School Snow Days in Montgomery Count

Snow is on the way for the New River Valley, and Montgomery County Public Schools Big Tweeter Mark Miear posted a helpful infographic of how MCPS reviews conditions, and determines school closures. I thought I’d post it here – I don’t have any details on other counties in the region, but I have to imagine they follow similar protocols. Dr. Miear’s – who’s a great follow on Twitter, he routinely engages with students and teachers – post even got a musical response from a sister duo

I, for one, say LET IT SNOW!

snow MCPS

Build A Gingerbread House and Support Micah’s Backpack

One of our favorite fundraisers at Nest Realty every year is our annual Gingerbread House contest, supporting Micah’s Backpack. We’ve been doing it for several years now, and each year we get the question “are you doing the gingerbread houses again?” Yes!

There are still a few gingerbread houses left, and the deadline for building your house, and delivering it to Kent Square, has been extended! All the details are in the flyer below. Can’t see the image? Here’s what you need to know:

  • pick up your house at either Nest Realty, or Kent Jewelers. The kit is $30, and ALL PROCEEDS go to Micah’s Backpack!
  • your completed house can be delivered to the Kent Square lobby by 5pm on December 6th
  • all entrants will be displayed in the Kent Square lobby through December 20th
  • vote for your favorite house! Votes are $1 each, and the winner will be announced at 10am on December 22nd at The Lyric Theatre

There are some great entrants already – what can you come up with?!

Dusting Off The Keyboard … Again.

Yesterday I had the honor of being installed as the 2019 President of the New River Valley Association of Realtors. I woke up this morning feeling … well, feeling just like I did yesterday. Fame and fortune are sure to follow though, I’m sure. That’s not the point of this post, however. Association leadership was never something I truly desired. What I wanted was for Nest Realty to have a voice in the discussions surrounding the issues of our industry, and to set the example for others that there’s value in having a seat at the table. I might have overshot that a little bit, but I’m happy to represent the nearly 500 members, and affiliate members, for the next year.

During the ceremony, it was mentioned that this little real estate blog was one of the early sites talking about real estate way back in the Dark Ages of the internet. To be fair, I was simply copying the examples set by guys like Jim Duncan and Todd Carpenter, but no one in the New River Valley was talking about real estate online yet, so in I stepped. As a newer agent, writing helped me understand the market influences I was seeing, it helped me share what I was learning with others, and it created a community of sorts. It brought some clients and, more importantly, some friends.

But life happens. A lot of it was good. Some of it was bad. I started a recycling business. Switched real estate companies. Got a divorce. Sold a recycling company. Bought a real estate company. Remarried. Had a beautiful baby girl. There was a bunch of other stuff in between. And at some point, writing about real estate in the New River Valley took a back seat to a host of other things. Yesterday I was reminded of how much I enjoyed this little outlet of mine, and I’d like to think at least two or three of you enjoyed it, as well.

So this is my manifesto, of sorts. I’m dusting off the keyboard, blocking some time in my calendar on a weekly basis, and getting back to something I’ve enjoyed for a long time. Whether anyone still reads it or not, it’s cathartic for me, at least. But, maybe, if you’re still out there – maybe, from time to time, let me know you’re still there?

Real Estate and School Resource Officers in Montgomery County

If you haven’t been following along – and how could you not be? – school safety is rightfully the topic of the day YEAR right now, and that is no different in Montgomery County. In fact, it was on the Board of Supervisors most recent agenda this past Monday night, where BOS members listened to Sheriff Hank Partin discuss the need to add to their School Resource Officer force. Yann Ranaivo, a Roanoke Times reporter and fantastic follow on Twitter, was there and detailed the discussion, embedded in abbreviated form below. Everything takes money, of course, and the discussion revolved in part around how to fund these new positions. As a result of that discussion, the BOS voted to propose (highlighted to point out that it’s not a guaranteed increase!) of $1.5 cents per $100 assessed value on real estate in Montgomery County. The current rate for the County is $.89 cents per $100; this proposal would bump that to $90.5 cents per $100.

It’s hard to imagine, in today’s world, that we wouldn’t want to have the funds in place to ensure our schools are properly secured. For context, according to the 2017 Nest Realty Nest Report, the median sales price for a home in the County was ~ $214,500. At a rate of $.89/$100 of assessed value, that property owner is paying $1909.05 in real estate property taxes. Under the new proposal, if that rate had been $.905/$100 of assessed value, the total tax liability would rise $32.17 to $1941.22. As Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Mark Miear posted on Twitter, “Would you be willing to pay this amount to add SRO’s to elementary schools?

You can read a Storify of Yann’s tweets below, or his article here. So … good idea, or bad one?


Tax Reform and Real Estate

If you’re paying any attention at all, you know that tax reform is one of countless issues being discussed in Washington DC right now. Whether you like what the House and Senate are proposing, or whether you don’t, the fact is that what’s on the table as “reform” has some serious deficiencies, and will be vigorously debated in the next several weeks.

As a primer, I wanted to highlight the differences between the House and Senate bills. As of this writing, the House has passed its’ version, on November 16 2017, with the Senate set to begin floor consideration after Thanksgiving. So what’s in each plan (for now)?

The above details were provided by the top real estate agents in Austin Tx. For further context from NAR, make sure to read the Overview here – essentially, “NAR is OPPOSED to the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” tax reform plan released by the Senate Finance Committee, and its companion legislation H.R.1 passed by the House of Representatives on November 16.”

The Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) is one of the biggest talking points within the real estate community to come out of these plans and that’s why houses are selling so good, some people even look for some nice Costa Blanca Properties for Sale by great real estate sites as On the surface, the MID allows a homeowner to reduce their taxable income by deducting the interest they’re paying on their mortgage. I was unable to find current statistics on this deduction for Virginia, but it looks as if – in 2014 – Virginia homeowners deducted an average of $10,250 in MID, saving $2,750 in taxable income. Removing this deduction keeps a not-so-insignificant amount of money as taxable for somewhere around 70% of all Virginians. The MID is further canceled out because standard deductions are doubled, while state and local tax deductions are eliminated. This is $2,750 that Virginians put back into their homes, into their small businesses, into their savings … this is money that doesn’t get reinvested, either actively or passively, into the local community ever again.

Everyone – myself included – wants lower taxes, but we can’t provide those if offering lower taxes to some means putting higher taxes on to the majority of Americans, which these repeals and modifications would clearly do. Further, tax reform doesn’t mean short-term cuts to some Americans that would roll into tax increases in just five short years. We have to do better.

There are plenty of resources out there regarding tax reform and its impact on American homeowners. For two resources, I’d suggest starting with NAR and their Tax Reform page, as well as Home Ownership Matters. I’d love to be able to provide resources that accurately reflect the benefits of this plan, but the truth is that they’re incredibly difficult to find. Investopedia has a really good breakdown, however, and it’s about as holistic a look at the issue as I’ve been able to find.

Make sure your Senators and Representatives know your thoughts. And let’s actually reform.


The Q3 2017 New River Valley Real Estate Market Nest Report

Winter is coming.

It’s hard to remember that when it’s in the mid-70’s in late October, but winter IS coming. And that means the third quarter is behind us.

The Q3 2017 Nest Report is out, and you can read the entire report here. In this quarter’s report, we can clearly see the effects that supply and demand have on real estate pricing in the New River Valley … that seems to be the general theme for all of 2017, in fact. Low supply, and higher demand. It’ll be something to watch going forward – for the foreseeable future, anyhow, we’re expecting that home sellers will enjoy a little positive bump in home values, many ask me; are pacific beach homes for sale at a good price? well, what I recommend in these cases is to contact homesalessandiego who know much more about the topic. As I said on the Nest Realty blog:

Depressed inventory levels have impacted our market in two primary ways. The first being constraining total sales and the second being rising prices. Certain pockets of our market experienced year-over-year increases in sales this past quarter, but others experienced significant declines as a result of declining inventory. Depressed inventory levels has also led to rising prices throughout the region with the largest spikes experienced in the highly sought after Town of Blacksburg. With fewer homes available for sale, we are seeing the basic principles of supply and demand at work with sellers being able to command higher prices.


The 2017 Nest County Fair

Excuse me while I dust this blog off a bit …

It’s been a while since I jumped back on the blogging train, and while there are a number of excuses for that, none of them are really good ones. Maybe we can get to that a little bit later … one day … perhaps.

Anywho – just got the video back from our 2017 Nest County Fair, and man was it fun! The County Fair is an annual event we hold here at Nest Realty, and it’s an opportunity to have some fun with those who’ve supported and cheered us on. While it’s something that other Nest offices have done for years – Charlottesville just celebrated with THIRTY ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE! – it’s still relatively new to our office, so we’re still somewhat small, and working out the kinks.

Despite the kinks, we had a blast, as usual! Thanks to all those who were able to join us, and celebrate what makes the New River Valley so great – the people! Here’s a short video of the event (thanks, Andrei Rizescu, for capturing this):

Want to be a part of next year’s Nest County Fair? Let’s make that happen …

Thanks for the dusty keyboard.

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. He had been looking for property at and he waited and finally got the house he wanted. Now we just have to move, so we hired this company who do Removals to Denmark.

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, specially when they have professionals from Prugh Real Estate Jackson Hole WY on their side helping them. 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.



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, it can be a hassle and it´s no wonder why people prefer investing in Denver real estate. 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

Visit long distance moving companies on to fin out more.


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, so if you’re wondering if it’s really worth selling, then get cheap conveyancing quotes first. 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.

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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, also we recommend you to check the castle rock neighborhoods if you are in need of a new location.