Despite the unusual winter, Charlottesville area real estate sales continued to stay steady and even improve in some areas. See the latest Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors’ first quarter of 2014 market report.


Cost and Value of 2014 Home Improvements

by staff on April 10, 2014

Home ImprovementsIf you could ask thousands of Realtors about which home improvements seem to really help a seller, you’d have a great cross-section of opinions based on firsthand knowledge.  Well that’s exactly what Realtor Magazine did.  And their most up-to-date responses might assist you in preparing your home for the today’s market.

If you’re considering the addition of an outside wood material deck ….. good choice.  That could bring you 87% of your costs when you sell (78% in our own Central VA region).  But if you use a composite material for a deck, you’ll recoup about 10% less.

And if you want to upgrade to an exterior cement siding product like Hardiplank … buyers like that, and you could regain 87% of that expense when you sell as well.

And oh, that ever-important front door impression… a new steel door can be worth a 96% recoup on your improvement.   Doors and windows in general are a good investment.  Garage doors, window replacements… all of these yield good returns.

Of course the resale value of repairs will vary from region to region, so it’s nice to use this link to research the Cost Vs. Value of repairs in specific areas of the country.    In Central Virginia results, the reports show that it pays for a seller to remodel/upgrade that bathroom, because it can bring in 110% of the cost of the project.  (We like our bathrooms!)

In general anything a seller can do to increase usable floor space, enhance windows and doors, or correct “issues” that might not appeal to the tastes of the next owner (like that pink living room)… it will have some measure of payback for the sale.  In upscale homes, a kitchen or a master suite or a major garage improvement should also yield a return.

The repairs that qualify more as “expense” rather than “investment” tend to include projects that are specific only to the seller’s needs…. like a different color of stove.   Often the seller becomes absorbed in personal projects that increase the value for THEMSELVES but they forget that a buyer might plan to remodel the whole kitchen or switch to gas cooking …. so those changes would have no value to the next guy.  Another example of that is a swimming pool, which many see as an asset and many others consider it to be a feature that needs to be eliminated.   Guess this is why they make menus!



The Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society will begin this year’s Historical Walking Tours on April 12, 2014. These tours center around Court Square, the Downtown Mall and various cemeteries and is a great way to learn Charlottesville’s rich history! For a complete description of the tours please visit the Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society website.


Historic Garden Week

by Sue on April 5, 2014

GardenThe Garden Club of Virginia presents Historic Garden Week – April 26-May 3, 2014. The tour proceeds benefit the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s Historic Gardens. Albemarle-Charlottesville tours will take place on April 26th and 27th. To purchase tickets and download the brochure please visit the Garden Club of Virginia website.


Go X Stream-The Rivanna River Makeover

March 31, 2014

Join the Rivanna Conservation Society April 18 through 26th in the Go X Stream-The Rivanna River Makeover. Volunteers are needed for buffer plantings, cleanups, restoration and more. The events will take place all along the watershed and particularly in Moores Creek. Please visit the Rivanna Conservation Society for more information and all the events they […]

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Head Games About Tub Games

March 20, 2014

Over the years we’ve noticed that homebuyers have seemed divided … along generational lines … about the desirability of a bathtub in the master bath.   Granted, great looking tubs can always draw an ooh or an ahhh.   A clawfoot tub, a setting near scenic window views, a deep therapeutic tub, or an ‘organic setting’ with lots of candles […]

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Actual Comparison of Rent Vs. Buy

March 20, 2014

Go ahead and give it a try.  The NY Times has published a fairly sophisticated calculator so that you can compare the total costs of renting vs. buying over a number of years.   Unlike other calculators, this one takes into account whether home values will rise or fall, what is the cost of missed opportunities, […]

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New Construction in Albemarle County

March 18, 2014

Depending on how you want to crunch the numbers, new construction makes up anywhere from 10 to 15% of the Charlottesville real estate market when looking at the number of listings sold through the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. Of course, custom builds generally are not included in these numbers.  There are several new developments in […]

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Albemarle County’s Heritage Mountain Heritage

March 14, 2014

March 29, 2014 10AM-4PM McAllister Family Home Sugar Hollow Albemarle County Join the Piedmont Environmental Council on a trip back in time to learn about Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountain culture. The home and property of James and Mollie McAllister will be open for tours with family members there showing old photos and sharing stories. There […]

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Survival and Primitive Skills Workshop

March 7, 2014

March 22, 2014 Scheier Natural Area The Rivanna Conservation Society will present a survival and primitive skills workshop on March 22, 2014 at the Scheier Natural Area . Some of the skills offered is finding safe water, fire and shelter making, and general survival skills. To find out more about this workshop please visit the […]

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