Thursday, April 1, 2010

Charlottesville Albemarle Real Estate Update: What Are April's Big Questions?

Everybody who tracks real estate is wondering what the April 30 contract deadline for the $8k/$6.5k Homebuyer Tax Credit will do to sales.  Of course, nobody will equate activity (open houses and looky-lous) with achievement, as CalculatedRisk mentioned in a recent post. And of course, yesterday, March 31, the Fed stopped its purchase of MBS.  Will rates rise, again, as they did last week?

But now to some more compelling questions, specific to this area:

1.  Did you read that President Obama will make surprise appearances at mortgage contract signings, to encourage buyers to take advantage of the tax credit?  Signer keeps Presidential pen.  Makes you wonder: how much further will the Obama Administration go in efforts to prop up housing prices and sales, rather than letting the market take care of itself

2. Will Chris Brightman list his  Blandemar Farms spread for 22% less than the $2,125,000.00 he paid in 2005?  That's about where it's assessed.  "Lots of people took a hit on their portfolios in 2009." 

3.  Is this the month Patricia Kluge will slash the asking price of Albemarle House by 50%, again?  And toss in a gas station or McMansion development to sweeten the deal?

4. Do Hunter Craig and the other Forest Lodge, LLC investors have to provide volunteer building time to Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity, in addition to the alleged $1M in proffer money they paid the non-profit before the Commonwealth forked over $9.8 Million for Biscuit Run

5.  Is the only way to break even in five years on property bought in the Charlottesville MSA by making a deal with the Commonwealth, or relying on an Act of God? 

6. Did you notice this Virginia Georgian Revival, 5 bedroom, 4 baths, 3,665 square feet, historic house at 2212 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, Va lists for $229k?  (Surrounded by fine homes and backing up to a park; near the Virginia School for the Arts.)

7. Did you notice this 780 sq. ft. concrete bungalow, 1111 Altavista Avenue, Charlottesville,VA, lists for $234,900k?  (Surrounded by similar 50-70 yr old bungalows of modest materials, in an area that has housing still vitally needed working class residents who have managed to maintain a foothold; has a view of the backside of condos on Monticello Ave.)
8.  Let's see...if the current Martha Jefferson Hospital conversion to a "mixed use" residential/commercial development deal has died "of natural causes"--real estate crash--who's the next obvious buyer?

9.  What's the newest plan for The Landmark Hotel? Transformed into a Parkour training site by The City of Charlottesville,  Mark Giles, and the local Parkour Klub?

10.  Did you overhear this at the Downtown Grille?  Half of all Downtown waiters used to be Realtors; the rest hold advanced degrees from Virginia.  Or  did you hear this at the Hollymead Panera? 35% of all fast food workers in the County used to be Realtors; 42% used to work in construction.

11. Who could pass up this "AMAZING INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY!!!" ???

12.  Anybody got reservations at the new bed and breakfast out in Free UnionPrivate, tech-forward, filled with fine art.

13.  Would there be a rip in the cosmos if it was the fiduciary or ethical duty of a real estate agent to give clients a multi-year local/regional economic and house pricing forecast for the market in which a buyer intends to purchase a home?

14.  Which real estate personage, known widely, will have a sudden presence in the media this month, for unexpected reasons?  Initials are...wait, that's too easy.

Could you hear the whispered rumor at Bel Rio, or was the music too loud?  Blogger Snarky Doe, who intended to be a lifelong renter, decides to buy a "charming Belmont cottage."  "Dude, it's just me, my laptop, my Blackberry, I can have a container garden on the porch, I can walk Downtown for everything I need, what difference does it make if a couple years from now this $200k bungalow is $100k, besides that probably won't happen, I can always sell to a junior professor or a Medical Resident, right dude, but listen, I'm in it for the long haul, and my carbon footprint will be miniscule once I replace the windows and the oil tank." 

It's April Fool's all day long.
IImages copyright CAAR and Lynchburg Association of Realtors/MLS


Anonymous said...

Not only is price ridiculous for 1111 Altavista but agent couldn't be bothered to get price right on CL

Anonymous said...

Hilarity on the Rivermont vs. Belmont contrast. As someone who lived in the 'burg for a while, I really appreciate this particular listing. Of course, you'd have to live in Lynchburg, but um, yeah, lots more house...for a sane price!