Tag Archives: Charlottesville

Charlottesville’s Changing West Main

A bit more fun with Hyperlapse. I'm sure I'll tire of these very soon, but for now, I think this is a neat way to show how one of the City of Charlottesville's main corridors has recently changed.

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Radio Recap from WNRN 7 September 2014

Today was an interesting radio show - some real estate and more community, community building, and becoming part of the community. I’m going to update this post with detailed show notes, but in the meantime, the podcast is here.

Enormous thanks to those who responded so quickly on twitter to my question - how do you assess/define community? (I’d say community is something that helps answer a question about community quickly!)

A few stories we discussed:

Pipeline stories:

Posted in Charlottesville, General Real Estate, Shameless Self Promotion | Tagged | 1 Comment

New Bike Lane on South Street

The City of Charlottesville has been making some nice improvements of late. This one on South Street (just off the Downtown Mall) is mighty nice. Bike lane on South Street in Downtown Charlottesville Bike lane on South Street in Downtown Charlottesville[/caption] Now ... for cyclists and drivers to each respect the laws ...
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WNRN Radio – 7 September 2014 – Lots to Talk About

This Sunday should offer a fun hour of radio. Thanks to Rick for asking me to join him on Sunday, I asked friends for topic suggestions to fill an hour of live radio. We should be ok.

Suggestions welcome.

Tune in this Sunday at 11 on WNRN.

I asked for suggestions, and some of the early ones are -

- This should be a fascinating topic, should be get to it - America is rapidly aging in a country built for the young

- Which meshes well with this - "What will be/is the impact on the Charlottesville / Albemarle economy as the aging baby boomer population moves from homes, to apartments to retirement communities and assisted living over the next ten years."

- And this - "Who are the local first time buyers? Are they local? What types of jobs do they have? Starter properties affect the entire real estate food chain, so I'd like to know if our local economy provides opportunities for them."

- And ties in with this - "Impact of bringing to market so many high-end apartment plexes in Charlottesville over the last decade, most recently The Flats at West Village for the students and CityWalk for the yuppies."

We have a lot to talk about.

- "Realistic pricing for sellers. when I had to sell my mom's condo in CT, I first visited competing units and saw how long they had been on the market, and then priced to sell within 90 days - didn't give it away, but did not want to sit on it for a year, either!"

Some of Rick's early thoughts as we prep -

- What makes a good neighborhood? (coincidentally, I've had this tab open for a couple days - When buying a home, what do you want to live or not live next to/nearby?)

- Uber (and urban vs suburban vs rural)

- Triangles (a story I wrote last month)

And I love this prompt - "What do we discuss for listeners who aren't buying/selling but want to learn more about our area?"

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Get to Know Your Neighbors – It’s Good for your Health! (How to Evaluate Neighborhoodiness)

I spend a lot of time thinking about connectivity and connectedness - “being part of something” is one of the most important criteria my buyer clients define.

The end of neighbours - How our increasingly closed-off lives are poisoning our politics and endangering our health
It’s a new day in the neighbourhood all across the Western world. More than 30 per cent of Canadians now say they feel disconnected from their neighbours, while half of Americans admit they don’t know the names of theirs. An Australian sociologist investigating community responses in the wake of the 2011 floods in Queensland found relations in “a precarious balance”; neighbours were hesitant to intrude even in emergencies—leading the scholar to conclude that “we are less likely than ever to know” our neighbours. Quite right, too: A recent poll of 2,000 Britons found a third declaring they couldn’t pick their near neighbours out of a police lineup.

Yet it’s hardly surprising, given how lengthy working days, long commutes and having both parents in the labour force have combined with the way we raise our children to create suburban neighbourhoods that are empty more than half the day, with scarcely a neighbour to encounter, let alone recognize, trust or befriend. But, however powerful the economic and social forces behind the disappearing neighbour—and however positive many of its results—according to reams of new research, the transformation is also poisoning our politics and, quite literally, killing us.

And another perspective on similar studies:

Always Talk to Strangers - People who know and trust their neighbors are less likely to have heart attacks. New research builds on the understated health benefits of a sense of belonging and community.

The study du jour, published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, is based on assessments of social connectedness in 5276 adults in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The subjects rated how strongly they agreed with the following four prompts:

• "I really feel part of this area."
• "If [I] were in trouble, there are lots of people in this area who would help."
• "Most people in this area can be trusted."
• "Most people in this area are friendly."

The responses landed the participants on a seven-point Likert scale. And then they were followed. Four years later, 148 of them had experienced heart attacks.

“On the seven-point scale,” Kim explained, “each unit of increase in neighborhood social cohesion was associated with a 17 percent reduced risk of heart attacks.”

“If you compare the people who had the most versus the least neighborhood social cohesion,” Kim continued, “they had a 67 percent reduced risk of heart attacks.”

But how does a stranger assess neighborhoodiness?

- How friendly is the neighborhood?
- Knock on doors
- Walk your dog or kids (borrow one or the other or both if you don't have them) in the neighborhood
- Drive through and see who waves (really).
- Does the neighborhood have a Facebook or Nextdoor group? I haven't tried this yet, but I think i might start asking for a printout of the past few conversations if such a page does exist …

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Uber in Charlottesville

If you haven't used Uber, you're missing out. I've used the service in the big cities and it's a tremendous service. The taxi competition in Charlottesville

Just received this awesome email from Uber:

‘Hoos ready to ride?! We’re excited to announce that uberX has made its way to the city of Charlottesville. With the push of a button, Cavaliers and Cville residents can now request a safe and affordable ride.
Update 29 August 2014 - This is a highly relevant article from The Atlantic's CityLab - Uber Has an Enormous Wait Time Advantage Over Regular Taxis Related stories: - Cab wars: Why new taxi technology is making some drivers mad - C-Ville, March 2013 - How many Yellow Cabs can one town hold? - C-Ville, June 2014
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What Are Some Questions Buyers Should be Asking?

This thread on Reddit the other day prompted a bit of a writing prompt … What are some questions that home buyers should be asking?

In my practice, I ask a lot of dumb questions - dumb questions in that I know that my clients (buyers and sellers) should be asking them, but often don’t know to ask them. So I ask for them … these are just some that came to me the other day. I think I’ll add to this post over time, but felt that these were some awfully useful questions. I pulled some of them from my 30+ Tips for First Time Homebuyers post that I wrote earlier this year.

Have a question? Have a favorite question you like to ask? I’d love to hear (and add) it. 434-242-7140 or email me.

My two cents:

• Is there a survey? Where are the property lines? Are there easements about which I should be aware?

• Is there an HOA? What are the dues? What have the dues done over the past 10 years? Is the HOA professionally managed? (9/10 professionally managed is better than managed by those who have this much free time)

• What's traffic like during rush hour? What's the commute like? (Always, always visit at different times of day/night the place you're considering)

• What's buyer agency? (if you visit an open house - there's a 99% chance that the agent hosting it is there to represent the seller ... not you)

• Should I use an attorney or title company? (in my market, using an attorney is usually the better option of the two)

• Should I rent first before I buy? (my advice: yes - rent in the area in which you're going to buy so that you can learn the area)


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City Council Think the Flats are Too Big

Unsurprisingly, Charlottesville’s City Council is expressing concerns about the size and scale of the just-opened Flats at West Village. The thing is huge (particularly from the back).

I’m curious to see how quickly the place gets leased out.

Posted in Charlottesville, Growth | Tagged , | 4 Comments