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!
If you and your Tesla electric car are staying overnight in Harrisonburg, VA you may want to consider booking a room at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages where a Tesla charging station has now been installed.
From today's Daily News Record article....
Drivers of Tesla electric cars have a new place to recharge in the Shenandoah Valley, with more locations on the way.
In a curious coincidence, when walking near the Ice House yesterday, on my way to Black Sheep Coffee and then to Blue Hub Coworking, I saw a Tesla drive by. It was traveling eastward, as if, perhaps, from By the Side of the Road?
Don't miss Harrisonburg's SVBA Home Show this weekend!
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLearn all about the MANY fun activities happening at this year's home show here.
How can your next home use ZERO electricity? It is possible!
Calling all builders (and other interested parties) --- there will be a "Zero Energy Home Training" event in Harrisonburg on November 10th at the Ice House from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM.
Information covered in this free training session will answer these questions (and more)....
Registration is now open for the Mid-Atlantic Sustainability Conference. A special offer to the first 30 people to register will get a free copy of the National Green Building Standard ICC 700-2012. This conference features industry experts in the subjects of sustainable sites, alternative energy, legal green, building science, energy code, design solutions, energy modeling, HVAC design, indoor air quality, and zero energy homes. Speakers include Allison Bailes, Sam Rashkin, Ross Spiegel, and Peter Yost just to name a few.
Sign up today for the Mid-Atlantic Sustainability Conference, to take place on September 4 - 6 at James Madison University.
Local developers, Barry Kelley and Andrew Forward, are at it again -- transforming a downtown structure into an inspiring new space. Some of Barry and Andrew's past projects include City Exchange, Urban Exchange and The Walton Hotel.
VISION - Some of the ideas that have been discussed for The Ice House include:
LOCATION - The Ice House will be a transformation of the former Cassco ice plant located at 217 S. Liberty Street. As you can see, it's not a very exciting sight right now....
ZONING - The City of Harrisonburg has approved a rezoning request for 217 S. Liberty Street and the adjacent building, 115 W. Bruce Street.
HISTORICAL TAX CREDITS; GRANT - One of the only reasons that this project is able to move forward is because of the historical tax credits available for the project.
INDUSTRIAL REVITALIZATION FUND GRANT - Harrisonburg received a $500,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development's Industrial Revitalization Fund. This grant is effectively a low-cost loan that will be available for the development of The Ice House.
COMMERCIAL TENANTS - Conversations are ongoing, but James Madison University has confirmed that they will occupy some of the space in The Ice House. One of the JMU offices that will relocate to The Ice House is communications, marketing and public affairs. Additional current plans for the commercial space include a restaurant, a mint operation and a yoga studio.
SCOPE, TIMING - The transformation of this 80,000 square foot building is estimated to cost $10 million and the aim is to have it substantially complete by the end of 2014.
STATUS - A detailed master plan is currently being developed to include 217 S. Liberty Street, 115 W. Bruce Street, as well as a 104-space parking lot on a parcel diagonally across West Bruce Street.
Are you dizzy from all of the green terminology being used these days? Check out this beginner's guide from The Gaines Group....
Confused by all the Green Terms that get tossed around, here is a beginners guide to get you started.
Harrisonburg's Green Expo invites you to participate in a great day of workshops, exhibits, demonstrations, food and children's activities.
Beginners and experts alike can visit with local companies and non-profits to learn about growing a vibrant community with clean water, clean air, healthy living, renewable energy, and green building.
Mark your calendars and join us at Eastern Mennonite University's Commons TOMORROW (Saturday, Nov 10) from 9A-4P, presented by the Shenandoah Valley Builder's Association.
This year the Harrisonburg Green Expo has a little of everything....
THIS SATURDAY, enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of over 15 sites featuring downtown's energy efficient buildings, ongoing historic preservation, local food, and open green spaces. Demonstrations and presentations at select locations.
Guided Tours will start at 1:30PM and 3:30PM, starting at the Turner Pavilion (Harrisonburg Farmers Market) and led by the Shenandoah Valley Builders Associations' Green Building Committee.
The self-guided tours include:
And, there will even be children's activities at the Turner Pavilion and at select venues downtown!
Click on the image below for the tour brochure with a map.
Click here for an article about the tour from the Staunton News Leader.
As reported by NPR, Columbia University recently conducted a study where they asked people about the most effective ways were to save energy --- and as a general public, we're well off the mark! From NPR....
CHIOTAKIS: So what the study found is when it comes to energy savings, we're all idiots?
HILL: Yeah, pretty much. Basically researchers asked people what one thing they could do that would be the most effective thing to save energy and people said turning off the lights.
CHIOTAKIS: Well that makes sense, what's wrong with that?
HILL: Well, turning off the lights and other curtailment activities, as researchers like to call them, may not save as much energy as we think. A better choice might be making efficiency improvements, like installing energy-efficient light bulbs or driving non-gas guzzlers.
CHIOTAKIS: So what are the things, Adriene, we do that we think save more energy than they actually save?
HILL: Well, so there's turning off the lights. There's driving slower on the highway -- maybe stepping it down to 55, people think that saves more energy than it actually does. Unplugging your phone charger -- again, these things do save energy, but not as much as people guess.
CHIOTAKIS: And what do we under-rate? What saves more than most people think they save?
HILL: Driving cars that get better mileage, using room air conditioners instead of central air, and running more efficient appliances.BUT WAIT! THERE'S GOOD NEWS . . .
This Saturday (September 25) from 9am to 4pm you can learn all about saving energy, and living sustainably at Harrisonburg's First Annual Green Expo.
Don't waste the next few months doing web searches and making phone calls to try to learn about improvements you could make to your home, or technologies or products you could use in a new home. This Saturday you can spend an hour or two going from booth to booth speaking directly to the experts! Take a look at the long list of companies that will be present!
Plus, you can learn a lot about these four notable speakers!
Get up close and personal (thanks to unanticipated loud construction equipment) with Harrisonburg mayor Kai Degner, and hear about the upcoming Mayor's Sustainability Summit to be held in downtown Harrisonburg.
As Kai mentioned, the agenda for the Summit will be formed around the interests and desires of those in attendance, but may likely include topics such as:
Mayor's Sustainability Summit
Saturday, May 30, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Starting and ending in Court Square Theater
View more details by clicking here.
Over the past few months I have been educating myself about green building techniques (for example: What Is An Earthcraft House?), but I have also been picking up some tips on what existing homeowners can do to make their homes more green, and energy efficient.
Here are some low-cost ways to live green around your home:
I'll be posting even more information that I have learned from these Green Building courses over the next few weeks, but if you have specific questions before then, feel free to call (540-578-0102) or e-mail (email@example.com) me.
I recently attended an EarthCraft certification course to learn about the EarthCraft program --- a green building certification program that has been endorsed by our local builders association.
I'm going a step further this week, spending all day Thursday and Friday in Hampton Roads in a training course for the National Association of Realtors' Green Resource Council. This training will provide me with the knowledge and awareness of green building principles applied in residences, commercial properties, developments, and communities --- it is bound to be a busy few days.
If you have questions about building (or buying, or selling) a green house in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County, I'd be happy to share some of the information that I have learned already and will be learning later this week.
More to come...
Before I attended an EarthCraft training this week, I had heard of EarthCraft homes, and had been in EarthCraft homes, but I couldn't have given a very good definition of what they are, and what makes such a home different from a traditionally built home.
Here's what I now know about homes that are certified as "EarthCraft Houses"...
I spent the day today at an EarthCraft certification course learning about how to build higher quality homes, that are healthier, more comfortable, and have lower utility costs for homeowners.
Click below to watch a brief interview with Aaron Yoder, the president of the Green Building Committee of the Shenandoah Valley Builders Association.
It shouldn't be a surprise that a landscaping company would be a good source of information about living green --- but despite that, I was delighted to find some good reading about green living in Fine Earth's most recent newsletter.
Fine Earth is one of many landscaping companies in Harrisonburg, and according to their web site, they are in the business of "creating outdoor solutions that complement your lifestyle."
Click here, or on the image, to read the full newsletter.
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