Date Archives April 2012

1st Quarter 2012 Charlottesville Area Real Estate Market Report

As always, pay attention to the segment or segments that affect you. There is no “the market is up” or “the market is down.” Condos in the City of Charlottesville near the Downtown Mall are different than single family homes in Greene County – different trends, different factors affecting them, different economic engines and hubs, different schools, different property taxes … you get the picture.

I’ll be adding to this post this evening but wanted to get this out before my afternoon appointment. (priorities, you know?)

Nest Realty’s First Quarter 2012 market report (download the pdf)

Q1 2012 Charlottesville Real Estate Market Report

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City of Charlottesville to Launch GIS Website

The City of Charlottesville will on Tuesday launch their new Geographical Information Services (GIS) website, joining Louisa, Albemarle, Nelson, Greene (which requires Internet Explorer) and Fluvanna in offering GIS to the public.

In my practice, I use GIS at least three times a week and probably recommend its use to my clients at least as many times – investigating properties’ histories, zoning, adjacent properties (but really, that’s up to the buyer) .. if Charlottesville’s GIS solution is accurate, it’s going to make neighborhood fiscal analysis‘ practical.

Until they launch it, I’ll reserve judgement other than to say, it’s about time.

Update: Here’s the City of Charlottesville’s new GIS site.

I still say, it’s about time.

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Cville Bike mApp – Track your Bicycle Rides for the Next Month

People want to be close to stuff, and they want to be able to get to that stuff easily. More often, in the City of Charlottesville and more urban parts of Albemarle, “getting to that stuff” includes bicycles. Now the Charlottesville MPO is seeking to capture data that will show how many are biking to places.

Walkability matters ; so does bikeability.

Cville bike mapp

For the next month or so I’m going to be using the Cville Bike mApp to track my bicycle rides around Charlottesville and Crozet instead of MapmyRide.

On April 14th the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will release the Cville Bike mApp, a free, bike route mapping application for iPhone and Android phones. The App allows cyclists to record their trips and send the trip information to the MPO for transportation planning purposes. With an expected decrease in federal transportation funding, this data will help elected officials better determine where to target limited available funds for future cycling enhancements and improvements. This data input effort will also position the region to be more competitive for transportation grant funding. More specifically, the App will allow transportation planners to map cycling patterns, determine cycling corridors, identify cycling barriers and find appropriate locations for cycling facilities.

The MPO will be collecting cycling data over an approximately one month period – from April 14th to May 18th. Help local planners and elected officials improve cycling in Charlottesville and Albemarle by recording your bike trips using the Cville Bike mApp. Remember, mApp it for Better Biking!

I have no doubt that I could find significant and substantial data to support the opposite perspective, but in my practice, I have found that my clients value bicycle and walking paths and accessibility. Can I place a quantitative value on that? No; sometimes it’s a matter of “will they buy it?” Yes or No.

The League of American Bicyclists noted in 2010:

As we pointed out in our report, The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments, studies have shown that real estate property values increase with proximity to bicycle paths. People enjoy living close to bike paths and are willing to pay more for an otherwise comparable house to be closer to one.

Download the Android mApp here.

Download the iOS mApp here.

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204 More Homes Coming to Rio Road?

Looks like I need to update my post from December pondering what Rio Road is going to look like in 5 years.

Charlottesville Tomorrow reports:

The site of a former wastewater treatment plant near Pen Park is under consideration for the construction of 204 homes in both Albemarle County and Charlottesville.

I’d agree with Planning Commissioner Green:

Commissioner Lisa Green encouraged Lopez to further interconnect Lochlyn Hills with the city.
“In the city, what makes a neighborhood is [people] getting out and walking to the Downtown Mall,” Green said. “Although I applaud all the well-thought-out improvements to the trails, people want to walk to their jobs downtown and I’m not so sure they’re going to do that through the woods.”

Not planning for or accommodating non-vehicular traffic (you know, walking and biking) is irresponsible and will, to many buyers, reduce the desirability and marketability of the homes.

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Renting Bicycles in Charlottesville

A client who was in town recently (who’s buying a house in a very walkable and bikeable part of Charlottesville) asked me if there was anywhere to rent a bike in Charlottesville. I should have anticipated getting this question from someone, as I’ve done video tours for clients while on a bicycle and shown houses to clients on bicycles, but I was totally unprepared.

Thanks to the Facebook and my bicycle-riding friends, I was able to help my client … and I asked the folks at the respective shops for some more information.

Cville Bike and Tri responded:

We offer road and mountain bikes for rent. The road bikes are Specialized Roubaix carbon bicycles with Ultegre components. They rent for $50/day M-Th, and $75/day F-Su. We have two types of mountain bikes.   The hardtails are Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29rs and rent for $35/day M-Th, and $50/day F-Su.   The full suspension bikes are the Camber Comp 29rs, and rent for $50/day M-Th, and $75/day F-Su.   We use these as demos as well so if customer rents then buys, we take up to two days rental off the purchase price.

Blue Ridge Cyclery:

We do rentals yes, comfort bikes are $35 a day. Road bikes are $45 a day. MTB’s are 45 or 60 a day depending on hardtail/full suspension.

I’m thinking this might be something I could work with with my visiting clients who want to ride bikes to see houses but don’t bring theirs with them.

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