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!
The number of properties viewed online (on our company site and all of our company's agent sites) has increased dramatically over the past year. Thus, it seems that more buyers are hunting for homes.
But when we compare the number of closings in the first 28 days of last March and this March, we see a rather significant decline.
What is going on here?
If you are considering the purchase of a new home in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County, you may want to check out HarrisonburgNewHomes.com, where you'll find an overview of many of the new communities being built in our area.
I represent the builders of each of these communities, and am assisting them with the marketing of the new single family homes, duplexes and townhomes. For more information about any of these neighborhoods, feel free to contact me or one of the other Realtors also marketing these communities:
In talking to a Daily News Record reporter last week I made a BOLD PREDICTION, that the local housing market would probably NOT improve this year. I felt somewhat bad about making such a prediction --- being so pessimistic! But wait --- the BOLD part was predicting that it wouldn't get any worse!
Since 2006, the pace of home sales has been declining:
Check out the data:
It is a challenge! It seems that these days over half of home purchases don't close on time, and it is often because of delays in the financing process. Financing guidelines are much more stringent, requiring more documentation than ever before. So how CAN you close on time?
Wells Fargo is confident that they can make it happen. They are so confident that they're putting their money on the line in promising to close your loan on time.
The program is called the "Wells Fargo Closing Guarantee" and states that if Wells Fargo doesn't close your loan on or before the date in your sales contract, they'll pay your first month's principal and interest!
Wells Fargo typically has great programs and rates, so this closing guarantee certainly boosts them up on my list of top lenders that I'd recommend that you speak with in determining where you'll obtain your financing.
For financing via Wells Fargo in Harrisonburg, contact Jon Ischinger at 540-478-5223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In working with several townhome buyers over the past few months, I developed the map below outlining the main "new-ish" townhome developments in and around Harrisonburg. There are certainly other smaller and/or older subdivisions, but this map shows the location of your main options for two and three story townhomes. Take a look below the map for links to properties for sale in each subdivision.
New-ish townhomes for sale in and around Harrisonburg:
Click here or on the image below to view the full March 2010 Harrisonburg & Rockingham County Real Estate Market Report (PDF). Read on below for a few highlights.
Some high level February 2009 to February 2010 observations include:
Don't delay -- get all of the exciting (and not as exciting) details and beautiful charts by downloading the full March 2010 Harrisonburg & Rockingham County Real Estate Market Report (PDF).
If you find the information in this report to be helpful....
When considering all residential properties In Harrisonburg and Rockingham County:
To put this in a bit of a historical context, when I checked the same data nearly two years ago, 40% of homes for sale had experienced a price change.
OF NOTE: Our MLS simply searches for price changes, therefor some of the 368 price changes could be price increases, though it seems doubtful.
Many thanks to Sue Robertson for highlighting this article from Housing Watch regarding multi-generational housing. As this Housing Watch article reports....
"American families are going back to the future, with multiple generations shacking up together for the same reasons that young un-marrieds once did -- to save on housing costs. "
The article is based on a study by Coldwell Banker, including the following observation....
"With two or three generations living under one roof, families often experience more flexible schedules, quality time with one another and can better juggle childcare and eldercare."
I am definitely starting to see that trend occur, and quite a few of these buyers are ending up at The Glen at Cross Keys, where several of the floor plans work well for a multi-generational living situation. Of note, most of these scenarios are a parent and an adult child buying together, not necessarily four generations of a family as shown in the stock photography above.
Another house that I am currently marketing would work quite well for this as well because it has so much square footage and so many bedrooms and bathrooms:
Click here for details on 1911 Rhianon Lane, a 5 BR, 3 BA, 3600 SF home for $329,900.
Harrisonburg has steadily grown over the past ten years, and thus I would expect that we would see a gradual, steady increase of home purchases. The recent history of home sales has not followed the slow and steady theory for the last ten years. Below I have charted a gradually increasing rate of home sales (the red line) as I might expect them to be occurring.
As you can see above, if there were approximately 900 home sales in 2000, I'd expect that we might be around 1100 home sales per year here in 2010. Let's examine why sales history strayed so far from this path....
While I didn't think to ask this at the time, I now think it would have been reasonable to ask between 2001 and 2007 why there were so many people buying houses. The blue sections of the yellow bars show the unexpectedly high home sales levels (per my rough calculations). Here are my theories on why so many people were buying at that time:
But now, as seen above, there are (if my red trend line is correct) fewer buyers in the market that could be or should be expected. If we flip around the three factors listed above, we'll understand why:
Less than a year ago (summer 2009) Urban Exchange opened its doors to the very first residents of this impressive new structure in downtown Harrisonburg. Urban Exchange features 194 apartments in studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and loft configurations -- with over 45 different floor plans.
The big question that (nearly) everyone asked or wondered was whether there could really be several hundred people who wanted to live in downtown Harrisonburg. The results are in --- YES, there are a LOT of people who would like to live in downtown Harrisonburg!
A few quick updates, and then enjoy the photos below showing the final product:
If you have questions about Urban Exchange, feel free to call or e-mail Mary Messerley at 877-548-3831 or mary@LiveUE.com.
Of note -- only one of four retail spaces at Urban Exchange has been leased, but several spaces are still available. If you are interested in details, please contact Mike Hendricksen at 540-908-7528 or email@example.com.
Hardie Plank, corrugated metal, glass, bridges, lavish landscaping, seating areas, and more!
This glass encased corner includes the mail room, a reading room, the gym, and The Apex.
The west-facing side of Urban Exchange, visible from Main Street near Court Square.
Four floors of apartments joined by a landscaped courtyard over top of double volume retail space.
Western views along Water Street, looking out towards Rosetta Stone.
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