Racism, Charlottesville, Texts after 7 | 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)

August 2017.

Boys and Girls Club

Every year, I raise money for (and awareness of) the Boys and Girls Club. This organization does remarkable work with kids in our area.

Being a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia satisfies the desire of young people to have a Club of their own. Children and teens, ages 6-18, of all races, religions and ethnic cultures are welcome. We are open daily after school and all day during the summer. Our membership dues are kept low, so all young people can afford to join.

If you can give, please do; it’s a great way to have a significant local impact.


It’s been a hard few weeks in Charlottesville, and I suspect we’re going to have a difficult few weeks and months to come as we seek to heal, to learn, to better ourselves and our community. I had a nice outline for this note that I mentally crumpled and tossed aside after the terrorist acts of the weekend of 12 August. As I told a friend, these events have shaken me. The unvarnished, unmasked racism and violence – and the defense of said racism and violence –  that was on display in Charlottesville is something I never thought I’d see. The ensuing lack of leadership from leaders has been disheartening, and angering.

Much as I would like to think that each of the degenerates who presented themselves was not from my home, I know better. And I know that I can do more; I don’t yet know what that is, but I know I can do more – for my kids, my neighbors, and for my community. Charlottesville can be a better place than it is. We have a long history, and a long history of class and race division.

Read this whole story

Many Americans like to think that this kind of thing can’t happen here—that American exceptionalism immunizes us from the virulent racism and tribalism that tear apart other countries far, far away. But we’re more susceptible than we’d like to think.

Communities of color know this well. They have lived with the intrinsic, gut-wrenching understanding of racial violence since, well, our country’s founding. The Virginia I grew up loving and the America I spent my career defending abroad have always been capable of both tremendous good and terrible evil. Virginia was the birthplace of American democracy, but it was also the capital of the Confederacy. There are people still living in Charlottesville who remember when the city chose to close all of its public schools rather than integrate, and when the schools finally reopened, they remember walking through the doors of Charlottesville High School while angry crowds yelled, “Nigger, go home.” In this state alone, 44 black men were lynched from 1877 to 1950, often at the hands of some of the same groups that marched through Charlottesville on Saturday.

This violence will continue unless we commit universally to condemning and standing against it. I am confident that most of my neighbors in Virginia and the majority of my fellow Americans know that the side marching through my town carrying lit torches and assault weapons, mowing down peaceful anti-racist protesters, and espousing an ideology of hatred and bigotry, is wrong. But it takes more than just knowing. If Americans want the violence to end, we need to actively oppose those who seek to divide us along racial lines and demand that our leaders do the same.

Vinegar Hill (originally known as Random Row) was a historically black neighborhood that was razed in 1964 as part of a Charlottesville-led redevelopment program.[1] The neighborhood extended along Main Street from the eastern end of today’s Downtown Mall.[2]

From a real estate perspective, I know that some buyers are choosing to not move to the Charlottesville area because of these events. I hope that this sentiment subsides. I have also talked to many buyers who know and believe that the “bad people” came from other areas, and are committed to either staying, or moving to the area.

We are resilient, but these problems – racial divide, class divide, access to Charlottesville  – were here before. I am proud of how Nest, and our agents have responded. I am proud of Charlottesville. We will get better, but it’s going to take work.

We’re just starting, anew, in our healing, in our learning, our growing awareness.

Texts After 7

Last month I wrote,”This transaction is likely the single greatest thing going on in my client’s lives right now. I try to never, ever forget that.”

I have tried to set boundaries with my clients – telling them that I try to shut down at 7, and may respond to their texts and emails and calls that night, but they shouldn’t expect a response until the next day.

But I feel the urgency. When I get an email from a client, after they’ve put the kids down, finished dinner, talked to each other a bit, and they’re just now able to send me an email … asking about whether they can see a house tomorrow, or if the curtains need to come down before they finish moving out tomorrow morning, or if I’ve heard from the out of area lender, because they haven’t, or what time we’re doing the walkthrough next week (usually the night before or morning of closing).

Most of those questions are questions that could wait, but I also know the answers to those questions, and my clients don’t. And they want, and sometimes need, to know pretty quickly – whether to simply answer a quick question, or figure out if they need to take time off work tomorrow to see that one house that looks perfect (but may not be).

Ironically, as I was writing this note, at 9:30pm, I got a text from a client. “Ok cool- wasn’t expecting a 9:30pm response. We can figure it out tomorrow but we’re ready!” Sometimes, exceeding expectations is good.

The Nest County Fair

When we started Nest years ago, we wanted to have a celebration of and for our clients. We had a small tent outside our first office, had two kegs, neither of which we came close to floating, and fewer than 100 people.

This year, we’re going to fill the Charlottesville Pavilion with more than 3,000 of our clients, at least 2 kegs, massive volumes of macaroni and cheese, live music, and a party that has become an annual event for quite a few people in the Charlottesville area.

Are We in a Bubble?

  • No detailed market update this month. Short story: prices are up, sales have fallen a bit, as they do whenever prices go up significantly
  • I got this question from a reader, “In your opinion, do you think another housing bubble is coming?  I see a home on the market, purchased 3 years ago for 500K, and now they are asking 650+.
    Just curious.”
  • My short answer:

    • We’re not going to know for 18 months
    • Maybe
    • I don’t necessarily think so, as we aren’t having such crazy mortgages as we had last time, but I do have significant concerns about the societal sustainability of these prices.
    • I’m going to write about this in detail in September.

What I’m Reading

The Blogs



One last thing – Charlottesville Media

I keep a running Twitter list of Charlottesville media folks. These people do tremendous work, and many of them were on the front lines of the horrible events on 12 August. They are here every day, in our community, and we should be grateful for them. Charlottesville Tomorrow and the Daily Progress, notably, are cranking out enormously valuable information every day. Thank them with donations or subscriptions, please. Local media is invaluable to a functioning society.

Next month

  • Fearful negotiating
  • Ignorance
  • Sex offenders and property values

Thanks for reading!

— Jim

Jim on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn Subscribe to RealCentralVA | Jim’s Instagram

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

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