From this video ad I did six months ago – It sold last month, but the call was a good reminder to check the stats – the video’s been viewed 400 times and elicited one phone call and numerous impressed comments from potential sellers.
From CNN Money (h/t: Move):As environmental building becomes more popular, condo developers are selling their “green” credentials to cost and ecology-conscious consumers.Cost and ecology-conscious consumers are no longer necessarily mutually exclusive….Â Belvedere, has been accepted into the LEED(R) for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program, which is being conducted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).Â Belvedere is the first neighborhood in Central Virginia to participate in this new LEED program, which has developed the highest benchmark system for environmentally responsible and sustainable development….The LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into the first national rating system for neighborhood design.Â The rating system will be a tool to help planners and developers create communities that not only protect the environment, but also address important public health issues such as physical activity, traffic accidents, respiratory illnesses, and affordable housing.Much remains to be seen as to whether Belvedere actually becomes what they promise.
Last year I followed the happenings at Inman’s Conference from Charlottesville.Â This year I’ll be a panelist at Inman’s Bloggers Connect and attending with my wife.Â The events I am most looking forward to are the social gatherings where I’ll be able to actually meet the people with whom I have been interacting for the past couple of years.Â Shaking hands with Joel, Pat, Drew, Greg, Kevin, Noah and everyone else at the parties sponsored by Trulia and Zillow will certainly be worth the flight.
Every Penny Counts (hat tip: Consumerist)They gave up smoking to cut costs, they stopped meeting friends after work for beers, they didnâ€™t buy new clothes, and they stashed away tax refunds and as much of their earnings as possible….Â Do I want a latte or a house?â€â€œIt would be absurd for me to buy things when I wanted a place rather than a frying pan,â€ Ms. Lee said as she fed Matilda a post-nap bottle.Have we reached a green business tipping point?Â We’ll see a green tipping point when more companies offer, and more consumers demand, fundamental systemic changes in business practices – when consumers don’t have to fight builders to let them upgrade the HVAC, when the builders offer rain recapture systems, and when solar is an option.Â But it seems that green may very well be a growth industry.What will the HOA’s do when more people want front-yard gardens?The Washington Post’s real estate section had several good stories this weekend – Learning more about homeowners’ associations (and the perils with which they are fraught), Pressuring said Association, and finally, nearly 70 percent of homeowners generally liked their own association.Insight from a local visionaryRising fuel and other energy prices will eventually force Americans to draw back into the population centers of 100 years ago, he said, making downtown property here even more valuable.
Regarding my story last week about Charlynar Homes and blogs’ changing accountability for companies – it took less than two days for Google to find out about Charlynar Homes.Â Those of you with no current web presence, be aware – one unsatisfied customer, armed with a wee bit of technological skill, a few minutes of spare time and a desire to impact your business in a negative way can impact your reputation in an extraordinary fashion.Coincidentally, after I wrote the story last week, I spoke with an old friend who is a project manager with a large national builder who was experiencing this exact situation – an unsatisfied homebuyer had started a blog detailing – timeline, contact information, pictures – his complaint, and in doing so had flummoxed the large company.Â (when Googling the development, the blog comes up #1)My advice was simple – start a company blog, detail the situation, embrace transparency …Â and fix the problem for the customer and the others who have the same issue, even though the builder is not at fault.Update: I just read this story about how Google is indexing blogs in near real-time.
Check out Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 47-page study KEY FINDINGSWith respect to policy issues related to land use, infrastructure, taxation, transportation, and leadership, the survey results indicate: * There is strong public support for policies, like phasing or time based zoning, that would set a schedule for the rate of new development in Albemarle Countyâ€™s rural areas….Â * 81.4% of respondents indicated they support the use of tax dollars to purchase rural development rights if it would permanently protect the land with conservation easements….Â When asked about governmentâ€™s efforts to have developers pay their fair share for infrastructure, 42.2% of respondents were satisfied.Local politics, growth and infrastructure issues impact the real estate market in often dramatic ways – every one of these issues affects buyers’, sellers’ and other residents quality of life.Interesting notes- We need to keep and protect our rural countryside from becoming over developed – 93.9% In order to permanently protect rural land from development Iâ€™d be willing to pay a bit more in real estate property taxes – 57.5% Property owners should be able to do what they want with their land, regardless of the impact on neighbors.Â Decisions about keeping our rural countryside intact should be left entirely to the owners of that property – 33.5% So, we need to protect our countryside, but only a think majority is willing to pay to protect that countryside.
In the past week, I have had two different sets of clients make lower offers on properties, properties that have been sitting for some time.Â Lower offers are nothing new; what was new is that the buyers’ respective first offers were their best offers – very little if no negotiating was to be had after the first offer, despite sellers’ seemingly very generous counter offers.Â Is the broader Charlottesville market seeing this, or is this just my isolated experience?Â Buyer/Sellers – what have you seen?