Topic: General Real Estate

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 – 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.

 

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. The real estate section of the NYT was at times thicker than most sections of the paper!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Most Expensive Homes Sold in the New River Valley in 2016

cash moneyPeople often ask about the most expensive homes for sale in the New River Valley, and it’s interesting to see what’s sold. In years past, the spread between the homes has been close, but in 2016, the most expensive home was double the fifth most expensive home! Take a look below at the five most expensive residences sold in the NRV in 2016.

#5 – $775,000 339 Airport Road, Blacksburg – listed by Nest Realty, this one-of-a-kind home was prized both for the features inside, but also the nearly 1-acre flat lot in Town, which as you know can be a rarity. With an amazing kitchen and double-sided fireplace, coffered ceilings, and a two-story screened porch, the custom design screamed elegance, and buyers responded – it was only on the market for 26 days.

#4 – $780,000 1491 Falcon Ridge Rd, Blacksburg – this monster, listed by Porch and Picket Real Estate, had been remodeled top-to-bottom by the owner over the course of a year and a half. Every surface of the home had been touched, and the home boasted one of the largest kitchens we’ve ever seen. This home is now back on the market again, with Coldwell Banker Townside – let us know if you’d like to have a look.

#3 – $875,000 570 Wood Haven Ct, Blacksburg – what do you get the most discriminating buyer? This home, listed by Coldwell Banker Townside, this was one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen. A manicured setting amongst towering trees, this home with view of Ellett Valley was simply spectacular in every way. It was comfortable, yet elegant, which can be a rare combination.

#2 – $885,000 1401 Pebble Beach Rd, Blacksburg – located in the Country Club, this home on the backside of the Country Club backed right to the golf course. A pocket listing by Long & Foster-Blacksburg, the listing agent had a buyer lined up and ready to go, so it was never exposed to the market. We’re certain, though, it was nice. I mean, it was the second most expensive home sold in 2016.

And finally – the most expensive home sold in the New River Valley in 2016!

$1,500,000 1655 Plank Dr, Blacksburg – another pocket listing at the Blacksburg Country Club, this home listed by Coldwell Banker Townside takes the #1 spot for most expensive in 2016. Maxing out at a whopping 7716 square feet, the custom-designed Craftsman surely had all the bells and whistles you’d expect to find in a home of this caliber, and more than 4 acres of land surrounding it. This house sold in February, setting the bar high early in the year, and no one was going to come close to it for the rest of 2016.

So there you have it – the most expensive sales in the NRV in 2016. Any surprises? I’ll tell you what, for me it’s nice to see more and more agents using professional photography – we’ve been preaching it for years, and agents are finally coming around to the idea.

Looking for your next Nest? It doesn’t have to be expensive – find it here.

Thank You.

Today’s my anniversary. My real estate anniversary.

Virginia DPOR licenseActually, I thought that yesterday was the start of my 13th year in real estate, but DPOR says it’s today, so happy anniversary to me. What does one get themselves for their anniversary? I’m thinking Chipotle.

In 2003 when I decided I really wanted to do something different, I had no idea where this career would take me. But what a ride it’s been – from my first closing (to first-time buyers Adam and Michelle who, thanks to Marshall Frank found out at the closing table that it was my first closing) to now owning Nest Realty here in the New River Valley, working with some of the best folks in the business … what a great place to be.

Thanks to all of you who’ve committed to working with me over the years! You have made me a very, very happy Realtor.

#LiveWhereYouLove.

Why Are Condos So Hard To Finance?

The good news is that they’re not as difficult as they were several years ago. As Carl Spackler would say …bill_murray_caddyshack

A customer wrote in this morning about an investment property they’re looking to buy in Blacksburg. As many parents of students at Virginia Tech and Radford do, they want to buy a place for their kids to live in while they’re here at school, and the relative stability of the New River Valley market has meant that – for the most part – these have been solid investments. It wasn’t always the case, however. A quick back story …

In the early 2000’s, these types of investment properties were all the rage. Investors were snatching up condos and townhomes like crazy – the cost of borrowing money was low, rents were stable and rising, and there was a steady group of renters year in, and year out. You can see a visual of that in the chart below, showing sales of condos and townhomes in Blacksburg and Radford going back to 2003, I suggest to check out some coal harbour condos for sale which are at really great price. After the real estate crash in 2008 (which really hit us in 2010), interest in these types of properties fell dramatically, and that was due in part to much-needed lending restrictions. Lenders were requiring larger down payments, in the neighborhood of 25% or more, and often denying loans due to inflated investor numbers in complexes – in other words, too many investors and not enough owner-occupants.

One note – the volatility of the Radford line below is related to the relatively low number of sales in the area during the time period.

As you can see from the above chart, interest in these types of properties really didn’t start to pick up again until 2014, which corresponds with the relaxation of lender guidelines. Starting in 2013/2014, as we started to see improvements in the overall economy throughout the country, lenders started loosening their requirements on financing for investment properties. But that doesn’t answer the question of WHY condos and town homes can be difficult to finance. As I wrote to a customer this morning, in a nutshell:

For conventional, secondary market loans, banks don’t like to see high investor penetrations in condo complexes. The line of thinking is that people are more likely to default on their investment property(ies) before their primary residence, so guidelines for things like condos are a good bit tighter. It’s important to know that often, traditional banks like will run these complexes through their algorithms and deny the loan due to too many investors in a complex and not enough owners. If they don’t deny it, the other condition they typically add is a higher downpayment, of 25-30% or more. This is why I continue to suggest local lenders – in college markets with high investor numbers, they look at the market as a whole and not as a formula. 

If you’re considering buying or selling a condo or townhome here in South California, you can visit us at https://southerncaliforniahomebuyers.com/sell-your-house-fast/ for more info. The opportunities to make what has typically been a solid investment are there, but it’s not without risk. Let’s talk about those, as well as the rewards, and see if it makes sense for you.