What’s the List to Sale Ratio in Christiansburg

Seems a lot of people consider negotiation as “ask less than the list price and expect that they’ll come back somewhere in the middle.” At its’ simplest sure, that might work, but it also helps to know at what price sellers are pricing their homes, and also at what price buyers are buying those same homes for. This is where the list to sale ratio comes in.

To see the list to sale ratio in Radford, click here.

Now, it’s not perfect, but it’s helpful, and the reason why it’s helpful is because it shows what kind of momentum, plus or minus, the market has at any given time. Should it be the only data point you and your agent examine when figuring out where to price your home, or at what price to make an offer on a home? Absolutely not.

For instance, here are some charts showing the average list prices (second column from the left) and average sales prices (third column from the left) for townhouses in Christiansburg in 2013. Note – these figures include foreclosures, which are not considered “arm’s-length transactions. Their impact on the market in 2013 was not statistically significant, so I left them in.

Christiansburg townhomesAnd here are the average list prices (second column from the left) and average sales prices (third column from the left) for single-family home sales in Christiansburg in 2013.

Christiansburg single-family

Unlike the example we saw in Radford, the list to sale ratios in Christiansburg, for both house styles, was 96.7%, a much better indicator of overall market health in the area. Does that mean if you list your house for $100000 you’re guaranteed to get $96700? Absolutely not. But aren’t numbers fun?

 

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Buying A Home Where a Violent Crime Occurred

Imagine you’re a buyer. You’ve seen a house a couple of times, and then one day you learn from a local that several years ago, someone had committed suicide in the home that you’re looking at. Now, you don’t know for certain that someone committed suicide there, but you trust your source. Would you still buy the home?

Which got me thinking … do buyers really care about that stuff? Do buyers really care that a violent crime, like a murder, happened on the property? My guess was yes, so I posted the question to Twitter and Facebook. The result? YES, buyers want to know.

The unfortunate side of life is that sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes they happen in a home. Not every property is “stigmatized”, of course, but some are, and some people are sensitive to that.

In Virginia, real estate agents are not required to disclose whether a violent crime happened in the home, and to my knowledge, most states around the country have a similar rule. And it’s my understanding that, as an agent, I can’t legally share that information without the seller’s permission … the line of thinking being that divulging that information puts the seller in a weakened position in terms of making the house available for sale at market rates. On the flip side, in the HIGHLY scientific poll above, conducted in the controlled environs of Twitter and Facebook, buyers seem to want to know. Seems I should be doing what my buyers hired me to do, which is to help them sift through the wealth of information available to them.

What’s an agent to do?

Doesn’t matter … we’ll find a way to research that information, for when you’re buying, you should ALWAYS research. Certainly throw the property address into Google and see what comes up, and when possible, talk to neighbors. As an agent who texted me said,

“While I do not necessarily care if someone was killed or whatever in my house, I do care about the stigma and the property value. And I would super hate to hear about it from the next-door neighbor two days after I closed.”

That, I think, is the crucial point. While some may care and some may not care, being surprised after closing is something we should ALWAYS try to avoid. Can you imagine being this guy? If we have the chance to do online searches, to talk to police, to talk to neighbors, shouldn’t we?

So … would you buy?

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What’s The List To Sale Ratio in Radford?

Seems a lot of people consider negotiation as “ask less than the list price and expect that they’ll come back somewhere in the middle.” At its’ simplest sure, that might work, but it also helps to know at what price sellers are pricing their homes, and also at what price buyers are buying those same homes for. This is where the list to sale ratio comes in.

Now, it’s not perfect, but it’s helpful, and the reason why it’s helpful is because it shows what kind of momentum, plus or minus, the market has at any given time. Should it be the only data point you and your agent examine when figuring out where to price your home, or at what price to make an offer on a home? Absolutely not.

For instance, here are some charts showing the average list prices (second column from the left) and average sales prices (third column from the left) for townhouses in Radford in 2013. Note – these figures include foreclosures, which are not considered “arm’s-length transactions. Their impact on the market in 2013 was not statistically significant, so I left them in.

Radford townhomes

And this graphic shows the average list price (second column from the left) and average sale price (third column from the left) of single-family home sales in Radford in 2013:Radford single-family

 

So what does the list to sale ratio show? In this case, not much. Conventional wisdom would say that with only 13 sales for the entire year, townhouse owners in Radford would be giving up more of a discount on their list price than single-family owners, when in reality the list to sale ratio for townhouses was less (96.7%) than for single-family homes (94.9%). Owners of single-family homes in Radford actually gave up MORE money on their sale than townhome owners.

The long and short of it is this. List to sale is an interesting tool, but not always a helpful or truthful tool. Use it cautiously. :)

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Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA Among The Safest

I’m admittedly a week or so behind on this news, but it’s relevant nonetheless.

Earlier this month, Farmers Insurance named the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area one of the safest places in the country. The MSA, named the 7th safest place to live among small towns (population < 150,000 people), has been on the list before, showing stability throughout the region.

What’s it mean for real estate? The impact is pretty simple, people want to live where they feel they and their family can be safe – that’s a no-brainer. Demand drives value, and the area’s housing inventory benefits.

Search for New River Valley real estate here.

So how do you know if an area is safe? You might want to walk the area, both in the daytime as well as at night, and see how things feel. Is everything shut down, or are people out and about? And always contact the local police department in an area you’re considering – they’ll be able to provide you with records detailing arrest reports. You can also use CrimeMapping, but I can’t guarantee how accurate it is.

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Giles County’s Cascades Waterfall, Frozen

Cascades Giles CountyDuring the “polar vortex” we experienced earlier this week, I mentioned online that it would be a great time to go out to Giles County’s Cascades waterfall, as I expected the waterfall was likely pretty-well frozen. I’d gone out a few years ago to see it during a snowstorm and it was really cool, but I didn’t go this year … opportunity lost. There’s my photo of the falls, to the left.

Thankfully, someone DID go this week and take photos of the falls, and his photos make you feel like you were really there (minus the negative temperatures and snot-freezing spray coming off the falls).

Cascades_FrozenThanks to photographer Michael Speed for making the trek out to the falls to capture this, and for posting it on his blog. You can read the whole post here, and see other images he captured.

Next time, I’m not saying I wish I had the time to go out there. I’m going.

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Montgomery County’s Most Expensive Sales in 2013

cash moneyIt’s always fun to look back at the year and see what the most expensive sales in Montgomery County were during the year – and particularly interesting that this year, all five homes sold within $25000 of each other.

 
15. 2224 Birchleaf Lane, Blacksburg. Wyatt Farm, in Blacksburg, almost always ends up in a Top 5 post somewhere, so it’s no surprise to see it here this time, either. Listed by Coldwell Banker Townside, this custom-built home sold very quickly, going under contract in just four days at $700000. Amazing.

24. 3841 Buck Mountain Ridge, Blacksburg. Off and on the market since 2008, this property – listed by RE/Max 1st Realty – finally sold in 2013, for $700000. Spread out over 9 acres, this home in Brush Mountain West (just outside Blacksburg) should give the new owner PLENTY of space. 

33. 207 Eakin St, Blacksburg. This house, just on the edge of downtown Blacksburg, has a real presence from the street. Set on a corner lot, the previous owner had done a fantastic remodel on all three floors. Listed by Coldwell Banker Townside, and sold for $705000.

42. 335 Airport Road, Blacksburg. Didn’t get a chance to see this one, but it’s not hard to see how a newer home like this one, located in downtown, wouldn’t sell quickly for $720000. This one took just a month to go under contract – but oh, the pictures! Listed by RE/Max 1st Realty.


And without further delay, the most expensive home that sold in Montgomery County in 2013 …

51. 343 Airport Road, Blacksburg. Also listed by RE/Max 1st Realty, this home was built for a builder’s family. 4000 square feet finished, with another 2000 square feet available to finish later, the home featured everything you’d expect from something at $725000, and with nearly an acre of land in downtown. Very nice.

So there you have it – the most expensive sales in Montgomery County in 2013. Any surprises? Just one, for me … it’s amazing that some of the photos were taken from a cell phone. The houses sold, so I guess my argument is tempered a bit, but professional photography, anyone?

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How to prevent frozen pipes.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the last few days, you’re more than aware that the New River Valley is going to experience some very cold temperatures tomorrow. Wind chills in the negative temperatures, with gusting winds. Good stuff. What’s not good is what that cold can do to your home’s plumbing. This afternoon and evening, it would be a good idea to follow some of the guidelines in the graphic below, as well as making sure that hoses connected outside are disconnected.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Here’s a link to a larger version of the above graphic. Thanks, State Farm, for the graphic.

Stay safe and warm, New River Valley!

 

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Christmas Lights in the New River Valley 2013

Christmas season is upon us, and one of the things I really look forward to is going out to look at all the houses decorated in lights. In years past, we’ve done the Christmas Map, where I’ve highlighted all of the houses I found that had some really great decorations – both elegant AND gaudy (oh admit it, you like the gaudy ones too). This year, I’m behind in getting the map up, and truthfully I just don’t have the time to do it.

But I’d like to keep this tradition going, and so, apparently, would many of you. So in the spirit of giving and sharing, let’s try and make a map together! Below, I’ve got the map as it was created last year – I’m sure that many of the addresses are incorrect, so I’ll be working to clean those up. In the meantime, if your neighbors have decorated their house for the holidays, email me the address and I’ll add it to the map. Have you decided that you’re going to go all Clark Griswold this year? Email me the address and I’ll add it to the map. Have you seen a house that defies all rules of energy usage as we know them? Email me the address and … you get the drift. That’s it!

Please share this post with friends and family, and let’s enjoy all the lights of the New River Valley together!


View Christmas Lights in the New River Valley in a larger map

If you know of incorrect addresses on this map, please email me and let me know so that I can delete them.

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Brokers License. Finally.

Brokers_License-3

 

I’ve been tracking the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s site nearly every day for the last two weeks, waiting for my paperwork to clear and see the two words circled above. After having been a sales agent for nearly ten years, I finally did what I should have done a long time ago and got my brokers license.

What’s it mean for my clients? Nothing.

But to me it represents 10 years of working and learning at something I have a true passion for, and I’m pretty darn proud of it.

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How Many Buyers in the New River Valley Are Cash Buyers?

cash money“Cash is king”, they say. And for the last few months, reports have been floating around that as many as 50% of buyers in some real estate markets around the country are using cash to purchase their homes.

Fifty percent.

The New River Valley of VA isn’t the rest of the country, but I wondered how many buyers in 2013 used cash to buy their real estate. Of the 1476 homes sold in the NRV January 1 through November 30, 21.4% (317) of those transactions were listed as all-cash sales. Not exactly 50%, but statistically significant, I’d say. And that number of 21.4% is actually down from 2012, when 23.2% of all sales were all-cash sales.

Want more details and statistics? Check out our latest Nest Report.

Interesting? Perhaps. It’s hard to say how many of those 317 sales were foreclosures, which are very often cash sales, and what is spurring the increase nationwide. It does highlight again the fact that, while the rest of the country as a whole might be seeing an increase in cash sales, the New River Valley has actually seen a decrease. Real estate is local … what happens here might not be happening elsewhere, and vice versa.

As a quick aside, I also looked at how many properties were selling with other popular loan types. Interesting to see how, when the market in 2012 hadn’t quite started to pick up steam yet, a greater percentage of buyers chose little (FHA) to no-money down (USDA) options versus putting down a down payment.

Type of Loan 2013 2012
Cash 317 317
Conventional 680 558
FHA (96.5% financing) 101 145
USDA (100% financing) 98 113
VA (100% financing to eligible veterans) 79 53

The long and short of it? Perhaps another reminder that what we hear about real estate on the news may or may not be happening in a particular area … other than that, sometimes it’s just interesting to see what the numbers actually report.

Photo credit.

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