Date Archives January 2013

Many Years of Blogging

January 4, 2005 I posted my first not-so-great-post here on RealCentralVA. So very much has changed since then that I can’t begin to list the significant, insignificant and surprisingly significant shifts in the real estate writing space (I was one of the first and some days feels like I may be one of the last), changes in the (real estate) technology space (iPhone to name one) or my personal or professional life (another daughter, new company). But this remains the same today as it did in 2005:

One aspect of real estate that has not and never will change is that this business is about people.

People make the decisions about where to move. People decide in which school district they will reside, and people choose with whom they will work. My job, each and every day, is to meet people and earn their business and their trust.

Thank You:

– To those who have read me for years.

– To those who have worked with me because you found me here. To those who haven’t.

– To those who have found value here in the home buying or home selling process (even if you didn’t work with me 🙂 )

– To those who comment, email, connect or lurk.

Neither the goal nor the focus of what I do here really hasn’t changed – to provide honest, transparent, real analysis of the Charlottesville – Albemarle and surrounding areas’ real estate market, growth, politics, lifestyle and anything else that piques my interest.

Thanks for reading; here’s to another year.

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Things I’m Watching in the (Macro) Real Estate Market for 2013

These are a few stories I’m reading/processing/mulling as 2013 begins.

5 Types Of Buyers Will Be Rushing Into The Housing Market In 2013 (I don’t think “rushing” is the valid term for the Charlottesville market, particularly as this story could have been written in 2012 with reasonable speculation; now it reads with more confidence.

Recap: Five Housing Issues to Watch in 2013 – I’m not quite sold that we’re at bottom, but I think we’re darn close. (Hopefully)

Sales Ratio: Existing to New Homes – The Charlottesville area is set to have a ton of new homes in 2013. Good, bad, ugly, it’s going to happen

– The Virginia General Assembly is close to reconvening. Watch out.

– Human Settlement Patterns – Mapping the Census: A Dot for Every Person – Just because this is an incredible display of the US population. (zoom into the Charlottesville area)

Census Dotmap.jpg

Should I buy a house right now? – Answer: It Depends.

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Charlottesville – Albemarle a Great Place to Live

Alerted by a press release and filed under “for what it’s worth …”

Correction: Not just “a” best place, but “the” best place to live. (the press release links to the 2005 “Best Places” – I’m looking for the 2012 press release and data; in the meantime I’ve provided up to date median home prices below) Note that they haven’t updated the text in several years. The median prices have changed.

Update: Turns out the press release was from 2005. 🙂 Either way, this is a great opportunity to note that

1) I’ve posted median home prices for Charlottesville – Albemarle
2) Sperling’s current listing for Charlottesville still has inaccurate median home prices.
3) Don’t trust everything you see without verifying. 🙂

Median price for Single family homes in Charlottesville – Albemarle in 2012: $328,000 ($325k in 2010)
Median price for Attached homes in Charlottesville – Albemarle in 2012: $226,900
Median price for Attached homes in Charlottesville – Albemarle in 2012: $142,000

1. Charlottesville, VA

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, most areas of this idyllic city are accessible by foot or bicycle. Charlottesville enjoys clean air and water, and pleasant weather year-round, highlighted by especially beautiful fall foliage. Nearby Shenandoah National Park offers a wealth of recreation opportunities. Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia, which strengthens the area’s healthy economy by providing steady jobs and a wealth of amenities and entertainment. Homes are not cheap (median home price $225,000), but the cost of living is manageable. The city’s low unemployment rate and significant recent job growth promise continued prosperity. As more and more people learn about this year’s best city, Charlottesville may find staying affordable and sprawl-free is its greatest challenge!

Interestingly, this is the first time that I can recall a list noticing that there’s more to “Charlottesville” than “the City of Charlottesville”. Even though the City of Charlottesville prominently displays its “best places to live” – from 2004 – on its site.

Charlottesville is a great place to live … but I think these lists do a disservice to Charlottesville (and likely other areas) due to their inaccuracies.

We’ve been on these lists before (2011). And in 2010.

I always wonder if these list writers have ever been to Charlottesville.

Single family 2012 median price.jpg

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Redfields Buying Open Space

Years ago when I wrote “If you Don’t Own it, It’s Going to Change” – referencing homeowners’ and buyers’ expectations regarding adjacent properties, I was using the Mosby Mountain neighborhood as my reference point.

The Redfields neighborhood experienced this last year when the developers tried to build on “their” “open space.”

Fast forward to the end of 2012 and the best solution seems to be coming to fruition – the Redfields homeowners’ association will be buying the open space to keep it as that – protected open space rather than more homes. Good for them and good for the developers.

That area of Charlottesville is poised to grow – significantly – and I think that having secured this open space will be good for Redfields’ residents (their property values and their ability to enjoy their homes)

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