Monthly Note Archives – January 2021

Archives of my subscription-only monthly notes. This is for January 2021. Interested in not waiting a few weeks to read it, and want it straight to your email? Subscribe here.   For the re-posts here on the blog, 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 Substack. If you’re interested, these are all the monthly notes I have written.

Decision Tree – parallels with medical stuff and real estate transactions

It’s one thing for a professional to know that things are going to be okay, that you’ve seen this before, that this thing that popped up is, while a concern, not wholly unexpected, and things are going to be ok.

It’s another for the client to hear and feel and understand that things are going to go awry at some point.

I try to tell my clients, whether buyers or sellers, that we have a path, and we’ll get there.

Recently I was visiting someone in the ICU at UVA (not Covid-related). They’d been there for about three weeks, with all manner of crises that seemed to pop up every other day. Then I met with the docs who were describing the next few milestones and they were very calm and detailed that the things they’d seen were all normal and not completely unexpected. Who knew?

I’m not going to equate representing someone buying or selling a home with a team of doctors managing a patient’s care, but I will say that it is critical to explain to the patient/client that there is a path with a beginning and end, and there are going to be bumps along the way. *

(*And ultimately, while everyone is fighting a monster of some sort, the days go on, responsibilities continue, and one must pick up one’s head, shake off fatigue, and get done what must get done. Easy.)

And always. Ask. Questions.

Also related: wear your damn masks. Patients at UVA can no longer have visitors because of COVID.



The Market

Watch this 6 minutes to see a friend, Mike Simonsen, talk about whether America is running out of homes to buy. It’s national, but we’re seeing a lot of this in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

But, as I was telling a friend this afternoon, national analyses, and even state and local, are too broad to be particularly relevant to buyers or sellers. What matters is your micro-market segment, and why next month I’m restarting my micro-market series in which I focus on just one neighborhood. Suggestions welcomed.

Simple. Learn your market, know it, and act accordingly. (and ask me if you need representation)


Coming Soon Listings


I sent this to a few clients this week.

As things pick up, we’re going to see some coming soon listings in the MLS. We can’t see them until they are live in the MLS due to rules implemented last year, but we can try to get a heads-up on some.

Chris and Abby photograph a majority of new listings in our market; they put most of them on their site. I will sometimes ask them not to if I or my seller don’t want pics there early, because my client hasn’t told their employer, they’re divorcing, or for other reasons.

That said, here’s their site. I check it periodically, but I find that my clients are often better at stalking. 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

— Jim


Heard at the Nest Summit, “Be patient in what you give to yourself, but be impatient in what you give to others.”



A long search concludes; a new chapter begins


Two songs versus five

A simple question – to help put a driving commute into context – how long of a drive do you want? Two songs, or five songs? One Planet Money or most of HBR’s After Hours podcast?

Not Grateful Dead or Phish, but a modern rock song, if you will.

Related: Adding 20 Minutes to Your Commute Makes You as Miserable as Getting a 19% Pay Cut.


Related: Does Dominos Deliver?

That’s a question that is far more critical now, through the Covid-19 lens, than it was last January.

Sure, the place might* have internet, but does Grubhub/Dominos/Doordash/etc deliver? Will UPS or FedEx deliver to your door, or to the end of your driveway? (*Might is key here; high speed internet doesn’t reach many of Albemarle County’s bucolic corners.)

And … is there an Amazon porch to keep your stuff dry?

Good questions to ask.


Danger lies ahead


Solar – Why the Blog is Still Useful

Old, but useful post.

I’m putting this here as much for you as for affirmation to keep the blog forever. Having a place to store information is useful. One of the greatest benefits is being able to reference old posts.

A client asked me about whether solar was a good idea and I sent him this post, along with a recommendation for another solar company Alt Energy who were recently purchased by Tiger, the biggest local propane company. Turns out they were the best option.

And a good reason to have great clients, too!


Something about this doesn’t make sense




What I’m Reading

(I know the fonts are weird; I tried but Substack is going to make me re-do them all)

What I’m Listening (I’d love some podcast recommendations)

Next Month

  • Returning to the micro-market series in which I study/analyze a small segment of the Charlottesville – Albemarle market, likely a neighborhood that allows for a reasonable amount of data and housing turnover from which to draw conclusions and speculations.
  • The number of people with whom I interact who have read what I’ve put out for years, whether the blogs, this note, even Twitter, is amazing. Thank you for reading, trusting me, and for reaching out after reading me.
  • “Jim you growed us up.” 🙂 Story of young clients, first time homebuyers, who bought their first house around the time they got married.


(Visited 154 times, 1 visits today)

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *