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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.
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.
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.
- One guy wanted to do something nice – rent a theater for underprivileged kids to see Black Panther
- The Charlottesville/Reddit community came together for him, and the kids
- The Daily Progress did a story about it
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
- Differences Between Riding/Running in Colorado and Virginia? – I love this story, written by a friend
- Albemarle County Assessments – 2018 – Like a Zestimate by the Locality
- West Main Continues to Evolve
- Charlottesville City Schools or Albemarle County Schools? – an important guest post
- Amtrak Train Hits Trash Truck in Crozet
- One of the Most Informative Answers to the Crozet Survey
- Big Sick (and More!) at Crozet Library – our library is awesome. That is all.
- A long series about Crozet. I had coffee with a friend a few weeks ago, and we talked about a lot of stuff about Crozet. This extended series – the first of its sort that I’ve done – is the result.
What I’m Reading
- Architecture’s future rests in the hands of robots
- ~$1 trillion of real estate is on the move … here’s why — “We conservatively estimate that ~$1 trillion of residential property value is going to shift across 13 major US cities due to autonomous vehicles.” Huh.
- The Terrifying Future of Fake News – An absolute must-read
- How Automation Will Change Work, Purpose And Meaning
- Give Me Your Tired… – It’s a Podcast, and a good one.
- A few tweets. About the flu. About the Russians’ attack. About America waning. And “America is under attack.”
- Keeping Flood Insurance Above Water: Commentary – I’m torn on this one. Advise clients to avoid buying or building basements? The “believers” may think climate change is not a thing, but the “insurers” do. And the “military,” and “scientists“
- Climate Change Could Make Your Basement Uninsurable in the Next Decade
- Whether you believe it or not, if the insurers won’t insure your basement, do your beliefs really matter?
- The House that Spied on Me. A remarkably interesting, make-you-want-an-analog-bicycle story
- What Would an Increase in Mortgage Rates Mean for Homebuyers?
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.
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Jim Duncan, Nest Realty, 126 Garrett Street Suite D, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Licensed real estate agent in Commonwealth of VA.