Thursday, October 20, 2011

Whose Responsibility Is It to Disclose the Proposed Western Bypass In Albemarle County? And How Will Today's Sellers Market Their Homes?

Updated Nov. 1, Nov. 2.

The Western Bypass has been in the works for decades, went dormant in 2002, but now looks like it will be built.  Charlottesville Tomorrow has a rendition of the 6.2 mile road. 

Though the completion date would be years from now, many homes could be impactedIt's already influencing buy / sell decisions in this area.  That is, the proposed Western Bypass is impacting decisions for those who know of it, or know what to ask.** 

The potential existence of the Western Bypass does not need to be disclosed by seller because Virginia is a caveat emptor state: buyer beware.  

So will buyers' agents disclose the prospective road?  A pertinent discussion of disclosure and caveat emptor may be found in this recent post about Historic Districts at RealCentralVA here.

And how should a home "in the neighborhood of" the proposed Western Bypass be marketed?

Like this? A description of a house at 2700 Magnolia Drive, from a new, October 17 listing:  the 4.5 acres are "Like a bird sanctuary." When the property is mapped, like hundreds of others, it is nearby the proposed bypass.

Map of Proposed Bypass, from Charlottesville Tomorrow:

Here's the Google-mapped location of the listing:

A. The listing
B. St. Anne's-Belfield School, Ivy Road
C. Mary Carr Greer Elementary, Lambs Lane
D. Agnor Hurt Elementary School

And here's an impassioned response the listing elicited.  The comment appeared after a recent post.
Here's a picture of the listing.  Note:  in the past 3 months, the listing has changed Realtors and had asking price reduced $120k.  This kind of drastic price reduction, however, is being seen all over Central Virginia in response to the slow market and lack of  move-up buyers, as sellers acclimate themselves to the "new normal."

 Magnolia Drive, Albemarle County
click on image for larger version in new window
10/17/2011 Relisting: $559k
9/2011 Price Reduced: $589k
8/2011 Original List: $685k
12/2003: Purchased for $475k
Tax assessments here.

Many listings leave out the "big picture."  Or overplay a detail ( For instance, a. What's not close to UVA?  b. Only in the 21st C. has living behind the hospital been considered 'desirable.') But this particular listing struck a chord in the reader because it's in an area that is much on the minds of residents in Albemarle County.

The issue of  the proposed Western Bypass and whether and when  to buy or sell, and of how to market impacted homes, will continue to grow over the next few years.

**In fact, most "issues" don't need to be disclosed by the seller.  The list of data a buyer must compile and the questions that one might need answered can be staggering. Examples of buyers' questions:
  • What's going to be built on that empty 100 acres next to the property?  
  • What kind of road/restaurant/sportsfacility/prison is in the works?  
  • Is there a sex offender nearby?  
  • What's the crime rate?  
  • Is there radio frequency / antenna interference?
  • Ever had a tree fall on the house?  
  • Any ghosts?  
  • What are the neighbors like?  
  • Is there a fault line beneath the home?  
  • Was the house a crackden/whorehouse/drugdrop?
  • What are the sewer pipes like?  
  • Does the neighborhood periodically have noxious odors from the water treatment plant?  
  • Pests?  Swarms?
  • Schoools?
  • Etc.
Images copyright CAAR. 

UPDATE:  The post had image and content changes on November 1.  It includes the Bypass map and the property location map in place of the listing and comment images, which are described and linked.

UPDATE Nov. 2: Albemarle County BOS vote on construction hours, MPH, etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If a buyer's agent did not act in the buyer's interest he or she would and should be sued into oblivion. Caveat emptor is not a license to steal.