Blue Face, What is Close, and the Market (slows) | Monthly Note Archives

Archives of my subscription-only monthly notes. The blog is more searchable. Interested in not waiting a few months to read it? Learn more here.   For these posts, I don’t do much formatting/changing as I’m more concerned about simply having the content here forever (because I own the blog, and I don’t own Tinyletter)

June 2017.

Advice from a client: if you’re putting it in the attic, you might as well just throw it away or sell it.

Until I’m Blue in the Face

I’ll say this until I’m blue the face – every house, every market, every street is different. I was talking to another agent last week about this market, and he was recounting how one house will come on the market and go under contract with 5 offers in 27 hours, and another will sit for weeks and weeks with minimal showings. It’s frustrating – frustrating for the sellers whose houses don’t sell super-crazy-fast, and frustrating for the agents representing them who are trying to explain that just because that house sold fast doesn’t mean their house will sell fast.

New Construction through May of this year

  • Ryan Homes have sold 77 homes for nearly $30M
  • Craig have sold 29 for just over $17M
  • Southern are at 53 for over $23M
  • Stanley Martin sold 89 for over $48M

Those 4 builders account for nearly 70% of the new construction market in the Charlottesville MSA. (thanks for the data, Greg).

Overall market in Charlottesville + Albemarle

  • In May 2017 in Charlottesville + Albemarle, 232 homes went under contract. 39 of those were new construction. For resale plus new – Average List Price was $410K; Average Sold Price was $350K.
  • In May 2016 in Charlottesville + Albemarle, 244 homes went under contract. 32 of those were new construction. For resale plus new – Average List Price was $395K; Average Sold Price was $392K.
  • About the 4% more homes closed this January to May than did in January to May 2016; 813 in 2016 & 849 this year.

Days on Market – everyone loves days on market

  • 285 resales in Charlottesville went under contract in January – May 2017
    • 167 had days on market of 7 or under.
    • 17 had days on market of 90 or more.
  • 663 resales in Albemarle went under contract in January – May 2017
    • 233 had days on market of 7 or under.
    • 147 had days on market of 90 or more.

Storytime – What’s close?

(Storytime: in which I recount the stories I tell to clients all the time; I hope to continue this segment for a while. I’ve already drafted the “rooster” story for next month.”)

What’s “close” to you? Many years ago a client moved to the Charlottesville area, rented for a short while, and found a home to buy. While the home was under contract, and inspections were ongoing, she had occasion to drive to the home many times.

They have three kids. At the time, one would get out of school a bit after 2, and the other was released around 4.

The house was about 20-23 minutes from the respective schools … and she was left with a hole that needed to be filled in the schedule. Drive home for 30 minutes or so, only to return to pick up the other kid? Wander around?

Luckily, the home inspection caused the Contract to fall apart. While that was a frustrating experience in one sense, that time spent visiting the house, figuring out school schedules, driving to groceries, etc led to what was ultimately a much better decision for that particular life stage – buying a home in the City of Charlottesville.

Moral of the story? Try to have the foresight of what life will be in that house/location. A question I pose to my buyer clients is this – will you be happy here (with your coffee shop, schools, work, grocery, farmers market, whatever it is that is important to you).

Question for Buyers – what do you google leading up to a home inspection?

Thousands of Dollars

The value of a few thousand dollars … I’ve said this many times recently. I don’t mean to diminish the value of $3,000 or $7,000 dollars, but in the scheme of things, would it be worth either losing this house (as a buyer) or losing this Offer (as a seller)? If that’s $5,000, would that loss be worth ~$25/month? (using 4% interest over 30 years)? For a lot of people, the answer to that question is, no, I’d rather have the house/contract.

One of the things that I bring to the table when advising my clients, whether buyers or sellers, is the pain I still feel and remember from the depths of the crash. The loss was real. The pain was real.

And then I look at my life/house – We bought in 2004, just before the apex. Then our home’s value shot through the roof. Then it plummeted. Now it’s back up.

And I do not care. Because we aren’t moving, and don’t plan to move. If you have that hope/plan for a long-ish horizon in that home, a few thousand dollars isn’t that much.

And for those who have shorter horizons? My advice: less than 3 years, please strongly consider renting. For 3 to 5, you may want to be a bit more inflexible in negotiations; you never know when life might happen to you.

From the Blogs



What I’m Reading

Thanks for reading.

— Jim

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Jim Duncan, Nest Realty, 126 Garrett Street Suite D, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Licensed real estate agent in Commonwealth of VA.


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