About two months ago I received a call from Deanna Stephens of The Roanoker magazine wanting to interview me for an upcoming real estate story. She had found my real estate blog while searching for real estate information on the Roanoke Valley. This was a very well thought out and researched article with lots of good information. If you don’t have the June 2007 issue you need to go out and get it. I was quoted three times and this real estate blog (with web address) was mentioned in the story. Thanks to Deanna and The Roanoker!
A few select quotes and my response and comments-
My quote about suburban land development-
“There’s a high demand for land – it’s at a premium”, he says. “This is an area [Bonsack and parts of Southwest County] previously unconsidered because of the terrain. Fifteen years ago it would have been undesirable.”
Bill Hart of J.M. Turner Homes had a different but not unharmonious take on it-
“As population increases, property closest to the city is in high demand,” he says, adding that geology and terrain have never been a deterrent. “People start to spread out as they look for cheaper land. It’s just a matter of supply and demand.”
While I agree with Bill on supply and demand, which is very close to what I was asserting with the idea that the best land is taken first, I have to disagree that geology and terrain have never been a deterrent. If geology and terrain were not a deterrent then that horrible hill (among many other places in the Valley) just across from the Tanglewood Mall exit on US-220 would have been developed long ago because of it’s great location. However, the terrain long delayed its development and even now there’s not much going on there due to the very steep terrain.
[Marty] Martin cites the older neighborhoods in South Roanoke and Southwest as often the target of this demographic [Babyboomers]. “People who buy in [these neighborhoods] are not first time buyers, they’re more established”, he says.
And of course, the last word-
As time unfolds to continue the story of Roanoke Valley’s housing market, residents will observe increased suburban growth that will keep choices diverse and widespread. Renovations within [Roanoke] will also keep its housing competitive.
“Look at the upturn in downtown Roanoke,” Martin says. “The Candy Factory on Salem Avenue is being converted to condos and there’s the Campbell Garage Lofts. I wouldn’t consider that major growth, but it’s certainly worth mentioning.”
There’s a lot of other stuff in this article on Roanoke real estate I’ll blog more on soon. Richard Wells had a great block on taxes in tax assessments in Roanoke, Salem and Roanoke County I’ll talk on next.
I have a list of current REO properties available for sale and soon to be available homes.
Find out about foreclosure homes before they hit the market by contacting Roanoke real estate agent Marty Martin.
The Roanoke Times, New York Yankees and HokieSports.com are reporting that the New York Yankees has donated $1M dollars to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund in memory of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Virginia Tech President Charles Steger was invited to New York to throw a pitch off the mound at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night.
It’s also being reported that the Yankees will play an exhibition game against the VT baseball team next spring somewhere near the Blacksburg campus. The Salem Avalanche stadium in Salem, Virginia has been mentioned as one possibility. That would be pretty cool!
I received this email from Senator Brandon Bell earlier today-
Since this is an issue that affects nearly everyone, I want to share news with you regarding the Appalachian Power rate increase.
Today, the State Corporation Commission announced a significant reduction in APCo’s rate increase request. APCo had requested a 25.4% increase, which we consumers have been paying since October of 2006. Today’s ruling will allow APCo to increase rates by only 3%.
The new lower rates must take effect within 30 days and refunds, with interest, will be made within 90 days.
Over the past few months, hundreds of my constituents shared their concern about this rate increase with me. Hearing these concerns, I contacted the SCC and encouraged them to consider a lower rate increase. I am very pleased with this ruling.
This is indeed good news for all of us paying exorbitant fees for electricity. Chalk one up for the little people!
Why relocate to Roanoke?
- Roanoke is ranked one of the top 5 most livable small cities in the US by America’s Most Livable Communities
- You can buy more house in Roanoke, Virginia (From The Richmond Times Dispatch: “They could have gotten more house for their money in Roanoke”)
- We have over 7 colleges and universities in the region including Roanoke College, Hollins University, Virginia Tech, Radford University as well as the Roanoke Higher Education Center and others
- Our advanced health care system
- Our award-winning school systems (in no particular order)- Roanoke County Schools, Roanoke City Schools, Salem City Schools, Botetourt County Schools, Franklin County Schools, Bedford County Schools
- Parenting magazine chose Roanoke as one of the ten best places to raise a family in the US
- Kiplinger Magazine rated Roanoke as one of the best 5 cities for retirees
- Our low crime rate
- Top notch Roanoke, Virginia real estate agent (Shameless self-promotion!)
Here are some other reasons to relocate to Roanoke. If you have more, add them to the comments!
Dreamed of cottage living in Grandin Court? Then this beauty is for you!
This home features a cozy floor plan with comfortable den/living room with wood stove, gleaming hardwood floors and more! This long-term owner has really cared for this home. It has a wonderfully serene front porch with classic metal roofing for enjoying a rainy or sunny day! Set away from the road you can enjoy your day or evening on the porch or nearby detached covered deck. Featuring 0.39 acre fenced yard with paved driveway, outdoor shed for storage and even the hot tub stays for the new owners!
Perfect 1-level living with two bedrooms, walk-in closet, kitchen with new counter tops and floor, newly refinished hardwoods, new gutters and furnace round out this great home value in beautiful Grandin Court in Roanoke City. Convenient to Grandin Village and Cave Spring Corners. For more information, give Marty Martin a call at (540) 397-0014. A great deal at only $139,950.
This is the first of an educational series of articles for home buyers and sellers in the Roanoke Valley.
Radon is a naturally occurring, cancer-causing radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It can seep into and accumulate in your home. Are you scared yet? This article isn’t meant to cause alarm but to educate you on the dangers of radon and how to test for it and dispose of it if detected at dangerous levels.
According to the EPA’s map of radon zones for Virginia, counties and cities in western Virginia (including the Roanoke Valley) have a moderate to high potential for unsafe indoor radon levels. So what does this mean for home owners and buyers in Roanoke, Salem, Smith Mountain Lake or elsewhere in the Valley?
What everyone needs to understand about radon is you can’t detect it yourself. The process takes specialized equipment and a qualified radon service professional to test for, evaluate the results of and/or mitigate radon from your home. What you also need to understand is just because your neighbor’s home tested fine doesn’t mean you’re home is free from radon.
According to the EPA, if your radon level is 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher you are at a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced. The EPA has a good chart for determining dangerous levels of radon.
The EPA and your local qualified radon service professional are the best sources of information on how to prevent, detect and mitigate (get rid of) radon in your home. A radon test is typically less than $100 and can save a lot of heartache and worry in the future. A radon test is available to all Roanoke Valley home buyers (at your own expense) before buying a new home. Ask your home inspector if they can also test for radon.
Resources from the EPA:
The sales data for April 2007 is out for the Roanoke real estate market.
Real estate agents sold 426 residential properties and 353 homes pending sale by the last day of April 2007. That is a decrease of fourteen percent over 2006 sales and a fifteen percent decrease from 2005. Some economists have blamed the slower April market on bad weather in February and particularly March.
The graph below shows the Roanoke area real estate market sales data from 2005 through the present:
I’ve used this website for some time to save money on my online purchases. RetailMeNot.com allows you to search for coupons and discounts for online merchants. It’s as easy as pie. Visit their site, type in the web address of the site you’re shopping at (here’s a sample search: www.amazon.com) and then click search. It will present you with a list of online discounts to use when you’re checking out. I recently saved $20 on a purchase using their service!
Visit their site: www.retailmenot.com
I’m not sure if it’s the music, the carefree dancing or both together, but Matt Harding has it done right in his videos of himself dancing in remote and not-so-remote places around the world. His first video was a viral hit and landed him a second sponsored opportunity to produce a new video on behalf of Stride gum. Way to go Matt! Life should be this much fun for all of us! Thanks to my lovely wife Allison for pointing out this guy’s brilliance and zest for life.
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