The Tortoise, The Hare, and New River Valley Real Estate

I’ve been sharing for years that the New River Valley real estate market is very similar to Aesop’s Fable of the tortoise and the hare. And today, a client sent a text that showed he’d been listening.

Conventional thinking seems to be that we have to make decisions quickly, particularly when it comes to real estate. I cringe when I see agents saying “you’re going to have to act fast!”, then months later their condo is still on the market. I cry a little when I see folks saying “rates are low, act now, they’re going to go up!”, which is the same thing they said two years ago. No wonder the public doesn’t trust us – when all we’re doing is pushing our own agenda, I don’t trust us, either.

When it comes to real estate, I am firmly in the camp of “slow and steady wins the race”. I know I’m in the minority there among my colleagues, but I believe 100% that clients make their best decisions when they can slow down and analyze the situation. Others may say you have to act quickly in order to get anything done, but I’d argue that a broader look at that line of thinking will reveal more mistakes and losses than wins – or at least more losses than you might think. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time, with doing your due diligence, with making sure your questions are answered. Can taking too much time work against you? Of course – paralysis by analysis is a very real thing. But the decisions that need to be made during our transaction are best made when you have time to deliberate, study, and think. That isn’t to say sometimes those decisions need to be made a little faster than you might be comfortable with, but if you’re constantly being pressed to make a decision before you’re ready, it might be time to stop the race.

That Aesop. He was a smart cookie.

 

 

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Montgomery County Real Estate Assessments To Begin

Death and taxes … again. Well, one of those only happens once, but you get the drift.

Montgomery County just announced that they would begin reassessment of real estate parcels on July 31, 2017. From their release:

Field workers will start knocking on doors on Monday, July 31, 2017, to visit every taxable and nontaxable property in the County over the next year to verify property information, such as square feet, and number of bedrooms and baths. Field workers will have County identification badges and cars marked “County Reassessment.”

You can read the full release here.

Reassessments are done every four years, and the values are used to determine what a property owner might owe on a particular property, Century 21 can be very helpful with property management, visit website here – you can read more about how taxes are calculated throughout the New River Valley here, one of the most read posts ever on NRVLiving.com.

Visit long distance moving companies on MyLongDistanceMovers.com to fin out more.

 

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Selling A Home Takes Work.

I came across this old photo from Twitter today, and it made me chuckle. I’ll save calling out the person who sent it to me, although i still remember when she sent it – three years ago.

We were prepping her house for sale with the help from servicing Snellville and Douglas Ebenstein who did most of the work, we had given her some task to finish. They had a long list of things to do – some of them were pretty standard, like getting long distance moving quotes for them to move out with ease, making sure all the light bulbs worked, or the registers were vacuumed out – and some of them were underfloor ventilation. We also wanted to do some remodeling and decided to visit Atlas Ceramics for mosaics to replace our patio tiles. Although the list was daunting they were making progress, but at some point in the process she sent me this tweet:

Selling a home

Love ya mean it, EG!

Look, selling a home isn’t easy, but if you want to sell house fast in Texas, I don’t care how much stuff you read on the internet, or how easy it looks on HGTV, in order to get top dollar it takes work … and before it goes on the market, the bulk of that work falls on your shoulders. As we get closer to putting the house up for sale, much of that work will fall to me; things like professional photography, aerial work, laser measurements, and advance ad placement. If you are experiencing problems when selling a home traditionally all of these things can get done by T-Square Properties if you can´t do it yourself. But we currently have dozens of things in our workflow that need to be done when a home is ready for sale like, hail damage roof repair and each of them – when done correctly – help to make the difference in getting a house sold, and getting a house sold for top dollar.

Want to see more of how we do it? We’re glad to talk. But regardless of whether you use us or not on your next home sale, remember my 3L’s of selling your home – Lights on, Lids down, and Leave.

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Where To Find New River Valley Real Estate For Sale

So you’ve decided to buy a house – where do you get information on all of the real estate that’s for sale?

Years ago – back when people still walked uphill to school, both ways, you looked in the paper. Earlier this week I was listening to a podcast with Barbara Corcoran and she shared how, when she started renting apartments in NYC, you advertised in the New York Times because that’s where everyone looked for real estate and start working on it, people even start to learning the business or teach it like nick vertucci real estate academy review. The real estate section of the NYT was at times thicker than most sections of the paper! Residential Rental Directory – Search Local Rentals | Rental Directory.com

Times have changed, and so have the methods of finding real estate. You’ve got sites like NestRealty.com, Realtor.com, Zillow, and hundreds (thousands?) of others. And how many times have you found a great home on a site, emailed your agent, and found out that the house you wanted isn’t actually for sale any longer? (By the way, did you know that Nest Realty syndicates to more than 150 national and regional locations?) While everyone has a different website they like and trust, I’m always going to recommend that if you see a home for sale on one site, cross-reference it on NestRealty.com. Our search option connects direct to the Multiple Listing Service, so you know if it shows for sale on NestRealty.com it’s available and ready for you to take a look.

Looking for foreclosures? We’ve got that too – just hit up www.NewRiverValleyForeclosures.com, and there you’ll find every foreclosure listed for sale!

Happy searching!

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How’s The Market – May 2017

Each quarter, Nest Realty puts out an amazing piece of information we like to call our Nest Report. The Nest Report is a look at the real estate market, sans sales-speak – pure data, no fluff. It’s an incredible document full of helpful real estate market stats for the New River Valley, and you can see past examples at NewRiverValleyMarketReports.com.

While these are really great ways to better understand the NRV real estate market, it takes a lot of work to put these out on a quarterly basis – and as you know, the market will change faster than every quarter. With that in mind, we’ve started taking our quarterly Nest Reports and condensing them into monthly reports, as well. It’s a lot of work, but we’ll do our best to keep these coming – we think that the more information you have at your disposal, the better-informed your selling and purchasing decisions can be! Click the links below to read the various reports:

 

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New Phishing Scam Targets Home Buyers

Scammers – they’re the lowest of the low. And now, we’re seeing them go after home buyers, attempting to steal money via wire transfers. It’s something we’ve been watching gain momentum for a few months now, and while Nest Realty has taken steps to continue to safeguard our clients’ information, it’s still important to stay vigilant.

Nest Managing Broker Keith Davis has put together a really great blog post detailing the scam, and highlighting ways that you, as a home buyer or seller, can protect yourself. Even if you’re not working with Nest Realty, make sure your agent knows of the scam, and talk with them about steps to protect yourself. You can read the full post here.

Thanks, Keith, for the information.

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I Received A Tax Bill! Do I Pay It?

If you own a home in Montgomery County, whether you’re in a town like Blacksburg or Christiansburg, or in the County itself, you very likely received one of these green forms in the mail recently. It looks like a bill, it smells like a bill … but is it a bill?

It depends.

Taxes in Montgomery County are paid semi-annually, so twice a year the County will send out these notices requesting half of your annual real estate taxes to be paid in the next month. In this case, the amount is due June 5, payable to the Montgomery County Treasurer. If your mortgage payment only consists of Principal and Interest and you’re responsible for paying your own Taxes and Insurance, then yes – you need to pay this tax. If your mortgage payment every month includes esrows, then this tax should be paid by monies collected by your mortgage company.

Of course, if you want to be sure, you can contact gilbert tax, and have them talk it over with you, and explain the situation to you in detail.

So yes – this is a bill, but if you have escrows on your mortgage payment than you do not need to pay it. It would be a good idea – rather, an excellent idea – to contact your mortgage company and make sure that they received a copy of this bill, as well.

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Real Estate Taxes in the New River Valley

In the last several weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of candidate tours for various colleges at Virginia Tech looking to hire new folks. Invariably, as we’re showing these prospective hires all that the New River Valley, the question always comes up – “what are real estate taxes like?”

Ah, taxes. We all love them, right? Of course not, but we’re lucky to have relatively low taxes compared to other areas of the country. However, they’re a part of the equation when making your mortgage payment every month. These amounts will vary from locality to locality, and in some cases a municipality will have TWO rates – one rate will be for the City or Town, and the other rate will be for the appropriate County. Feel free to use the phone numbers below to contact the taxing authority if you have questions.*

Note – This is a post that’s been written on this site several times, and is still one of the most regular hits. This time around, I thought I’d update it with the date of the last assessment based on http://www.rebeccasrealtor.com, as well as the date of the next assessment. Rates should not change during that period.

To calculate current yearly tax, take the current assessed value of the home, divide by 100 and multiply by the current tax rate.

The assessed value of the home is $250000 and the home is in Blacksburg:
$250000/100 = 2500 x 1.14 = 2850           Yearly tax $2850

Locale Tax Rate Phone Number Last Assessment Next Assessment
Blacksburg $.25 + $.89 = $1.14 540-961-1105 2015 2019
Bland County $.60 276-688-3741 2014 2020
Christiansburg $.16 + $.89 = $1.05 540-382-9519 2015 2019
Craig County $.59 540-864-6241 2017 2023
Floyd County $.55 540-745-9345 2015 2020
Giles County $.61 540-921-3321 2015 2020-2021
Montgomery County $.89 540-382-5717 2015 2019
Pulaski County $.54 540-980-7785 2014 2020
Radford City $.76 540-731-3661 2016 2020
Rich Creek $.20 + $.61 = $.74 540-726-3260 2015 2020-2021
Town of Floyd $.24 + $.55 = $.79 540-745-2565 As needed As needed
Town of Pulaski $.34 + $.64 = $.86 540-994-8640 2014 2020
Town of Narrows $.47 + $.61 = $1.08 540-726-2423 2015 2020-2021
Town of Pearisburg $.335 + $.61 = $.945 540-921-0340 2015 2020-2021
Town of Pembroke $.326 + $.61 = $.936 540-626-7191 2016 2020

* Tax information is assumed reliable – contact the local Commissioner of the Revenue for more information.  Updated 04/28/17.

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How Many Homes Are For Sale in Blacksburg and Christiansburg?

As Realtors, we get asked a lot “what’s the market like right now?”. I was in Richmond last week, meeting with Virginia Senators and Delegates from our district, and every single one of them asked “how’s the market?”. It can seem disingenuous to always be saying that the real estate market is moving quickly, but as you can see from the graph below of single-family homes in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, as of this post the market is moving quickly. We’re not making this up.

(The graph is interactive, and therefore should update automatically over time; what it’s detailing is how many months worth of supply there is at any given point. If you hover your mouse over a particular point on the graph, you’ll see the exact data representation for that point of the graph.)

Find your own single-family home here.

As you look at this, what you’re seeing is that – since July 2016 – inventory levels in the NRVMLS (New River Valley Multiple Listing Service) have been falling. It took Blacksburg and Christiansburg a few more months to catch up, but beginning in September 2016 they also saw inventory levels starting to fall. In January 2017, inventory in the NRVMLS was at 6.3 months of inventory, in Blacksubrg it was 2.6 months, and in Christiansburg, 3.4 months. We call this the Absorption Rate – how long it would take the market to absorb the available inventory in the market. I’ve written about it before, and it’s something that we at Nest Realty watch pretty closely.

Why does Absorption Rate matter? Well, it gives us a sense of both where the market has been, and where it is now. The general line of thinking is that 6 months of inventory is a relatively balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers – much like the New River Valley real estate market right now. Click Here to see more info. Anything greater than six months typically favors buyers because supply is exceeding demand, and anything less than six months favors sellers because demand is exceeding supply. That’s what we’re seeing in Blacksburg and Christiansburg.

So what’s that mean for buyers and sellers in Blacksburg and Christiansburg right now? It’s a familiar refrain, I’m afraid – sellers who are priced well and show well are going to be in the drivers’ seat for the foreseeable future, and buyers need to be ready and prepared (preapproved) to buy … there isn’t going to be much opportunity to wait and think about it.

Find your nest. It’s free. Truly.

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