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September 10th, 2014 12:09 PM
Note from Yates:
The article below is a reprint thanks to Charlottesville Tomorrow.  For those of you who care about Charlottesville, please google Charlottesville Tomorrow and add your name to their email mailing list!

One thing I love about Charlottesville is how international it is.  I am happy to learn about the progress our refugee children are making, thanks to their ESOL teachers and both city and Albemarle Co schools.

Charlottesville, Albemarle schools embrace refugee students
by Michelle Delgado | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 12:21 p.m.

Just before the morning bell silences homeroom classes at Charlottesville High School, 31 different languages buzz in the air. In neighboring Albemarle County, a homeroom might burst with any of the 79 languages spoken in the public schools.

But these aren’t the voices of students learning French or Spanish for graduation credit. They are the voices of students for whom English is a second language, and for whom Charlottesville is a safe haven from the suffering they faced in their home countries.

“We’re so fortunate that Charlottesville is a welcoming community for refugees,” said Harriet Kuhr, executive director of the International Rescue Committee. “Refugees fleeing from persecution find this to be a safe and comfortable place to live and raise their families.”

The IRC

Located in downtown Charlottesville, the International Rescue Committee has made the city one of 22 in the nation to receive refugees from countries as diverse as Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Colombia.  As a result, both local school divisions have a significant refugee population supported by specialized English language programs.

The IRC works in 40 countries to resettle people who have been displaced by violence or disaster. Additionally, the IRC works to help refugees find mental health and medical support. Locally, this means working with refugees to place them in homes, jobs and schools.

In Albemarle, the IRC has placed newly arrived refugees in the University Heights apartment complex, which is just across the County line but with access to public transportation into Charlottesville.

“We have to place newly arrived refugees on the bus lines, so we don’t go too far into the County,” Kuhr said, adding that they want to diversify the housing opportunities.

Apartments along Angus Road, Hydraulic Road, and Commonwealth Drive have also seen a boost in refugee occupants. Kuhr said that residents in those areas have typically spent the past year or more in the United States.

While Kuhr and the IRC focus on welcoming the residents and connecting them to their new communities, the school division's take on the responsibility of educating the families’ children for the rest of their academic careers.
 
“From our point of view, we really focus on people when they first come,” Kuhr said. “For schools, they’re accumulating and keeping people for five or six years.”

Impact on the Schools

The IRC and the school systems work together to support students as they are immersed in American culture and the English language.

In the past 10 years, the number of refugee students in Charlottesville’s schools has grown to a total of about 200 students in the last school year.

“[Forty-seven] percent of our ESL population are refugees,” said Beverly Catlin, Charlottesville’s ESL program director.

“They come in with great enthusiasm and significant challenges depending on how much education they've received from their country of origin, how long they've been in a refugee camp and the trauma that they may have experienced,” Catlin added.

The refugee population in Albemarle schools is smaller, about 114 students, but still a significant group. County schools have enrolled 90 new students in the past two years. Refugee students make up about 13 percent of the county’s English language learners.

In both the City and the County, English language learners are simultaneously integrated into the student body and given support in smaller, ESL-only settings designed to help students acclimate to life in the United States.

“When students come in and speak no English at the high school level, typically about half their day will be in an ESL class with an ESL teacher and other ESL students focused specifically on learning English,” said Russell Carlock, Albemarle’s international and ESOL program coordinator.

“The other half of the day is going to be in electives,” Carlock added. “They have an opportunity to participate fully, and then also create those social relationships with the native English speakers that are important to feeling a part of the school.”

In both County and City schools, students move fluidly between specialized ESL classes and traditional classes such as homeroom, physical education, art and other electives.

“In general, the younger the child, the better they do,” Kuhr said. Students who have more time to progress through the English Language Proficiency (ELP) levels before high school graduation experience the full scope of the English language learner programs.

“The one issue that we always struggle with is what to do with older kids who come with a big educational deficit,” Kuhr said, citing cases of interrupted schooling that may place a student behind grade level.

However, Carlock said that age is not necessarily a definitive predictor of success, noting that as students progress with English, they start to spend more time in mainstream classes earning graduation credits.

“This happens at the high school and middle school level extremely quickly,” Carlock said. “Kids work extremely hard in order to meet the same graduation requirements that all other students in the state of Virginia are expected to meet, but then also learn a second language on top of that.”

Standardizing a non-traditional experience

All students enrolled in Virginia’s public schools are held to the Standards of Learning. This means that like traditional students, English language learners are also required to take the SOL exams.

While the SOLs cannot be given through an interpreter, English language learners may be able to take modified exams, such as a plain English version of the math SOL test.

“On a case by case basis, we determine the accommodations that are available,” said Catlin, citing English proficiency and time spent in the United States as possible reasons for accommodation.

Still, Catlin emphasized that accommodations were an exception rather than the rule.

In addition to state SOL tests, Virginia is one of 33 states that requires an annual English language learner’s assessment known as ACCESS for ELLs.

The exam divides K-12 students into five clusters based on grade level, testing their knowledge of social and academic English language. Test scores are used to place students into the five language proficiency levels.

Students are expected to advance one level for each year spent in American schools, which becomes challenging if a high school student is placed at a low level of proficiency.

In 2013, 47 percent of Charlottesville’s students placed into the beginner level (English Language Proficiency levels 1-2). Forty-four percent scored in the intermediate level (ELP levels 3-4), and only 9 percent registered as advanced (ELP level 5).

English language learners in Albemarle schools achieved similar results last year. Forty-four percent of students placed into the beginner level, 48 percent scored in the intermediate level and 8 percent were identified as advanced.

At the lowest proficiency levels, English is very basic, and depending on a student’s country of origin, he or she may also need to be taught the Latin alphabet.

“You can’t just put a textbook in their hands,” Catlin said.

The highest proficiency level indicates that a student is nearly at grade level and is expected to reach proficiency within the next year.

Acclimation

English language proficiency is not the only measure of success. Refugee students often need support to adjust to a new culture with unfamiliar foods and customs.

“It's not just about teaching the academics,” Catlin said. ”It’s about connecting with the family, the culture of the community and the IRC, and trying to create a network of support for the student.”

In the City, Catlin explained that ESL teachers work in classrooms where students speak different languages from each other and the teacher, but learning English gets everyone on the same page.

“The only common misconception is the sense that we have to be able to speak all of their languages in order to teach them,” Catlin said.

In the County, newcomer students may have spent part of this summer in programs designed to help them acclimate to life in the Charlottesville area.

“We have a pretty good program that gets them out in the community,” Carlock said. “They're not only learning English, but also learning about Albemarle County and Charlottesville and the history of the community.”

The IRC’s Kuhr also said that despite a high value placed on education, expectations of parental involvement may be higher in the American school system as compared to other countries.

“We orient the parents so that they have a continuing role and know what’s going on in the schools,” Kuhr said.

Life Stories

In Albemarle, Carlock has seen refugees overcome many obstacles to achieve fluency and acclimation.

“I was really struck with the stories of resiliency and determination of my students, who were often teenagers but who had experienced more of life than I had as a student fresh out of graduate school,” said Carlock, remembering his first years teaching English language learners a decade ago.

“Their stories have been extremely powerful and oftentimes heartbreaking,” Carlock added.

Despite the challenges refugee students face, Carlock characterizes them as highly motivated to learn, with families who place a high value on educational opportunities available in the United States.

“Some of our greatest success stories are in the ESOL programs,” Carlock said. “We have refugee students who have come from very difficult backgrounds and circumstances, sometimes with interrupted schooling, and have learned English extremely quickly and graduated and gone on to PVCC and then gone on to [the University of Virginia].”

On the whole, Kuhr praises both school systems’ efforts.

“The best part is when we see children who first came to this country as refugees graduate from high school, prepared to start their own lives as Americans,” Kuhr said.

 



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Posted by Yates Nobles on September 10th, 2014 12:09 PMLeave a Comment

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August 8th, 2014 3:59 PM
Solar power for homes is easier and more affordable than ever July through September 2014, thanks to Solarize Charlottesville, a grassroots, community-based outreach initiative sponsored by the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) in partnership with the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle Co, and the UVA Community Credit Union.

Solarize Charlottesville is a one-stop-shop for community members to learn more about solar power options for their homes and facilitate the installation and financing of their own project.  Through bulk purchasing and free solar site assessments, Solarize Charlottesville puts solar within reach.  Visit http://www.solarizecvlle.org

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Posted by Yates Nobles on August 8th, 2014 3:59 PMLeave a Comment

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Header
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Listings Photo
$1,250,000.00
"Les Charrettes"

Salviac, 46340



Beds: 8 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 8 Sq. Ft.: 5810
Garage: 2 Built: 0
 

Dream home and guest house in France, beside Dordogne, offers income potential
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Yates Nobles
Yates Nobles, GRI, SRS, ABR, E-PRO, GREEN - Associate Broker, Montague, Miller & Co. - Downtown
4349960888
www.yatesnobles.com



 
  Visit this listing here

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Posted by Yates Nobles on August 4th, 2014 12:39 AMLeave a Comment

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July 24th, 2014 11:11 AM
Reprint from Daily Progress - 7/24/2014

Pursuing happiness?   Study says it's in Charlottesville by Bryan McKenzie

Don't worry.  Move to Charlotttesville and be happy.

A study by the US National Bureau of Economic Research on America's unhappy cities noted that the happiest place to seek bliss is right in the heart of Central Virginia.

The survey questioned people across the country about how happy and content they were and inquired how satisfied they were with their lives. 

Of course, it' easy to be happy living in a town that has been named the best town for food lovers by Wine Magazine, best college town in the country by Traveler's Today; most exciting place in Virginia by Movoto; one of the top five destinations in the country by Luxury Travel; one of the country's favorite mountain towns by Travel & Leisure; one of the happiest and healthiest by Business Inside; and the second most friendly small city, again by Movoto.

The most recent study, while rating Charlottesville tops in happiness, noted that individuals seemed more than willing to trade that happiness for a better income and lower cost of living.

"Our research indicates that people care about more than happiness alone, so other actors may encourage them to stay in a city despite their unhappinvess," said Joshua Gottlieb, the study's co-author and a professor at the University of British Columbia's Vancouver School of Economics.

"Differences in happiness and subjective well-being across space weakly support the view that the desires for happiness and life satisfaction do not uniquely drive human ambitions," the study states.  "if we choose only that which maximized our happiness then individuals would presumably move to happier places until the point where rising rents and congestion eliminate the joys of that locale."

The study offered an alternative view that "humans are quite understandably willing to sacrifice both happiness and life satisfaction if the price is right."

Indeed, the residents of unhappier metropolitan areas today do receive higher real wages - presumably as compensation for their misery," the study states.

Charlottesville topped such happy places as Rochesster, MN; Lafayette, IN; Naples, FL; Flagstaff, AZ; Corpus Christi, TX; and Provo, UT.

Richmond-Petersburg and Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News placed first and second for happiness in metropolitan areas with more than 1 million population.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on July 24th, 2014 11:11 AMLeave a Comment

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Top 5 College Towns in the Country

Travelers Today       By    Will Walker

Updated: Jun 30, 2014 10:50 AM EDT

Text Size: A A A9 Comments

Charlottesville, Virginia in the Winter
(Photo : Bob Mical on Flickr)

There are a lot of great things that go into making a good college. There's the academic quality, the level of school spirit, the vibrancy of nightlife, and, of course, the aesthetic beauty of the campus. But one factor that often gets overlooked (but shouldn't) is the vibe given off by the local college town.

Indeed, especially for small or remote schools, having a good town to go into can make or break your college experience, affecting whether and how often you leave campus and meet people from the "real world." For that reason, we have listed, below, the 5 best college towns in the country, places that strike that perfect balance between fun, safety, and a chill, adolescent atmosphere.

 

5. Ann Arbor, Michigan

 Home of the University of Michigan, one of the largest and best colleges in the country, Ann Arbor certainly has a lot to live up to if it wants to meet the high expectations set by its resident school. Luckily, Ann Arbor's just a nice enough place to meet and exceed that bar. Indeed, the combo of small-town simplicity with large-town facilities allows Ann Arbor to do it all, making its student-residents feel happy and safe without also feeling bored.


4. Ithaca, New York

Home of Cornell University and Ithaca College, this small city is one of the most beautiful in the country. Built in the middle of grassy hills and valleys, Ithaca is famous for its waterfalls, with literally dozens within walking distance from town. The city also has some of the best boutique shops, wineries, and hipster restaurants in the country, making it the perfect place for most college students to hang out on a Thursday evening, or procrastinate on a Sunday afternoon.

 

3. Boulder, Colorado 

If you know anything about Boulder, it's that it's a fun place to be. From the weather (literally 80% sunny skies), to the shops (almost all locally-owned and full of character), to the very layout of the city (eminently bikeable), Boulder seems like it was designed by and for college students. And if that didn't sell you, did we mention it's located in the middle of one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world? In other words, no matter what you're looking for, Boulder is sure to have it in spades.

 

2. Burlington, Vermont 

Home to UVM and Ben & Jerry's, Burlington is the place to live if you're a hippy born two generations too late. Indeed, from there new artisanal food movement to the huge amount of live music funneling through the city (especially impressive given its size and relative isolation), Burlington has opportunities and resources that rival the hipster Meccas of Portland and Seattle. The only difference is, Burlington is also small enough to be manageable on a bike or by foot, making it just that more appealing to young, unemployed college students.

 

1. Charlottesville, Virginia

However, the number one spot is reserved for a more Southern town. Indeed, Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, does the best job of any city on the list of combining traditional metropolitan interests with the interests of the students who frequent it. The result is a harmonious whole, balancing the resources of an urban area with the desires of the students who live there. From the historical aura of Monticello, to the entertainment provided in the famous (and recently redecorated) Paramount theater, Charlottesville has it all, a place any college student would be proud to call home. Which is why we at Traveler's Today have listed it as the best college town in America. 


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Posted by Yates Nobles on July 10th, 2014 1:30 AMLeave a Comment

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Is it too late to list a home for sale in 2014 with a good chance of sale?

The commonplace assumption for listing a home for sale is to time listing with the advent of Spring.  Indeed spring is a favorable time for listing a home due to the beginning of better weather and to coordinate with buyers who are tied to the school year, wanting to resettle before fall.

There are downsides and upsides to any season.  In spring, because so many homes are listed in spring, the market becomes flooded with inventory and competition for buyers is higher.  The number of simultaneous open houses is also high which makes any specific open house advertising less noticeable.  Agents are their busiest during spring and may therefore be less available to give focused and sustained attention to each listing.

Listing a home later in the year has its  own drawbacks, but also several advantages.  The inventory of houses available for sale reduces by summer and fall, which gives more visibility to homes that are listed in this later time frame. 

Homes that have not sold on the spring market may give the perception of being less desirable because they have not sold quickly, e.g. the unsold listings are often perceived as having become "stale."  As days on the market increase, the likelihood that any offer received on this home will be a low offers increases, because buyers assume that these sellers are increasingly anxious to sell.  Homes listed later in the year enjoy the benefit of being "fresh" and appearing when there are less choices for sale.

Although there may be fewer buyers looking at homes during late summer and in the fall, buyers who begin their quest for a home later in the year, even in winter, are generally more decisive buyers.  They generally are not "tire kickers."  They most likely have made a firm decision to move, and are ready to move forward on finding a new home.  These buyers tend to be self-selected serious buyers.  It only takes one!

Now that the pace of  real estate sales has accelerated as a major factor in the recovery from the economic downturn, potential buyers who were holding back from purchasing are moving forward.  These potential buyers are realizing that home prices are rising and that interest rates have begun the inevitable upward climb from historic lows.  Best of all, banks are beginning to ease their tightened guidelines for lending, so qualifying for a loan is becoming easier than during the recession.  These factors are giving potential buyers the confidence they need to take the plunge.

During the economic downturn many people who would have liked to buy were unable to do so due to tightened mortgage requirements.  So they either continued to rent or lost their homes and were obliged to rent.  As a consequence of supply and demand, rental prices have increased significantly, to the point where those now renting are beginning to realize that if they can obtain a mortgage, the mortgage payments may well be less expensive than renting.    And as all homeowners and those potential buyers with good advice know, money invested into home ownership gives the additional benefits of accruing an asset and providing tax deductions.

So no, it is not too late to move ahead with listing your home.  And yes, there are increasing numbers of buyers coming into the marketplace going forward because we still have pent-up demand.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further or have me do a market analysis for your home to help with pricing and listing your home for sale.  434-996-0888  - yates@yatesnobles.com

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Posted by Yates Nobles on July 6th, 2014 7:04 PMLeave a Comment

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June 13th, 2014 5:23 PM

Preparation for Moving

 

Here is a checklist of tasks to take care of prior to moving:

 

  1. Decide whom you will retain as an attorney or closing agent and retain them as soon as you have a ratified contract, or before if the negotiation will be complex. If the negotiation will be complicated, have your attorney look over the final offer before ratifying and submitting it. Be sure to know what the attorney or closing agent’s fee will be.
  2. Shop for and obtain an “insurance binder” for your new home and request that it be delivered to your attorney or closing agent prior to closing because you will be responsible for home insurance beginning the day of closing. You probably will need to prepay six months to a year of the premium, but this cost can be rolled into closing costs.
  3. Schedule a time and date for the settlement appointment at your attorney or closing agent’s office, and notify your Realtor of this. Try not to schedule closing for a Friday or for the last day of the month.
  4. In advance of closing, discuss with your attorney what specific charges will be part of your closing costs.
  5. If you are obtaining a mortgage, ask your lender what closing costs can be rolled into the mortgage, to reduce the amount of cash you will need available at closing.
  6. Keep checking in with your lender until you have a firm letter of loan commitment on or before the deadline in your contract which specifies a date and time you have agreed to for loan commitment and therefore, removal of the financing contingency.
  7. Schedule a mover well in advance
  8. Schedule a “Pod” to be delivered to your present home if appropriate.
  9. Consider scheduling a housekeeper to clean out your new house before/during the move and to return to your former home to clean for the new occupants.
  10. Buy boxes for the belongings you want to pack yourself. Plastic boxes with secure one-piece tops from WalMart or other stores work well. Label where each box will go in the new home; for bedrooms and bathrooms, number them “master bedroom, bedroom #2, bedroom #3, etc). These same boxes can be used to organize your garage/attic storage areas after the move. Be sure to have a cooler(s) on hand to transport your refrigerated and frozen food the day of the move.
  11. Obtain a postal forwarding kit and request in advance that all mail be forwarded to the new address
  12. Inform the following of your new address and the date when the move will occur:
    • Bank(s)
    • Credit cards
    • Medical providers: doctors, dentists, therapists
    • Medical insurance company
    • Employers
    • Cell phone provider
    • Professional advisors: Financial advisor, accountant
    • Family
    • Friends (a just-moved email is appreciated by friends)

       

  13. Schedule a transfer of all utilities for the day of closing: so that your move will go smoothly:
    • Electric company
    • City gas and sewer
    • Internet
    • TV service
    • Telephone company
    • If moving to the county, retain a garbage service
  14. Consider/schedule ahead a friend, family member or nanny to assist with

    your children or pets the day of the move.

  15. Plan ahead for time off to obtain a certified check or to wire the money in advance for the amount of money your attorney or closing agent instructs you as necessary to close. If you are wiring money to the attorney’s account, try to do so the day before so that it will be received prior to your appointment. You should receive from him/her a HUD statement a few days to the day before closing, delineating the costs. If you have not been instructed on the amount to bring to settlement by the day before closing, be sure to call and find out so that you will be prepared.
  16. Be aware that many things can go wrong to delay closing, even when you are in the attorney or closing agent’s office. The delay is usually not more than one day (a reason not to have closing on Friday), but can take longer. So have a Plan B for where you will stay in case of this unpleasant eventuality. Many attorneys/closing agents do not allow you to have the keys and occupy the house until the transaction is recorded.
  17. 17. Pack. If you have children, let them help pack their own belongings and reassure them that everything will be put in their new room. Let them reserve a favorite toy, stuffed animal or book to keep with them in the car.
  18. Consider transporting your own valuables, and things you will need immediately:
    • Silver
    • Jewelry
    • Artwork
    • Food/snacks for children and dog
    • Toys, books for children
  19. Be alert and attentive when the movers unload your belongings. Orient them to the house, including the names of rooms as they relate to your labeled boxes. Direct them to put each piece off furniture and box in the room where you want it. Observe carefully that everything is unloaded and that nothing is missing or damaged.
  20. Unpack/set up the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom necessities first.
  21. Take care of yourself and your family with dinner (a good time to try a restaurant or order in?), showers and an early bedtime. Most of the unpacking can wait until tomorrow!

Disclaimer:  Hopefully, this list is helpful and as comprehensive as possible, although I do disclaim all liability for any inaccuracies or omissions.  Please let me know if you have suggestions for changes or additions.  Yates Nobles


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April 30th, 2014 4:32 PM

Note from Yates

One primary factor for the lowered number of home sales in March in the greater Charlottesville area was the spring snows!  Because our long, hard winter continued well into April, the next quarterly report may also be impacted by the weather...

Existing-Home Sales Remain Soft in March

Media Contact: Walter Molony / 202-383-1177 / Email

WASHINGTON (April 22, 2014) – Existing-home sales were essentially flat in March, while the growth in home prices moderated, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were offset by declines in the West and South.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in March from 4.60 million in February, and are 7.5 percent below the 4.96 million-unit pace in March 2013. Last month’s sales volume remained the slowest since July 2012, when it was 4.59 million.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that current sales activity is underperforming by historical standards. “There really should be stronger levels of home sales given our population growth,” he said. “In contrast, price growth is rising faster than historical norms because of inventory shortages.”

Yun expects some improvement in the months ahead. “With ongoing job creation and some weather delayed shopping activity, home sales should pick up, especially if inventory continues to improve and mortgage interest rates rise only modestly.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in March was $198,500, up 7.9 percent from March 2013. Distressed homes3 – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 14 percent of March sales, down from 16 percent in February and 21 percent in March 2013. “With rising home equity, we expect distressed homes to decline to a single-digit market share later this year,” Yun said.

Ten percent of March sales were foreclosures, and 4 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in March, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

Total housing inventory4 at the end of March rose 4.7 percent to 1.99 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 5.0 months in February. Unsold inventory is 3.1 percent above a year ago, when there was a 4.7-month supply.

The median time on market for all homes was 55 days in March, down from 62 days in February, and also 62 days on market in March 2013. Short sales were on the market for a median of 112 days in March, while foreclosures typically sold in 55 days and non-distressed homes took 53 days. Thirty-seven percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.34 percent in March from 4.30 percent in February; the rate was 3.57 percent in March 2013.

First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchases in March, up from 28 percent in February; they were 30 percent in March 2013.

NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc., Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio, said first-time buyers have been stuck in a rut. “There are indications that the stringent mortgage underwriting standards are beginning to ease a bit, particularly regarding credit score requirements, but they remain a headwind for entry-level and single-income home buyers,” he said.

“We also have tight inventory in the lower price ranges where many starter homes are found, but rising new-home construction means some owners will be trading up and more existing homes will be added to the inventory. Hopefully, this will create more opportunities for first-time buyers,” Brown said.

All-cash sales comprised 33 percent of transactions in March, compared with 35 percent in February and 30 percent in March 2013. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in March, down from 21 percent in February and 19 percent in March 2013. Seventy-one percent of investors paid cash in March.

Single-family home sales were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million in March, the same as February, but are 7.3 percent below the 4.36 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $198,200 in March, which is 7.4 percent above March 2013.

Existing condominium and co-op sales declined 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 550,000 units in March from 560,000 in February, and are 8.3 percent below the 600,000 level in March 2013. The median existing condo price was $200,800 in March, up 11.6 percent from a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 9.1 percent to an annual rate of 600,000 in March, but are 4.8 percent below March 2013. The median price in the Northeast was $244,700, up 3.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 4.0 percent in March to a pace of 1.04 million, but are 10.3 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $149,600, which is 5.9 percent above March 2013.

In the South, existing-home sales declined 3.0 percent to an annual level of 1.92 million in March, and also are 3.0 percent below March 2013. The median price in the South was $173,000, up 6.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 3.7 percent to a pace of 1.03 million in March, and are 13.4 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $289,300, which is 12.6 percent higher than March 2013.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on April 30th, 2014 4:32 PMLeave a Comment

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Home Sales in 2013 Rise to Strongest Level in 7 Years

The housing market has been experiencing a “healthy recovery” over the past two years, with home sales last year rising to the highest level since 2006, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' latest housing report

“Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates, and a large pent-up demand driving the market,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population.”

Existing-home sales rose 1 percent in December 2013 compared to November and reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million.

Existing-home sales for all of 2013 reached 5.02 million sales, 9.1 percent higher than 2012, and the largest rise since 2006 when sales were at 6.48 million at the close of the housing boom, NAR reports.  

Home prices were also on the rise in 2013, up 11.5 percent over 2012, with a median existing-home price of $197,100 last year compared to $176,800 in 2012. It was the strongest gain in home prices in a year since 2005, when home prices rose 12.4 percent, NAR reports.

NAR President Steve Brown says that with job growth expected this year, home sales should hold despite rising home prices and higher mortgage rates.

“The only factors holding us back from a stronger recovery are the ongoing issues of restrictive mortgage credit and constrained inventory,” Brown says. “With strict new mortgage rules in place, we will be monitoring the lending environment to ensure that financially qualified buyers can access the credit they need to purchase a home.”

Housing Recovery Regional Snapshot

Here’s a look at how existing-home sales fared in December and for the year across the country:

  • Northeast: Existing-home sales fell 1.5 percent in December but remain 3.2 percent higher than December 2012. Median price: $239,300, up 3.6 percent from year ago levels
  • Midwest: Existing-home sales dropped 4.3 percent in December and are 0.9 percent below year ago levels. Median price: $150,700, 7 percent higher than December 2012.
  • South: Existing-home sales rose 3 percent in December and are 4.6 percent higher than December 2012. Median price: $173,200, up 8.9 percent from a year ago.
  • West: Existing-home sales increased 4.8 percent, but are 10.7 percent below a year ago. Median price: $285,000, up 16.0 percent from December 2012.

By REALTOR® Magazine Daily News


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Posted by Yates Nobles on January 24th, 2014 1:41 PMLeave a Comment

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January 24th, 2014 1:39 PM

Lower Mortgage Rates Give Buyers Some Relief

For the second consecutive week, fixed-rate mortgages moved lower, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 23: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.39 percent, dropping from last week’s 4.41 percent average, with an average 0.7 point. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.42 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.44 percent, dropping from last week’s 3.45 percent average, with an average 0.7 point. A year ago at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.71 percent. 
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.15 percent, rising from last week’s 3.10 percent average, with an average 0.5 point. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.67 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs averaged 2.54 percent, dropping from last week’s 2.56 percent average, with an average 0.5 point. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.57 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac


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Posted by Yates Nobles on January 24th, 2014 1:39 PMLeave a Comment

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2013 Year-End Market Report by CAAR

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Charlottesville Area Year-End 2013 Highlights:

  • ?  Yearly home sales in Greater Charlottesville were up 10% over 2012, marking the second straight year of double-digit gains.

  • ?  The median sales price in 2013 was the highest level since 2008 and was 6.1% higher than in 2012.

  • ?  The median sales price in Q4-2013 was up 4.6% over Q4-2012, the third consecutive quarter with year-over-

    year gains.

  • ?  Half of homes sold in 2013 were on the market 54 days or less, the lowest median Days on Market since

    2006. The median DOM in Q4-2013 was 15 days lower than Q4-2012.

  • ?  New listings were up 6.4% in Q4-2013 compared to the same period in 2012, marking the fifth consecutive

    quarter with an annual gain.

  • ?  Active inventory at year end is 5.6% higher than year-end 2012.

    Copyright© 2014 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data provided by CAAR as of January 6, 2014. 2013 Home Sales

    There were 2,909 homes sold in the Greater Charlottesville area in 2013, which was up 10.1% (+266 sales) from 2012. This marked the second year in a row with significant gains in sales activity as the 2012 total was 14.9% higher than 2011. While the 601 sales in the 4th Quarter represented a 1% decline from Q4-2012, the prior two quarters had double-digit annual gains, +11.2% in Q2 and +25.9% in Q3.

For the year, Louisa (+35.6%), Nelson (+28.5%), Albemarle (+11.2%) and Fluvanna (+6.1%) had sales increases compared to 2012. Greene (-1.9%) showed a modest annual decrease while Charlottesville’s total was virtually identical to 2012 (-0.2%).

Copyright© 2014 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data provided by CAAR as of January 6, 2014. Days on Market (DOM)

As housing demand grew and interest rates remained low, the average length of time properties were on market has improved compared to recent years. Half of homes sold in 2013 were on the market 54 days or less, 18 days fewer than median DOM in 2012. Average DOM was 121 days, 23 days lower than last year’s level.

Five of the six counties had lower median DOM than 2012, with Louisa (+5 days) being the exception. Charlottesville homes sold the fastest, with half the homes sold in one month (31 days) or less. Albemarle had the second lowest level at 38 days. Louisa had a median DOM of 69 days while Greene and Fluvanna both had an 81-day level. Homes were on the market longest in Nelson County with median DOM of 153 days, however this was 47 days shorter compared to 2012.

Copyright© 2014 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data provided by CAAR as of January 6, 2014

Inventory

While 2013 marked the second consecutive year with double-digit gains in home sales, a new pattern began to emerge in supply: gains in inventory. Eleven of 12 months in 2013 saw more new listings added than in 2012 (November was the only exception). By contrast, only four of 12 months in 2012 had more new listings than the previous year. While 2012 posted a year-over-year decline of 5.9% in new listings, 2013 listings were up 8.7%. Though the monthly absorption rate grew in 2013, this uptick in listing activity ultimately led to year-over-year gains in the inventory level, beginning in August 2013. There are 1,850 active listings at year end, 5.6% higher than this time last year when there were 1,752 active listings.

Copyright© 2014 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data provided by CAAR as of January 6, 2014.

Home Prices

First Quarter median sales price in Greater Charlottesville appeared bottomed out at the lowest quarterly level since 2004 ($227,500), improving market conditions through the rest of the year, ultimately resulted in a 6.1% annual gain for the year. The $265,000 median sales price in 2013 represented the highest level since 2008. With consistent gains over the last three quarters, homeowners in the region are experiencing a positive trend.

“Recording double-digit gains in sales activity and several consecutive quarters of growth shows a solid Central Virginia real estate industry,” says CAAR 2014 President John Ince.

Albemarle (+9.6%) had the largest annual gain in median sales price in 2013. Charlottesville (+6.8%) and Nelson (+5.1%) also saw increases in pricing. Louisa (-1.6%), Greene (-2.6%) and Fluvanna (-5.6%) saw slight decreases in median sales price.

Copyright© 2014 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data provided by CAAR as of January 6, 2014.

Copyright© 2014 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data provided by CAAR as of January 6, 2014.

Pricing

Not surprisingly, the average percent of original list price sellers received at sale was higher in 2013 than 2012, with the average sales-to-original-list-price ratio up to 93.5% from 91.7%. This was the highest yearly level in Greater Charlottesville since 2007. Albemarle (94.9%) and Charlottesville (94.5%) led the region in this indicator. Nelson (88%) had the lowest level, though the county’s 88% mark was 4.1 points higher than its 83.9% level in 2012. Five of the six jurisdictions saw increases in the average sales-to-original-list price ratio, the only exception being Louisa, which was unchanged at 93.1%.

Copyright© 2014 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data provided by CAAR as of January 6, 2014. Attached vs. Detached Homes

The median sales price for detached homes in Greater Charlottesville in 2013 was up 2.3% from 2012 to $285,000 while the median price for attached homes rose 12.5% to $213,750. The 690 attached homes sold in 2013 represented a 7.6% increase compared to 2012, while the 2,219 detached home sales represented an annual gain of 10.8%. Attached homes sold more quickly, with an average DOM of 112 days and a median DOM of 46. Detached homes sold in 124 days on average, with a median DOM of 58.



Year-End Housing Metrics [Greater Charlottesville Area]

Statistical comparisons are performed using "snapshots" to allow for data to be compared to each other in a consistent fashion. Similar timelines for the data are used to create the snapshots, allowing an accurate comparison to be made.

If you plan to sell a home in 2014, be sure to have a REALTOR® prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) so that you can price it to sell. And, if you are looking to buy, a REALTOR® can help you understand the current market and evaluate your options.

This 2013 Year-End Market Report is produced by the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® using data from the CAAR MLS. For more information on this report or the real estate market, pick up a copy of the CAAR Real Estate Weekly, visit www.caar.com, or contact your REALTOR®.



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Posted by Yates Nobles on January 14th, 2014 11:30 PMLeave a Comment

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Header
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$5,106,000.00
Chateau de Bussiere, Loches, France

Loches,



Beds: 12 Rooms: 24
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  Visit this listing here

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Posted by Yates Nobles on December 30th, 2013 3:17 PMLeave a Comment

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November 21st, 2013 11:37 PM

How to Organize Your Refrigerator

By: Courtney Craig

Published: October 30, 2012

Leftovers gobbling up space in your refrigerator? Here are some tips for keeping things organized, efficient, and tasty.

Front and center

Give prime fridge space to priority items, says professional organizer Kathi Burns, founder of Add Space to Your Life.

“If you want leftovers to be eaten, keep them front and center on the middle rack, at eye level,” says Burns. “That goes for healthy snacks, too. If you have leftovers, don’t cram them in the back.”

For large food items, slice and store in several containers, says professional organizer Abbey Claire Keusch. If your refrigerator has adjustable shelves, you can move them around for specific items. Have a plan for the food you keep.



Not everything needs chilling

Did you know that ketchup, vinegar, jam, and even mayonnaise and butter don’t need to be refrigerated? If you’re tight on fridge space, these items and more can go in the pantry instead.

And if you have backyard chickens, the eggs you get from them don’t need to be refrigerated, although store-bought eggs do (American regulations require eggs to be power-washed before selling, which strips eggshells of their protective coating, so store-bought eggs have to be refrigerated to stay fresh).

The only items that really need to go in the fridge are meats, dairy products, and certain vegetables (unless you’re going to eat them right away).

Items that should never go in the refrigerator include:

  • Tomatoes (they’ll get mushy faster if they’re cold).
  • Onions (they’ll soften, plus all your other food will smell like onions).
  • Honey (it’ll get too thick).
  • Potatoes (cold temperatures turn starches into sugars, giving your taters a sweet flavor when you cook them, and not in a good way).

Go against the flow

Today’s refrigerators are designed to be organized a certain way — condiments in the door, vegetables in the crisper, gallon of milk on the center rack. But it doesn’t have to be that way, Burns says.

“For busy families, I recommend a ‘lunch bin’ that you can pull out,” she says. “Keep the mayo, mustard, pickles, meat, and cheese in there, so you can just pull it out and make a sandwich. It’s easy for kids. You can create a bin for healthy snacks, too, or a breakfast bin with bagels and cream cheese.”

Pulling out one bin instead of many individual items is faster, too, so your refrigerator door doesn’t stay open as long. For smaller refrigerators that don’t have drawers, long, rectangular bins can be used for easy organizing.

“Same goes for the freezer — just use a Tupperware bin for frozen veggies, so you can pull out all the bags of veggies in one fell swoop,” Burns says. “It works really well.”

Hip to be square
   
Refrigerators are more efficient when they’re fuller, but that doesn’t mean you should cram as much stuff in there as possible. Square or rectangular containers are the way to go for leftovers — they’re easily stackable and fit into corners neatly.

“Stay away from round containers,” says Burns. “That’s just wasted space.”


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Posted by Yates Nobles on November 21st, 2013 11:37 PMLeave a Comment

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August 2013 Real Estate Market Statistics for

Greater Charlottesville


StatisticValuesYoYMoM
Total Sold Dollar Volume$77,670,393+7.72%-22.27%
Closed Sales253+18.78%-17.05%
Median Sold Price$254,000+7%-8.96%
Avg Sold Price$306,998-9.31%-6.29%
Avg Days on Market97 days-14.16%-19.83%
Avg Sold to Orig List Ratio93.4%+2.77%-0.96%
10 miles
10 miles
Road
Aerial
H
  1. >














County
Median Sold
Price
YoY
Change
MoM
Change
 
Albemarle $319,92418.93%0.01%
Fluvanna $172,4750.72%-1.44%
Louisa $181,000-32.34%-4.74%
Charlottesville City $244,0007.37%-13.01%
Greene $181,100-25.76%-23.55%
Nelson $198,500-27.82%-35.45%

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Posted by Yates Nobles on September 21st, 2013 7:27 PMLeave a Comment

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Recently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a much anticipated rule that finally gets the ball rolling on reform of the mortgage finance industry. Investors fled the market following the housing bust, reducing the flow of financing to borrowers. Likewise, many homebuyers were sold mortgage products that were untenable, resulting in damaged credit and lost savings. Transparency, verification and documentation are keys to restoring confidence from investors and homebuyers. The majority of the market will benefit from the new QM rule, but a subset of the market will likely face higher prices or lose access to financing all together.

The Qualified Mortgage rule, or QM, lays out basic requirements for lender underwriting. In short, the originator of the loan must verify all sources of income and assets and verify that the borrower has the ability to repay the mortgage (ATR). A number of loan types are prohibited from receiving the QM status including those with negative amortization (balloon payments), interest-only features, as well as those with durations greater than 30-years. Finally, there is a cap on fees that lenders can charge of 3% (with an exception for loans under $100,000) and the back-end debt to income ratio (DTI) must be less than or equal to 43%.

Mortgages that qualify as a QM will be further bisected by those that have a rate 1.5% above the prime borrowing rate and those that do not. Loans below the 1.5% will receive special legal status known as a safe harbor, where the borrower in default must first prove that their loan was not affordable when originated in order to sue the lender. If the loan is QM and above the 1.5% rate threshold, then there is a rebuttable presumption where the lender must prove that the borrower had the ability to repay. Under the rebuttable presumption, even if the lender can prove the loan met the ATR, the lender incurs legal costs making the case of $70,000 to $110,000 [1] according to some industry analysts, while others analysts argue that the incidence of claims would be extremely low [2]. However, if the lender cannot demonstrate that the borrower had the ability to repay, then the lender faces new enhanced legal fees. Furthermore, the borrower’s ability to fight the foreclosure applies for the life of the loan, which would extend foreclosure timelines, increasing costs to banks. Lending outside of either definition of a QM may be sparse as the lender would have to raise rates further to compensate for litigation risk since these would fall outside either definition of a QM loan; these higher rates might then reach HOEPA limits.

So, who will fall outside the QM?

  • Jumbo loan users with DTIs greater than 43%, which is estimated to be roughly 0.5% to 1.0% [3] of the entire market.
  • Mortgages where fees are greater than the 3% cap – this is difficult to quantify, but it could be a large portion of the market. Still, lenders can “pay for” some costs by including them in a higher rate, so long as it is under the 1.5% cap, thereby ameliorating the impact to the market.
  • Borrowers who use interest-only or negative amortization loans. Some estimates have this portion of the market in the range of 15%. However, this type of financing is commonly used by wealthier individuals with large reserves who can shift to different financing options.
  • Borrowers with interest rates 1.5% or more above the average prime borrowing rate are roughly 4.9% [4] of the purchase market and just 0.04% [5] of the jumbo segment. Some borrowers in the conforming space may be able to shift to FHA, which is seeking an exemption to this point, but more borrowers may be pushed into this space if banks finance origination costs to comply with the 3% cap.
  • The subprime market will be more restricted. The FHA will likely be the only option for borrowers with a FICO less than 620 and DTI over 43% as the FHA recently rescinded the ability to process these loans through automated underwriting.

The Impact on Today’s Market

Lenders can use the automated underwriting models of the GSEs and FHA to vet mortgages that are not financed by the government since there is currently no automated underwriting for a QM loan. However, jumbo loans will have to be manually underwritten as there is no automated underwriting for jumbos. As a result, these may take more time or cost slightly more to compensate originators for the underwriting costs and risk of writing to the QM definition.

In time, though, the FHA, USDA, and VA will derive their own QM definitions and the GSEs could come out of conservatorship. When this happens, loans not meeting the new QM definitions established by the government agencies will need to meet the narrower QM definition. By that time, it is hoped that lenders will have more confidence in making non-QM loans. In the near term, this final rule should help to stimulate some bank and investor demand for non-government backed QM mortgages as it clarifies and boosts protections for lenders and who make loans and hold them in portfolio or shelve them for securitization.

An interesting outcome of the new QM rule is that it will raise the importance of the high-cost loan limits that delineate the maximum limits at which the GSEs and FHA can lend. In high cost areas like California, New York City or Washington, DC, many borrowers may not be able to use the government programs or their automated underwriting programs. As a result down payment may rise as buyers with DTIs greater than 43% seek to reduce mortgages below conforming limits in order to avoid the more strict 43% limit on QM loans in the jumbo space. First-time buyers in these areas may be the biggest casualty, as this group may not have the resources to increase down payment. As a result, the loan limits will play an increasingly important role as home prices rise over the next decade. Worse yet, if loan limits were to decline, a larger portion of the market would fall outside the QM.

In addition, for safety and expediency, lenders are likely to defer to the agency’s automated underwriting (AU) systems in the near term. This shift places more importance on how the AUs are defined by the agencies going forward.

After nearly two years of waiting, the final QM rule has been released. While some aspects of the rule will limit market activity, the long awaited clarity will likely help to stimulate demand. However, before investors come back in strength, the market will need additional clarity as to what mortgages will meet the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule, which dictates the type of mortgages that can be securitized and sold as MBS without risk retention, and how the Basel III rule will affect the treatment of loans and mortgage servicing rights on bank balance sheets. Still, the finish line is in sight for regulatory reform.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on June 17th, 2013 1:41 PMLeave a Comment

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Charlottesville Area 1st Quarter 2013 Highlights:

? Overall sales in Greater Charlottesville were up 6.3% over the same quarter last year, resulting in the highest
Q1 sales rate since 2007.
? Half of the homes sold in Q1-2013 were on the market 94 days or less, representing nearly a 1-month
improvement over the median days on market (DOM) in the same quarter last year of 120 days.
? The average sales price of $276,795 in the 1st Quarter was down 1.2% from Q1-2012.


Copyright (c) 2013 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Data Source: CAAR MLS. Statistics calculated April 4, 2013.

1st Quarter 2013 Sales Activity

There were 492 homes sold in the Charlottesville area in the first quarter, which was up 6.3% (+29 sales) from the first
quarter last year and the highest Q1 sales rate since 2007. Though the average sales price dropped a nominal 1.2% from
Q1-2012, this increase in closed sales resulted in a 5% year-over-year increase in sold dollar volume (+$6.4M) to
$136,183,295.

Louisa County (19 more sales than Q1-2012) and Nelson County (18 more sales than Q1-2012) both had big spikes in sales
compared to Q1-2012, increasing by 70.4% to 46 sales and 51.4% to 53 sales respectively. Fluvanna (+25.8%) picked up
16 more sales to record 78 while Greene (+6.8%) also posted a year-over-year increase (+6.8%). Charlottesville (-22.0%)
experienced the largest decline in sales volume from Q1-2012 levels with 18 fewer sales. Albemarle (-4.2%) also saw a
decline in sales volume, with the 213 sales in the quarter representing 9 fewer sales than Q1-2012.

Days on Market (DOM)

Historically, homes tend to take longest to sell in the 1st Quarter than the rest of the year. Q1-2013 was no exception as
the median DOM increased to 94 days from the 80-day level of Q4-2012. This represents a 26-day improvement over the
same quarter last year, however, and is the lowest 1st Quarter median DOM since 2009. The median DOM has dropped by
an average 40% from the 1st Quarter to 2nd Quarter over the previous 5 years, so sellers with accurately priced homes
should expect to see a contract well before this 94-day mark in the coming quarter.

Homes sold fastest, based on median DOM levels, in Charlottesville (48 days). Greene (78 days), Albemarle (81 days) and
Louisa (88 days) also had a lower median DOM than the region at large. Fluvanna (109 days) and Nelson (197 days) both
had a higher median DOM than the Charlottesville area cumulative level.

For the Greater Charlottesville region, attached homes continue to sell faster than detached homes. The median DOM of
78 for attached homes was down 23 days (-22.8%) over the Q1-2012 level. The median DOM of 97 days for detached
homes is a noticeable drop of 21.8% compared to Q1-2012, selling in 27 fewer days.

There was a modest 1.7% year-over-year increase in the average DOM for Greater Charlottesville, with a 3-day increase
to 170 days.

Contract Activity & Volatile Inventory of Homes for Sale

The 856 new pending sales recorded this quarter
represented a 6.1% increase over the 807 in Q1-2012.
While some of these pending sales may have closed
during the quarter and a portion still under contract
heading into the second quarter, the fact that this tally
was 27.3% higher than the 5-year Q1 average (673 new
pendings) indicates contract activity is heating up
heading into the spring season. “It's great to see the
increase in home sales and pending contracts across
our market area in Q1-2013,” reports CAAR 2013
President Denise Ramey. “The high number of pending
contracts bodes well for strong home sale numbers in
Q2 and 2013.”

With 1,430 new listings added in Q1-2013, new listing
activity was up 10.8% compared to Q1-2012, the
second consecutive quarter with significant gains in new listing activity (Q4-2012 new listings were 9.4% more than Q4-
2011). There were 11.3% fewer distressed properties listed throughout the quarter compared to Q1-2012, while the
1,312 non-distressed new listings entered this quarter represented a 13.3% increase. Every area except for Charlottesville
(-4.5%) had a double-digit year-over-year percent increase in new listing activity during the quarter, including a 10.2%
increase in Albemarle.

After four consecutive quarters ending with double-digit year-over-year declines in active inventory, the 2,068 homes for
sale to end the quarter represent only 3.9% fewer active listings than at this time last year. Of active listings, 115 are
foreclosures or short sales, only 15 fewer than this time last year, but 70 fewer than at the end of Q1-2011 (-37.9%).
“The continued reduction of distressed properties gives us an eye into the due diligence on the part of homeowners,
buyers, REALTORS® and lenders in supporting the recovery of the market,” says CAAR 2013 President-Elect John Ince.
The 61 active foreclosure listings at the end of Q1 represent a 26.2% decrease from this time last year though the 70
active short sales are 1 more than the 69 listed at the end of Q1-2012.

Home Prices

The $227,500 median sale price in the 1st Quarter
was essentially unchanged from the $230,000
level of Q1-2012. There was fluctuation across the
various counties, with Greene’s median sale price
increasing 41.8% to $249,900 and Nelson
decreasing 25.5% to $197,000. Albemarle, the
area with the highest median sale price at
$285,250, experienced a 2.5% year-over-year
decline. The City of Charlottesville had the second
highest annual gain in the 1st Quarter, with a
median sale price of $239,250 representing an
18.4% increase over the Q1-2012 level. Louisa
(-19.4%) and Fluvanna (-10.2%) both saw double-
digit declines in median sale price.

“Pricing across our market area is mixed. Buyers
are offered fewer choices in some areas due to
lower inventory levels and that has driven median prices up,” adds Denise Ramey.

Distressed Sales and Pricing

Only 66 of the 492 sales in the 1st Quarter, or 9.6%, were foreclosures. This represents 24 fewer foreclosure sales versus
Q1-2012, when foreclosures accounted for 19.4% of sales. The number of short sales was decreased by 5 compared to
the Q1-2012 total, though the share of sales was up fractionally, from 5.4% to 6%. Non-distressed properties accounted
for 84% of all homes sold, up from 75% in Q1-2012.

The median sale price for non-distressed sales was down 8.6% from Q1-2012 to $247,750 while the foreclosure level was
down 9.1% to $119,625. The median price for the short sale segment was up $25,000, or +16.7%, to $175,000.

Market Share by Bank-Mediated Status

Detached vs. Attached Homes in Greater Charlottesville

Q1 sales of detached homes in the area were up 10.2% (+36) from Q1-2012 to 388. The 104 attached homes (condos and
townhouses) sold represented a slight decrease (-6.3% or 7 sales) from the 111 sold in Q1-2012. Detached homes saw a
1% dip in median sale price, with the $244,500 level representing a $2,500 difference. With a median sale price of
$183,520, attached home prices declined 4.9% on a year-over-year basis.



If you plan to sell a home in 2013, be sure to have a REALTOR® prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) so that you
can price it to sell. And, if you are looking to buy, a REALTOR® can help you understand the current market and evaluate
your options.

This 2013 1st Quarter Market Report is produced by the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® using data from
the CAAR MLS. For more information on this report or the real estate market, pick up a copy of the CAAR Real Estate
Weekly, visit www.caar.com, or contact your REALTOR®.

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Posted by Yates Nobles on April 15th, 2013 5:28 PMLeave a Comment

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April 14th, 2013 10:00 AM

3 Reasons to Sell Your House Today! (Part I)

by The KCM Crew on April 8, 2013 · 1 comment

This week, we are going to look at three reasons to sell your house now instead of waiting: demand is strong, supply is low and new construction will soon be your competition. – The KCM Crew

Part I – Demand for Real Estate is Much Stronger This Year

HouseKeysBlueWhen selling anything, owners can only hope there is a strong demand for that which they are selling. The great news for today’s home sellers is that the current housing market is experiencing a stronger demand than we have seen in some time.

The  spring housing market of 2013 is projected to be one of the best in years.

Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports monthly on both pending sales (houses going into contract) and existing home sales (actual closed sales).

In the first quarter of 2013, pending sales have consistently outperformed the numbers reported in 2012. Contract activity has been above year-ago levels for the past 22 months. Before this year, the last time the index showed a higher reading was in April 2010, shortly before the deadline for the home buyer tax credit.

NAR also revealed that closed home sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months and sales are at the highest level since the tax credit period of 2009-2010.

Impact on Sellers

This increase in demand has created bidding wars for properly priced homes across the country. This has resulted in two favorable changes for home sellers:

  1. They are receiving offers closer to (if not greater than) the list price.
  2. The average days it takes to sell a home has dropped by over 20% from last year.

If you are thinking about selling your home, don’t miss out on the strong demand that exists in the current spring market.


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April 14th, 2013 9:55 AM

Financial Reasons to Buy a Home NOW! (Part I)

by The KCM Crew on March 25, 2013 · 1 comment

This week, we are going to look at the three financial reasons to buy a home now instead of waiting: prices are rising at an accelerated rate, interest rates are increasing and rents are skyrocketing. – The KCM Crew

Part I – Prices Are Rising at an Accelerated Rate

prices upThe price of a home is the major consideration when deciding whether or not it makes financial sense to purchase a house. Experts are not only projecting that house values will increase in 2013. They are also more optimistic in the level of appreciation they are projecting as the market begins to heat up. Here are some examples:

The Home Price Expectation Survey

The latest survey of a nationwide panel of 118 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists reveals they project home values to end 2013 up an average of 4.6% according to the first quarter. This is after they had projected a 3.1% increase just three months ago.

Bank of America

In a report titled, Someone Say House Party?, Bank of America analysts revised their projections upward:

“Home prices continue to show momentum amid shrinking inventory and record high affordability, prompting us to revise up our original forecast of 4.7% for home prices this year. We now expect national home prices, as defined by the S&P Case Shiller home price index, to increase 8% this year.”

Capital Economics

According to a report in DSNews, Capital Economics also upgraded their prediction:

“Strong demand and tight inventory have brought existing home sales back to ‘normal’ levels, and further gains are possible, according to the latest market report from Capital Economics. Additionally, market conditions may prompt lenders to “loosen the purse strings slightly” and lend a little more freely.

These conditions, combined with broader economic indicators, lead Capital Economics to revise its previous forecast of a 5% price gain this year up to 8%.”

Morgan Stanley

In an article from HousingWire, Morgan Stanley joined the party:

“Strong momentum in home prices as well as housing activity gave Morgan Stanley analysts enough confidence to upgrade their home price appreciation projections to roughly 7% (from 5%) for 2013, according to its latest global securitized credit report…

“The momentum in most metrics of housing activity is running well ahead of the pace we had expected,” said James Egan, Jose Cambronero and Vishwanath Tirupattur, analysts for Morgan Stanley.”

Not only are prices projected to appreciate. Experts are actually revising their projections upward as demand maintains its momentum.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on April 14th, 2013 9:55 AMLeave a Comment

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June 7th, 2012 12:03 PM

Home prices up for 2nd straight month in April

CoreLogic plugging MLS data into new pending home sale price index

By Inman News
Inman News®

U.S. home prices rose on both an annual and monthly basis for the second month in a row in April, according to a home-price index compiled by data aggregator CoreLogic.

Prices increased 1.1 percent in April compared to April 2011 and 2.2 percent compared to revised figures for March. When distressed sales -- short sales and real estate owned (REO) properties -- are excluded, prices jumped 1.9 percent year over year and 2.6 percent month to month.

With this report, CoreLogic also introduced a pending home price index based on recent prices changes gleaned from multiple listing service data. That index forecasts that home prices rose another 2 percent between April and May, CoreLogic said.

Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic's president and CEO, said in a statement that the increases are a sign "the housing market is stabilizing."

"Home prices are responding to a restricted supply that will likely exist for some time to come -- an optimistic sign for the future of our industry."

Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist, said in a statement that, when distressed sales are excluded, home prices in March and April improved at a rate not seen since late 2006 and faster than in 2010, when a federal tax credit program boosted sales.

"Nationally, the supply of homes in current inventory is down to 6.5 months, a level not seen in more than five years, in part driven by the 'locked in' position of so many homeowners in negative equity," he said.

Of the 100 most populous metro areas in the country, 44 saw year-over-year price declines in April, down 10 from March, CoreLogic said. Six of the 10 largest markets saw price increases with the Phoenix metro leading the pack.

10 most populous metro markets, ranked by percent price change in April:

Core-based statistical area (CBSA)
Single-family change from year ago
Excluding distressed
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. -7.3% -1.1%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. -5.3% 1.9%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. -1.4% 0.3%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. -0.5% 1.2%
New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. 1.3% 1.7%
Philadelphia, Pa. 1.7% 3.0%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas 2.0% 3.6%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. 2.8% 3.1%
Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas 3.5% 5.4%
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. 11.3% 7.0%

Source: CoreLogic

The five areas to see the biggest annual price jumps in April, including distressed sales, were Arizona (up 8.8 percent), Washington, D.C. (6.4 percent), Florida (5.5 percent), Montana (5.4 percent), and Utah (5.4 percent), CoreLogic said.

The five states to see the sharpest annual decreases were Delaware (-11.9 percent), Illinois (-6.8 percent), Alabama (-6.6 percent), Rhode Island (-6.2 percent), and Georgia (-5.6 percent).


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Here in Charlottesville, we have turned the corner on the real estate slump onto the path of brisker sales, somewhat lowered inventory, less foreclosures and less average days on the market.  At last we see signs that the national real estate recovery is in process as well.  Please see below for the National Association of Realtors' perspective on the changing market.   

If you are considering making a move, please contact me and I will help you with the transition.

 Yates  434-996-0888  yates@yatesnobles.com

National Housing Recovery:

March Pending Home Sales Rise


Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, April 26, 2012
Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, another signal the housing market is recovering, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1 percent to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February and is 12.8 percent above March 2011 when it was 89.9.  The data reflects contracts but not closings.

The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said 2012 is expected to be a year of recovery for housing.  “First quarter sales closings were the highest first quarter sales in five years.  The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good,” he said.

“The housing market has clearly turned the corner.  Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the county, which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses,” Yun said.

Pending Home Sales Index by Region:

Northeast: slipped 0.8 percent to 78.2 in March but is 21.1 percent above March 2011.

Midwest: declined 0.9 percent to 93.3 but is 16.9 percent higher than a year ago.

South: rose 5.9 percent to an index of 114.1 in March and are 10.6 percent above March 2011.

West: increased 8.7 percent in March to 108.0 and is 9.0 percent above a year ago.

Source: NAR

 


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Posted by Yates Nobles on April 26th, 2012 2:55 PMLeave a Comment

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Overview of the Charlottesville Area Real Estate Market, 1st Quarter 2012:


? Median sales price for Greater Charlottesville is down 2.7% from Q1-2011 to $230,000
? Overall sales in the region are up 9.2% over the first quarter last year.
? Homes sold eight days faster on average compared to Q1-2011, down to 167 days on market (DOM) from 175.
? Top three ares for sales in Q1-2012 were Albemarle, Charlottesville and Fluvanna counties.


Charlottesville Area March 2012 Highlights:


? The 186 homes sold in March 2012 was the highest March level since 2008.
? The 294 new contracts signed are 21.5% higher than the same period last year.
? The median sales price of $242,250 represents a 7.8% year-over-year increase.

1st Quarter 2012 Sales & Contract Activity


There were 463 homes sold in the Charlottesville area in the first quarter, which was up 9.2% (+39 sales) from the first quarter last year.

Fluvanna (+40.9%) had the largest year-over-year increase, while Greene (+18.9%), Charlottesville (+15.5%), and Albemarle (+8.1%) also showed annual gains for the quarter. Nelson (-22.2%) and Louisa (-10.0%) experienced declines from Q1-2011 levels.


Q1 sales of detached homes in the area were up 11.0% from Q1-2011 to 390. There were 111 attached homes (condos and townhomes) sold, representing a 3.7% year-over-year increase.

Days on Market (DOM)

Homes sold eight days faster on average in the 1st Quarter than Q1-2011, down from an average days on market (DOM) of 175 to 167 days. Louisa homes had an average DOM of 112 for the quarter, the lowest in the region. Charlottesville had the largest decrease in average DOM for the quarter, down 44 days from the Q1-2011 level to 125 days.


Half of the homes sold in March were on the market for 108 days or less, consistent with the 106 median DOM in March 2011. Charlottesville had the lowest median DOM for March, with half the homes sold being on the market for 33 days or less. Louisa County had the second lowest median DOM, with half sold listings in March being on the market for 59 days or less. Fluvanna homes sold in March were on the market longest, with half taking 217 days or longer to sell. In a market such as this, with over 12 months of supply, real estate professionals understand the critical role pricing plays.


Sales Price Activity & Decreasing Inventory of Homes for Sale

The 2,152 homes for sale to end the quarter represent the lowest March level since 2006 and are 14.7% lower than at this time last year. “Our consistent increase in pending sales is encouraging news, as our inventory of homes continues to drop into twelve months of active inventory,” says Brad Conner, CAAR 2012 President. “We are also encouraged in the three months of price stability in Albemarle sales for the first quarter, despite the balancing effect of continued downward pressure on prices in the Charlottesville market.”

Home Prices


The $230,000 median sale price in the 1st Quarter declined 2.7% from the Q1-2011 level. Albemarle, however, experienced a 16.6% increase, up to $293,814 from $252,000 last year. Half of the areas experienced a significant gain in median sale price in March – Nelson ($231,500) was up 30.8% over March 2011, Albemarle ($305,000) was up 21.3% and Louisa ($240,000) was up 14.8% year-over-year. Fluvanna’s median sale price was flat year-over-year at $185,000 in March, while Greene ($241,000) was down 6.1%. Charlottesville experienced the most significant decline, down 11.1% to $200,000 in March 2012.


The average sale price for all homes sold in Greater Charlottesville in the 1st Quarter was down 7.5% year-over-year. The average sale price for attached homes was down a nominal 1.6% versus Q1-2011 to $209,304; the average sale price for detached homes dipped a more substantial 9.3% year-over-year to $302,614.


Analysis of Charlottesville Short Sale and Foreclosures:

Only 130 active listings are foreclosures or short sales, down 29.8% from the 185 that were active at the end of Q1-2011. Bank-mediated properties account for just 6.0% of the active market, down slightly from a 7.3% share last year. The 61 active foreclosure listings heading into April represented a 33.0% decrease from this time last year and the 69 active short sales were 26.6% lower.
“We are certainly tracking these transactions closely,” says Denise Ramey, CAAR 2012 Vice-President. “While our market tends to perform better than national forecasts, it is too soon to tell if we will reverse the anticipated trend of a significant uptick in these sales.”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Price sensitivity is still a key factor in this market despite lower inventory and increased sales in sub-markets. If you plan to sell a home in 2012, be sure to have a REALTOR® prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) so that you can price it to sell. And, if you are looking to buy, a REALTOR® can help you understand the current market and evaluate your options.


This 2012 1st Quarter Market Report is produced by the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® using data from the CAAR MLS. For more information on this report or the real estate market, pick up a copy of the CAAR Real Estate Weekly, visit www.caar.com, or contact your REALTOR®.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on April 16th, 2012 9:21 PMLeave a Comment

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Charlottesville has a wonderful program whereby Cville city residents can receive a $100 rebate each for as many as three 3.5 to 7 gallon toilets that they replace with low-flow 1.6 gallon toilets.  This saves money both with replacement cost and on the monthly bill with reduced water usage.

To benefit from this program, go to: http://www.charlottesville.org/Index.aspx?page=679 and at the bottom of that site you will find the hyperlink for the rebate form.  The rebate can be issued either as a check or as a credit to your bill. 


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Posted by Yates Nobles on April 4th, 2012 6:38 PMLeave a Comment

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March 7th, 2012 12:22 PM

I believe that in the Charlottesville area we have passed the bottom-out of the housing market, stabilized, and are beginning the climb back up.   It is time to buy as soon as possible before the market surges forward.   I suspect that prices will begin to inch up this spring, given the pent up demand and other factors:

  • Locally, we are experiencing a surge in listings and sales. 
  • The inflated inventory we have carried the past few years has diminished somewhat, which means that there are fewer homes on the market .  This  increases competition in bidding and reduces days on the market especially for property in good condition and priced well. 
  • The number of short sales and foreclosures has declined, though many are still available for Buyers with patience to seek a good deal through short sales and foreclosures.   These properties often a home require much work and are characterized by a long and unpredictable purchase process.
  • Most area localities have reassessed property at reduced values, often arguably lower than true market value, which Realtors and Sellers are noting while pricing.
  • Most homes have been coming on the market priced aggressively, with Sellers willing to negotiate price during the negotiation process.  However, I am seeing Sellers beginning to hold a bit more firm in pricing and negotiation and expect this trend to accelerate during 2012.
  • Mortgage rates are still at historic lows and credit is loosening somewhat, though it is still essential to have a good debt/assets ratio and a good credit rating.  There are some interesting new loan programs available to help the prospective homeowner purchase without having a high down payment.  I have had several clients lately who were astonished when they sought pre-approval of a mortgage loan to find that they can qualify to buy a home, and with payments cheaper than the rent they presently pay due to the very low interest rates.  Investors, too, are finding that at last they can purchase property in this area for rental that will produce a positive cash flow.

Nationally, the financial guru Warren Buffet has recently swayed in favor of real estate investment:

In The Warren Buffett Way, author Robert Hagstrom, Jr. introduces the principles behind Mr. Buffett’s investments.  Buffett is always looking for long term prospects, buys at a good price, and looks for return on equity.

Mr. Buffett suggests that now is good time to buy residential real estate. I certainly agree.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 — Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” recently that he’d “buy up a couple hundred thousand” single-family homes if it was practical.

Buffett said that’s because he believes purchasing a home with ultra-low mortgage rates and holding it for the long-term has become a better investment than stocks right now.

“Housing will come back, you can be sure of that,” Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders recently.

Please contact me if you would like to experience the new possibilities for home ownership or investment.

yates@yatesnobles.com     or    434-996-0888  Hope to hear from you soon!  Yates

 

 

 


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March 2nd, 2012 9:41 PM

January Pending Home Sales Rise, Market on Uptrend

Washington, DC, February 27, 2012

Pending home sales are on an upward trend, which has been uneven but meaningful since reaching a cyclical low last April, and are well above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December and is 8.0 percent higher than January 2011 when it was 89.8. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

The January index is the highest since April 2010 when it reached 111.3 as buyers were rushing to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said this is a hopeful indicator going into the spring home-buying season. “Given more favorable housing market conditions, the trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year. With a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory, this would bring about a broad price stabilization or even modest national price growth, of course with local variations.”

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 7.6 percent to 78.2 in January and is 9.8 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 3.8 percent to 88.1 but is 10.8 percent higher than January 2011. Pending home sales in the South increased 7.7 percent to an index of 109.1 in January and are 10.5 percent above a year ago. In the West the index fell 4.4 percent in January to 101.9 but is 0.7 percent above January 2011.

“Movements in the index have been uneven, reflecting the headwinds of tight credit, but job gains, high affordability and rising rents are hopefully pushing the market into what appears to be a sustained housing recovery,” Yun said. “If and when credit availability conditions return to normal, home sales will likely get a 15 percent boost, speed up the home-price recovery, and thereby significantly reduce the number of homeowners who are underwater.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy.

Also released today are annual data revisions. Each February, NAR Research incorporates a normal review of seasonal activity factors and fine-tunes historic data for the past three years based on the most recent findings. There are no changes to unadjusted or annual data.
The home buyer tax credit and a greater investor share in winter months likely contributed to a larger-than-normal adjustment to the seasonal factors.

NOTE: Existing-home sales for February will be reported March 21 and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be released March 26. The Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering transactions in 2011, is scheduled for March 29; all release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section. Statistical data in this release, other tables and surveys also may be found by clicking on Research.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on March 2nd, 2012 9:41 PMLeave a Comment

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Closing Costs - reprinted from REBAC

Closing costs are simply the fees associated with 1) purchasing a home, 2) borrowing money, and 3) preparing paperwork to finalize the sale. Your total closing costs will vary depending on where your new home is located, what type of property you are buying, the price of your home and the complexity of the transaction.

It is extremely important that you work closely with your buyer’s representative in the early stages of your home search to estimate what these costs could be, since closing costs can easily represent thousands of dollars.

The main categories are:

Discount points to buy down the mortgage

If you want to reduce the ongoing cost of your mortgage over the life of the loan, you’ll want to consider this optional fee. Amounts can vary significantly, from 0.5 to 3 points on the total mortgage amount. This is a one-time charge that is fully deductible as mortgage interest.

Costs for originating the mortgage

This generally includes a variety of fees such as the loan origination fee, the appraisal fee and the cost of credit reports. Other related closing fees may include hazard and mortgage insurance, and interest accrued on the mortgage between closing date and the end of the month.

Taxes and other local fees

Charges will vary according to local government requirements. Some may demand that property taxes be pro-rated according to when you officially own your home. You may also be required to pay personal property taxes, homeowner’s association dues, and other assessments that are specific to the area that you are moving into.

Documentation costs

You will have to pay for any research involving public records and title history for your new property. This insures that the title is unencumbered by other ownership claims or liens and can be delivered to you at closing. Other costs include recording and transfer fees, which cover legally recording the deed to your name.



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Posted by Yates Nobles on February 20th, 2012 3:43 PMLeave a Comment

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February 20th, 2012 3:41 PM

Comparing Schools

A good public school system can be an important consideration for home buyers, even if you don’t have school-aged children. That’s because good schools can enhance the resale value of your home and make it more attractive to a broader pool of buyers and tenants.

To conduct your own comparisons, go to
School Match, which offers school research and data consulting services. Here you’ll find test scores, student-teacher ratios, spending and education levels for residents, and more.

School Match provides verified school data, as opposed to self-reported data, which can lead to various misinterpretations. Data that has been independently verified allows you to make better school district comparisons before you move.

Another source to check out for all schools, including private schools, is:

www.greatschools.org/virginia/

For public schools:

http://www.publicschoolreview.com

To dig deeper, you can check out the local school system sites:

Charlottesville: 
http:www.ccs.k12.va.us/about/assessment-data.html

Albemarle Co: http://www..k12albemarle.org

Nelson Co:  http://www.nelson.k12.va.us/

Louisa Co:  http://www.lcps.k12.va.us

Fluvanna Co:  http://www.co.fluvanna.va.us/school

Greene Co:  http://www.greenecountyschools.com

Orange Co:  http://www.ocss-va.org/public


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January 17th, 2012 9:37 AM

 

Note from Yates:  Although we are still in a Buyer's Market, the market seems stabilized.  We have absorbed large numbers of bank-mediated sales (foreclosures and short sales) which significantly lowered sales prices for the entire market.  We have decreased inventory of properties for sale, which may be an indicator that home prices will begin to rise again.  Mortgage loans remain at historically low interest rates, providing an incentive for purchase.  Although Sellers may expect to receive considerably lower sales prices than in previous years, they will likewise benefit when they purchase  new property.

2011 4th Quarter and

Year-End Market Report : Graphs not Included



 

Charlottesville Area 4th Quarter 2011 Highlights:

· Median sales price for the region is down 0.4% over last quarter and 3.6% from the Q4-2010 to $240,000

· New listings were down 20.3% from the same period last year.

· Homes took an average 9 days longer to sell compared to Q4-2010 with average Days on Market (DOM) of 161.

· Pending sales rose 19.3% over same time 2010 from 456 in Q4 2010 to 544 in Q4 2011.

· The median sales price for 4th Quarter sales year-over-year declined 3.75% from $249,000 to $240,000.

Charlottesville Area 2011 Year-End Highlights:

· Top three areas for sales in 2011 were Albemarle, Charlottesville, and Fluvanna counties.

· The most affordable areas in our market were Greene, Louisa, and Fluvanna counties.

· Overall sales were down a nominal 1.5% from 2010, though up slightly from 2009 levels.

· Active inventory to close 2011 is down 7% from year-end 2010.

· Days on Market stable since 2010, half of homes sold in 86 days or less in 2011 and average DOM was 149 in 2011.

· Median Sales price for 2011 of $245,000 was down 3.9% from year-end 2010.

2011 Market Overview - Home Sales for 2011

There were 2,300 homes sold in the Charlottesville area in 2011, which was down 1.5% (-36 sales) from 2010. Albemarle (+2.7%) and Charlottesville (+5.3%) showed an increase in sales for the year. All other areas were down from last year: Fluvanna (-15.1%), Louisa (-12.0%), Nelson (-6.1%), and Green (-3.3%).

Sales of detached homes in the area were down 1.4% from 2010 to 1,733. This is 3.8% higher than the 1,669 detached homes sold in 2009. There were 567 attached homes (condos and townhomes) sold in 2011, 1.4% lower than 2010 and 13.0% off the 5-year average levels.

Foreclosed property sales were up 10.4% to 328 compared to 297 sales in 2010. Foreclosures represented a 14.3% share of all sales in 2011, up from a 12.7% share last year. Short sales nearly doubled year-over-year, from 76 sales in 2010 to 112 in 2011. Fortunately in the interest of pricing stabilization, short sale transactions only represented 3.3% of the market while traditional sales, or those transactions not involving a foreclosure or short sale, accounted for 80.9% of MLS sales.

Days on Market (DOM)

The length of time a property is on the market before sale is very much affected by the amount of supply compared to demand, and real estate professionals understand the critical role pricing plays. While the market has varied throughout the past several years, the average days on market (DOM) prior to sale has remained relatively stable the past two years, increasing only one day from the 2010 average to 148 days. Half of the homes sold in 2011 were on the market for 86 days or less, up slightly from the 82 median DOM of 2010. Attached homes sold an average 10 days faster than detached homes, with a DOM of 140 in 2011.

Home Prices

Home prices declined somewhat in 2011, with the amount of the decline varying from significant to nominal depending upon the county. The median prices listed below are the middle of the market of properties that sold, indicating what buyers were willing/able to pay. Overall, the $245,000 median home price (including attached homes) represented a 3.9% decrease compared to last year. The areas with higher sales volume like Fluvanna (-2.5%), Albemarle (-4.0%), and Charlottesville (-6.1%) saw more moderate decreases, while the remaining counties experienced slightly higher pricing drops: Greene (-8.6%), Nelson (-13.5%), and Louisa (-15.6%).

The median price for detached homes in Greater Charlottesville fell 3.6% from 2010 to $270,000 while the median price for attached homes was down 10.1 % year-over-year to $191,000. Foreclosed listings had a median price of $130,000, or half the $265,000 median for traditional property sales. The traditional sale median price was down only 2.8% from 2010 and actually represents an increase of 1.2% from the 2009 level. The $211,000 median price for short sales represents a 9.0% year-over-year increase.

New to This Report – Analysis of Bank-Mediated (Short Sale and Foreclosure) Transactions (

Market Share by Bank-Mediated Status – Closed Sales (Cumulative)

2010 Foreclosures: 12.7% & Short Sales 3.3%

2011 Foreclosures:  14.3% and Short Sales 4.9%

Lower Inventory of Homes for Sale

At year end, inventory is down to the lowest level since year-end 2006 and 7.0% down from the year-end 2010 level, signaling what could be a positive trend for the Charlottesville market. While the 4,802 new listings added throughout 2011 (irrespective of where they ended up in the transaction process) represents a 12.9% decrease from the 5,512 new listings added in 2010, we remain a buyer’s market. The 2,020 active units to close the year represent 11.6 months of supply if the 2011 absorption rate continues into 2012.

The 433 active attached properties for sale represent a decrease of 2.0% from year-end 2010 while the 1,586 detached properties for sale are 7.6% lower than last year’s level. The 74 foreclosed properties for sale to begin 2012 are 31.5% lower than last year, while the 1,874 traditional listings on the market are only 4.7% lower than year-end 2010.

Sold Price Per Square Foot (Finished) – Affordability and Bargains Remain

The area average of $140 per finished square foot is the lowest number since 2004, indicating true “pockets of value” for buyers. Prices are down $6 per square foot on average from last year and $42 since peaking for buyers in 2006.

The most affordable markets are outlying localities of Fluvanna ($108) and Louisa ($100). The relative stability in price per finished square foot in Charlottesville ($167), Albemarle ($145), and Greene ($118) supports the strength and stability of these markets.

There is remarkably little variance between the price per square foot for attached homes ($141) vs. detached homes ($139). During the peak year 2006, detached homes averaged $15 more than attached homes, $192 and $177 respectively. Housing affordability is a positive aspect of this market. 596 homes, or 30% of the active listing market, were for sale at $200,000 or less to begin 2012. The average sold price per square foot for foreclosed properties in 2011 was $88, nearly 60% lower than the $151 average for traditional sales! The price per square foot for short sales was in the middle of these two figures, averaging $107.

Additional Breakdown of Average Sales price of Detached and Attached units in Greater Charlottesville Market

Price sensitivity is still a key factor in this market and if you plan to sell a home in 2012, be sure to have a REALTOR® prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) so that you can price it to sell. And, if you are looking to buy, a REALTOR® can help you understand the current market and evaluate your options.

This 2011 Year-End Market Report is produced by the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® using data from the CAAR MLS. For more information on this report or the real estate market, pick up a copy of the CAAR Real Estate Weekly, visit www.caar.com, or contact your REALTOR®.




 


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Posted by Yates Nobles on January 17th, 2012 9:37 AMLeave a Comment

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January 15th, 2012 8:53 AM

This presents a fine  opportunity for Buyers while interest rates are at historic lows, and for resale down the line.

The Power of Assumability

by Dean Hartman on January 12, 2012

One of the rarely touted advantages of people taking FHA mortgages today is the fact that they are assumable. What that means is, when the FHA homebuyer of today is looking to sell his home, a qualified purchaser can “take over” their loan.

Most people believe that interest rates will return to a “normal” range (between 6.5% and 7%) in a couple of years. When you assume a mortgage, the terms remain the same. This means that a buyer five years from now can enjoy a 4 – 4.5% mortgage by assumption rather than the 6.5% – 7% mortgage they would get without it. Since most people buy homes based on how the monthly payment fits into their personal monthly budget, this is extremely impactful.

As an example, a $300,000 loan at 4% today carries with it a $1,432.25 principal and interest payment on a 30 year fixed mortgage. If offered for sale in five years, the purchaser could assume the $271,858.56 balance with the same $1,432.25 payment and remaining term of 25 years. The total payments over the 25 years would be $429,675.

Compare that to a new $272,000 loan at 6.5% for 25 years, which would carry a monthly payment of $1,836.56 (over $400 more a month than the assumption and more than $120,000 more over the 25 year term).

At 6.5% for 25 years, to wind up with the same payment as the assumed mortgage, our borrowers would only be getting $212,000…$60,000 LESS!

The point here is that, when rates go up, homes with assumable mortgages will have more value and will sell at higher prices because they are more affordable. As an additional bonus, the closing costs on assumable mortgages are significantly less (especially here in New York where NYS Mortgage Tax is such a large component of closing costs).

The borrowers must be credit-worthy of course (have good credit, qualifying income, and necessary assets to close), but they would have to be credit-worthy to get a new mortgage too!

Besides the multiple other reasons to obtain an FHA mortgage (low down payment requirements, extended income ratios, lower credit scores, and easier sourcing of funds), there is another perk. In the future, there is a good chance that you may be able to sell your home for more money because of the FHA loan’s assumability.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on January 15th, 2012 8:53 AMLeave a Comment

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FHA will keep funding flips

Waiver for 90-day resales extended through 2012

Inman News®

For the second year in a row, the Federal Housing Administration is extending a temporary waiver of its "anti-flipping" rule, meaning homebuyers relying on FHA-insured financing will continue to be able to buy homes that have changed hands in the last 90 days.

The waiver is a boon for investors seeking to rehab and flip properties, because it expands the pool of eligible borrowers to include those relying on FHA-backed loans, popular with first-time homebuyers and others who lack the cash to make large down payments.

In extending the waiver through 2012, FHA said all transactions must continue to be arms-length. In cases in which the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller’s acquisition cost, the waiver will apply only if the lender can document the justification for the increase in value, FHA said.

FHA instituted the anti-flipping rule in 2003 to protect its mutual mortgage insurance program from losses on homes that were merely flipped, rather than rehabbed. Homes repossessed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and state- and federally chartered financial institutions were exempt from the rule.

In February 2010, the Obama administration waived the waiting period for resales -- including homes purchased and rehabbed by private investors -- in the hopes of stabilizing home prices and revitalizing communities hit by foreclosures.

It often takes less than 90 days to acquire, rehabilitate and sell properties, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said at the time. Some sellers of rehabbed properties had been reluctant to enter into contracts with FHA buyers because of the cost of holding a property for 90 days, HUD said.


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Posted by Yates Nobles on December 31st, 2011 3:17 PMLeave a Comment

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December 7th, 2011 2:30 PM

Although credit has tightened in the sense that Buyers must demonstrate financial capability by having a secure source of income, good credit ratings, an appropriate debt ratio, and a substantial down payment, banks and mortgage companies ARE making loans.  Those who are independently employed must demonstrate consistent yearly income  over a period of several years to justify a loan, and they generally need to have a higher down payment. 

Lenders are always welcoming to potential buyers who wish to meet with them and have their credit worthiness evaluated for obtaining a home loan.  It is certainly worth the time to find out where you are financially.  This is the first step in the home purchase process, unless the Buyer intends to pay cash to purchase property.

There are other means to purchase a home that are sometimes open for Buyers who are non-traditional or who do not have sufficient down payment to obtain a bank or mortgage company loan.  It is essential to have a qualified and experienced Realtor represent the Buyer to proceed.

1)  A good source of lending is the Seller: some sellers, if asked through a Realtor, are willing to offer partial if not full financing to a Buyer who can demonstrate financial capability.  Sellers may not require as much down payment, although the interest rate for private financing is often somewhat higher than with a bank.  On the other hand, there is savings in regard to closing costs.  Along with a qualified Realtor, an attorney will be needed to draw up the deed of trust and the note for repayment.  The Realtors will help their respective clients in the transaction to negotiate terms acceptable to both parties.

2) One route for the buyer is to request to purchase with a Lease-Purchase agreement.  With this scenario, the Buyer offers and obtains a firm contract to buy, including the purchase price and a closing date into the future.  Next the Buyer leases the property, accepts the condition of the property as is at the time of occupancy, and moves in prior to closing. All terms, such as the amount of the rent and the down payment are determined up front and are negotiable. Some sellers who agree to a lease-purchase arrangement will also credit the Buyer with a portion of the accumulated monthly payment amount to increase the amount of the down payment when the property closes.  The Buyer is fully responsible to find and secure financing and close on the agreed date.

3)  Another excellent source of down payment or lending is family.  Many parents, grandparents, or siblings welcome the opportunity to either:  a) give funds in part or in full for home purchase to help their loved ones on the road to home ownership  b) lend funds at a favorable interest rate  c) co-sign a loan with a bank or mortgage company.  4) Jointly purchase a property.  These methods can be a win-win situation for all concerned when there are family members financially capable and emotionally ready to proceed in this manner.  When there is willingness but need to understand how to proceed, the services of an experienced Realtor are helpful to contribute explanations to the conversation, to be followed by an attorney to draw up the necessary documents.

4) Given the uncertainties and recent wild swings in the stock market, many Buyers are choosing to transfer their investment to the real estate market by paying cash for a property.  This is a solid way to proceed with funds not needed for liquidity in the near future.  Buying a property now when prices are at a low insures that the Buyer will realize considerable appreciation as the housing market normalizes and then grows.   Real estate is called real estate for a reason:  it does not evaporate with fluctations in the financial markets - the home or commercial building remains and although values may change, the owner always has the real investment -- a usable property for living, working, or rental income.

Once the home is purchased, the owner then benefits from deducting closing costs from tax liability during the year of purchase, and subsequently continuig to deduct the yearly total of mortgage interest paid in a given year.  Unless a huge down payment is made, most of the mortgage payments during the early years of a mortgage consists of interest, and this results in a substantial tax savings.

As a nationally recognized Realtor recently commented at the NAR convention in California, this is a wonderful time to buy:  EVERYTHING IS ON SALE!!  Please give me a call or email me to investigate beginning your search for real estate: 

Yates Nobles  434-996-0888  yates@yatesnobles.com


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Posted by Yates Nobles on December 7th, 2011 2:30 PMLeave a Comment

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