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Home Buying in Albemarle County : Real Estate Advice

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Activity 15
Thu Jun 2, 2016
Catpiss answered:
I know this question is old but feel an urge to answer it for those that may come across this thread and should know. If you find a house with cat urine smell don't buy it unless it's steeply discounted. Most of the advice here is for temporary fixes or ways to nuetralize the home temporary which actually works for sellers but then the buyers get stuck with a litter box smelling house down the road when humidity re dampens the urine. I bought a vacant townhome property that was a rental unit and had no signs of cat urine. The flooring was replaced and walls all painted so the smell was nuetralized the first so many months I lived there. Then came those hot humid summer days oh my house stank I was trying to find out WTF. So one day I decided to replace one of the floors I ripped the baseboard off the wall and it was rotted out behind with cat urine. Not happy, the cat urine literally absorbed through the wall paneling, sheet rock, framing, into the concrete. I was pissed literally. I had to basically gut my whole finished basement. I might as well have bought a foreclosed home with mold wouldn't have been anymore work. This cat piss gets not only into the carpets, and the carpet pad, but into the subfloor and trusses. It's nasty stuff.

All of these painting and carpet cleaning suggestions are BS they don't work. You'll be gutting a cat ruined property. Too bad more people don't know, my personal opinion a cat urine property should sell for substantially less than a mold infested property. At least the mold is usually contained to one area of the house. Where cats spray to claim multiple parts of a home. If the litter box is out of the home and it still stinks of cat urine better believe those cats marked their territory. I'm sure plenty of pet people will tell you different and their cats are good but cats no what their doing they'll mark when owners aren't looking. The cost of eliminating cat urine will be in the 5 figure price range or more. Often owners won't disclose cat urine because they actually think that carpet cleaning and repainted takes care of the problem and it does long enough to sell the house and stuff the new owners. I'm not kidding when I say a cat urined house should be discounted the same as a moldy house. Of course if you're going to own cats and cat piss stank doesn't bother you buy a cat sprayed house. If cats aren't your thing stay far away from properties that reek of cat urine. I wish I could post photos in this thread to prove my point. But, might as well take it from me unless losing 20k fixing the problem sounds fun to you. Don't believe me google things like "undisclosed cat urine" "previous owners cat urine" there's plenty of horror stories out there.
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2 votes 26 answers Share Flag
Mon Jan 4, 2016
Helenecoutarrel76 answered:
It really is teeming with scams on the internet, really not normal. In one week I lost 500usd for payments. I had inquiries made ??at Dandy
came just disappointed. I would recommend anyone to advertise on the site.I've only tried it a different website, and when I had finally found someone
who was still honest ( Because he asked me in advance, but doubted he could give evidence and so I took the risk anyway
and I was able to borrow from him. 30000usd,please don't email anybody said to be a loan lender in this website because they are all scams,they
disappoint me and run away with my 500usd,Mr Steve Mcclaren is the only one i trust because he gave me the loan i needed,,please do not email anyone in
this website because they are scams they pretend to be loan lenders they rip people of their hard earned money the USA Attorney General Of Police are
searching for this guys in the internet right now so don't email this guys please they will rip you off like they did to me..
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Sat Apr 25, 2015
Nikki Lewis answered:
Perhaps the realtor who submitted the home into the mls has determined that there is a possibility of creating a master on the first level. If there is a room that is currently used as an office ( or other use) but could be easlily converted into a master bedroom, they would want that to be know. ... more
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Sun Nov 17, 2013
Bill Eckler answered:
This is an excellent post and one that I hope many agents take the opportunity to read, process, research, and apply to their business practice.

Since reading your post, I have researched this topic and now feel I have new information to be able to pass along to my customers.

Knowledge is an important piece of serving the public in a manner in which it should be treated.


Bill Eckler
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 9, 2012
Anne Oliver answered:
You can contact the Condominium Association directly or the attorney who represents them for this information. If you are working with an agent, she/he can help you.
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sat Apr 16, 2011
Cliff Kavanaugh answered:
The best way to find a home in the counties around Charlottesville Virginia is to find an agent who has a great mapping interface with the local MLS. Find a website that is so interactive it sometimes feels like a online game. Some interactive real estate mapping is factually fun to use and by searching for homes using your cursor across home icons, as you can get instant price, photos and address information relative to other nearby homes, schools, hospitals, landmarks and business location throughout a community. ... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sun May 9, 2010
Dan Chase answered:
Don Tepper beat me to the punch. (sighs)

foreclosure listings on trulia are all realtytrack. ALL realtytrack listings on here are BOGUS.

The best way to know if a price is correct (from my experience) would be to either ask a realtor showing the MLS# or address OR to go to and type in the address or MLS# in a search. is said to be the most up to date site a buyer can access by themselves.

If the listing is from a site that asks for a free trial (read payment somewhere) ignore it completely. Realtors dispense such information freely hoping someone will buy so they can earn their commission.
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Fri Mar 26, 2010
Gerard Dunn answered:
You can check to see if the Seller will offer owner financing for a small portion of the purchase price. There are still lenders out there that will allow a second trust - if they are at 70-75% LTV.

Good Luck!
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Tue Mar 23, 2010
Hegarty & Peery Real Estate Partners answered:
I think one question that would be wise to answer would be how long you anticipate staying in any home that you might purchase. Ultimately, the longer you stay in a well bought home, the more likely you are to realize a return on your investment when you sell. Historically, detached homes and town homes perform better than condos and many condo purchases necessitate a large down payment that you won't find with other homes. Additionally, some condo association rules prohibit owners from renting a unit out, limiting your options should you outgrow the home or need to move. The type of acceptable financing as well as any renting limitations would be important things to look into before you invest any serious time in looking at a particular development. Town homes and detached homes offer more flexibility and in our area can be expected to appreciate faster though I understand your concern about yard work and upkeep as well I sense a hesitancy about being to far away from the hub of Charlottesville which leads me to suggest that you first consider a town home. Have an agent put a tour together for you and visit several in various neighborhoods, if nothing seems like a good fit then you can always revisit other options in the same fashion.

Another important factor to take into account is the first time home buyers tax credit and the current low interest rates. If you could find a well price home that meets your needs now as opposed to even a few months from now it would likely represent nearly 5% in savings (plus factor in the probability of rising interest rates and what that could do to lessen your buying power). The best bet is to educate yourself with the help of a Realtor. Research your options, delaying even a few months might significantly compromise your purchasing power. Please feel free to call on me for assistance. Shopping is free and I think that we can help.
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue Dec 29, 2009
Stan Reed answered:
Honest answer. The "Tax Value" is an assesment performed by local government to raise money via taxes. While they try to be fair they are not interested in what a particular house may sell for or may be worth on the market. Please do not use a tax assessment only as an offer price or as a listing price. I have had several closings in the past several months where the "Tax Value" is either higher or lower than the selling price by over $100,000.00.

Banks do not use tax values to write loans and buyers and sellers should not use tax values to figure selling or buying figures.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Stan Reed, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
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1 vote 3 answers Share Flag
Thu Oct 29, 2009
Yates Nobles answered:
Please check out my website for a list of foreclosure properties. You can also go to the courthouse records for Charlottesville or Albemarle and search for properties where the title has been transferred to a bank, which may well be an indication of foreclosure proceedings. A good real estate agent can help you find properties listed in our MLS system that are being foreclosed or those that are headed for a "short sale."

If you are a first time home buyer, please be aware that the present $8000 home credit is set to expire at the end of this year. That alone is a great discount when purchasing, but taking action now is important. There is a possibility that this tax credit will be extended, though there is a great likelihood that the amount of the credit will lower.
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Tue Jul 21, 2009
George Herndon answered:
That being said, tax assessments are being used by aggressive buyers (and supported by agents) to make low ball offers. I sold my home in Earlysville back in April. I was originally offered a price $34K below my asking price, which was supported by an appraisal less than a year old, but my agent's counsel was to accept the offer simply because it was a "good offer." To her dismay, I countered and got the price I needed.

If you want to see a market where houses are selling 24-30% below tax assessment, checkout what homes are selling for at Stoney Creek (Wintergreen).
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Fri Jun 12, 2009
Robyn Owen answered:
It all depends on location. One area may have super high appreciation in the higher end, like Brier Creek here in Raleigh, whereas other areas are appreciating more in the lower end of the scale, like anywhere in Cary/Morrisville, NC. If there is a lot of inventory that will slow the appreciation down somewhat, like what happened in Wake Forest, while a low supply will certainly quicken it. Generally homes in decent condition and in decent areas appreciate no matter what over time, it is just a matter of how fast or slow. Just look at how much homes were worth in the 50's compared to today. Some of that is obviously just inflation, but a lot has to do with real appreciation over time.

Even in today's market in Raleigh, where housing prices have 'dropped', if you look at the long term, you'll see that we actually experienced a boom in 2006, that shot housing prices way too high. Now they have dropped down to where they would have been if they had simply kept appreciating consistently. But if you bought a home in 2005 for $199K, then suddenly your house was worth $250K in 2006, then dropped back down to $235K in 2009, it may seem like you lost value, but you actually experienced a yearly appreciation of 4%!
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Fri Jan 2, 2009
Charles McDonald answered:
Tony - how did things work out for you?
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