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!
Just buying, or just selling, can be challenging --- but doing them both at the same time often seems over daunting, especially if this is your first time to do so. There are several ways to tackle this challenge --- watch the video below to learn more...
To better understand land use in our fine community, here is a basic breakdown of the 15,075 parcels of land in the City of Harrisonburg....
Zoning Distribution (Parcels)
Residential Density (Parcels)
A few weeks ago I examined the size distribution of land parcels in Rockingham County, and was asked whether such data existed for the City of Harrisonburg. It does!
As you'll see below, most (92.5%) land parcels in the City of Harrisonburg are less than an acre in size.
Here are a few other interesting tidbits about land parcels as a whole in the City of Harrisonburg:
Rockingham County is currently in the process of reassessing all real estate in the County. When the new assessed values are sent to property owners, there is bound to be some distress and consternation, as assessed values will increase (in many cases), yet homeowners know that home values have been decreasing over the past few years.
First, have home values decreased over the past few years?
So, why will many assessed values going up?
As a point of interest, property owners should actually be retroactively grateful that they are (only just) now seeing this increase in their assessed values. Here is the tax burden over five years for the median value of homes, given that reassessments only occur every four years:
Check out these two stories about Urban Exchange that both hit the news today . . .
Downtown living: Urban Exchange sets a new course for Downtown Harrisonburg (The New Dominion)
Harrisonburg leaders have a vision for how to make their downtown thrive. Barry Kelley is helping bring that vision into a reality.
"I know downtown pretty well. And I thought this was the perfect area for the kind of project that we were thinking about doing," said Kelley, who with fellow property developer Andrew Forward has turned a Downtown Harrisonburg parcel that was most recently a used-car lot into a four-story, mixed-use architectural wonder called the Urban Exchange.
Read more here
Urban Jungle: Urban Exchange Home To City's First ‘Green' Roof (Daily News Record)
On East Market Street, amid the bustle of the city's downtown, a natural oasis has sprouted in perhaps the most unlikely of places.
Dozens of ginkgo and crape myrtle trees and a selection of native plants line a pathway, while benches offer a place for folks to enjoy the scenery.
It is not the city's latest pocket park. Instead, this organic retreat is located two floors up on the roof of the retail space and parking garage at Urban Exchange.
Below you will find an embedded version of my August 2009 report on the residential real estate market in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
SUMMARY: The pace of home sales continues to slow, home values continue to stay relatively steady, and thus we haven't turned the corner yet to head back to more hopeful times.
Click here to access a larger version, download a PDF, share it with a friend, etc.
Do you have questions? Suggestions for other analysis? Do you disagree with the perspectives I offer? Feel free to leave a note in the comments section, or e-mail me at Scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com.
I showed four homes in the City of Harrisonburg this afternoon to one of my buyer clients, and as my clients and I viewed the homes we sensed a very strange relationship between asking prices and our perception of their value. That is to say that we didn't sense much of a correlation between what the owners were asking for the houses and what we thought they were worth.
To explore the relationship (somewhat) objectively, I thought I'd compare the asking prices to assessed values. But first, here is how sale prices and assessed values compare for the last three sales in the City of Harrisonburg between $240k and $260k.
Sold properties are selling for 97% of assessed value --- based on an unreasonably small sample size of three properties:
For almost a year now, I have been posting information about scheduled foreclosures (Trustee Sales) in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County to HarrisonburgForeclosures.com.
In the more recent past I have been compiling some basic details on these scheduled foreclosures, an analysis of which is presented below, but first let me explain why this is only a "casual examination" of foreclosures. HarrisonburgForeclosures.com offers information on scheduled foreclosures, not just those that actually are foreclosed upon (some Trustee Sales never take place.)
Thus, this analysis is based on properties that are headed towards foreclosure, but isn't just based on those that are actually foreclosed upon.
Click here to view a larger version of this document
As you may have imagined (above) most of the properties are in Harrisonburg (which includes Harrisonburg-addressed Rockingham County properties, and is the largest area in the County). Coming in behind Harrisonburg are Elkton, Broadway and McGaheysville.
This next document examines when these homeowners purchased the home that is now being (possibly) foreclosed upon...
As you can see, the vast majority of these homes were purchased in 2005, 2006 and 2007. This should serve as no significant surprise, as that was when loan requirements were being pared down and pared down, such that anyone with a pulse could obtain a mortgage. These lax guidelines resulted in some people owning homes that weren't really in a financial situation that would allow them to consistently pay their mortgage.
I'll update this analysis from time to time, but one thing that you ought to be sure to remember is that (thankfully) Harrisonburg and Rockingham County have an extremely low rate of foreclosure as compared to other parts of the country. This is wonderful news, as it has not negatively skewed our home values as has happened in many larger metropolitan areas.
For more details on upcoming foreclosures, visit HarrisonburgForeclosures.com.
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