotion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Charlottesville Real Estate Market Update – In 8 Minutes or Less

Thanks to Coy Barefoot for having me on his excellent Charlottesville - Right Now! show this afternoon. I tried to provide clear, quick analysis of the good, bad and possibly ugly in the Charlottesville real estate market - positivity framed with market realities and some context. Listen to the podcast below. Describing "where we are" in the Charlottesville real estate market is extremely difficult to accomplish in a short period 0f time; luckily there's the 1st Quarter Nest Report for more in depth insight. I think this tweet best describes today's real estate market:
18 homes closed in CharlAlbemarle last week; Days on Market ranged from 0 to 863. $/sq ft from $89 to $227.#ThereIsNoOneMarket
As always, questions welcomed.
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City of Charlottesville Real Estate Market Update – First Ten Months of 2011

One big notation: I'm no longer comparing today's real estate market; what happened in 2005 - 2007 and before is interesting, curious, anomalous and ultimately irrelevant to today's real estate market. EVERYTHING is different now - interest rates, economic outlook, international economic events, gas prices, employment trends - making comparisons between this market and that market is a distraction.

The City of Charlottesville's real estate market is unique - its mix of homes - single family, condo, townhouse, the fact that is has a relatively smaller percentage of newer construction and its more dense and urban location make it quite distinctive from the surrounding markets.

First, the bullet points:

- Active Listings - Fewer than last year, but still too high.

- New Listings - Fewer than the past two years and trending down; this is a very good thing. As fewer houses come on the market, more houses will sell and we'l be able to find our way through the current spate of houses on the market. *

- All Pendings (Under Contracts) - Higher than the last two years; this is a very good thing. People are buying real estate.

- New Pendings (Better reflecting current market activity) -

- Sold Listings - Slightly higher than last year.

I'd love to include the numbers and charts for Days on Market and the List Price to Sales Price ratio, but I have found that the only, only, only way to run these numbers with any degree of accuracy is to do it manually. For specific properties and neighborhoods.

Note also that these numbers and charts are for everything - single family, attached and condos - your market will vary.

* I'm not totally convinced that the houses that are coming on the market in the Charlottesville and Albemarle real estate market are the ones that buyers want to buy - whether size or energy efficiencies, I think that the inventory we've seen over the past 18 months has not quite matched to what buyers want, and this is a reason that we've seen the new construction market in the Charlottesville area do so well.



Now, the charts and graphs ...

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Belevedere Neighborhood Maturing

I've always liked the Belvedere neighborhood; I think it's a great place - great neighborhood, great location and well-designed energy efficient houses.

Charlottesville Tomorrow reports on how Belvedere is growing up and taking shape.

“The homes are built right by the sidewalk and you can talk to the neighbors when they walk by,” said Perpetua, who is retired and moved here from Pittsburgh. “It’s just a different kind of community.” … Another part of this urban vision is a “civic core,” modeled as a public square, which will include a community meeting space, a Montessori school and facilities for the Soccer Organization of Charlottesville-Albemarle. SOCA plans to locate its new headquarters in Belvedere and also has three separate parcels in the works for the neighborhood — a covered indoor field and training facility, a lit all-weather artificial turf field and four natural grass fields. Bill Mueller, executive director of SOCA, said that final approval for the offices and indoor field in the first parcel was “imminent” and that SOCA would soon start a $4 million fundraising campaign for the facility.
Last night I had an extended conversation via the handy-dandy "Live Support" widget you see to the right with someone about the Belvedere neighborhood. We talked about a lot and I referenced a lot of stories. I thought recapturing those links would be helpful, both for me as a resource, and you as a reader (and prospective buyers)
Posted in Albemarle | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Charlottesville Bubblers Interview the Charlottesville Brokers

I've made no secret about my affinity for the Charlottesville Bubble Bloggers since they began. Heck, I interviewed them in August of 2008. Part One and Part Two

They've interviewed me, Michael Guthrie with Roy Wheeler and Greg Slater and have asked some outstanding questions, the answers to which I'm looking forward to (I'll post mine here in a couple days).

This is Part One of their series, and these are the questions they asked.

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Knowing This, Would you Trust Zillow?

It's been a while since I've taken an in-depth look at Zillow; generally I tell my clients that it's good for content but not actual good, conclusive, base-any-real-decisions-on-what-it-says.

If you've been using Zillow's zestimates and trends to understand the market, not only are you finding that you were misinformed, but now you really don't know how misinformed you were (or are).


Posted in General Real Estate | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Tune Into WNRN This Sunday – 29 May 2011

Who can resist listening to an hour-long conversation about the Charlottesville real estate market? (besides my wife) Once again, Matt Hodges I and will be talking with Rick Moore on Sunday's show at 11am. What questions do you have? What would you like for us to discuss? .
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