Harrisonburg, VA Real Estate News

By Chris Rooker
(Kline May Realty)
Sellers — or homeowners looking to receive top dollar when you’re ready to sell — is your home improvement to-do list overwhelming? Now you can prioritize your to-do list! HomeGain has a helpful calculator on their web site to assist you in determining which home improvement projects to work on to bring you the highest value for your investment. It even targets geographic areas because in different areas of the country, buyers are looking for different upgrades. Just enter your zip code and answer a handful of questions about your home. The calculator then prioritizes the home improvements that you have yet to accomplish, and tells you how much return you should expect. For instance, in Harrisonburg, to hire a landscaper or gardener to trim back overgrowth and maintain your yard will c...
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By Chris Rooker
(Kline May Realty)
If you are like me, for every 10 people you meet, one of them will likely be a Rosetta Stone employee. Even though this is already a large and thriving company here in Harrisonburg, they are planning to expand and add 100 new jobs. This is great news in such a dreary economy. Rosetta Stone is located Downtown, which adds even more value to this expansion project. To read more about this project and see where exactly they are expanding, click here.
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By Chris Rooker
(Kline May Realty)
This month’s REALTOR Magazine is out, and in it is a fascinating article entitled “Overcoming Buyer Reluctance.” We are regularly speaking with home buyers about their wants and needs for a new home, but many times — especially now — they are reluctant to actually go through with a transaction. This article hits the nail on the head in terms of explaining why buyers are feeling this way. A great illustration in the article to allow buyers to visualize the real estate market: A simple technique to prove to potential buyers, or even sellers, that they can’t perfectly time the market is to do this easy demonstration: Take out a blank sheet of paper and pen. Now, starting at the top of the paper, draw a line going down and at the same time ask the buyers to stop you when the market has bot...
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By Chris Rooker
(Kline May Realty)
Yesterday at Heritage Oaks Golf Course, which is owned and run by the City of Harrisonburg, Harman Construction broke ground for a new golf center for The First Tee. The First Tee is a national, non-profit program for youth to not only build upon their golf skills, but also their confidence, social skills, and character. This new learning center is expected to open in May. While it’s open to the public, the more than 200 members of The First Tee at Heritage Oaks are expected to be the primary users of the 4,200-square-foot building being constructed near the course’s pro shop. Read more about this project here. Looking for housing near this golf course? Check out homes for sale in Heritage Estates (a 55+ community that borders Heritage Oaks), Hampshire Estates, and Parklawn.
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By Chris Rooker
(Kline May Realty)
*written by Lisa Oates, Marketing Director for Chris Rooker & The Harrisonburg Homes Team* One of the first things a home buyer must do is line up homeowners insurance for their new home. I used to work in the Business Development Department of Rockingham Group, a local insurance company. I learned that many people don’t know much about insurance — especially homeowners insurance. So a brief rundown of the basics is in order. First, the basic structure of a homeowners insurance policy is this: a section each for the home’s structure(s), its contents, and liability. If you are a renter, you should really get renter’s insurance to cover your belongings in case of a disaster, like a fire or flood. Second, what is covered in the policy? Typical homeowners insurance policies cover damage to...
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By Chris Rooker
(Kline May Realty)
Due to the slow real estate market, I get a LOT of phone calls, emails, and inquiries through our website from people who are looking for a home to rent. Our team typically does not broker leases between owners and renters — however, I want to help when someone contacts me. So I’ve put together a list of good online sources for rentals in the Harrisonburg area: 1. The Daily News-Record (in case you have not moved to the area yet, the DNR is the major newspaper) 2. Two brokerages that almost exclusively practice property management: Mountain Valley Management and Riner Rentals. 3. Harrisonburg’s Craigslist page (look under the “housing” section) 4. The e-classifieds page of Eastern Mennonite University
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The Fifth Annual Farmers Insurance Study reported that Harrisonburg, Virginia is the 8th most secure place to live in the small town category of the United States. MarketWatch.com published an article with the rankings, and how Farmers Insurance ranked each locale. The rankings, compiled by database experts at www.bestplaces.net, took into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, life expectancy and job loss numbers in 379 U.S. municipalities. The study divided the communities into three groups: large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns. Other towns in Virginia that made the list are Charlottesville, Roanoke, and Lynchburg. Read the rest of this article here.
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By Chris Rooker
(Kline May Realty)
James Madison University (JMU) is an important asset to Harrisonburg. It is growing steadily, and with that growth comes new student housing communities. There are three new luxury student housing developments being constructed (or have recently been completed) for JMU students in Harrisonburg. 865 East is a high-rise being constructed on Port Republic Road. When finished, it will stand 7 stories tall. It will house 95 units and provide amenities such as a concierge service, tanning beds, and requested maid service. A food court will also be available on the first floor of the building. In a hurry? Grab a bite on the way to class! Check out more at their very cool web site. North 38 is a resort-style community for students (or anyone, really) located just off of Old Furnace Road. This c...
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By Joanne Knauf
(Valley Realty Associates)
Each week I get calls from anxious parents scrambling to find suitable housing for their current or soon-to-be JMU students. "We need your help to find a place for our son/daughter and three of his/her best friends." That may seem odd; the fact that they need a place for four instead of one, but once you take a better look at the situation, it makes perfect sense. If you try to find a decent place for a single student you have but a few options (especially if they have actually come to Harrisonburg to be a serious student and need a quiet place to live and study). They could live in the dorms, but getting a spot could be an issue and not everyone can handle the dorm environment. Shared bathrooms, crowded and often noisy hallways, and the ever-constant lines for everything from books to ...
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By John Knauf
(Valley Realty Associates)
Is is just me or is anyone else tired of thinking that things are getting better in their local market, only to view a media report on national television explaining how horrible the real estate market is? Our local market in Harrisonburg, Virginia has definitely experienced a correction, but the market is still moving forward...albeit  slower than a year ago. I really wish that the national media would practice a bit of restraint and at least provide a disclaimer at the end of their reports...informing their viewers that all markets are different and that not all markets have been devastated. Let's be fair and accurate. There are still people out here trying to make a living in the real estate market and a lot of families are trying to move forward with the sale of their homes. Correct...
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By John Knauf
(Valley Realty Associates)
I have recently grown concerned about the way information provided by local real estate agents is being used on the internet. Don't get me wrong, I understand the power and utilty of the internet, and have nothing against a properly displayed listing on someone else's site. What I do take issue with is the information being framed or displayed in a way that hides the provider of the information or misrepresents the status of the property. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Recently, I stumbled across some of our listings on the Bob Vila site. I was thrilled to find it showing up on Bob's site. I was so excited that I couldn't wait to tell one of our clients. He was excited too and it looked like a win-win. The next morning the client called and he was furious. It seems that his ...
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