Tag Archives: New River Valley

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 NRVLiving.com.

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


What Do People Love About Living in the New River Valley?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked on Facebook and Twitter “what do you love about living in the New River Valley?”  I was overwhelmed with responses, both in messages on Facebook, or tweets, or emails and in one case, a text.  Here’s a list, unedited, of some of the reasons why people are so in love with the New River Valley (well, bolding or links are mine … so it’s partially unedited).  Leave some more reasons in the comments?

  • When you drive down the back roads and people wave
  • I love coming over a hill and seeing the Blue Ridge Mountains everywhere
  • I like that I can leave my keys in the ignition and not worry about it not being there when I come out of a store or restuarant. Plus how clean it is.
  • We love that there’s curbside recycling available, and that it’s growing to include even more of the Valley!
  • The abundance of coffee shops, the tech savviness, the short work commute, the Hokies!, the plentiful, jaw-dropping sunsets, etc…
  • That if I go out of town for the weekend and forget to lock the front door, all of my stuff is still in my house when I return. Short commute
  • The sense of community, parks and open spaces, the university brings events that a small town otherwise may not have (art, music, sports), and everything Caroline said, there lots of athletic people and they´re always talking about the shortest nba player or the latest sports news.
  • Friendly people, supportive environment
  • There isn’t any traffic – unless you’re trying to go to a football game at Lane Stadium
  • I buy my fruits and vegetables from the Farmer’s Market and my meat directly from the farmer.  I love knowing where my food comes from
  • Even though I have never gone to The Lyric on a Monday, I love the text message I get from Downtown Blacksburg each Monday informing me that it’s “Free Popcorn Monday” at The Lyric
  • I love the parades we have for Christmas and 4th of July and how the whole Town attends them
  • The kids in my neighbohrood play outside all day long and build forts, make up games, collect bugs and pick wild blackberries. I love that they can just be kids.
  • There’s a planetarium in Radford that offers free shows.  At night, we can sit out on our deck and see the stars and point out all the new things we learned.
  • At the local coffee shops, people don’t have conversations about what they watched on TV. They talk about how they can make our community better.
  • I love that I can jump on Amtrak in the morning out of Lynchburg and be in the heart of New York City by mid-afternoon, all for $66.50 (and have wi-fi all the way)
  • I love that I can catch Megabus in Christiansburg and be in the heart of DC in 4.5 hours for $8 (and have free wi-fi all the way).  If i want to take the BT to catch the MegaBus in Christiansburg, it costs me an extra $.50.
  • If I leave my neighborhood and travel 7 minutes west, I can see a covered bridge that was built more than 100 years ago.  If I trvel 7 minutes east, I can see the amazing things being researched and invented at Virginia Tech to improve our future. Some other time I want to experience traveling and backpacking in India with IndiaSomeday.com experiencing ayahuasca journeys.
  • I have neighbors from Sweden, Poland, Mexico, China, India, and all parts of the US.  I experience the true meaning of diversity every day.
  • I love that we have more health food stores and local markets than traditional grocery stores.
  • I can experience three seasons in one day … I’m learning to layer my clothes and love that.
  • I have a menu of collegiate athletic events I can choose to attend each week – many of which are free.
  • The Christiansburg Aquatic Center.  It has a water park for my son and free wi-fi for me – I love it.
  • My family can have a nice dinner out with table service for less than $30.
  • My property taxes are less than 5% of the tax bill my parents pay on their house in New York. And I love to remind them of that.
  • When people here say, “Hi! How are you today?”, they look you in the eyes and they mean it.
  • Life in the New River Valley is not a sprint; it’s a marathon (quote from @nrvliving)
  • Volunteering and giving to others is the norm here, rather than the exception
  • I love that wherever I travel in the NRV, I always have a beautiful view out of my window.
  • History is cherished here, rather than ignored
  • I love the “casualness” of the NRV.  We put on our “nice” jeans and bowling t-shirts here to go out to dinner.  It’s okay to wear your slippers to the grocery store.  Sweatshirts are perfectly acceptable church attire. And if you want to look like a professional at church or at work, then Complement your workwear and professional outlook with a mens leather briefcase from Blaxton Bags. And the kids all wear VT shirts to school.

A NYC Native Shows Off Some Of What Southwest VA Has To Offer

I love living in the New River Valley. I could name fifty reasons why right off the bat, and if you gave me five minutes I could come up with another fifty pretty easily, I’m sure. My friends scattered around the country – in NYC, in PA, in Chicago – don’t quite understand why I’d want to live in a little valley here in Southwest VA. “We have Broadway”, they say, or mention Wrigley Field as if a plane isn’t available to me somehow. Sure, it’s SWVA, but it’s not like we have to walk ten miles to “get to town”, you know?

There’s something to be said for the way small-town life and the university culture inexplicably meld together to create this ever-changing, energetic vibrancy.  Too many adjectives in the last part of that sentence?  Oh well … it’s hard to describe, and something that Noah Hutton came down from New York City (to see for himself.  Sponsored in part by the NewVa Corridor Technology Council, this short film does a good job of highlighting some of that energy … no offense to Arlington but we don’t need an area rap to represent all the natural beauty that surrounds us here, or point out the great eats, the awesome venues, and the incredible people that make up both the New River Valley, and Roanoke Valley.  They serve to explain why so many people, year after year, come back to the mountains of Virginia.

Noah, great job.  You’re welcome back anytime, my friend.

Are The Right Jobs Coming to the New River Valley?

Lots of talk about jobs in the New River Valley recently, it seems.

The Radford elections centered, in part, around jobs.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about a new data center – is it Microsoft, is it Google – in Christiansburg.

And Thursday, a Colombian company that manufacturers food packaging said it’s moving to Pulaski County.

Will jobs really begin flowing into the New River Valley?  And is that really a good thing?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m for jobs.  I like jobs.  Even have a couple myself.  And to the companies that have announced that they’re coming – or thinking of coming – to our area, this is not an indictment of you or your business.  What I’m concerned with is the lack of small-business creation in our area.  A company coming in and adding 250, or 1000, new jobs, is nice and all, but when that company is broken up, or sold to the highest bidder, those jobs all leave (see: Radford, VA).  I’ve seen it with my own eyes – I used to work in Kannapolis, NC for a minor-league baseball team.  The largest employer in the area, Fieldcrest Cannon, shuttered its’ doors overnight.  Thousands of jobs lost, and the city of Kannapolis has suffered.  It’s trying to rebuild, but it’s taken a significant (think BILLIONS of dollars) amount of capital from both private and public sources to get things moving forward … and at a snail’s pace.  When a packaging company decides it can package somewhere else, what happens to those people?

I don’t have stats in front of me, but I’d venture a guess that most small businesses are offshoots of other small businesses.  When a small business closes its’ doors, I’d bet that it’s a lot easier for an employee of that business to be willing to go out and try something new because they’ve seen it before.  They’ve been a part of that entrepreneurial thing, and that fear bug doesn’t bite quite as hard as it used to, and the cycle of new business formation continues.  When a large corporation picks up and leaves, the cycle stops for quite a while.

New River Valley jobs are good, and we need them.  But I hope that our elected officials aren’t looking too far forward and neglecting what’s in our backyard.  Small businesses are invested in our communities, because they’re a part of our communities.  Small businesses don’t need economic incentives and tax breaks to set up shop in the New River Valley, they already know the benefits and quality of life that comes from living and working here (but I’m sure they’d be interested in talking about tax breaks).  And small businesses engage and interact with our local communities because, well, they’re a part of them.  Let’s put a focus on creating sustainable, growth-oriented small businesses, as well.

New River Valley Real Estate Tax Rates

Death and taxes.  Good way to start a post, right?

When making a mortgage payment every month, one of the pieces of that payment includes your real estate taxes.  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.*

The good news is that by paying taxes, we’re contributing to the infrastructure that makes the New River Valley such a great place to live.  But how the heck do they come up with the amount you need to pay?  Well, it’s based on the rate that’s voting on by the various municipalities, and they’re detailed below.  You’ll note that some have TWO rates – one is the Town or City rate, added to the County rate.  And should you need more information about a particular location, feel free to use the phone numbers below to contact the taxing authority.

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 .96 = 2325           Yearly tax $2325

Locale Tax Rate Phone Number
Blacksburg $.22 + $.74 = $.96 540-961-1105
Bland County $.55 540-688-3741
Christiansburg $.1126 + $.74 = $.8526 540-382-9519
Craig County $.56 540-864-6241
Floyd County $.47 540-745-9345
Giles County $.52 540-626-7067
Montgomery County $.74 540-382-5717
Pulaski County $.54 540-980-7785
Radford City $.76 540-731-3661
Rich Creek $.20 + $.52 = $.72 540-726-3260
Town of Floyd $.47 540-745-9435
Town of Pulaski $.30 + $.54 = $.84 540-994-8640
Town of Narrows $.31 + $.52 = $.83 540-726-2423
Town of Pearisburg $.27 + $.52 = $.79 540-921-0340
Town of Pembroke $.26 + $.52 = $.78 540-626-7191

* Tax information is assumed reliable – contact the local Commissioner of the Revenue for more information.  Updated 6/28/10.

How To Buy A Short Sale

Last week I talked about having a short sale right down the street from an upcoming listing.  It’s not the greatest deal in the world, to have a house just steps away that’s being sold for less than what is owed on it, but it is what it is.  My sellers are realistic, they’ve got a house that’ll be priced right and will show great, and we’ll continue on.

One of the emails I received over the weekend asked, “Is buying a short sale something you recommend?“.  Kristina, if you’re ready for an interesting experience, then yes, buying a short sale here in the New River Valley is something I recommend.  Three things:

  1. Hard work is required. The bank has agreed to let the borrower – in this case, the homeowner – sell the house for less than it’s worth.  In all likelihood, you’re not going to get the belle of the ball.  The house is likely going to be in some state of disrepair (I’m not suggesting all homeowners who sell short do this, just suggesting that sometimes you’ll need a little more than elbow grease), and since the borrower has already shown they have no money to make the payments, they’re not likely to make any repairs, either.
  2. Losing the deal will happen.  When your offer goes to the bank for approval, it could very well be one of several offers on the same property.  And the bank will continue to accept offers until it makes a decision.  Don’t be surprised if, while waiting for a response from the bank, you learn that you’ve lost out to another offer.  Your agent should help you write as tight an offer as possible, but when push comes to shove the banks only care about the bottom dollar.  You WILL lose a short sale from time to time … the key is to lose as few as possible.
  3. Hope you’re not in a hurry. I thought about writing this point first, but saving it for last seemed more appropriate since we’re not in a hurry.  And I hope you aren’t, either, because buying a short sale will take time.  There’s no sitting down at the kitchen table and presenting an offer when it comes to a short sale – the offer is agreed upon the seller and THEN it’s submitted to an overworked “specialist” who reviews and approves everything.  Since this specialist is working on who knows how many hundreds of other files at the same time, it could sit for quite a while.  If you don’t have the time to wait, don’t – and if you do, I hope you’re patient.  Honey can cure a lot of troubles, but it’s not guaranteed when dealing with a short sale.

I’m sure I’m not the first to repeat this to their clients, but I constantly remind my clients that one of the greatest strengths of a good agent is their ability to be an unemotional facilitator in the transaction.  When it comes to short sales, both the homeowner selling the home, and the buyer trying to buy the home, need to ratchet up their ability to be unemotional, as well.  It’ll take time, and it might be ugly at times, but if you’ve got the patience you can buy a short sale.

Updated 2/2/10 2:10pm – Danilo Bogdanovic just posted a good addition to this post, entitled “How Long Do Short Sales Take?“.  If anyone would know it’d be an agent in the 51st state, Northern Virginia.

What Exactly Is A Short Sale?

Next week, I’ll be listing a house in Christiansburg.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that just a few doors down, there’s a short sale.

I wanted my clients to see the floor plan of this particular house because it’s a little different than many of the others on the street, and so we took a little walk to look around.  As we were in the house, I mentioned that the property was a short sale, and asked if they knew what that meant.  Blank stares.

Not much has been posted on this blog about short sales because, well truthfully, we just haven’t seen too many of them.  There was this post, “What Is A Short Sale, Really?“, but that’s really about it.  I sense that short sales will become more prevalent here in the New River Valley though, as our real estate trends tend to be a bit behind many of the larger metropolitan areas – here’s to hoping I’m wrong, but if that’s the case than it’s likely we’ll see a rise of them in the next year or so.  But back to the story …

A short sale is simply when a homeowner owes more to the lender than their home is worth.  It’s an unfortunate scenario, but one that is pretty common in a lot of areas.  The impact of a short sale to a homeowners’ credit is often less of a hit than that of a foreclosure, but nevertheless it’s a tough pill to swallow.  And the impact on surrounding properties can also be tough to deal with, as well, as homes sold “short” will often drag down comparable home values.  A short sale isn’t always a lender’s first preference, but when it comes to choosing to foreclose – and then having to put a foreclosed property on the market – versus getting some kind of value for the property, I suspect most lenders will choose to at least explore a short sale with the borrower.

But a short sale isn’t for everyone.  As the borrower, you’ll need to prove to the lender that you can’t afford to continue making payments – this is done through what’s called a hardship letter, and in this letter you’ll need to explain – with verification – exactly why the payments are not being made.  Once the lender has agreed to allow the home to be sold short, the house can be put under contract … but it doesn’t get any easier.  There are any number of moving targets that need to be met, and as a homeowner you should know that not every short sale that goes under contract successfully makes it to the closing table.

The long and short of a short sale is this – it can be done, but it’s not easy, and it’s not foolproof.  At some point, because the bank is the one making the final decision on whether to accept less than what is owed, the decision-making is taken out of your hands; if you’re not comfortable with the uncertainty of that, a short sale may not be right for you.  And an agent who knows their way around a short sale is a must.

If you think you might need to address the possibility of a short sale with your lender, contact me and let’s talk.  There may be other ways of handling it, but even if there aren’t, we can get you through it.

Updated 2/2/10 2:10pm – Danilo Bogdanovic just posted a good addition to this post, entitled “How Long Do Short Sales Take?“.  If anyone would know it’d be an agent in the 51st state, Northern Virginia.

Search for New River Valley Real Estate in Real-Time

Finally, real-time search is available on NRVLiving.com.  My thanks to Gary Cope of CWIMedia for his help getting it set up!

Now, find the properties you’re interested in, right from NRVLiving.com.  This new search is much better than the old one as it offers as much search criteria as you’d like in order to find just the results you’re looking for … and if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, email me and we’ll craft a search that’ll keep you updated as new things come out.

If you see something that’s not working, please let me know; I know you’ll find this new search feature a vast improvement.

“Best in the New River Valley” series – Part 4

Welcome to a new week, and another in the “Best in the New River Valley” series!  In part 1, we introduced Coldwell Banker Townside, the real estate company you voted #1 in the New River Valley.  In part 2, we introduced yours truly and my snake charming skills.  Part 3 included an interview with Mike Eggleston, the agent voted #1 in the New River Valley, and in today’s video, we asked others what they thought about Mike and myself – you might be surprised at their answers.

So why exactly are we doing this?  Because last year, you voted Coldwell Banker Townside the #1 real estate agency in the New River Valley, and you voted Mike and myself the #1 and #2 real estate agents, respectively (although I’m still disputing the results), in the New River Valley.  We’re proud of that fact, and excited to share with you all the reasons we think Coldwell Banker Townside is special!

Don’t forget to vote!  Voting is now open at The Roanoke Times‘ website, or by clicking through on this link, and the deadline to cast your vote is February 14th.

Disclaimer #1 – your participation entitles you to nothing but our undying admiration. And – we hope – perhaps a chuckle or three.

Disclaimer #2 – thank you for thinking so much of us.  Seriously.  We’ve had a lot of fun with these videos, and we hope that you enjoy them, but in all honesty none of this would be happening if you didn’t think well of us and vote.

Disclaimer #3 – see Disclaimers 1 and 2.  Rinse and repeat.