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!
How, you might ask, do we go about getting from the point of wanting to make an offer --- to actually making the offer? Here's a brief overview....
Guess what, they largely don't exist....with one exception.
If you were a home buyer looking for a home under $200K with everything on one level.....and you wanted something built in the past 20 years so you wouldn't have too much maintenance, you wouldn't find many options.
Nearly all of the properties built in the past 20 years for less than $200K (with 2+ beds and 2+ baths) are two-story townhouses.
The one exception.... Founders Way Condominiums.
These brand new 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condos offer an open floor plan with upgrades including hardwood laminate flooring, granite countertops and more.
Check out some photos here and here.
Check out pricing and availability here.
1. How should my home be priced?
2. How long will my house be on the market?
3. What should I do to my house before we list it?
4. What is your fee?
5. What will you be doing for your money?
This is a great time to lock in your interest rate if you haven't already done so! Mortgage interest rates have fallen over the past several weeks, and are now approaching 4%.
I serve on the Board of Directors for the East Rockingham Recreation Association Pool, a membership based pool on Shen Lake Drive. If you live in the County and are considering how you'll spend your hot summer afternoons and evenings, consider joining ERRA Pool.
Last night we were packing up the pool cover and continuing to prepare for opening day, which is this Saturday. You can join ERRA Pool online here.
(click on the images above for larger versions of the photos)
click here for a larger version of this image
Attention Investors and Parents of JMU Students - This four bedroom house within walking distance of JMU campus (particularly West Campus) offers the unique opportunity to purchase an investment property with a solid track record of strong financial returns. This property is leased through June 26, 2015 for $1540 per month. Your tenants will enjoy a short walk to Memorial Hall, Anthony Seeger, Duke Hall, and the entire Bluestone Area of campus, plus a large lot with ample parking behind the house, and an area for a garden or outdoor activities. This property has been consistently and readily leased by the current owners to college students for the past eight years, and for many more years by the previous property owner.
View more details here: 332OldSouthHighStreet.com
click here for a larger version of this map
Massanetta Springs, Inc. sold 30.4 acres on Boyers Road last week for $1,050,000. I have not yet heard of how or when this land will be developed, but it was purchased by the owner of several other development properties....
As shown above, year-to-date home sales are down this year (233) as compared to last year (284).
Many suspect that the long, cold winter may have made the first few months of the year slower than they would have otherwise been. Per that theory, we should see a huge rebound in contracts (now / recently / soon) to help the 2014 market catch back up with where the 2013 market was last year.
Let's see what we're seeing thus far....
April contract numbers were strong in 2014, but not as strong as in 2013....
Now, let's look at the first 15 days of May, this year versus last year....
As you can see, over the past 45 days buyers have been buying at the same pace (actually a bit slower) than last year. Thus far we're not seeing a rebound of higher buying numbers than last year at this time.
So, the big question -- we've seen an 18% decline in YTD sales so far in 2014 -- will that remain at -18% for the rest of the year? Will 2014 pull even for no gain or loss? Somewhere in between? Theories, predictions and guesses are welcome!
The graph above examines the trend in the number of homes for sale in Harrisonburg and Rockingham over the past seven years. After three years of declining inventory levels (2011, 2012, 2013) we are now finally seeing inventory levels starting to increase again.
This likely means....
Featured Property: 1103 Dices Spring Road, Weyers Cave, VA
I just published my monthly report on the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market and thus far, 2014 is not as exciting of a year as 2013 was for our local housing market.
Click here to review the entire report online -- or click here to download the full PDF -- or read on for some highlights....
2013 was an encouraging year in the local housing market. After many years of a declining pace of home sales, we finally saw a (strong!) rebound in the home sales activity. Now, however, with four months of 2014 behind us, we are facing a very different trend when comparing year over year trends -- the pace of home sales has declined 18% year-over-year. This could be the result of the icy winter weather in 2014... but that is becoming a less likely theory as we move through Spring. The next theory I'll throw out is that 2013 was a rebound year, with higher than normal sales volume, and 2014 is is reverting back to the slow upward trend that began in 2011.
Even though it's not highlighted in yellow above, we should also note that prices seem to be improving year-to-date, with a 3% increase in median sales price.
Going back to the rebound theory -- the blue line in this graph shows the month-by-month sales experienced during 2013. As is quickly evident, last year's home sales were head and shoulders above any other recent year of home sales. Home sales this year (red) certainly look rather unexciting in comparison to last year (2013) though when taken within the context of 2012 (green) we see that there has been an improvement when looking at a 24 month differential. Again, this may indicate that 2013 was a year of our marketing bouncing back and burning through old inventory, but that the 2013 sales pace was not sustainable moving forward.
Now, here are your teasers to encourage you to read the rest of this data filled report....
There's much, much more. Read it online (here) or download the PDF (here) and 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.
Contracts are being signed quickly in May 2014 (40 contracts in 8 days) --- which shows a solid upwards trend for the first five months of the year if we extrapolate to a potential total for May (155?) based on this strong pace of contract activity within the first week (+) of May.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause cancer -- in fact, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking! Radon quickly disperses in air, reducing its danger, but if it accumulates in a basement or other living space, it can be quite problematic.
One of the main sources of radon gas is from a variety of types of rock, such as granite and shale. And thus, people have begun to wonder whether granite counter tops might pose a risk!
Click here to download A Citizen's Guide To Radon, a publication from the EPA on how to protect yourself and your family from Radon.
Tucked away over on Linda Lane (and Smithland Road) is this beautiful body of water.
Who knows, maybe there will eventually be a mixed use development around it!?
What do these street names have in common? What is their connection?
They were all names of General Robert E. Lee's horses!
A bit more of the story can be found here....
Thanks for the heads up, Mary Kaye!
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