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 are looking to purchase a rental property for your JMU student to live in while they are a student at JMU, there are two basic paths you could go down....
Option 1 -- A property in a traditional student housing neighborhood. These will allow the most students to live in the property and will maximize the rental income per dollar spent on the purchase. However, it will also expose you to a more turbulent segment of the market, as rental rates and sales prices of these properties can vary quite a bit over time as the supply of competing student housing ebbs and flows based on large complexes being built by student housing developers. You can find purchase options in this category here.
Option 2 -- A townhouse in a community that has many owner occupants, some non-student renters and some student renters. Many of these will not allow as many un-related students to live in the property (per zoning regulation or restrictive covenant) and will not provide quite as much rental income per dollar spent on the purchase price. However, they will be in segment of the real estate market that is much more predictable and less volatile from a rental rate and/or sales price perspective. You can find purchase options in this category here and here.
I work with parents of JMU students each year who go down each path outlined above, each for different reasons. Most of the time, though, it boils down to their tolerance for risk or their desire for reward. It can also be related to their intended time horizon for owning the property.
If you are interested in buying a rental property for your son or daughter to live in while they are at student at JMU, let me know.
The forthcoming hotel and conference center being built on the edge of the JMU campus, held its ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday. The project is due to be complete by March 2018.
Read more in today's Daily News Record article, or read on for some highlights....
click here for a larger version of this aerial image
If you have driven along Reservoir Street lately, you would have noticed the massive area on the hospital side or Reservoir Street where trees have been cleared for a new housing development. This site will soon be home to 700 college students in a new development called "The Retreat at Harrisonburg", being developed by Landmark Properties out of Athens, GA.
The developer has acquired 36.81 acres for $5.71 million in August after the land was rezoned in May to allow for this community to be developed. This same developer is (per their website) also currently developing The Retreat at Blacksburg, a student housing community for 829 students.
Read more about this purchase and development in this Daily News Record article....
Student Housing Developer Buys County Land
August 30, 2016
Here is the intended site plan....
Per documents submitted to the County, we know the following about this potential student housing community....
Based on enrollment projections approved by the State Council of High Education for Virginia and published by JMU, on campus enrollment is set to continue to increase in coming years....
click here for a larger image
Enjoy a really (really, really) short walk to the JMU Campus (and Starbucks and Purcell Park) from this recently built (2011) home with upscale features both inside and out including a HardiePlank and brick exterior, a composite deck with vinyl rail, covered front porch, hardwood floors, granite countertops, ceramic tile in the bathrooms and so much more. The main level features a kitchen with dining area, living room, dining room and office, upstairs you will find a large master suite plus two additional bedrooms and a full bath. The recently finished lower level features a large rec room, the laundry room plus a fourth bedroom and third bathroom. Don't miss the propane fireplace, high end clothes washer and dryer, two heat pumps, hardwood treads and much more!
View high resolution photos of this home by clicking the collage below....
Or, walk through the home by clicking the image below....
Find out more about this home at 117PortRepublicRoad.com.
click here for a larger version of the map or here for a PDF
The map above shows where JMU college students live, in a few categories of housing....
If you are interested in purchasing an investment property in Harrisonburg, you may want to check out HarrisonburgInvestmentProperties.com -- or, feel free to drop me an email (scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com) and we can discuss the best opportunities for you.
click here to view a larger version
This (above) is a nice view of the intended building layout in the quadrant bounded by Main Street, Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Mason Street and Grace Street.
The Mason Street Parking Deck is currently in the early (very early) stages of construction. Madison Hall exists, but will be renovated. Hotel Madison is yet to be started.
Have you heard the news of JMU's plans for a brand new convocation center at the intersection of University Boulevard and Carrier Drive, across from the JMU Arboretum?
With the unprecedented growth experienced by JMU and the Shenandoah Valley the time is now for a facility to showcase and build upon the economic vibrancy of the region. The 8,500-seat structure will play host to a myriad of events annually, including basketball games, public speakers, university convocation and graduation, high school graduation ceremonies, concerts, conventions, trade shows and family entertainment options.The vision for this new facility is very exciting - check out lots of images, a video, details of the interior of the facility and so much more at JMUConvo.com.
Based on enrollment projections approved by the State Council of High Education for Virginia and published by JMU, on campus enrollment is set to continue to increase in coming years, surpassing 20K students for the first time in the 2017-18 academic year.
Of the variety of different figures that exist within the enrollment projections, the "Total On-Campus Headcount" is typically seen as the most pertinent relative to our local housing market. This figure is the best reflection of the number of students who will need housing, either on JMU campus, or off campus. These figures, and their changes over time, are the best numbers to be using when analyzing the need for off campus student housing in Harrisonburg.
Read more about student housing in Harrisonburg, past, present and future here.
A public hearing has been set for October 14th at 7pm at which time details for the proposed Hotel Conference Center will be presented to Harrisonburg City Council and the general public.
WHEN: Tuesday, October 14 at 7:00pm
WHERE: Harrisonburg City Council Chambers
Further details (Oct 8 update) include....
Here's a brief history of this project....
PROPOSED GROCERY STORE ON HOLD
Per today's Daily News Record, the grocery store proposed to be built on the corner of North Main Street and Mt Clinton Pike may not be built after all -- or at least, the rezoning request has been put on hold. Read more in today's Daily News Record.
DOWNTOWN HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER DISCUSSED AGAIN
Plans for a Hotel and Conference Center intended to be built for downtown Harrisonburg as a partnership between a private developer, JMU, and the City of Harrisonburg may be coming back to life. The matter will be discussed anew at Tuesday's City Council meeting. Here's the history of this topic, including an article from last Friday....
CITY DOG PARK OPENS
Stop by Smithland Road to visit the new City Dog Park, or read all about it in last week's Daily News Record article.
click here for a larger version of the map or here for a PDF
Enjoy this updated map showing where JMU college students live, in a few categories of housing....
If you are interested in purchasing an investment property in Harrisonburg -- for college students, or not -- feel free to drop me an email (scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com) and we can discuss the best opportunities for you.
JMU students, faculty and staff will now be able to get their favorite caffeinated beverage on the run via a Starbucks truck that will be rolling through JMU campus this year.
Starbucks has partnered with three universities as a trial of this new concept: James Madison University, Arizona State University, and Coastal Carolina University.
Per the news release from Starbucks....
The new truck, a pilot mobile service coming to three college campuses this fall, offers a menu of drinks and food nearly identical to what customers would find in their neighborhood Starbucks stores.The Starbucks truck will start operating at JMU on August 25. The photo above is a photo from Starbucks -- but I'm eager to see what the actual truck looks like on JMU campus. If you see it in action, email me a photo of it to scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com.
click here for a much more interesting larger version of this image
JMU is hoping to close a section of Mason Street and Grace Street internal to land that they now own on both sides of each street to make the area more pedestrian and bike friendly.
Read lots of details in this article from yesterday's Daily News Record.
If Hotel Madison is built in the location shown above, it is likely to be without any financial support from the City of Harrisonburg.
A private developer, JMU and the City of Harrisonburg have been negotiating for months on details of a potential partnership between the three entities to build a hotel and conference center on the site shown above -- but that deal has now apparently fallen apart.
The developer was asking for $10 million towards the conference center construction, which would be a part of the overall $40 million cost of the entire project.
Per today's Daily News Record article, after nearly every detail was in place, the City made a few changes to the draft memorandum of understanding, and the JMU Foundation could not agree to those changes.
The developer indicates that the project will not be able to move forward without the now unlikely private-public partnership.
Read more in today's Daily News Record article, or catch up on how this all played out....
It would seem that JMU will be buying this 60 acre parcel on South Main Street that was originally intended to be privately developed as student housing.
Per the Daily News Record (June 7, 2014)....
James Madison spokesman Bill Wyatt said that while the university has no immediate plans for the property, the board is buying it to add flexibility to shuffle the school's auxiliary, nonacademic services away from the center of campus, and create space for future facilities.Read the full DNR article here.
Read about the 466 apartments that were originally going to be built on this land here.
JMU (the James Madison University Board of Visitors) recently closed on the purchase of a property on the corner of South Mason Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. This purchase included an unimproved parcel of land, as well as a parcel of land improved by the building pictured above.
The property that was recently purchased is situated between what used to be Rockingham Memorial Hospital (and is now the University Health Center, etc.) and a parcel of land on South Main Street owned by JMU that has been discussed as the potential site of a hotel and conference center ("Hotel Madison").
How can you know about these interesting property transfers?
To stay up to date on property transfers in this area, simply visit HarrisonburgPropertyTransfers.com and subscribe to the weekly email list to receive these updates.
A 205-room hotel and 21,000 SF conference center might be built on South Main Street between Grace Street and Cantrell Avenue through a public-private partnership. This $40 million project could result in over $1 million in tax revenues for the City during its first year of operations per a feasibility study recently provided to the City. The City of Harrisonburg is being asked to pay for $10 million of the project, which would cover the cost of the conference center. The developer would build the hotel and conference center on JMU-owned land in the location described and shown above.
As a side note, this is being described as a downtown hotel and conference center --- though the corner of Cantrell Avenue and South Main Street doesn't quite seem downtown to me --- or to the creators of the downtown maps.
Read more about this project....
Photo Source: Moseley Architects
I'm not sure if we call this on campus or off campus housing, but JMU is building a new residence hall on West Grace Street that will feature approximately 507 beds, various student life spaces, classrooms, seminar spaces, administrative offices, and other support spaces.
Read more via The Breeze here.
After several (very!) slow years of condo sales at Hunters Ridge, there has been a rush of sales this year --- 13 as of 11/13/2013. Prices have come down a bit further this year, to a median of $56,250.
Sales have also increased (slightly) at Camden Townes (Hunters Ridge Townhomes) -- and prices have started to tick upwards a bit to a median of $78,500.
Here is all of the data....
Search for properties for sale in... Hunters Ridge or Camden Townes.
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