Date Archives August 2011

Goodbye, 0-5 Buyer -OR- Finance a House or an Education?

We’re in the midst of a reset in the real estate market cycle. Every market is different, and we’ve been seeking “new normal” for quite some time.

Here’s part of the new normal, not just in the Charlottesville real estate market, but across society as well. (search for “new normal” on RealCentralVA for context)

The buyers who would buy and sell in a zero to five year timeframe are gone. In other words, the stepping stone of the “buying a home” lifecycle has been pushed further.

First time homebuyers, when they do choose to buy, are buying at later points of their lives – once they’ve established themselves in their careers* and found their mates if they so choose, and have determined that their lives – kids on the way, jobs … some sort of stability.

Many of these first-timers have either seen their friends and families decimated by the housing market or have experienced it themselves in selling or trying to sell – either normal transactions, short sales or foreclosures.


A report last fall indicated that student debt in America had reached $850 billion, nearly $25 billion more than the nation’s consumer credit card debt load.

Homeownership is a long-term decision. Given the choice – which are the next (current) generation of homebuyers going to choose –

Higher education or a home of their own?

The new normal, for the foreseeable future, is one without the 0-5 year buyers, one with an extended lifecycle of homeownership. And you know what? If we can just get the government to get the hell out of the way – stop making secret loans to banks, stop toying with being landlords, stop catering to the banks, stop trying to manipulate mortgages, and let the market work.

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Earthquake in Charlottesville – 23 August 2011

Alright, how many of you did what you were supposed to do in an earthquake?

The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program states that we just experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake.

1 – Twitter was BY FAR the best way to learn about the earthquake.
2 – Learning from previous experience, I remembered that texting is a better option than calling.
3 – Thanks, Comcast and Dominion Power and Verizon. I never lost cable, internet, power or cell phone service.
4 – I’ve always known we were due for an earthquake, but hadn’t felt one that big before.
5 – Where were you?

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“Untitled” because I can’t think of an appropriate title.

I ride my bike with my younger daughter frequently. In two days, she will be a second grader.

This morning we recommenced our morning ritual of riding our bikes to the Crozet Mudhouse, a pit stop on the path to Crozet Elementary.

Upon our return home, we stopped for a bit of exploration and she seized the opportunity to cut me to the quick:


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