Date Archives December 2010

Moving Median Home Price for Charlottesville MSA

Some year-end Charlottesville real estate market data for you: And a ♫♫♫♫♫ a Happ-y New Year ♪♪♪ Context coming on Monday, 3 January … as well as the answer to the question, “Is 2011 the right time to buy a house in Charlottesville?” (Answer: Maybe)

Moving Median Home Price for Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area for the Past Year: Moving Median Average Home Price - Charlottesville MSA - 2010.jpg Moving Median Home Price for Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area for the Past Five Years: Moving Median Home Price - Charlottesville MSA - five years.jpg Condos – Sales and Inventory Report 2006 – 2010 (PDF) Attached Homes – Sales and Inventory Report 2006 – 2010 (PDF) Single Family Homes – Sales and Inventory Report 2006 – 2010 (PDF)

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Appraisals and AVMs – Finding and Determining Value is Challenging

A neighbor called me a few months ago inquiring how much his home was worth; I asked if they were moving and he said that no, they weren’t moving, but his bank had frozen his home equity line.

…Morgan Chase & Co. , Wells Fargo & Co. and other big lenders, claiming that banks are misusing automated valuation models in order to cut home-equity lines of credit. … “The main difficulty is that I need two or more sales prices for a property, and if I’m not able to find it, it doesn’t fit into the sample used to calculate the index,” says David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv , one of the largest providers of automated appraisals using this methodology. … There are so many various forms and methods of valuation: – Appraisals – Assessments (get ready for this discussion in the Charlottesville – Albemarle area – continuing declines of property values will lead to a big conversation about the property tax rates in our localities) – AVMs – Zillow, Cyberhomes,, RPR Determining and defining fair market value is more and more challenging.

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Stupid is as Stupid Does. Or, the Decline of Common Sense in Education

Rather than seeking to educate people – kids, teachers, parents – about the potential dangers of inappropriate student/teacher interaction, the Virginia Board of Education is seeking to prevent all non-official digital communication :

…Model policy for electronic communications with students • Teachers and other school board employees must restrict electronic communications with students to accounts, systems and platforms provided by the school division. … • School board policy on electronic communications with students also applies to teachers and other employees of virtual school programs and other vendors providing instructional services to students.

…Given the choice between having my clients feel like they are making good decisions, and having them actually make good decisions based on facts, analysis and common sense, I will choose common sense 8 days a week.

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Buy a House in Charlottesville Now – or Else!

If you’re planning to buy a house (in Charlottesville) in 2011, do so after doing your thorough due diligence, hiring the right representation, and ensuring that you are buying for the right reasons.

… ‘(2) EXCEPTION IN CASE OF BINDING CONTRACT – In the case of any taxpayer who enters into a written binding contract before May 1, 2010, to close on the purchase of a principal residence before July 1, 2010, paragraph (1) shall be applied by substituting ‘July 1, 2010’ for ‘May 1, 2010’.’. * Love those asterisks *Federal tax credit up to $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for move-up buyers available on homes under contract as primary residences by 4/30/2010 and settled by 6/30/2010. $8,000 tax credit is for first-time buyers or those who have not owned a primary residence in 3 years. The $6,500 credit is Available to Move-Up Buyers who have maintained the same principal residence for any 5-consecutive year period during the 8-year period ending on the date of the settlement.

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Apparently, an iPad Changes Everything (in Real Estate)

For my (potential) seller clients, being able to have a conversation about the listing process with the iPad as the facilitator will be simple and functional. … Now taking recommendations on best apps and practices. :)” Within a day, I realized that everything had changed: It's ironic that now my Macbook Pro seems to have become the weak link b/t my Droid Pro -> iPad -> Macbook productivity cycle. Top 5 Observations: 1 – I’ll be able to leave the Macbook at home.

iPad apps For those of you interested, these are some of the first apps I have installed: – Google Mobile – Must have – – Dropbox – Must have – Evernote – Docusign – Must have – if I could mark up Contracts on this, it would be nearly perfect. … I can’t get morning print delivery where I live, so this makes my annual subscription worthwhile. – NYTimes – BBC – Tweetdeck – Twitter – Friendly Plus (for Facebook) – Flud – Flipboard – CNN – CNBC – Angry Birds – Smurfs – Star Walk

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10 Ways to “What is the Best Neighborhood in Charlottesville?”

I have catalogued some of the Charlottesville neighborhoods over the years, and will be making an effort to rejuvenate this series in 2011.

…4 – Or “Walking distance to school” 5 – Or close to the kids (Charlottesville is good for retirees and to retire young ) 6 – Or “just far enough from mom and dad that they’re not over every day but can babysit” and they’re not right across the street . 7 – Or “Best resale value over the past twenty years” and best projected resale value over the next ten years. 8 – Or “Best new construction” quality and value 9 – Or “Best architecture” 10 – Or “it just fits perfectly what I and my family are looking for.”

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One Year Later, Taxpayers Know How Much Biscuit Run Cost

Last December Biscuit Run sold for $9.8 million , but no one knew the value of the tax credits.

… Still, with $20 million at stake, the fight is not over, and the results might not be made public. … An appeal goes to the state tax commissioner, Craig Burns, and the results of such appeals are not public. If that appeal is denied, Forest Lodge LLC could appeal the ruling to circuit court.

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