From today’s Daily Progress:Itâ€™s T-minus two days before Tom Powell lifts off the Charlottesville Fashion Square mall pad in the 19th-annual Toy Lift amid some serious concern at mission control….â€œThis really isnâ€™t the first economic downturn weâ€™ve had in 18 years and every year that weâ€™ve had the Toy Lift, people have put themselves out there and helped pull off a good Christmas for the children,â€ he said….Â That’s all it takes on your part to help make a child’s Christmas/Hannukkah.Â There is no doubt that this year has been hard for anybody associated with real estate, but it shouldn’t be asking too much to ask for one two per person, or twenty bucks….Â I’ll come get your donations (new toys, no used ones due to the recalls this year); just let me know.Find out more here.
Plus it’s sad to see all of the listing agents trying to show us “other” houses while we are standing in the house they are trying to sell for a client (some have actually tried to give us MLS listing for OTHER homes in the neighborhood).There are no Zip Realty franchises in the Charlottesville/Central Virginia region (here are the Richmond Zip agents), so first-hand knowledge is hard to come by….Â From the fine print on Zip Realty’s site:Occasionally, the seller and/or listing broker in a transaction will offer the broker representing the buyer a bonus or other additional incentive over and above the cooperating brokerage commission.Â Any such bonuses or other additional incentives are separate and apart from the cooperating brokerage commission actually received by ZipRealty and buyer is not entitled to a rebate on any bonus or other additional incentive monies paid to ZipRealty over and above the cooperative broker commission.This clause alone makes me distrust their model….Â Transparent.After reading the question a couple of times, the question is less about whether Zip Realty is “worth it” and more whether Realtors are worth it, and why this reader’s perception is that listing agents (and agents in general) just don’t listen to the client’s needs.There are too many what-ifs and unknowns (if I’m wrong, please enlighten me).
From WINA:CTS buses are idle for the rest of the Labor Day weekendThose who normally rely on Charlottesville Transit Service to get around the city and Albemarle’s urban ring will need to make other arrangements between now and Tuesday morning.Â CTS Spokeswoman Tamika Harris says the buses and trolleys will be idle Sunday and Monday in honor of Labor Day.Â CTS will be running its regular routes shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday.And from today’s Daily Progress:Halfway through her journey, Mary rested her head against the bus window, stared at the cars whizzing by on U.S. 29 and sighed.It had been nearly three hours since she left her house off Preston Avenue, and an equal amount of time would pass before she returned home.All this for two measly errands – a doctorâ€™s appointment and a trip to Rio Hill shopping center….Â An entire day spent navigating Charlottesvilleâ€™s public transportation system.
The question that those that market real estate have to answer is this: will people treat a bounce in real estate the way that they think about a drop in the stock market (a chance to profit) or will it lead to a long-term reevaluation of what it means to own a house?My prediction – absolutely….Â What we are witnessing is the return to a less transient real estate market (even though Charlottesville has traditionally been a bit more transient due to the University of Virginia), where buying and selling a home requires more due diligence and careful consideration than it has for the past seven years.Â Those who think that interest rates are high when a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage can be had for under 7% – need to see things in a little bit of historical context.But is it a marketing problem?…Â There is frequently more to the story than can be presented in one thousand words or less (that’s why we have blogs).Understanding that housing has, outside of the past 5-7 years, been regarded as a long-term investment is fundamental to the strength of the housing market.The TJPDC says that (PDF) the Charlottesville region can expect housing demand to increase 11% from 2010 to 2020 (p.62 of the report).The demand will be there, but the “quick buck” will be harder to find.
Transparency hurt nobody.Take today’s story in the C-Ville Weekly on the area’s home sales -Mid-year sales in Charlottesville, Albemarle and surrounding counties decreased to 1,882 from 2,267 homes sold at this time last year.Â That means we’re still in a buyer’s market, but according to CAAR, the real estate pendulum is ever so gently swinging back towards the center.Yet realtor and real estate blogger Jim Duncan isn’t ready to buy into CAAR’s assessment….Â See this story for clarification of my assessment of the local market, and this one expanding on why hindsight will give us the opportunity to better assess today’s market.So what will a little under $300,000 get you in downtown Charlottesville?…Â I’m not sure that I used the word “hammered” – it’s not one that I would typically use when describing the market, so as to avoid contributing to the culture of fear being propagated by the media.Seeing a few choice quotes selected to give a story more of a “gotcha” quality is frustrating, particularly when my words are used.
Regarding cancellations, via Calculated Risk:New home sales rose a surprising 4.1 percent in August — May, June and July sales were revised down — while existing home sales showed a scant 0.5 percent drop.Â The reports inspired comments (hope?)Â that housing might be stabilizing….Simply put, cancellations are rising, and they aren’t being captured in the aggregate statistics because of the way the survey is designed.Â Hence, sales are being overstated and inventories understated….We know from big builders that cancellation rates are rising.Â Seiders says the rate “has roughly doubled over the last year” and is “more serious at the big companies.”Here is one of the primary differences between the CharlAlbemarle/Central Virginia market and the rest – we have only one big builder (Ryan Homes) in our market.