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Charlottesville : Real Estate Advice

  • All130
  • Local Info14
  • Home Buying34
  • Home Selling9
  • Market Conditions5

Activity 71
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
Don't get so hung up on the HOA fee. Seems a lot of people are doing that lately.

Remember: The HOA fee buys you services . . . often services that you'd have to pay for separately if you didn't have the HOA fee. That can include exterior maintenance (including roof maintenance), common element maintenance, lawn care, other amenities (club house, swimming pool, snow removal, etc.). And the cost of many of those when it's done through an HOA is far less than you'd pay separate. So, if what's being provided as part of the fee is something you'd like or have to do anyway, then an HOA fee is perfectly OK.

Having covered that, I don't know the Charlottesville area well enough to recommend one over the other. However, keep location (and your needs) in mind, too. You do identify the relative locations of each, but that's important based on where you have to go to. For instance, I know some people who live in Fredericksburg who travel a lot. They have to drive all the way down to Richmond or all the way up Dulles or National every time they travel. That's a pain. Meanwhile, the community I live in is about 25 miles from Washington, D.C. If someone just had to drive to Fairfax every day, that's a 15 minute commute. If they have to work in Gaithersburg, i's more like 90 minutes. So, while location isn't as critical in Charlottesville, it's still something to consider.

Lifestyle is another issue. Where would you feel most comfortable? I'm guessing condos first, townhouse next. But that's your decision.

You mention you have a dog. Do the condos even permit dogs? Many don't. That's something to look into. Also, if you travel frequently, who will take care of your dog when you're gone? And where are they located? That's something else to consider.

You say this will be your first house. You don't say what sort of living accommodations you're used to, but if you've been living in apartments and student housing, then a single-family house is a fairly big jump. On the other hand, if you've rented houses before, you know the extra maintenance and responsibilities involved.

Finally, you ask for "advice on what the smartest investment would be." Again, I'm not an expert on Charlottesville. But the smartest investment is probably going to be the single-family home, with the townhouse second. Condos are often lousy investments. But, in your case, look for a home first, an investment second.

My gut reaction is that the townhouse option might be a good choice for you. But, again, you have to weight the different factors.

Hope that helps.
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Tue Mar 23, 2010
Jim Duncan answered:
If you are very new to the area, my recommendation to all of my buyer clients is to rent for at least 3-6 months to acclimate yourself to where you want to live and where you <i>don't</i> want to live.

What have you seen that has piqued your interest? What have you seen that is not to your liking?

I am always looking at resale, and I think that properties that are close to stuff are going to better hold their respective values more than those that are not.

Do extreme due diligence when evaluating HOAs' financials.
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Tue Mar 2, 2010
Valorie Easter answered:
You would still have a hardship. There is a process for the short sale and you woukd need to contact the loss mitigation dept of your lender. There is more to it. I was a mortgage broker for 6 years and I'm a certified short sale and REO specialist and would love to discuss if you have more questions.

Valorie Ford
Keller Williams Realty
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Sat Mar 20, 2010
Sean Dawes answered:

You can have someone pull the public records for the home. Email a local realtor and see if they can pull it up for you.

If you dont know an agent, go to the find a pro feature up top and do a quick search.

Sean Dawes
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Tue Dec 21, 2010
Jim Duncan answered:
Racket -

I'd be shocked if that foreclosure has an asbestos roof. It's worth asking, but I'd be completely stunned. Every other active one in Briarwood the MLS has a shingle roof. ... more
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Mon Dec 14, 2009
Guy Gimenez answered:
1. Is the representation in writing for all parties?

2. Review "procuring cause."

3. The "new" agent may be in violation of the Code of Ethics / laws of your state (on many levels).

You should contact your broker and ask for his/her intervention. A meeting should be scheduled with buyers, sellers, "new" agent and her broker, etc. Based on the limited info here, it appears this "new" agent interfered with your brokerage's client (Google "tortious interference") and it appears your brokerage is the procuring cause of the sale. You can't do much unless your broker stands up to this nonsense.
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Wed Dec 9, 2009
Sean Dawes answered:
This really is a tax question and I am not an accountant but one angle I would look into is forming an LLC for ownership of your new home and giving equity stakes how they should be in the LLC.

But once again I am not an accountant or attorney and you should consult with legal and tax advice from a professional.

Sean Dawes
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Fri Jun 19, 2009
ValorieLynn answered:
I would discuss with your management company paying half of the 6% to the other agent. If not, you have only agreed to 6% and the tenant would be responsible for paying his/her agent. Good luck! ... more
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Mon Jun 15, 2009
Kristy Hull answered:
Give Thurston Ford, REALTOR a call. He specializes in Foreclosure, Bank owned property, short sales, etc.

He works in my office and I know he is great to work with and finds great deals!

Thurston Ford, REALTOR Cell: 540/ 797-5078 Email:
Spring Cho Real Estate Group
701 Brandon Ave SW
Roanoke, VA 24015
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Fri Jun 12, 2009
"Charles" McDonald answered:
Each home and area are unique. I believe there is no conclusive answer by price range.

good luck in your search
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Tue Jan 14, 2014
Lexie Longstreet answered:
A BPO is a Broker Price Opinion. It is basically a Home Valuation - but not as detailed as an appraisal. A lot of banks will ask real estate agents to do BPO's so they have a "basic" valuation of a home to determine it's value in a short sale, or pending foreclosure situation. The banks usually pay a BPO Manager a fee of maybe $150 and then that company hires the local agent and pays them $50 - $75 to fill out their form. Many agents do this in hopes that they will get the listing in the future, but usually that will not happen and they are only doing it to make a few bucks. About 85% of the BPO's do not require that you go into the house. They only want the agent to drive by and make sure the house is in fact there, and not a total disaster.
If you are just looking for an opinion of value for your home I would call a real estate agent. Most agents will do a CMA for free in hopes of making a connection with you and gaining your business. In, NC, real estate agents are allowed to do CMA's (Comparative Market Analysis) but not BPO's, as they are competing with the Appraisers. So you should just ask for a CMA.
If you are looking for a BPO because you may have a short sale situation on your hands, your bank will order it. They will only accept them from certain vendors on their form and they would not ask you for one.

If you look at Zillow, you can get a pretty good Market Condition Trend graph for your area or an address.
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Wed Jun 10, 2009
Steve Watson answered:
That information is available, although it would require some work by an agent to segment out your zip code and 4 bedroom homes.
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Mon Apr 9, 2012
"Charles" McDonald answered:
Find yourself a good buyers agent who specializes in condos. They will assist you with all your purchase needs.

If you need a recommendation just let me know.
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Tue Jul 21, 2009
Jim Duncan answered:
There is no general rule about assessments' relation to market value in Charlottesville/Albemarle and the surrounding counties.

With the dearth of sold comps, buyers (and sellers) are paying more attention to the assessments, but there is no market-wide correlation between what the properties are assessed for and what they are selling for.

That being said, sometimes correlations and insight can be drawn when analyzing specific properties and neighborhoods ...
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Fri Oct 30, 2009
Jim Duncan answered:
Penelope -

There are several homes on the market there right now -

I assume you have seen these?

What is your timeframe for purchasing?
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Thu Nov 5, 2009
Christina Arbogast answered:
Did you ever find a house? Doesn't look like you received an answer. Sorry about that. I specialize in rentals and I would be happy to help you out if you still need it. Let me know. Thanks!

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Tue Nov 30, 2010
"Charles" McDonald answered:
one thing to see when looking at any townhome or condo is the HOA (home owner association) fees.
Have you checked that out for this area?
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Thu Oct 29, 2009
ValorieLynn answered:
Look at The Hook's foreclosure website to see what properties are going to auction. As far as liens, you have to order a title search or go down to the court house and see what has been filed. It's public knowledge, but Charlottesville doesn't display the documents online as many other cities do. There are some agents that work with the banks and if you search their listings you can see what properties are bank owned as well, but you have to have a real estate agent that you are working with to facilitate that! Best of luck!
Valorie Ford
Keller Willilams Realty
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Mon Apr 13, 2009
Fred Glick answered:
Dear Jan

Your answer is to find a REALTOR(R) who will search expires along with active listings.

I am sure there are some very good agents that will be happy to help.
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Wed Apr 1, 2009
"Charles" McDonald answered:
that is a open ended question.
do you have an address?

see my site for all homes:
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