Date Archives November 2014

“Charlottesville” is a great “holiday town”

“Charlottesville” is a great “holiday town” … whatever that means.

Travel & Leisure Magazine ranked Charlottesville as #22 in their list of “America’s Best Towns for the Holidays.”

Two notes:

1) I’ve gleefully driven through the Corner multiple times since (most of) the students have departed; it’s so much quieter right now.

2) I put “Charlottesville” in quotation marks as the Magazine clearly means “the Charlottesville area” …

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A Few Surprises from NAR’s Home Buyer and Seller Profile

One of the best things the National Association of Realtors produces is the annual Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers. Each year, I dig into it to see what nuances I haven’t picked up on, what trends are emerging or dominating, and other tidbits of the homebuyer and seller that I can learn and apply to my practice.

I wrote eight years ago that homebuyers would, whenever we emerge(d) from the recession, focus more on the intrinsic value of a home than they would on perceived equity. I’d say that that has been borne out. 

I know this: I’m more knowledgable and prepared to represent clients thanks to this report.

A few highlights and surprises:

Really? 22% of 18-24 year olds used print? Surprised.

Really? 22% of 18-24 year olds used print?

A bit surprised by the differences between 2013 and 2014 – expected tenure is down … recession ending?

Expected tenure in homes - 2013

and 2014:


Honestly, I’m shocked. Shocked by the 33%.

33% Don_t Compromise? Really?

And then this. This is interesting, a bit troubling, and an opportunity to be better than websites. I tell my clients that my goal is to be better than Google/Zillow …

2013 - Usefulness of information sources

In 2014, no real surprises here, but interesting and intriguing trends here.

2014 Usefulness of information sources

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What Will 29 Look Like when VDOT is Finished?

Keeping up with what’s happening on 29 is a job – it takes effort, time, and expertise. For that, you’ll have to go to Charlottesville Tomorrow.

For now, have a look at this animation that shows what 20 might look like when they’re finished.



Two things unanswered (and likely to be unanswered until we have hindsight) –

1) What will traffic/delays be while the solution is implemented?

2) Will all the businesses survive the solution?

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Albemarle Gets a Transportation Planner + Urban Density

Two stories at Charlottesville Tomorrow this week are worth noting (in truth, all their stories are), in part because they mesh with a conversation last night with a potential new client contemplating moving to Charlottesville from out West.

Two points he made:

1) They are considering moving to Charlottesville in part because they want a higher and better quality of life, and hope to achieve that with less traffic and a shorter commute.

2) He expressed concern that Charlottesville hadn’t grown in two decades. I advised to look at the population growth in Albemarle County (related: Should I move to Charlottesville?) Albemarle’s population has grown remarkably over the past 20 years while Charlottesville has remained fairly steady.

On to the Charlottesville Tomorrow stories:

Supervisors debate Albemarle’s growth area planning philosophy

“I really do think we are in a new era of the development area,” Sheffield said. “Without a doubt, I think things are going to move faster and faster and we need to get ahead of it.”

The population of Albemarle is projected to be 134,196 in 2030. The plan assumes nearly 15,000 additional dwelling units will need to be in place to absorb that growth.

The supervisors’ monthly review of the plan will continue in December when they are expected to take up chapters on transportation and parks. Echols said she is hoping the plan will go to a public hearing in April.

Albemarle to hire transportation planner

“Like many counties evolving from a rural level of service to an urban one, Albemarle is seeing a changing role for managing transportation issues,” said Mark Graham, the county’s community development director.

Graham said that 65 percent of Albemarle residents will be in the urban area by 2040, compared with around 45 percent today. The county estimates there are now 104,580 residents.

This. Charlottesville and Albemarle need to get along.


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On (Realtor) Tardiness

There are times when any/all of us are late. The question is whether it’s the exception or the rule. In my life and practice, tardiness is the rare exception.

A few weeks ago, I was scheduled to meet someone at 2 o’clock. At 2:15, I was in my car starting to leave when he pulled in.

He expressed surprise when I told him I was leaving, as he didn’t know what time it was. I almost continued my exit. He said that every other Realtor he’d met had been late; I respectfully and politely told him I wasn’t one of them.

Contrast that with clients the other day who texted me at 2:59 telling me they’d be a few minutes late for our 3 o’clock appointment – they respect my time, and more importantly, theirs.

(caveat: about 3 times a year, Google Calendar betrays me and I’m tardy or miss an appointment … technology is awesome when it works)

When I see a post start with ” this post may offend …” often, I’ll agree. This is one of those posts.

This post may offend some readers. But only because it’s going to cut close to the bone for many.

And I don’t care if I sound old-fashioned, because actually it’s nothing to do with ‘fashion’ or ‘generation’. It’s got everything to do with basic good manners and respect for other people.

So here goes… How did it get to be “OK” for people to be late for everything?

I’m not sure whether my proclivity for punctuality is derived from my time at VMI where being late without consequences was not an option, or from my time being a real estate kid, but being punctual is part of me and therefore part of my real estate practice.

If I’m going to show a house or meet a client at 3 o’clock, I’ll usually arrive between 2:55 and 2:59. If I’m going to be late (I was behind a tractor and a school bus last night on Miller School Road, but still arrived 5 minutes early), I’ll call or text.

I have a knack for working with good people who are nice, intelligent and respectful. And they’re almost all punctual (there are a few exceptions, but they make up for the habitual tardiness by being truly wonderful people … if they were not nice, we’d have a different relationship).

In all the years I’ve coached my daughters’ soccer teams I’ve started the season with the statement to the kids (and parents) that we start on time and as importantly – end on time.

All we have, in whatever profession, are time and expertise. Time and expertise are our currencies; not respecting either is inexcusable.

We all have lives and schedules to keep. Why not show respect for others?

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