What Are Buyers Looking For? In Charlottesville

Other than ‘cost’ and ‘school district’ what else are people looking for? Large kitchens? Ground floor living?

This answer is through my lens as a reasonably productive* real estate agent representing buyers and sellers in Charlottesville – Albemarle region. I’m answering this initially by reacting and not thinking.

  • Community
  • Internet
  • Proximity to stuff
  • Turn Key
  • At least 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a home office, or room for a makeshift home office (or two)
  • Storage – whether basement or garage (or both)
  • Affordable
  • Good schools (whatever that means to them)
  • Yard for a kid or dog, or both
  • Universal design – my clients rarely use that term, but for those looking at a horizon longer than 10 years, they’re having the conversation about first-floor living, and life without kids (if they have them)
  • Room for a parent to live, preferably in their own space.
  • To not overpay

Regardless of price point, people buying homes want pretty much the same thing – a home in which they will be happy, that they can afford, and that’s in a location that puts them and their families in a position where they can be happy.

Not only do I have 20+ years of experience,

I ask my buyer clients to fill out a buyer survey that helps me, and them, better understand and succinctly state their needs wants, but I ask some questions they might not have thought about.

I added a new question last year – describe what you’re looking for in 3 words.

A few of those answers that I see frequently

  • space, privacy, comfort
  • space, function, warmth
  • location kitchen location
  • Quiet. Near Grounds.
  • Cute, Safe, Walkable

From the National Association of Realtors’ 2021 Homebuyer Profile. Keep in mind that this is from the 2021 profile. Not much has changed other than likely the pricing aspect, as we’re now in such a shifting market.

“Characteristics of Homes Purchased

  • Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 36%. Buyers who purchased previously-owned homes were most often considering a better overall value at 38%.
  • Buyers typically purchased their homes for 100% of the asking price, with 29% purchasing for more than the asking price.
  • The typical home that was recently purchased was 1,900 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1993.
  • Convenience to family and friends was the second most important factor in influencing neighborhood choice after quality of the neighborhood, surpassing convenience to jobs and affordability, which were more important last year.”

Now, for Sellers:

2022 realtor dot com seller expectations
2022 realtor dot com seller expectations


The market is shifting, and that’s fine. We do the work, market effectively, and price well, and we’ll be good.

*reasonably productive = I do fine. I have never liked awards or terms that rank agents or talk about “top producing!” agents or whatever. I pay my mortgage, feed my family, and love what I do. I represent enough clients in enough price ranges and locations within the area in which I am knowledgeable that I know the Charlottesville area market, I know good questions to ask, I know my professional limitations and blindspots, and I know enough to know when to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out, and I know who to ask.” 

The best education is practice. And screwing up. And learning from mistakes.


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