Way off topic, but of vital importance (to me) and 1.5 billion other people.Â Where are the best places to watch the World Cup in CharlAlbemarle?
Charlottesville (CharlAlbemarle or the Charlottesville MSA) is now ranked as the 12th best in the “Small Metro Areas” category in the 2006â€™s Best Cities for Relocating Familiesâ„¢ study.Â This may be an important “study” in that it appears to be targeted towards businesses relocating their employees.Â From the people behind the Best Places rankings and two relocation companies.”A number of measurable features can affect the ease with which a family can move to a city and the ease of settling into a new life there,” according to the announcement.Â “Traditional factors such as commute times, tax rates and average home cost and appreciation are combined with more diverse cost of living and quality of life variables — like the ability to qualify for in-state tuition, the service quality of local utilities, auto taxes, and per-capita volunteerism.”Frequently I work with people who move to the area “because of all the great press about Charlottesville.”Â This study, marketing to the companies who will be moving their employees, may very well help bring better jobs and people to the area.Â Never having been to Fargo, ND and my only real “knowledge about the place being the eponymous movie, I can only wonder why they are ranked two spots higher than CharlAlbemarle.I would love to see more of the actual data in addition to the final rankings.Â A hat tip to Inman (subscription required).Â The press release is here (pdf).
I have been meaning to write about this article in the WSJ concerning the planning perils of cul-de-sacs; I started a post on the 5th and then Jonathan Miller at Matrix beat me to it.Â For some local context, read Charlottesville Tomorrow’s post last year.Â For many families, cul-de-sac living represents the epitome of suburban bliss: a traffic-free play zone for children, a ready roster of neighbors with extra gas for the lawnmower and a communal gathering space for sharing gin and tonics.Â But thanks to a growing chorus of critics, ranging from city planners and traffic engineers to snowplow drivers, hundreds of local governments …Â have passed zoning ordinances to limit cul-de-sacs or even ban them in the future….For all the criticism aimed at them, cul-de-sacs do seem to have one last defender: the free market.In short, planners don’t like them, but the buyers do.Â Where does one find the compromise?
What will localities do if/when property values level off and they will be forced to either 1) live within their means or 2) raise property tax rates or 3) find another source of revenue (tax)?Â Green trends continue their upward trend:Reasons for building green range from “it’s the right thing to do,” to increasing energy efficiency, staying ahead of the competition and attracting green-seeking home buyers.Can you imagine this?Â This is why green building will continue to take off – it makes sense.Â What I learned about straw bales is that theyâ€™re a cheap, renewable resource that gives you R-50 insulation in your walls.”The insulation bats that you put in most stick-built houses are rated at R-9 or R-11.Â When you consider the thermal bridging where every stud is and the gaps, the performance of the wall is probably not even R-7.”The Daily Progress reports.Do roads create traffic, or do traffic and developments necessitate roads?Â The one comment is interesting.
Builder: We’ll close on 28 June.Buyer: Really?Builder: Well, probably….Â As close as we can….Â You’ll still buy the house, though.Â And if closing is delayed because of your actions, you will be heavily penalized.The above fictional conversation is a close representation of the recent sellers’ market and new construction.Â As she is very prone to do, Ardell has written an excellent post at RCG about the potential perils of new construction.Last year, of the new construction sales wherein I represented buyers, only one was on time.Â One house was nearly three months late.All I will add is this – as the market shifts, builders are going to have to reach out to buyers more and make more accommodations than they have in the past.Â Builders are already making massive concessions….Â The next 12 to 18 months are going to be interesting.
Much like the Property Grunt, I try to apply other markets’ analyses to the Central Virginia market.Sellers, price your apartments appropriately and be patient with your brokers.Â They are undergoing one of the most stressful times in their careers.Â However, let them know that although you are aware of current market conditions, you are expecting them to put in every effort to sell your (house).Condo/HOA fees keep rising.Â Most developments that I have seen have caps that prevent fees from rising more than a certain percentage in a given year – unless X % of owners vote to accept that change.Â In short, always review the HOA/Condo package for the development’s financials, budget and expected capital expenses.2004 data likely is very different than 2006 data.Â I am currently reviewing the “Internet vs. Traditional Buyer” research report conducted by the California Association of Realtors.Â More on this later.
I have been negligent in not writing about this event, starting today in Charlottesville.Â I make a general rule not to post press releases and such (and have written about Builders’ Blitzes a few times), but this is an exception, due to Habitat for Humanity’s outstanding mission and the real need for both affordable housing and homeowners who take investment and responsibility in their homes.Home Builders Blitz 2006 will take place this summer, June 3rd â€“ 10th.Â The formula is simple.Â Builder/Architect teams have been matched with house sites and qualified Habitat partner families in our program completing their “sweat equity” hours.Â In that week the builders will complete six simple, attractive and sustainable homes and the families will move in soon after to take up an affordable mortgage as homeowners.Â The homes are located in the Fifeville neighborhood of Charlottesville, an area consisting of 70% rental units.Building six houses in seven days – priceless.