Monthly Note Archive | No Garages = More Friends, the Market, Impactful Learning

Archives of my subscription-only monthly notes. The blog is more searchable. Interested in not waiting a few months to read it? Subscribe 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). 

First: Florence is coming. It might be horrible, bad, or hopefully, an opportunity to prepare for the next one. This is a checklist from a colleague at our Nest Realty office in North Carolina’s Triangle. It’s good

If you’re in the Charlottesville area, my Charlottesville media Twitter list is useful.

Wow. I wrote the first monthly note in February 2013, writing for 32 people. Been a long time, and now there are a few more of you. Thank you for reading!

Fall. It’s almost here!

Learning Something New Every Day

I’ve color-coded my maps for buyers for a long time. When I started practicing real estate, my mom got me a box of Crayola markers. Really.

A few weeks ago, I was color coding parts of the Charlottesville – Albemarle area for new clients, and I ran out of colors. My client suggested a variation of the above – a blue-filled circle, blue-scribbled square, etc.

When looking at a map for where we’re going to go, it’s far easier to look for “pink” or “blue circle” than “Estes Street,” or Birchwood Drive.
It took me about 15 years to learn this little nugget, but I’m glad I did.

An Impactful Part of Clients’ Lives, Part II

Enough with the unpacking of the boxes. It’s time to give some serious thanks where thanks are due. We will always be grateful for the countless ways in which you helped to get us into this happy home; from youtube videos to babysitting, you were an enormous support. As you endearingly say of others, we also think that you are “just a really nice human being.” Forever grateful …
I have carried the above note in my murse (or manbag, call it what you will) for nearly a decade; it’s one of many thank you notes that I get, but it’s one that I stuck in my bag years ago, and pull out once in a while as a reminder of why I do what I do. Yes, I make a living, but the fulfillment that comes with helping people make good decisions is something that money could never buy.  Back to being a curmudgeon.

The Market

I know, I know. It’s a seller’s market, the market is booming, everything is great. Sure it is, for some. Others, notsomuch. Everything depends on your micro-market.

For just Charlottesville + Albemarle this month

Quick perspective: in Charlottesville  + Albemarle, there are 619 non-new construction homes on the market; 353 have been on the market for at least 90 days, and 284 have been on for at least 120 days.

Looking at the number of homes sold in Charlottesville + Albemarle

  • August 2017 – 226 homes sold
  • August 2018 – 238. We’ll call that mostly flat.


  • Jan – August 2017 – 1,635 homes sold
  • Jan – August 2018 – 1,841 homes sold. Up nearly 13%.

The average days on market was pretty much the same, 51 last year, 53 this year.

Garages and Neighborhood Activation

Houses in neighborhoods without garages have more neighbors that know, and spend time with, each other.  it’s an interesting theory, and one on which I’d love to see some data. Lacking the data, I’ll share three nuggets.
  1. Years ago, I was waiting for clients on the front porch of a house on a cul-de-sac; each house had a garage. It was around 6 o’clock, as people were coming home from work. I watched as people drove home, opened the garage, pulled inside, closed the garage, and turned off outside lights. Awful.
  2. A client recently shared that another client had mentioned how she’d lived in different parts of the same neighborhood. Of the three parts, the part with the most active neighbors in which she had lived was the one with no garages. Like it or not, people were forced out of their houses, whether only from the car to the front door, or car to mailbox to front door … they were put in a position to interact and engage with their neighbors.
  3. And … countering the above hypothesis, I can point out numerous streets with garages that are littered with children and adults.

What I’m Reading

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On the Blogs



As always, thank you 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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