Posts tagged real-estate

VA’s General Assembly Spring 2015 Nearly Back in Session

It’s that time of the year again, when the Virginia General Assembly convenes to kill bills in committees, pass commendations of citizens, and I try to track the bills that are interesting (to me) and relevant to my little segment of the real estate world.

These are all the bills that I’m tracking on Richmond Sunlight, if you’re interested, ranging from foreclosure procedures to milk production to photo red enforcement to the decriminalization of marijuana. There’s a lot the government tries to mess with.

Three bills to give a taste of what’s interesting in the Virginia General Assembly this year are –


Read the rest of the story.

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What Are Some Questions Buyers Should be Asking?

This thread on Reddit the other day prompted a bit of a writing prompt … What are some questions that home buyers should be asking?

In my practice, I ask a lot of dumb questions – dumb questions in that I know that my clients (buyers and sellers) should be asking them, but often don’t know to ask them. So I ask for them … these are just some that came to me the other day. I think I’ll add to this post over time, but felt that these were some awfully useful questions. I pulled some of them from my 30+ Tips for First Time Homebuyers post that I wrote earlier this year.

Have a question? Have a favorite question you like to ask? I’d love to hear (and add) it. 434-242-7140 or email me.

My two cents:

– Is there a survey? Where are the property lines? Are there easements about which I should be aware?

– Is there an HOA? What are the dues? What have the dues done over the past 10 years? Is the HOA professionally managed? (9/10 professionally managed is better than managed by those who have this much free time)

– What’s traffic like during rush hour? What’s the commute like? (Always, always visit at different times of day/night the place you’re considering)

What’s buyer agency? (if you visit an open house – there’s a 99% chance that the agent hosting it is there to represent the seller … not you)

Should I use an attorney or title company? (in my market, using an attorney is usually the better option of the two)

Should I rent first before I buy? (my advice: yes – rent in the area in which you’re going to buy so that you can learn the area)

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What is “Usual and Customary” in Charlottesville? – Part 1

Question Mark Graffiti


Part 1 of 2.

What’s “normal” in your market may not be (and probably isn’t) normal in the Charlottesville real estate market.

So what’s “normal” in the Charlottesville real estate market? It’s a question that’s asked of me by buyers coming from other markets (agents, too) and sellers who haven’t sold a house before (or for many years). Note: what you see on HGTV is not what is “usual and customary” in the Charlottesville market. (or any market on Planet Earth).

“Usual and customary” is always changing. Radon inspections weren’t “usual and customary” a couple years ago; now they are. Heck, buyer agency wasn’t usual and customary 15 years ago.

Tina, a colleague in the Nest Blacksburg office, asked a few questions and naturally I felt the answers would be well-served to be posted here, particularly for buyers moving to the Charlottesville area and for sellers who may be moving to other market and not have relevant experience selling a home in our market. Answers are mine.

Q: Do agents use a standard contract? If so, is it the VAR (Virginia Association of Realtors) contract, one provided by your Realtor Association, or a combination of both?

A: Most Realtors in the Charlottesville area use the VAR contract for almost all of our forms, including home inspection, radon etc. We tend to craft specific addenda as needed.

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What is the list to sales price ratio for homes in Charlottesville?

I have long told my daughters to question everything and never accept at face value what they’re told. Same goes for real estate data.

What’s the list to sales price ratio for homes in Charlottesville?

Avg Sale to Orig List $ Ratio - Greater Charlottesville

It’s a good question.

The list to sale ratio is a great number to know – whether you’re buying a home, selling a home (or advising buyers or sellers). This ratio is a solid indicator the movement of the market, whether sellers are pricing well and correctly and whether buyers are paying close to asking price. Unfortunately, at its aggregate, it’s a garbage number. If you’re trying to use this data point as you try to figure out the market – ask questions. Always.

I randomly picked 10 sold homes from the Charlottesville MSA across the price ranges from $100k to one million. (I did this last in 2010 in which I chose 6 homes … the results were the same.

– No foreclosures or short sales

– Sold in September 2013

– No new construction

– Determining Days on Market was a challenge as well. Some of the homes I selected were on the market for less than 30 days while I made an editorial

Take the below for example. The “Original List Price” for this listing was $439,000. The actual original listing price was $510,000 – when the home was listed previously with another firm.

– Taking the top level analysis from the MLS yields: the list to sales price ratio was 94.9% of asking price.

– Running the numbers manually puts the ratio more in the 88% range. (if you were to include the listing prices from the original list date ~ 4 years ago …)

– The real, actual list to sales price ratio for the randomly-selected homes – just over 80%.

This story is neither scientific or necessarily representative of what the market-wide list to sale price ratio may be. This is merely a reminder to question. Everything.

Continuous-days-on-market.jpg

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Median Home Prices – Attached Homes for Charlottesville MSA

Looking back at a decade of attached home sales in the Charlottesville MSA* – Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson – seems that the peak Scanning through these numbers clearly demonstrates several things: – High-level analyses such as those found in the Case-Shiller reports are meaningful from one perspective – that of confidence and trends. – The respective peaks for various localities were in different. Albemarle may have peaked in 2006 while Charlottesville’s was 2007. – Transactional volume matters . Look at how easily Nelson’s numbers can be skewed. – For a real analysis of how much your home or the one you may be considering buying might be worth, you absolutely, positively need an analysis specific to your home, your neighborhood, your area.

… 2001 2001 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price * There were no attached homes sold in Greene County via the Charlottesville MLS in 2001. 2002 2002 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price 2003 2003 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price 2004 2004 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price 2005 2005 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price 2006 2006 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price 2007 2007 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price * There were no attached homes sold in Greene County via the Charlottesville MLS in 2001. 2008 2008 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price 2009 2009 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price 2010 2010 Charlottesville MSA Attached Home Sales - Median Price

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What’s Next in Real Estate Technology?

This stuff fascinates me because it make for a better search experience for consumers and will eventually trickle its way to the Charlottesville market. (and Nest released a new version of our search , and my Charlottesville home search just got faster) – Lifestyle search – I want to find and live in a neighborhood with other people around my life stage – with kids, near a park, 20 minutes to one spouse’s work, walk to a coffee shop and a library, ride a bike to the other spouse’s work, close to a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods, with utilities that are below average in a well-built house, priced lower than the assessed value that is oriented to allow for solar panels, with high speed access, close to the Downtown Mall on a cul-de-sac. – More content creation for and by real estate people – across the spectrum – Geo.

…I want to know what’s happening in the real estate market – what people are searching for, what they’re buying, how many foreclosures are out there, how many people are buying houses with ceramic tile, how many with gray-water systems, how many off-the-grid and more.

…For example: if I put a video up of a property I’m marketing and use my primary youtube account (the easiest way to upload and share video) I can be and will be flagged for “branding” because the consumer can find me via youtube. – MLS – other websites can resize photos. … There is no excuse. – Part One – Real Estate Technology I wanted Five Years Ago is Finally Here – Interactive Floorplans – Part Two – Real Estate Technology I wanted Five Years Ago is Finally Here – Real Estate Video – Part Three – Real Estate Technology I wanted Five Years Ago is Finally Here – Paperless Transactions . – Prologue – What’s Next?

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