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
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.
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.
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 to go out to dinner. It’s okay to wear your slippers to the grocery store. Sweatshirts are perfectly acceptable church attire. And the kids all wear VT shirts to school.
Oh hey – look, there’s a blog under all this dust. It’s been a while – lots of stuff happening in the New River Valley real estate market lately, so apologies for being gone. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?
The Internet is a big, big place, and it’s impossible to read it all. So I love it when readers send in links they find that are of interest. In this case, Stuart Mease emailed me and said “you need to post this.” So I did it – I follow instructions.
Reuters recently mentioned that many parents are buying real estate in college towns. The article says that parents are still buying properties as investments in college towns, and I’d say that’s still happening here in Blacksburg and Radford, as well. Certainly, it hasn’t happened at the same pace as it has in years past, but they’re still a popular choice among parents looking for an alternative to rent, or for investors looking to take advantage of the constant turnover a college town brings. But it’s not for everyone – if you don’t expect to own the home for more than three years, I would caution you to run the numbers with your real estate agent very, very carefully. Not every property will produce cash flow, and if your time frame is less than three years than you need to decide if the purchase is for investment purposes or for convenience.
The article notes:
room and board rates have increased more than 4% – Virginia Tech and Radford rates can be found here
the average cost for a four bedroom, two bath property in a college town is less than $250000
To compare, I took a quick look at the average cost for four bedroom, two bath properties in both Blacksburg and Radford over the last few years, and the numbers line up with what’s reported in the article. In Blacksburg the average price is $254000 in 2010, while in Radford it’s $156000. Pretty close to what’s reported in the article.
Interested in investing in the Virginia Tech, or Radford University, markets? Let’s talk – we can run a couple of different scenarios and see how the numbers bear out, whether for single or multiple properties – even apartment complexes.
As we head into the last half of the grade school year, you might need information about your child’s upcoming school year. Here’s how to contact the local schools in Radford, VA – thanks to education.com for the data.
The Roanoke Times’ “Best of the New River Valley” contest is back, and voting has begun!
You might remember – probably not, but let me remind you – that last year, you voted me the #2 real estate agent in the New River Valley. You also voted another Coldwell Banker Townside agent, Mike Eggleston, the #1 real estate agent, AND voted our office the #1 real estate office – a clean sweep.
In anticipation of even better things to come, Kelsey and the folks in our marketing department decided to step it up a notch this year, debuting a series of videos highlighting the office, Mike, and yours truly. We’ll roll them out over the next several days, but here’s the first one.
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.
There’s a service I’ve been providing to many folks throughout the New River Valley, and as the latest information went out I thought it might be worth mentioning again.
A lot of people ask me “when’s that house down the street going to sell?”, or “how much did that two-story on Main Street sell for?” While I’m glad to tell you, there’s a way you can find out even faster. If you’ll email me your name, email address and the neighborhood you live in, I’ll set up a search in the MLS that’ll email you every time a property in your neighborhood comes on and off the market. You’ll be the first to know when it this the market, the first to know if the price changes … be the envy of all your friends! Don’t worry – by providing your email address I won’t be spamming you, or sending you cutesy recipe cards in the hope that you’ll remember my name. If it helps, I won’t even save your address.
I’ve just found that if you’re interested in following the values in your area, this is a good, real-time way to do that. I’ve set it up for myself to track my own neighborhood, and those of some of my former clients, and can do the same for you. Just email me and I’ll set it up; I hope you find it useful.
I’ve been doing a lot of real estate reading lately – more than usual – as I begin preparing the year-end review for 2009. Of course, everyone has a “forecast” for 2010, but these seem to me to be “best guesses”. So I’m wondering …
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.”