Tag Archives: NRV

Blacksburg Mayor Discusses Public Transportation

There’s been an interesting discussion taking place at Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam’s blog over the last few days regarding public transportation options and the Virginia Transit Association.

What’s that?  You didn’t know Mayor Rordam had a blog?

Well he does, and it’s been fairly active over the last few months.  I’d encourage you to join in the conversation …

Should Blacksburg and the New River Valley have a public transportation option, like rail?  The VTA is a good organization to get the conversation started, but as stated on their website, they provide education and advocacy:

Founded in 1977, the Virginia Transit Association (VTA) provides public education and legislative advocacy to support public transportation systems throughout the Commonwealth. The VTA has 57 total members, which include 24 transit properties and 33 business and associate members.

Which means your/our voices need to be heard.

Join the conversation.

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.

“Best in the New River Valley” series – Part 2

In Part 1 of the “Best in the New River Valley” series, we were introduced to Bill Gearhart and Anne Lee Stevens, managing brokers for Coldwell Banker Townside. They went on … and on … and on about all the things they thought went into making Coldwell Banker Townside the #1 real estate agency in the New River Valley, but truth be told they had a lot of good reasons.

But that’s not why you read this blog, right?  You want to hear from me!  <crickets chirping> Okay, my megalomaniac moment is over.  Following is Part 2 of the series, an interview with yours truly … warning, there are tears … and foam fingers.

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

Disclaimer #1 – your participation entitles you to nothing but my 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.

The State of the New River Valley Real Estate Market – November 2009

The turkey’s done, it’s time to put up the tree.

But how about a little light reading first?

The State of the New River Valley Real Estate Market – November 2009

You can download the report here.

Welcome to Single Property Websites

Single property websites, now live and only on NRVLiving.com!

The video below talks about the site, how it’s laid out, and what buyers – and sellers – can expect to find.  I’ll be working on NRVLiving.com/Properties over the next couple of weeks to finish things up, but I was so excited about getting this going that I had to share.

Several people I’ve shown this to have asked the same thing – “what’s the point?”. One of my goals in real estate is to provide as much information as possible to buyers and sellers alike, and as home buyers are out riding around I want them to have the things they want to know at their fingertips.  That’s why the signs were redesigned, and now – with just a web-enabled cell phone, they can find out even more.

NRVLiving Real Estate – maybe the tagline should be modified to read “Transparent AND Simplified.”

The State of the New River Valley Real Estate Market – October 2009

The market update for October 2009 in the New River Valley is now available.  You can also read and download the report here.

The State of the New River Valley Real Estate Market – October 2009

Looking For Live Music This Weekend?

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Want to try something a little different?

The Blacksburg Community Strings and Chamber Orchestra is holding a concert this Sunday, at 3pm, in Squires Student Center, you might want to check out.  While I’m not a raging chamber music fan – shocking, I know – I’ve found it’s always interesting to enjoy a different style once in a while.  And in this case, the concert is free.  Blacksburg has some really great community groups, and this is one of them.

Blacksburg StringsAdmission to the event is free, but donations will be taken – and for this event, will go to support the Valley Interfaith Child Care Center, a non-profit child care center serving kids of working families in the New River Valley.  This is a group very important to me and my wife, as we’ve worked with the center since it’s inception in 2004.

So check it out – 3pm in Squires Student Center.  Free to get in, but you have to pay to get out!  Sorry … bad joke.