Harrisonburg, VA Real Estate News

By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
Click here to download Market Update charts for 2011. Something happened in the local real estate market in 2011 that had not happened since 2005 - more homes sold than in the previous year.  While the increase in activity is fairly small at 1.86%, the fact that there was an increase at all after 5 consecutive years of declining sales is very significant.  Further, the year to which we are comparing 2011 sales (2010) was  a year in which sales were artificially enhanced by the Homebuyer’s Tax Credit, making the seemingly small increase in 2011 look a bit more impressive. On a monthly basis, residential sales reported by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service increased to 104 units in December, up from 82 units in November and 84 in October.  Interes...
Comments 0
By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
Click here to download November's Market Update charts. November, 2011 was similar to October in many ways for our local real estate market. For the month, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (HRAR MLS) reported 82 closed residential transactions, just slightly behind October’s 84 closings. Through the first 11 months of the year, total residential sales are 8 units ahead of the 2010 total at November 30. This is encouraging and gives us some hope that 2011 will be the first year since 2005 in which the HRAR MLS records more residential sales than in the previous year. While the slowish but steady sales activity is a positive sign, prices continue to fall at an increasing rate. The average sales price of homes sold in the past 12 months dropped $...
Comments 0
By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
Click here to download October's Market Update charts. Despite a drop in sales during the month of October as compared to the summer and early fall months, the local real estate market is doing better than it was at this point in 2010, as recorded by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. The total residential sales of 84 units was a significant drop from the 100+ unit monthly totals from June – September. However, these 84 units easily surpassed October, 2010’s anemic 68 units. As we said last month, the most significant chart in this report is the Year Over Year Change in Residential Units Sold. The chart shows sales this year are 23 units ahead of last year’s sales through the end of October. If the current outpacing of last year’s sales continu...
Comments 0
By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has "raised its ratings on Harrisonburg, Va.'s general obligation debt one notch, pointing to the stability of the city's economy and maintenance of its solid finances and reserves. The credit rater, which raised its rating one notch to double-A, said the move reflects Harrisonburg's role as a regional economic center and its growth of a diverse property tax base, among other things. The rating is two notches below triple-A, and the outlook is stable." "We believe management will likely maintain, what we consider, its sound finances, supported by very strong reserves and formal fiscal policies," credit analyst Danielle Leonardis said. "For these reasons, we do not think the rating will change within t...
Comments 1
We’re one-third of the way through the third quarter of 2011. Can you believe it?! Last month, we reported in the August Market Report that the gap in residential sales was closing from last year to this year (in July, the difference in YTD sales was -6%, in August it was -2%). Well, we have great news… September’s numbers are in, and that gap has closed and moved into the positive! Sales in 2011 are up 2.2% over 2010 so far. Lets take a look at some of the other stats below. [Click any image below to view larger version] See that statistic in the top right corner of the chart above? It says 2.2%. That is a positive number in the YTD change in residential sales over last year! We’ve seen the same number of sales occur in September as we did in August, so the YTD stat reflects a higher ...
Comments 0
By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
Click here to download September's Market Update charts. September was a very good month for residential sales in our area, with 121 units sold through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (HRAR MLS).  This total was the highest for any single month so far in 2011. In fact, since September sales typically decline compared to the summer market each year, the 121 homes sold in September represents the best September total since 2006 when 135 units were sold!  Does this mean the market is back to normal? No, but it is encouraging. Also encouraging are the annual sales figures through the end of September as compared to sales in the first nine months of prior years. Our first chart, “Year Over Year Change in Residential Units Sold”, shows this compari...
Comments 0
Another fantastic annual event hosted by Downtown Harrisonburg is coming up on October 21st — Block Party in the ‘Burg! This party is focused on introducing college students to Downtown Harrisonburg, and will be located at Turner Pavilion and the adjacent grassy lot. Time? 5:00 - 9:00 PM. Students will have the opportunity to find out what Downtown Harrisonburg is all about and what the community has to offer, including restaurants (along with food samples!), entertainment options, and cultural offerings. Also during the event, local college bands will be showcased in “Battle of the Bands,” and attendees can vote for their favorites online. Like scavenger hunts? Block Party in the ‘Burg is offering students the ability to participate in a scavenger hunt around Downtown using Foursquare...
Comments 0
If you’ve worked with a Kline May agent in the past few years, you know that after each transaction, the client receives a satisfaction survey. Kline May takes very seriously the opinions and feedback received from clients in these surveys. To date, Kline May Company (which includes Kline May Realty and Cottonwood Commercial) has over a 98.9% satisfaction rate for both buyers and sellers. Our team, The Harrisonburg Homes Team, is part of Kline May Realty, and we also take very seriously the needs and wants of each of our clients — both buyers and sellers alike. Because of this extreme care in customer satisfaction, the Company has surpassed $100 million in sales volume for 2011! (In 2010, this milestone was not met until 72 days later.) Just a little tidbit, allowing us to toot our hor...
Comments 0
Harrisonburg residents have long been known to hold the view that taking care of our environment is very important. As such, many have started using rain barrels, compost bins, solar energy, electric cars, etc. Well, the leaders of Harrisonburg have taken notice, and in October, Harrisonburg Electric Commission (HEC) will be providing a charging station to those with electric cars! The new charging station will be located behind HEC in Downtown Harrisonburg, and yet again, Harrisonburg will be “on the map” because according to the press release from Downtown, it “will become the first city in the Shenandoah Valley and one of only a handful of cities in the state with a public, Level II electric car charging station.” An unveiling ceremony will take place on October 5 at 10:00 AM in the...
Comments 3
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and the City of Harrisonburg have granted several businesses with facade enhancement grants this year. This grant program supports property improvements and has been able to stay in place, despite the state of the economy. In 2011, eight grants were awarded for a total of $20,000 in improvement funds. These businesses will use the money to enhance the exterior of their businesses, which adds to the overall aesthetic of downtown Harrisonburg. Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine Court Square Coffee Duo MOD Displays Newman Ruddle, LLC Resource Network Virginia Quilt Museum Whitesel Music Want to learn more? Visit Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance or the City of Harrisonburg. Image Credit: allisonmseward12 on Flickr
Comments 0
Massanetta Springs was established in the early 1920s. The community arose out of the Presbyterian church’s desire to house families attending the Massanetta Springs Conference Center. Gradually, the homes were sold to private individuals and in 1999, the community incorporated as a separate residential entity. Today, residents may still enjoy the amenities the conference center has to offer. They can also make use of the swimming pool, basketball court, ball fields, walking trails, and boat rentals. A couple weeks ago, I hosted an open house in this community and met some residents who were very friendly and they just couldn’t stop raving about living in this retreat-like community that is located so close to city conveniences. One lady who stopped by the open house (who was not a res...
Comments 0
By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
Click here to download August's Market Update charts. Our local real estate market remained steady in August, with 112 residential units sold through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (HRAR MLS), similar to June’s and July’s sales of 113 and 119 units respectively. In order to finish even with 2010’s “tax credit enhanced” sales totals we will need to average just under 94 units per month for the balance of the year. We believe there is a realistic chance this level of sales will be achieved, hopefully indicating our local market is recovering slowly but steadily. Average and median prices continue to drop, however, in large part due to the downward pressure on pricing created by distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures). While there ...
Comments 0
You may have heard about loan limits changing on FHA mortgages starting October 1st. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Shenandoah Valley — at least at this point — will not experience any changes in FHA loan limits. There is a full document on HUD’s website with the counties that will be affected, and neither Harrisonburg nor Rockingham County are on the list. For those of you who are curious about this impending change, here are some details: The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) is home to the largest mortgages the government is willing to back. If this change does indeed take place, many home buyers will no longer be able to get reasonable financing. (In Richmond, for example, the loan limit will drop from $300,000 to $271,050.) These changes...
Comments 1
By Charles Hendricks
(The Gaines Group, PLC Architecture and Design)
VSBN is holding their quarterly board meeting in Harrisonburg Virginia today. This will be my first board meeting with the organization. Here is a little background on our goals. Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN) is the only statewide organization that brings together representatives from diverse sectors who are interested in building healthy, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly buildings and sustainable communities. VSBN was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1995, under the leadership of Karl Bren, who was the Non-Profit Affairs Director of Virginia Housing Development Authority. He assembled a group of individuals, who represented housing, banking, utility, construction, government, and environmental interests, to shape the organization and to de...
Comments 2
By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
Click here to download July's Market Update charts. July was another good month (relatively speaking) for our local real estate market, continuing April, May and June’s encouraging numbers. In July, 119 residential units sold through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (HRAR MLS), a slight increase from June’s 113 units and a whopping increase of 40 units over last July. However…we shouldn’t get too excited by that year over year increase, since last July was the month immediately following the deadline for the Homebuyer’s Tax Credit. Because of this, most folks who closed on a home in the middle of the summer tried very hard to close by June 30, 2010! This, of course, shifted many “July” buyers to June last year. Despite the seemingly strengthen...
Comments 0
By Charles Hendricks
(The Gaines Group, PLC Architecture and Design)
A high performance home does not have to look different from the outside when it is done. It does look different during construction. As you can see on the pictures below the insulation is spray foam. This is the most effective way to insulate a stick built home. It provides sealing for all the gaps and cracks that a traditionally insulated home uses for 'make up fresh air.' An understanding of building science is required to design a home that is this tight. I am sure you have heard the phrase 'you don't want to build it too tight.' Well I agree in part, you want to introduce fresh air into the home, but you don't want that fresh air coming through the walls, attic, and crawl spaces. That is not fresh by any standard. You want to bring the fresh air in from outside into your HVAC syste...
Comments 4
By Charles Hendricks
(The Gaines Group, PLC Architecture and Design)
Our first green house in Harrisonburg is under construction and it has many cool features, but the vegetated retaining wall my be the best. The site required the use of a retaining wall to mitigate storm water erosion on a steep slope and higher levels of maintenance for the homeowner. So we looked at multiple options for the retaining wall and found a great product that allows you to plant the wall. Once the structure is grown in, it will be a wall of vegetation rather than a wall of masonry. Here is the installation picture, I cannot wait to post some finished images.
Comments 7
By Charles Hendricks
(The Gaines Group, PLC Architecture and Design)
Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes In this economy, many people are staying in their current homes, so they are looking at ways to renovate. Regardless of your motivation to renovate, two rooms usually get attention first, the kitchen and the master bedroom. In the kitchen there are countless options and trends that you will encounter if you start looking. My warning is don’t fall for a trend, instead look at timeless solutions, quality features, and value added changes. Some items to pay close attention to that you might not find in a magazine are as follows: 1.       Make sure the finishing details are top notch. The way a drawer closes is important, but what the cabinet is made of is more important. Look at the structure of the box, not just the finish of the surface. 2.       Ask about the...
Comments 2
By Kai Degner
(Rocktown Realty (Harrisonburg))
I'm excited to write this post, having been anticipating the day when I and residents in Harrisonburg could not only stream online live city council meetings but also easily access archived video. This past Tuesday marked the first live-streamed Harrisonburg City Council meeting.  But, there are some very exciting and useful tools in addition to simple streaming. The platform city council is using lets users take out snippets of the meetings and easily get links and embed code to share a specific portion of the meeting with friends via email, in social networks, and on blogs.   The video tool allows users to not only see the video, but access the same documents received by council and skip to agenda items of most interest. Check it out - here's where I mentioned these new tools at the e...
Comments 1
By Kline May Realty
(Kline May Realty)
Click here to download June's Market Update charts. Click on the images below to see our new infographics which detail Number of Units Sold and Average Sales Price in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market. Some encouraging things have happened in our local (Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of REALTORs Multiple listing Service) real estate market during June. Residential sales were very strong at 113 units, the highest monthly total since June 2010 (remember, the tax credit deadline was June 30, 2010). In addition to the strong sales in June, 161 residential properties went under contract – a higher monthly total than any single month during last Spring’s run-up to the tax credit deadline. In fact, the contract totals in June pushed 2011 ahead of 2010 in contracts ...
Comments 0