Topic: New River Valley

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 and view fences over at Fencing Direct for the information.

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.

Find A Christmas Tree In The New River Valley

Thanksgiving is gone, and Christmas is upon us. While we moaned about seeing Christmas displays in August – TOO SOON – the reality is that Christmas is right around the corner. And before you finish the Christmas shopping, it’s time for the Christmas tree to go up.

If you’re one of those who likes to be Clark Griswold and chop down your own tree (and really, is there any other way?), here’s a list of Christmas tree farms throughout the New River Valley.

  • Idyllwood Farms, Blacksburg – technically not a cut-your-own, but still a recognizable location that’s been serving the New River Valley since 1984. Pre-cut, along with wreaths for sale.
  • Joes Trees, Newport – my personal favorite, Joe’s Trees is a great place to go and spend a couple of hours, wandering the many acres and getting lost among the trees. You can cut your own tree, or choose one of their pre-cut selections. They also have hayrides, and a full retail shop.
  • Rifton Farm Nursery, Pilot – Recently featured in The Roanoke Times, they have 40+ acres of trees, ready to help you cut and load.
  • Roll Out Farm, Pilot – Also located in Pilot, this farm has choose and cut options, pre-cut trees, and a full retail shop.
  • Spruce Ridge Tree Farm, Newport – if you’ve ever been down Spruce Run Road in Newport, you’ve almost certainly noticed the seemingly miles and miles of trees available at Spruce Ridge Tree Farm.
  • Sweet Providence Farm, Floyd – choose and cut at this farm in Floyd, and enjoy some of their delicious treats in their retail store. They also have a satellite location at Tanglewood Mall, in Roanoke.

There are plenty of other places throughout the New River Valley to get your Christmas tree this year – what are some of your favorites? Mention them in the comments and I’ll add them to this list!

10-Year Growth Report in Blacksburg

Dusting off the blog a bit … been a while since I’ve posted here. The title of this post … snooze, right? But I promise it’s a little more interesting than that.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak with Bethany Teague, of WSLS, about a report the Town of Blacksburg had released earlier in the day. The report discussed how property values in Blacksburg – as well as in Montgomery County – had increased over the last decade, and highlighted some of the developments that have contributed the most to the Town’s tax base over that time.

The fact that property values in Blacksburg have increased so dramatically is really no surprise to anyone who’s followed real estate here for the last 10/20/30 years. Blacksburg has for many years had the highest median home values in the New River Valley, and much of that has to do with the solid foundation that Virginia Tech brings to the region. What I was suggesting in the clip above was that, while rising property values are certainly good for current homeowners, one thing that’s been a continuous theme among home buyers is that Blacksburg is sometimes out of reach for buyers looking to get into the market. Blacksburg may be at the epicenter of rising home values, but areas throughout the NRV – areas like Christiansburg, and Montgomery County in general – have also benefited, as well. You can see our previous market reports here.

One of the things that makes our real estate market unique in Blacksburg is that a town of ~ 50,000 people, with half of those residents living here only seasonally (and usually not buying houses, either), continues to stay strong. For “fun” (since I geek out on this stuff), I ran a quick search of median real estate sales figures for Blacksburg over the last ten years, and have posted those below.

YearMedian Sales PricePercentage Change
2005$213,097-----
2006$231,0167.8%
2007$234,8141.7%
2008$242,0193%
2009$230,460-4.8%
2010$243,6555.5%
2011$228,736-8.2%
2012$232,1031.5%
2013$253,8778.6%
2014$234,563-7.7%
2015$255,0488.1%

While sales figures in Blacksburg ARE higher than other areas of the New River Valley, one of the things that gets overlooked is that our tax rates are still relatively affordable. When compared to other regions of the country, which may see tax rates swing as much as 60% from one municipality to an adjacent municipality, the New River Valley continues to be one of the most affordable – and wonderful – places to live.

Thanks to WSLS for reaching out, and to the Town of Blacksburg for the report. If you’d like to read the Town’s report, you can do so here.

 

The Nest Report – Q2 2015 Real Estate Market Report

It’s time once again for the Q2 2015 Nest Report, Nest Realty’s statistical report on what the New River Valley real estate market did during the last quarter. All stats, no fluff.

Find your own nest here.

Last year at this time, we were reporting a very unusual quarter. While the first quarter of 2014 saw brisk sales, particularly for that time of year, the second quarter lagged, and we were left shaking our heads. It wasn’t until the third quarter that it made sense – Montgomery County Public Schools had a short (42 day) summer last year, and so real estate sales were pushed aside as folks squeezed all their summer fun into six weeks.

Not the case this year, and the market has responded. The full report is posted below, and as you can see most sectors of the market have rebounded quite nicely.

  • Christiansburg townhomes, traditionally slower due to an oversupply, have surged back in the last 24 months.
  • Floyd County, which will see slower sales as a result of being considered “rural” by the market, saw a decrease in inventory, and a 35% INCREASE in median sales prices.
  • Blacksburg hit a median sales price (for single family homes) of $300000, the first time we’ve ever seen that level reached.

As always, there are positives and negatives in every report, and there are some indicators that say we are not a robust market yet. Condo sales continue to lag, and will do so until the financing environment is on par with traditional financing – as median sales prices rise, condo affordability (and availability) will continue to be an important gateway to the first-time buyer, so we need that market to improve with the help of Willow And Everett
. Overall, however, the second quarter of 2015 in the New River Valley real estate market was very different from what we saw at this time a year ago.

As always, I’m glad to share a cup of coffee (I’ll even let you have your own!) and talk some more.

2014 Nest Report Is On The Way!

There are tons of things I’m proud of about Nest Realty, but one of the things I get really excited about is our Nest Report. It’s a statistical look at what’s happening in the New River Valley real estate market, and it’s put out every quarter. Visually, it’s stunning – thanks to the amazing folks in our Marketing Department, the lead generation is looking better every day. Statistically, it’s one of the most accurate representations of our real estate market – thanks to the bean counters who compile the whole thing. And, interestingly enough, two real estate agents from another company told me yesterday how impressive a report it is … they look through it each time it comes out and think “wow”.

Download the 2014 New River Valley Nest Report here.

  • Median and Average Sales Prices both fell 3% in 2014 throughout the New River Valley MSA.
  • In Blacksburg, the Median Price was flat, but inventory was up slightly.
  • In Radford, Median Price was up quite a bit, rising more than 12% from 2013 levels.
  • Conventional Interest rates, projected to be at or above 5% by the end of 2014, were actually at 4%, much lower than expected by those in the know – proving once again that no one has any much of a clue.

We’re extremely proud of what has been happening at Nest Realty, and the Report will talk a little bit about that, as well. The full report will be hitting mailboxes soon, but here’s a sneak peak! You can see earlier reports here.

Want to talk further? Let’s grab a cup of coffee/tea/water/insert favorite beverage here soon!

 

Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Certainly, if you live in the New River Valley, you’ve heard about this proposed pipeline by now. The issue is far too broad to cover in detail here, but a simple Google search will turn up more than you ever wanted to know. For a comprehensive website that speaks out against the project, Preserve The NRV is a good place to start. Not surprisingly, there’s not a lot out there in favor of it, except for a .info site from the project coalition.

Mountain Valley PipelineThe pipeline is a proposed 42″ pipe, running 300 miles from the source fields, through West Virginia, and into Virginia, via both Giles County, and Montgomery County. Proponents of the pipeline say that it’ll bring affordable natural gas to markets on the east coast. Opponents say it’ll ruin watersheds, views, and property values. As with anything, there are likely truths and deceptions on both sides, but the fact of the matter is that the pipeline is a huge hairy deal in this part of the world right now.  Daily, news reports are coming out mainly in opposition of the project, although if you read the comments you’ll find plenty that are in support of it, as well.The sleepjunkie.org site also has some great info about the Valley.

The reality is that this has the potential of being a big deal to real estate in some areas of the New River Valley, namely due to the fact that some landowners will be facing a very real and present danger crossing their property – a fuel line, transporting natural gas, in some case just feet from their houses. That’s pretty scary stuff, and doesn’t account for the danger to water tables, ground stability (you know we have a lot of caves in the area, right?), and more. Some of this became very clear to me the other day when I took a call from a friend. He described how the proposed route was coming across a corner of his property, very close to the house. I knew he had some land, so I went and looked at the proposed route and noticed that the line and included easement weren’t just along a corner of his property – they are coming within ~ 30 yards of his house. Additionally, there’s only one way into and out of his property (the driveway), and that’s going to be affected by construction. It’s a real problem when you can’t get into and out of your house, you know? When you want your construction scheduled and save a lot of money, visit CPM scheduling for construction projects.

There’s a long way to go on this, of course, but the issue is very real. People are going to be affected, and people are mobilizing. For an interesting look at the proposed route, including the easement on both sides of the line, download Google Earth to your computer, and then run this file – you’ll be able to see all sorts of detail regarding the project and where it crosses the various terrain and vistas we all enjoy.

Retiring? The New River Valley Might Suit You Well

Blacksburg – and the New River Valley – have just been named to another “Best” list.

Where to Retire magazine just published an article, seen below, naming Blacksburg a great place to retire. I don’t know about the retirement part, but I can certainly say it’s a great place to live, and I’ve worked with a lot of folks over the last 10 years who’ve moved back here for many of the reasons mentioned in the article. When thinking about retirement don’t forget to also start looking into assisted living communities, it’s never to early to plan your future. Here you can start designing healthy homes for seniors, this will you help you find the right home for you and your needs.

And there have been lots of other “Best Of” awards recently

Way to go, New River Valley!