Date Archives September 2012

No, I Won’t Drop Everything

I know that every day I’m competing for business; but I also know the value of choosing the clients I serve.

<slight rant>

I don’t get it.

I got a call recently – a blind call – from someone who wanted to see a house (not one of my listings as all Charlottesville houses for sale show up on my site). She’d been looking online, driving by a few houses, calling listing agents, wasn’t from the Charlottesville area, nor did she have familiarity with the area or the market – and she wanted to see if I could find a house that suited them and see it. Right now.

Driving around the Charlottesville area looking for homes you’ve seen on the inter webs with no reasonable context whatsoever is, politely, not the most efficient use of one’s time. Context matters.

This isn’t how professionals work; I have no doubt that many, many real estate agents do jump when someone calls and wants to see a house (and that’s just not a safe practice). I choose not to do that. Time is valuable; efficient use of time is more valuable. Dropping everything is not fair to those clients who have chosen to work with me who depend on me.

The best part was this question:

“Do you work with a contract with your buyers?”

Yes. Yes I do … here’s why.

And the speed with which she sought to end the call was impressive.

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Are We Looking at the Bottom of the Charlottesville Real Estate Market?


I’ve said for years that we won’t know whether the Charlottesville real estate market has hit bottom until we have 12-18 months of hindsight. We’re seeing signs – somewhat consistent signs that we might be scraping the bottom of the real estate market – and likely will for the next few years, in my opinion.

This note from a client says it well –

“Just a little story I thought you might be interested in knowing. My neighbor at — recently put his house up for sale. It was on the market a little over a week I think and is now under contract. He bought at the height of the market for 325k and I believe he accepted an offer for 320K. His house is assessed at 185K and is half the size of my place next door. I don’t know what the bottom looks like, but I am thinking it looks a lot like this. Charlottesville is indeed a different place.”

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Could Charlottesville Become a High(er)-Tech City?

Just wondering … as the trend of people, including younger people who don’t want cars moving to cities …

The WSJ lays out some of the reasons that tech companies are locating in cities

Still, escaping sprawl is only part of the explanation. There are also the distinct lifestyle advantages of setting up shop in the hurly-burly of real urban districts. Compared with previous generations, today’s younger techies are less interested in owning cars and big houses. They prefer to live in central locations, where they can rent an apartment and use transit or walk or bike to work, and where there are plenty of nearby options for socializing during nonwork hours.

“It’s not that young people wanted to live in Mountain View in the past,” Mr. Suster blogged. “In fact, so many did not that companies like Google & Yahoo had free buses with Wi-Fi from San Francisco to their Palo Alto and Sunnyvale headquarters.”

In light of several Charlottesville companies being noted on the Inc 500 and 5000, notably Willow Tree Apps, SNL, Search Mojo and Silverchair,

The Daily Progress wonders the same thing while identifying some of the challenges Charlottesville faces:

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UVA’s Firing Range near Glenmore – Balancing Growth with Long-Term Firing Range

UVA has had a firing range for a long, long time. Residents of the Glenmore neighborhood don’t like listening to it, so they’ve asked UVA for either a quieter range or for it to be moved. UVA, being state-owned, “is not required to seek permission from the county for construction on land it owns.”

Enter stalemate.

And yet –

A question came to me that I’ve been wondering for months –

Has this matter hurt Glenmore house prices yet?

I must say I wouldn’t dream of moving there after learning about this problem.

And this, readers, is why it is absolutely critical for buyers to do their own research on homes and neighborhoods and surroundings; real estate agents (I am one, but I do my absolute best to educate my clients about such matters) are not obligated to discuss/disclose matters outside the four corners of the subject property.

UVa’s in a tough spot – they’ve been there for many decades, while Glenmore has existed since the early ’90s, yet it seems that the recent “improvements” amplified the sound.

Compromise: why don’t UVa and Glenmore split the cost to implement the necessary solution?

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