Black Panther, Planning Ahead, Market Dynamics | Monthly Note Archives

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(February 2018)

Planning ahead

When you’re buying a home, you’re potentially buying a home for tomorrow, the next day,  when you have no kids, a baby and a toddler, big kids, and no kids. Life happens. With inventory being as low as it has been, it’s better to buy smart so that if you’re in your seven year home for 15 years, you’ve chosen the right neighborhood and community for you (and your family).

I saw a story recently that noted the average time people stayed in their homes is now about 10 years. That’s a long time.

– My older daughter graduated high school in 2012. I vividly remember the day when my dad looked at me and said, “You know son, she’s never coming home.” With a defiant stiff lip, I ignored him. Stupid parents.

Fast forward: she never came home. She came to visit, see friends, used our house as a home base, but she never came home. Now she’s gone.

– Years ago, I represented buyers who moved to Charlottesville as a family of 5 — 2 parents and 3 kids. They found a great house and lived there for several years. When they moved, I recall my client describing the home search process in their new state – they were not looking for a home for 2 + 3, they were looking for a home for 5 humans. Real people, that is.

Moral of the story — plan ahead when you’re buying or building a home. Life changes. Think about buying a home for more than the foreseeable future, if you have that ability and luxury.

Market Dynamics

Are we in a bubble? Is a crash coming? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you in 18 months what today’s market is doing.

A colleague and I were talking (more on the Nest dynamics next month) last month about this market, particularly the hottest parts of the Charlottesville area market. There are at least two approaches to representing buyers in the hot market.

– represent them, guide them, advise about the market intricacies, dynamics, comps, data … and make an offer with which they are comfortable winning or losing.
– represent them with all of the above, with the focus being, “get them in the damn house” because if they don’t come in strong, they’re going to lose out. Again.

Every market is different. Every client is different. Every situation is unique.

Simple Market Stats.

There are so many micro markets in the Charlottesville – Albemarle area. The townhouse market in Old Trail in Crozet (west of Charlottesville) – median asking price is $443K,  is different from the townhouse market in the City – median asking price is $310K, is different from the townhouse market in 29 North – median asking price is $252K.

County of Albemarle

  • 276 homes (attached, detached, condo) have come on the market this year*
    • ??133 of those have gone under contract
    • 94 went under contract in 7 days or less
    • 127 are still active on the market (not everything is selling immediately)
    • Average price of actives – $535K
    • Average price of the under contracts/solds – $461K

City of Charlottesville

  • 72 homes have come on the market this year
    • 45 of those have gone under contract
    • 25 are still active.
    • Average price of actives – $337
    • Average price of the under contracts/solds – $385K

* these numbers are from mid-afternoon 13 February.

Quick data points for Charlottesville + Albemarle

I tried to tease out the number of actual new-to-the-market listings, but found it difficult to do so with confidence — excluding new construction paper listings doesn’t provide an accurate measure of the market, but neither does including them. New construction paper listings can be put on, re-listed… The short summary of inventory is this – not enough homes are coming on the market to satisfy buyer demand. New construction isn’t the answer, as new builds generally start close to $400K, and there are a lot of buyers in the sub-$400K (and sub-$300K) price points, so more buyers than available homes


  • From 1 January to 10 February in 2017, 225 homes went under contract; 262 did so this year.
  • From 1 January to 10 February in 2017, 726 homes closed; 706 did so this year.
    • 357 (49%) were new in 2017 355 (50%) in 2018 were new – it’s going to be interesting to watch this ratio this year; the builders are starting 2018 gangbusters.
The big question to you is – “What do those numbers mean to you?” Context. Matters. Want appropriate and relevant context? Ask me anytime. (reply to this email, or text/call me – 434-242-7140)

Black Panther

First and foremost, I can’t wait to see this movie. I read comics as a kid, watch the comic book movies with my girls, and can’t wait to see this movie.

It’s a good Charlottesville story. Guy who’s new to Charlottesville wants to give back. Asks for help. Help comes. Good things happen. We need more of this.

On the Blogs



What I’m Reading

One of this month’s highlights: clients talking to each other, evaluating a house … one said to the other, “what’s your tl;dr on this one?” Love it. 

Coming Soon

PS – 

Nest is now offering franchises.


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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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