Browsing Category Affordability

It’s our money, darn it!

Further, because state law requires that the rate be lowered to produce an equal amount of tax revenues (plus 1%), there was no “rate cut” either.To suggest there was a rate cut is to ignore state law.Had this additional “pizza and beer” increase gone through, that property owner would have received a $512 per year increase!…  Unlikely-we’d see the same hand-wringing about the budget.Back to “pizza and a beer.”One man’s pizza and beer is another family’s six (or more) doctor visit co-pays.Or another person’s two dental check ups, because some folks don’t have dental insurance….  $15 per month may not be much, but to some it pinches.Demeaning the tax increase by suggesting it’s merely a”pizza and beer” per month is like TV commercials that hawk elder life insurance policies by suggesting that it only costs 50 cents a day!…  We need to focus first on how we are spending current revenue before considering any increase in taxes, “pizza and beer” increases included.”I’d like to link to a Daily Progress article from the last time assessments were done in Albemarle County, but apparently they’ve never written about David Slutzky (but they’re working on it).

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Green building in Charlottesville is about to (hopefully) take a major step forward

but they are certainly on the right track (in spite of the recent negative press).A few notes and thoughts on yesterday’s presentation for Realtors:- None of the floorplans (not yet online) are more than 3,000 square feet.  This is a huge accomplishment for the developers – recognizing that buyers want smaller, smarter and high quality space is surprisingly innovative for such a large development.- Realtors who are representing buyers will have to be more educated on this development than they would have to be on other developments – there is just more “to it.”…  They will be building 800-1200 square foot cottages in the development.While the current data don’t clearly demonstrate this trend locally:In 2004, 52% of homes sold in Charlottesville/Albemarle were less than 2000 square feet finished and in 2007, the percentage was 56%.In 2004, 27% of homes sold in Charlottesville/Albemarle were more than 2500 square feet, compared with 25% in 2007.The trend is there and will grow.Bacon’s Rebellion has a post today about Belvedere as well as a more in-depth story that points out a major hole in the development:The project will not include a grocery store….  More tomorrow.Update 18 October 2007: The presentation was the same, but the questions from the audience were new.- There is a persistent them that the development will be “family friendly.”- Concerns about the soccer facility came to light – there will be traffic to and from the fields and this likely will be a concern for some, although the benefits far outweigh the negatives.- Streets will be narrow to encourage slower traffic and more walking – “activating the street” as they say.- The buzz around this facility is unique.

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Real estate Sunday in the Daily Progress – a deeper look at the housing numbers

The DP, Charlottesville’s biggest daily newspaper, has quite the real estate focus today:Prices put dream of homeownership out of reachFlight from high prices costs in road woesHigh housing prices hit city in rankingsHousing boom benefits but wages still lag(All stories on one page)A point of clarification and expansion referencing this (I don’t know why I am taking on the ombudsman role today):In response to the affordable housing issue, Phillips said, the real estate industry has built more moderately priced condominiums and town-houses…. Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna and Greene, there are 476 condos or attached properties active on the market, 329 of which are priced under $300k, 151 are under $200k and 38 are under $150k. Breaking the numbers down a step further to what I believe is a reasonable requirement for many, if not most:Of all attached/condo properties on the market, with at least three bedrooms:Under $150k: 0Under $200k: 1Under $250k: 2Under $300k: 6Another clarification:The region’s homes-for-sale inventory is also increasing, giving buyers more choices and slightly lower prices. There are currently 3,443 active listings in the region, representing a three-fold increase over three years ago.In Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson, there are actually 2,581 properties on the market.

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17 is better than 1

The median house price jumped from $177,000 to $345,000, and the cost of living more than doubled, to the highest in the state, the book says.What does Charlottesville think of the drop?“Good!”  said Kathy Uriss, the director of information services for the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.Of course, she appreciated all the people who mentioned the No….  1 City in America.”“We were proud and honored, but maybe things will come back to the ground,” Ms. Uriss said.  “As housing prices have gotten out of hand, we’ve certainly seen a curtailing in the number of calls we’re getting.””For better or worse, the Central Virginia region is a destination for many people and as many reasons – retirement, job relocation, school, grad school, med school …

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Central Virginia development moves on

The traffic study work session next month should be interesting.As always, Cvilletomorrow has much more information as well as a podcast of the planning commission’s meeting.Wal-mart is finally coming to Greene County!…  There has been much discussion locally about the merits of Wal-mart, but I do know that my clients in Greene will welcome this addition to their community.  Soon they won’t have to go to Culpeper or CharlAlbemarle, Yesterday at an open house for a new development, I was interested to see that their solution, as approved by the County, to the affordable housing situation is to provide affordable “accessory apartments….  More at the County’s website.Fluvanna’s clustering is moving forward and Daniel has his thoughts on the newest Fluvanna development.Housing inventory is up, but development plugs on, and for many, that’s a good thing.

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Ah, Leadership

I thought about this when I read it, but Mayor Brown puts it most succinctly:And the irony that this luncheon was held in Glenmore – an affluent, gated community – must have been obvious to everyone present.From the DP:“Lots of poor kids are smart and need enrichment opportunities,” Ralston told the chamber’s annual Community Government Luncheon at Glenmore Country Club.  Parents living in poverty “want the best for their kids but they don’t have the resources and they don’t have the opportunities,” she said.WINA and WCAV report as well.  Hat tip to Waldo.Might as well lead from the top.

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