Welcome! This blog tracks the real estate market in the Central Shenandoah Valley, featuring market data and analysis, an exploration of common buying and selling questions, and candid commentary on all things real estate.
If you are interested in discussing any of the topics on this blog, or the details of your specific real estate situation, call or e-mail me!
Take a few minutes to walk through this immaculate home just outside the City offers privacy and long views from the covered porch and wrap-around deck. Enjoy a spacious home with beautiful interior finishes including a large kitchen with breakfast bar, a dining area, living room with wood beams, a sitting room with a stone-front gas fireplace and a mudroom / laundry room. The expansive master suite features two walk-in closets and a large master bathroom with jetted tub and tile shower. All bedrooms are spacious and feature ceiling fans. Don't miss the hardwood floors, ceramic tile, recessed lights, upgraded refrigerator, high ceilings, raised bed gardens, partially fenced yard, upgraded light fixtures, two zone heat pump and water softener!
Click here to walk through this home now, on your computer, phone or tablet.
Or, visit this home's property website.
Or, view lots of pretty photos of this home by clicking the collage below....
Last month (November 2014) there a home sold in Lake Pointe for $1,025,000. This marked the first time since 2010 that a home has sold (per the HRAR MLS) for over $1,000,000 anywhere in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Not quite ready to spend $1,000,000 on your next home? Check out some excellent $500K+ homes at HarrisonburgLuxuryHomes.com.
If your zip code is 22801 or 22801, and you live in Rockingham County (shown in yellow above) then your mailing address can be written in two different ways starting in February 2015....either as "Harrisonburg, VA 22801" or "Rockingham, VA 22801", and it's all about taxes....
From today's Daily News Record article....
Starting in February, the U.S. Postal Service will begin updating its database so the two ZIP codes will have a default mailing address of Harrisonburg, VA, and an "alternate preferred" address of Rockingham, VA.Read the rest of the article here.
Today -- December 12th -- 5PM until 10PM -- Downtown Harrisonburg
Shop Local for the holidays! You will enjoy extended store hours, special promotions and events, art and live music, holiday treats, and plenty of festive cheer!
Special promotions this evening include....
Midtowne Bottle Shop | Open til 11pm
The Lady Jane | Open til 10pm
Ten Thousand Villages | 10am-10pm
Walkabout Outfitter | 10am - 10pm
Downtown Wine & Gourmet
OASIS Fine Art & Craft | Open til 10pm
Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg is the perfect home for your business and your career. Here, local businesses benefit from:
Learn more at HarrisonburgDevelopment.com....
The local unemployment rate (Harrisonburg / Rockingham MSA) edged down to 4.8% in October 2014. That shows a slight decline from the several months prior -- as well as an overall improvement from a big picture perspective....
Low unemployment rates keep our local housing market healthy by keeping our foreclosure rate low along with not creating too many desperate sellers who sell at any price and affect pricing trends.
Learn more about this month's Featured Property: 3339 Deavers Lane
There is a lot going on in the graph above....
This graph shows a rolling 12 months of the number of home sales in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area, as well as the median price of the homes that sold during these time frames. Each data point shows one year's worth of home sales, which eliminates the volatility of evaluating sales figures on a monthly basis.
Of note, over the past six to eight months, we've seen two things happen....
1. Median Prices jumped up from their usual $175K spot (where they've been for a few years) to levels closer to $178K or $179K. This is shown with the green line in the yellow shaded box.
2. The pace of home sales started increasing again, surpassing the 1,000 sales per year mark again, after having seen a decline in early 2014. This is shown with the orange line in the yellow shaded box.
Both of these are long term trends that show sustained health and growth in our local real estate market.
For even more analysis of our local housing market, check out my full December 2014 market report online, or by downloading the PDF.
Learn more about this month's Featured Property: 3339 Deavers Lane
I just published my monthly report on the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market. Jump to the full online market report, or download the PDF, or read on for highlights....
First, the big picture trends of what has been happening this year in our local housing market are quite positive, even if not yet to the magnitude that some homeowners would prefer....
As you can see, there was a recovery in the pace of sales price during 2012 -- a bigger recovery in 2013 -- and thus far, not quite as much of a jump in 2014. Absent a huge increase in sales in December 2014, we'll probably be looking at a 3% - 5% overall year-over-year increase in the amount of homes that are selling in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
We will certainly be seeing fewer buyers per month over the next few months, however, as shown above, there will be fewer sellers in the market hoping for those buyers to commit to their properties. Inventory levels are up 3.4% year over year, but are amidst what is a typical seasonal decline during the late Fall to early Winter months.
Why are we a seeing steadily increasing sales pace, and (slowly) increasing sales prices? One main reason is that we are seeing fewer and fewer distressed sales -- foreclosures, short sales, etc. As shown above, home sales have been steadily increasing for several years, and the rate of foreclosures has been steadily decreasing.
If you are buying or selling now, or will be soon, I encourage you to become a student of the housing market. Learn what has been happening recently, what is happening now, and what is likely to happen next. Being informed will allow you to make better real estate decisions. You can continue your studies by reading the entire December 2014 market report online, or by downloading the PDF.
Also, as always, if you're interested in talking to me about buying a home in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County.....or if you are interested in selling your current home.....just drop me a line by email (scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com) or call me at 540-578-0102.
Here are the articles from the past month that your peers enjoyed (or at least read) most....
And here is what they were selling....
We'll give it a few more days for sales to be reported, but thus far, it is not clear whether we will see a year-over-year increase in home sales in November 2014.
click here for a larger image
Development on a new section of Madison Village seems to be finishing up - adjacent to the existing section of Madison Village, and adjoining the Crossroads Farm neighborhood.
This is the most recent plat that I have seen, showing a total of around 147 home sites in the overall subdivision.
click here for a larger image
Construction is moving right along on a new development on University Boulevard between Regal Cinemas and Outback Steakhouse. This new complex will include Buffalo Wild Wings (relocating from South Main Street), Dunkin' Donuts (with a drive through!), Which Wich, and one to-be-determined tenant.
Learn more about this new complex, University Center, here.
If you're looking for a Victorian, Log House, Cabin, A-Frame, Dutch Colonial or Tudor --- you won't have many options!
The list above shows the breakdown of currently active listings in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, showing that most (56%) of the homes that are for sale are ranches (28%), townhouses (14%) or contemporary homes (14%).
Any surprises on this list?
As a home seller, you will face rejection left and right -- many prospective buyers will come view your house and most of them will decide not to buy it. But how, as a seller, do you make sense of that feedback?
I often hear the following types of feedback after a showing:
This type of feedback (size, location, floor plan) is difficult to do much with as a seller. You likely aren't going to build an addition to your house, nor will you physically move the house, nor will you reconfigure the floor plan. Sometimes the feedback is just a mild objection to be overcome -- did you realize that the unfinished bonus room could be finished quite inexpensively (size) and that the new South East connector will make your commute quite short (location)? Oftentimes, however, if you receive feedback about size, location or floor plan there isn't much you can do about it as a seller.
I also, however, will hear the following types of feedback after a showing:
This type of feedback (price, condition, marketing) is completely in your control as a seller. Many buyers will not make an offer if they think your list price is too far from reality -- adjusting your pricing may be just what you need to either generate more showings, or have a chance of the showings turning into offers. I almost included AGE as a factor outside of a seller's control, but it's much more about condition -- how well has a property been maintained, and is it in top showing shape so that buyers don't feel overwhelmed by short-term cosmetic updates and long-term maintenance needs? Finally, if a house has not been marketed thoroughly and effectively, it will likely have a much longer "days on market" than other properties, worrying buyers that perhaps they shouldn't buy the home because nobody else has in the last ten months.
click here for a larger version of this map
Moseley Architects has released a planning study recommending that a new jail be built at the site shown above, located in the City of Harrisonburg.
Before we get to the details of this potential new facility, you may want to read up on this issue at Old South High....
A $60 million new jail by the landfill that's projected to reach capacity in seven years is the plan to fix overcrowding – that is, if it's actually a real plan at allNow, a few snippets about the proposed new facility, from today's Daily News Record article provide some insight into what this facility would be used for....
According to the planning study, the annex would "primarily be a minimum security, treatment and program based building" with 315 beds.A bit about the costs of the proposed new jail....
The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $63.26 million, half of which would come from the state and the rest split between the city and county.And it's possible future expansion....
The cost includes a possible future expansion of the new facility to accommodate an additional 385 beds — for a total of 700 — estimated to cost $5.78 million.And the timing of this potential project....
Officials aim to submit a corrections study to the state by the end of the year. With state approval expected to take roughly a year, officials are hoping to receive state funding for construction in 2016.Read more in today's Daily News Record article....
Jail Study Recommends New Building
Daily News Record, November 21, 2014
The Reserve at Stone Port, a new development of upscale apartments in close proximity to Sentara RMH Medical Center is set to open next month.
This will be a first for Harrisonburg -- as most apartment complexes currently located in Harrisonburg are new - but are for primarily occupied by college students, or are older complexes and do not offer the these finishes, amenities, etc.
According to the developer, these apartments will NOT be rented to undergraduate students.
Phase 1 of The Reserve at Stone Port includes 168 units, but an additional 228 units are planned for future phases.
The developer also recently began site work for Bellaire at Stone Port, an 88-unit assisted living and memory care community also to be built at Stone Port. This community is slated to open in January 2016.
Read more about The Reserve at Stone Port, Bellaire at Stone Port, and Stone Port in general in last week's Daily News Record article.
If I'm using my iPhone or iPad I search for homes using the Funkhouser Real Estate Group mobile app, but otherwise I'm typically using the "Advanced Search" on my website.
So....help me improve it.....what search fields do you wish my property search offered that are not currently available? What properties, or types of properties are particularly hard to find, or hone in on?
There is also a map search, proximity search, land search, etc., on my website (about which I welcome feedback) but the majority of users seem to use the Advanced Search, so please send on your recommendations on how I can make that better, easier, more intuitive for you.
Email me feedback at scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com.
It's compelling to get a long term fixed interest rate that starts with a 3.....and it might still be possible, but the national average is now 4.01%.
Let me know if you're looking for recommendations for lenders....
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The Glen at Cross Keys
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Cottages @ Stone Spring
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Analysis of Assessments
Bank Owned Properties
Potential Short Sales
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