Charlottesville, VA Real Estate News

By Cynthia Hash
(Keller Williams Realty)
We've all seen changes in the housing market lately.  If you purchased a house in 2004-05, your equity is growing slower than expected due to buyers' market conditions.  In a sellers' market, equity tends to grow at a higher rate of return.  In 2003-05, sales prices grew about 10%-16% in the Charlottesville and surrounding areas.  It tapered off to about 6% in 2006 and 2% in 2007.  This shows a pattern of a housing boom for 2 years, a correction period for 2 years, now it's a more "normal" market.  It's a great time to buy if you plan on staying in your house for at least 5 years.  Supply and demand determines market and price.  With too much supply, buyers become more choosey or shy away from buying, prices drop, and number of Days on Market (DOM) increases.  If not enough supply, dema...
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By Fulton Gaylord, 1st-Time Home Buyer Realtor - Charlottesville, VA
(Keller Williams Realty)
Longer market times, drastic reductions in price--Horse farms, multi-level grand estates, sweeping pastoral and mountain vistas...yes, distressed, million dollar estate properties in Albemarle County, Virginia, are abundant and priced at bargain prices!  Sure, prices are steady in the central part of the county where Charlottesville and the University of Virginia reside.  But out and around the county you can find great deals on many multi-million dollar estates!There are, as of January 10, 2008, 114 properties on the market between $1,000,000 and $35,000,000 in Albemarle County, Virginia.And now, The Charlottesville Home Selling Team is offering a great new way to look at, and use, our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so that you can find information on these fantastic multi-milli...
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By Karen Gentry>>Charlottesville, Virginia Real Estate Professional
(RE/MAX Excellence-Charlottesville VA)
Sellers : One thing you should know is that if you are trying to sell your home, your potential buyers will be looking in your closet.  They want to see if there is enough space for their stuff.  So the bigger you make the space look is a plus to you.The number one problem with most people's closet is that the space is filled with stuff you don't wear or use.  You should give the most space to the things you use the most.Most people wear 20% of their clothes about 80% of the time.  Don't believe it?  Go to your closet and turn all the hangers around backwards.   Every time you wear an item, when you return it to the closet, put the hanger in correctly.  Give this process about 5 to 6 weeks and take a look at what you have actually worn. Now you have a better idea of what to get rid of.C...
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By Fulton Gaylord, 1st-Time Home Buyer Realtor - Charlottesville, VA
(Keller Williams Realty)
Yes, there IS affordable housing--shall we even say "cheap"? housing in Albemarle County, Virginia.Sure, prices are steady in the central part of the county where Charlottesville and the University of Virginia reside.  But out and around the county you can find great deals!There are, as of January 9, 2008, 175 cheap properties on the market under $210,000 in Albemarle County, Virginia.50 detached homes38 attached homes87 condosThe Charlottesville Home Selling Team is offering a great new way to look at, and use, our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so that you can find information on these cheap listings, it's called Home Buyer Scouting Report.  Sign up TODAY!Home Buyer Scouting Report allows you to:* compare the property you want to others that have sold!* find the locations of sc...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
It is official Charlottesville will be visited this Sunday and Monday (just before Tuesdays primary) by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.I have not gotten the official schedule yet but it is good to know that Charlottesville is on the political map!I really do not care if you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent (or some combination) this election is going to be an interesting turning point for our country. With the Stock Market showing signs of a recession and the housing market where it is, I would love to ask a couple pointed questions (maybe I will).The reality to me is that the president can not really change our economy or the housing market. Some things just need to work themselves out.Now I have not heard of any visits to our area from McCain, it seems he has a lock on the ...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
What do you think about when you think of a downtown? Many downtown areas have created wonderful parts of a city to enjoy in the middle of our busy lives.Charlottesville is no exception! Our downtown Brick-lined walking mall (in Charlottesville Virginia) is a great place to visit, meet people, have lunch or just have a cup of coffee and people watch.Located just east of UVA, the downtown mall has several places to eat, shops and even local street vendors.  The merchants have formed a group and even a website: downtownCharlottesville to "market and support the Mall and coordinate and plan festivals and holiday events by shaping the Downtown Mall into one cohesive network."There are a variety of events that happen at the mall and here is a great source for upcoming events and meetings:Eve...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
When you are creating virtual tours or slide shows of photos you need to be aware of your audience.I have created 2 tours of this home for two different groups of people.1. This is a "Branded" version it included my contact information and company name so it is used for me to setup on my personal website, blog and to email directly to clients:Fine Home to see2. This is a "non-Branded" version so it does not include contact information or my company name. This is used to add to our local MLS and I also use it to email directly to other agents. This way they can forward it to their prospects and clients too.... Fine Home to send to clients___________________________________________ If you are looking at homes, land or an estate in the Charlottesville area your first step is to visit my Ch...
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By Fulton Gaylord, 1st-Time Home Buyer Realtor - Charlottesville, VA
(Keller Williams Realty)
The Home Buyers Scouting Report--it takes the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) MLS--and allows the average consumer the ability to do so much more than just look at listings--it's like the local MLS on Steroids!The Home Buyers Scouting Report gives you:     * Every listing posted by EVERY Realtor and real estate agency     * up-dates in real time so you get the most up-to-date content     * a password protected, non-public web site with no pop ups! You must apply in order to get your own personal user name and password--but of course there is no cost or obligation.     * the ability to map locations of schools, stores, restaurants, and other points of interest in relation to the new home you've found for you and your family.     * the ability to compare the home you w...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
I hear and read a lot about market trends. If you read my blog, you know that I love charts and graphs (it is an Engineering thing) and I am working on some charts for January of this year. Well I got to thinking that all these charts and numbers (although I think they are important) are not that important to everyone. If you are "selling" your home, you really just want to sell your home (period). If you are in the market "buying", these numbers and charts may be interesting but you want to know what is on the market that fits your needs (period).So with that said I have a piece of advice for you. Contact a REALTOR®. You need to know what is going on in your local market and a REALTOR® is qualified to give you advice in your local market. Do not get advice from someone in another state...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
I recently received a cell-phone call from a friend, fellow RE/MAX agent and successful blogger Keith Elliott who was in a book store. Keith told me I was now FAMOUS! I had been PUBLISHED!I had no idea what he was referring to; he told me that he was reading about me in a book called "Real Estate v2.0". Now I have not seen the book or even heard of it, so I went to Amazon.com and did a search and found it. Sure enough on page 174 you can read how they critiqued my website. (Interesting how you can search inside books content and read pages on Amazon.com, very cool feature!)On page 174, it starts out with "If you'd like an example of a website design that you should not emulate under any circumstances, look no further than the website of Charles McDonald...."Well I felt a little insulted...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
  Why I am a BUYER'S AGENT!!!My passion is to help Buyers in the Charlottesville Real Estate market find the perfect Home, Land, Farm or Estate. I feel there is a "Conflict of Interest" when a Real Estate Agent tries to represent both the Buyer and the Seller in a transaction. As a Buyers Agent, your interests are foremost on my mind. There is no conflict of interest when you work with me!   I can show and help you purchase any home listed for sale (not just my listings)!!! It is rare that an agent can represent the seller and buyer without a "conflict". Here is what I do for my client:   1. Evaluate a properties advantages and disadvantages 2. Do a full research of a properties history 3. Show you the pro's and con's of the areas in and around Charlottesville 4. Negotiate with the sell...
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By Valorie Ford
(Bright Vision Mortgage)
Home owners and prospective buyers, you may have notice that mortgage rates have gotten better in the last couple of weeks as the stock market has tumbled.  Remember it is all about JOBS. The number of jobs being created in the country came in very low for November/December.  The job number is one of the most important economic numbers that is reported each month by the government and job growth is also very important to the housing market.Goldman Sachs recently came out and said they think we are going into a recession and that the Federal Reserve will cut their key rate to 2.5% by the fourth quarter of 2008.   2.5%!!!  WOW!Goldman Sachs is one of the most reputable companies in financial services and their record of accomplishment is unmatched. I have a couple of loan options currentl...
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By Karen Gentry>>Charlottesville, Virginia Real Estate Professional
(RE/MAX Excellence-Charlottesville VA)
Most growing cities see a problem with crime growing with the higher number of people moving into the area.  Thankfully Charlottesville, along with the University of Va and Albemarle county saw a decrease for the year of 2007.The University area saw the largest decrease with a 23% drop in overall crime.  The City of Charlottesville reports a 12% decrease for the year followed by Albemarle with a 2.3% decrease.  The City itself saw a total of 3 murders last year which is the same as 2006.  The City and Albemarle police were able to catch a serial rapist who had been accused of numerous rapes though out the central Va area for over 10 years.  Albemarle was able to catch several burglars this past year helping the property crime rate to drop. Overall this is great news to all the citizens ...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
Today we got a nice snow and my wife and I did not let it stop us. We still made it to Gold's Gym this morning fro a little workout.Yes those are our footprints walking back to my truck. It had not started to snow when we went it but it was really coming down on the way out.Just so you know I was really there I got a picture of my truck. Next time you see me driving in Charlottesville give me a little honk and a wave!On the way home the snow really started to fall and the roads are a little slick. Be careful driving home today.I spent the morning with my kids, playing in the snow. We did some sleding and of course a snow ball fight.I lost!!!Enjoy your day, CharlesP.S. Life is good in Virginia
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By Karen Gentry>>Charlottesville, Virginia Real Estate Professional
(RE/MAX Excellence-Charlottesville VA)
Have you ever said to yourself, one day I want to go up in one of those hot air  balloons?  Well it's just another wonderful option here in Charlottesville, VA.   Now think about it, if you're coming here to see the sites, this is a way to see everything.Bear Balloon Corporation has been providing tours of Charlottesville since 1981.  If you are afraid of heights, you will feel comforted to know that over 15,000 people have made the trip successfully.  You too can see Charlottesville from a birds eye view.  This is a great gift for that person who has everything or willing to try anything.  Bear Balloon Corp. offers gift certificates.Reservations are recommended in advance of your planned event.  Cool air is required for flights so weather is a factor.  Most flights are made at sunrise ...
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By Fulton Gaylord, 1st-Time Home Buyer Realtor - Charlottesville, VA
(Keller Williams Realty)
2007 Year-End Market ReportThe Speed Limit of Real EstateBy Dave Phillips, CEO Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® If you've ever driven on Interstate 95, you may have noticed that traffic often moves much faster than the posted limit. You are almost forced to go along with the flow of cars zooming at 75 to 80 miles per hour. Then, just when you are getting used to speed-reading the road signs, the traffic slows back down to 65 for some unknown reason. Suddenly, you feel as though you are going in slow motion, even though you are still moving at a good clip. That same feeling is what we all felt from the local real estate market in 2007.By historic standards, 2007 will go down as the 4th-best year for real estate sales in our area. That is not a "slow market," but it sure felt...
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By Fulton Gaylord, 1st-Time Home Buyer Realtor - Charlottesville, VA
(Keller Williams Realty)
The other day one of my clients asked where I go to get model rocketry supplies.  I guess he knew that Jen and I had reached an accord where I gave up my dream of getting my private airplane flight license if she agreed to let me throw away a large chunk of my income on amassing an armada of radio controlled planes, helicopters, and Estes rockets.I love toys.  I guess I'm a boy at heart.Without hesitation I turned him onto HobbyTown USA in The Seminole Shopping Plaza off of 29.  There I knew Mike or Dave would take care of him.  They would listen to his level of interest and match him with the best "toy" for him.  And, they would give him the best advice both before and after the sale.  I knew from first hand experience that when you go into Hobbytown, crushed bird in your hand, tears o...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
The Charlottesville Association of REALTORS has come out with the 2007 Year End Market Report!For first time home buyers, this is the best market we have seen in years.  There are over 500 homes on the market for under $200,000 and there are special financing options for first time buyers.Time to look at our market as a great position to enter the market, either as a first time home buyer or as an Investor!!!I want to give you a couple of quotes and my comments on this report:By historic standards, 2007 will go down as the 4th-best year for real estate sales in our area. That is not a "slow market," but it sure felt like it after zooming along at 80 miles per hour for the last three years. To be sure 2007 was a very interesting year in real estate - troubling in many ways - and anything...
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By Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner
(Charlottesville Solutions)
Yes my son turns 12 today and I can not believe we have now lived in Charlottesville for 8 years!You see when we moved to Charlottesville Virginia we were looking for that quality of life we all want and deserve. I had spent 20+ years in my own Engineering Business and was (well in a word) tired. No real new challenges and we also lived in the middle of the Bay Area which is a very populated place with all if benefits but also it's challenges.My son at that time was 4 years old and school was a big issue.  Well I started my quest looking for that perfect slice of life and I finally found it in a beautiful part of Albemarle county.  We are so happy here, we have never regretted our decision to relocate!  In fact if we had it to do over again, we would make the same move.  My son is turni...
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By Karen Gentry>>Charlottesville, Virginia Real Estate Professional
(RE/MAX Excellence-Charlottesville VA)
James Monroe was our fifth President of the United States from 1817 until 1825.  In 1793, Monroe purchased Ash Lawn-Highland to be close to his friend Thomas Jefferson.  Today the home is owned and operated by The College of William and Mary.  Located minutes (2.5 miles) from the Jefferson home of Monticello off of Route 795 is Ash Lawn-Highland.  Now a 535 acre working plantation with tours focused on Monroe's day.  Tour the home that has been furnished in elegance for it's day.  Peacocks roam the landscape.  Visit the chicken and sheep in the livestock area and watch craft demonstrations.  Outbuildings have been restored to reflect their appearance in the 19th century.  Stop by the shop for unique gifts and keepsakes.  Today, Ash Lawn-Highland also serves as a conference area, hosts p...
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