Date Archives July 2012

No Chloramines in Charlottesville – Albemarle Water

The citizens spoke and the public officials listened. Chloramines will no longer be considered and carbon filtration will be studied.


The Charlottesville media were on top of their games last night as they tweeted the meeting and the public comments, most using the #Chloramines hashtag, making following the debate hearing even easier. There were a lot of great public comments, but I’d have to say my two favorites (that were tweeted) were:

I’m proud of our community and our elected officials.

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Charlottesville Tomorrow Launches New Website

Charlottesville Tomorrow is one of the very few websites that I send consistently to those who are moving within the Charlottesville area and to those who are relocating to the Charlottesville area. They launched their new site, moving away from Typepad, on Friday.

Check out their Topics page. Want to know about the Western Bypass? Simple naming structure – . Crozet Master Plan? Yep – it’s there –

There is no better source for comprehensive Charlottesville – Albemarle growth, politics, land use, water, etc. information in the region. They allow me to be better informed about my community and thus, better able to inform and advise my clients.

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5 Takeaways from “Green Real estate” Training

I spent last Wednesday and Thursday in Northern Virginia in Earth Advantage training, learning more about green homes, green real estate, their respective relevance in the market and how best to help and advise my clients regarding such. Below the “fold” is a Storify I did and conversations I had during the sessions, but these are five big takeaways.

1 – Consumers (generally) don’t care how green a house is; the house could be painted with motor oil but if it costs them less they’ll buy it. In fact, making one green decision may lead to making less green decisions. (see also: Do Green Products Make Us Better People?)

2 – Green homes and energy efficiency matter. “How much does this house cost to run” is one of the number one questions my buyer clients ask, and this is more than a trend; it’s a way of life. See: Green-certified homes sell for 9% more, study in California finds

3 – I’d wager that a “miles per gallon” for homes will be common place in the next three years. I firmly believe that a “MPG for homes” would hurt resale value of existing, less-energy-efficient homes. The Department of Energy is funding programs such as LEAP and this Earth Advantage training and other such programs in order to create a market for energy efficient homes and products; I can make at least two arguments about this, one pro and one con. Either way, now would be a good time to learn about the SAVE* Act and see who supports and opposes it.

4 – There are more than 70 green home certifications across the country; Earth Craft, Energy Star, LEED are the most prominent in this part of the country. They’re all different; they all have different qualification systems and they’re all brands.

5 – Charlottesville’s @LEAP_VA program has retrofit 600+ homes; $370k projected annual savings; 2.5 GWh in energy savings.

Heck, I’ve saved about $2k in heating bills since my home’s LEAP makeover.If you’re interested in retrofitting your home, now would be a good time to do so; start with an energy audit (ask me if you have questions about what that is … I might write a post about it soon) and look at the 0% interest Power Saver Loans offered by the UVA Credit Union;

Figure out how you might save locally by taking LEAP’s survey.

If you’re interested, spend some time (scroll to the bottom and work your way up) reading through the green real estate training Storify after the break.

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A few of My Favorite Hikes around Charlottesville

Hiking in Charlottesville and Central Virginia is one of the biggest “selling points” for those choosing to move to or stay in the Charlottesville area. Even if you don’t hike; the mountains, the air, the trails, the parks contribute to the exceptional quality of life we all share here.

I hiked a lot when I was in high school growing up in Charlottesville. I’ve long told my clients about the wonderful hiking opportunities and how these opportunities contribute to the great quality of life in Charlottesville – and how they should hike – and last year I realized that I’d been advising friends and clients to go hiking yet I hadn’t gone myself for years.

Life should be about memories; why live (here) if not to make a few?

First, a couple tips –

1 – Take a lot of water.

2 – Be prepared – food, socks, extra shirts … I’m grateful for the backpack I still have as a high school graduation gift. Hiking if only for a few hours helps one appreciate the need to be prepared at home.

3 – I’m finding that (thankfully in a lot of ways) most of these areas don’t have cell phone coverage; either turn it off so as not to drain the battery or turn it on airplane mode so you can still use the camera. Download maps and directions and such to your phone before you go (or print them out). I use Evernote for this purpose (as well as for so many other things)

4 – Enjoy. And hike often.

5 – What are your favorite hikes?

Humpback Rocks – a relatively easy hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway with remarkable views. Last week we made it to the top in just over 30 minutes. Start in the morning and then make your way to Blue Mountain, Devils’ Backbone, or any of the other breweries in Nelson County.

Humpback Rock

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