Crozet Real Estate Conversation – Take 1

It’s easy to recite cold numbers when talking about the Crozet (or any) real estate market. One of the things that I really like to do is talk about real estate.

There is more to real estate insight that talking in 20 or 90 second sound bites, and I hope that’s evident in the video below.

David and I love talking about real estate – whether it’s last quarter’s median sales price numbers, prices per square foot, or where in Crozet houses are selling – real estate is something we love. Seriously.

I’ve written occasionally about real estate here (53 such tagged posts in nearly 10 year years). I’ve found that many Crozetians are interested in real estate. If you’re curious about what happened in the first half of 2015 in Crozet’s real estate market, hopefully you’ll find this interesting.

I titled this post “Take 1” because this was our first time out; we’ll be doing these every quarter. Have something you’d like us to address? Ask or leave a comment.

Community Meeting on Crozet Streetscape

Come out to this community meeting to obtain information on the contractor’s plan of action for construction of the streetscape project from south of Tabor Street to The Square.

The Crozet Master Plan describes the focus of Crozet’s future development will be in the downtown area.  One of the critical elements of imlementation of the Crozet Master Plan is developing needed transportation infrastructure.  This network includes the creation of new Main Street and improvements to Crozet Avenue within the downtown area.  The Streetscape Project Phase 2 is an essential step in achieving the goals of the master plan by improving pedestrian connectivity within downtown Crozet providing economic benefits and increased vitality for business owners, balancing the needs of all users including vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists, and aesthetically enhancing the netry way and main thoroughfare of downtown.  Construction is expected to start in December and last through early Fall 2014.

 

—-

 

The public is invited to a community meeting to discuss details of the second phase of the streetscape project that will bring enhancements along Crozet Avenue in downtown Crozet scheduled for Tuesday evening, December 3, beginning at 7:00 pm at the Western Albemarle High School cafeteria.  The streetscape project is one of the projects in the Crozet master plan focused on preserving downtown as the focal point and community center of Crozet as well as fostering economic vitality and accentuating historic character.  A contractor has been selected for construction of the streetscape improvements, and construction is scheduled to begin later in December.

Streetscape enhancements will take place along Crozet Avenue to Tabor Street, including sidewalks, street trees, pedestrian/street lighting, crosswalks, benches and other street amenities, bio-filters, and bike lanes. Drainage improvements will include curbs, gutters and a new stormwater drainage system. With so much construction activity planned for downtown Crozet, the coordination and timing of these projects is crucial to maintain traffic and pedestrian movements.  Plans for this coordination will be discussed at the December 3 meeting.

In 2007, the County completed the Downtown Crozet Streetscape Project, Phase 1 that encompassed streetscape, aesthetic, crosswalk and storm drainage improvements at the intersection of Crozet Avenue and Three Notch’d Road.  In 2010, the County completed the Downtown Crozet Streetscape Project, Phase 2A that encompassed the construction of Library Avenue and the 20’ and 10’ alleys.  In 2013, the County completed the new Downtown Crozet Library on the corner of Crozet Avenue and the Library.  The Downtown Crozet Streetscape Project, Phase 2 is the final project to construct streetscape improvements to Crozet Avenue from Tabor Street to the Square.

The streetscape project is an essential step in achieving the goals of the Crozet Master Plan by improving pedestrian connectivity within downtown Crozet, providing economic benefits and increased vitality for business owners, balancing the needs of all users including vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and aesthetically enhancing the entry way and main thoroughfare of downtown. This phase of the project is being funded in part by a Transportation Enhancement Program grant through the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The public is invited to stay up to date on the streetscape project following the December 3 meeting via the following options:

 

10 Questions for WAHS’ New Principal – Dr. John Werner

WAHS has a new principal for the first time in several years. Dr. John Werner will take the reins at Western Albemarle High School this fall, starting this summer. I asked for some questions from the crowd and received quite a few great questions that ranged from what’s his vision for WAHS to how he’s planning to address the achievement gap.

Questions hère, Answers after the break. Thank you everyone for the questions! I really appreciate your input and hope that as a community we can work to make WAHS (and Henley, Brownsville & Crozet) the best schools around. **

You’ll note that when I categorized this post it’s categorized under Crozet, Schools and Politics. Sadly, (my opinion) school administration is at least equal parts education and politics. Continue reading “10 Questions for WAHS’ New Principal – Dr. John Werner”

Batesville Store is Closed

Update 13 June – Perhaps the best explanation comes from a Newsplex comment:

If you take time to read the letter provided by the Batesville Store to its clients, which is linked in the story, the reason for closing is clearly explained. They had been operating as a country store and were under the governance of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. However, it was determined that the store did too much business to remain a country store. The only option available was for them to become a restaurant and to comply with all Virginia Health Department regulations. The owners state in their letter that the requiremetn (sic)to operate as a restaurant was not viable for many reasons.

Update 12 June: See the bottom of this post for new from the Batesville Store that they are closing. For good. Surely the State could find a way to make this work for the good of the Batesville community.

Update 12 June #2 – cvillenews has more insight.

Update 11 June: The Newsplex reports:

A store employee told CBS19 that the reason behind the shutdown wasn’t a health issue, but a safety issue. He says the store had exceeded their seating capacity.

A country store is allowed to have 15 total seats by law, but The Batesville Store has over 40. The employee was frustrated saying that the Health Department hadn’t given them a warning.

Surely someone in Batesville can shed some light on this. The Batesville Store is fantastic – the food, ambiance, smells, location, beer, music … it would be a tremendous shame if it were to be shut down by the State of Virginia.

Just received via email …

Dear Friends of The Batesville Store,

I have some sad news:

The Batesville Store is closed until further notice.

Earlier today two representatives from the state of Virginia showed up at the store without warning, informed us that we were not in compliance with certain state regulations, and basically gave us no choice except to close immediately. Continue reading “Batesville Store is Closed”

Crozet Housing Prices and School Quality

Crozet has traditionally been regarded as having high-quality public schools; as such we benefit from the market created by our schools.

Do better schools increase house prices? From my perspective as a Realtor in the Crozet area, the answer is yes. I have never had buyers tell me that they wanted to live in a bad school district; but virtually every single one – whether they have kids or not – wants to be in a good school district. Frankly, I don’t need metrics or analysis or data to support my conclusion; I know that people buying homes in Charlottesville and Albemarle want good schools.

All the data in the world isn’t going to change my opinion, either as a Realtor or as a parent, that good, quality schools matter – to our kids and to our housing values.

From The Impact of School Characteristics on House Prices: Chicago 1987-1991

For many people, an important consideration when buying a house is the quality of the local public schools. There is a general perception that, all else equal, houses in better school districts will cost more.

Our results indicate that individuals pay attention to both per-pupil expenditures and test scores when deciding where to locate. However, when purchasing a home, individuals do appear to consider the current test performance of students in the local school rather than the extent to which a community’s schools contribute to a cohort’s test performance.

So what? What happens to Albemarle County home values if:

1 – Albemarle County schools cannot trim the fat sufficiently and
2 – They have to make so many dramatic cuts?

This is an email sent by the Albemarle County Parents’ Council with five attachments that will help you get acclimated … before the public hearing tonight at 6:30.

And now the meat of the post – if I’m a homeowner in Albemarle County, what are you talking about? How much more would I pay in taxes?

Continue reading “Crozet Housing Prices and School Quality”

How Often Do Homes Turnover in Crozet?

I got an interesting question the other day – –

How often do homes like this turn over/sell in Crozet? “This” being about 2000 square feet, at least three bedrooms and at least two bathrooms.

Looking at the question through the lens of its expected/possible value:

Looking at it by square footage …

Basically, if you sold your house last year in Crozet* and it fit one of these two criteria, you were pretty lucky.
Continue reading “How Often Do Homes Turnover in Crozet?”

News From Henley Middle School – 15 December 2009

You might not have kids in schools, but Crozet schools affect all of us.

From the Henley Matters newsletter:

EARLY DISMISSAL – WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

For the past three years, high schools in Albemarle County have held first semester exams prior to Winter Break on a modified half-day schedule which included two exams per day. Last year, the program was expanded to middle schools. Many middle school students take high school level classes, and all students begin taking semester exams in their eighth grade year, so the change will align these students with their high school counterparts.

Having both middle and high school students follow the same schedule will save about $10,000 in operational efficiency for the county. The regular middle and high school bus routes will run at 1:00 p.m., and drivers will then return for elementary school routes at 2:20 p.m. Since most middle and high school students ride the same buses, not combining their schedules would have required a third bus run each day to bring middle school students home at 4:00 p.m.

BUDGET SYNOPSIS UPDATE FROM PARENTS COUNCIL

This will likely be the most challenging budget cycle experienced by Albemarle County Schools in its history. State revenues may decline by as much as 15% for 2010-11 due to changes in Albemarle County’s composite index and overall state budget reductions. We will have a better idea how much when the Governor presents his budget on 12/18. Local revenues continue to slide as housing values slump and sales tax revenue falls. The projected revenue shortfall for the 2010-11 school year is between $8 and $11 million, depending on the tax rate agreed to by the newly elected Board of Supervisors.

Even an equalized tax rate of 77.2 cents will not eliminate the need for major reductions. The anticipated revenue shortfall with the higher rate is $8 million, due to declining state and local revenues. It is not possible to make reductions of this magnitude (4-5 times as many as were made this current fiscal year) in department or operational budgets/staffing. All positions and programs will be affected.

The board is pursuing a budget amendment at the state level to recalculate the county’s ability to pay for education based on the actual revenues on hand after the $18 million in revenue sharing is given to the city of Charlottesville. The current ratio overstates the county’s ability to pay and understates the city’s ability to pay. There is no guarantee that this budget amendment will pass in the General Assembly; in fact, it will face stiff opposition. The change would result in approximately $2 to $2.5 million in additional state funding to Albemarle County. Dr. Moran will present her funding request to the School Board on Wednesday, January 20.

Daily Progress: link to December 11th article on the School Board vote, Albemarle wants funds from city for schools:

Governor Kaine’s budget is expected to be released this Friday, December 18th. “Thanks to a slumping economy, Kaine has to find $3.5 billion in cuts in the state budget. He is scheduled to propose his fiscal plan next Friday at a joint meeting of the legislature’s money committees. Kaine has said that in balancing the budget, “everything’s on the table.””

Finally, the updated budget calendar for Albemarle County Public Schools is (after the jump); the date of the School Board public hearing has been changed to Tuesday, February 2nd.

The ACPS School Board has revised its budget development calendar. The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors public hearing dates have not changed.

Please mark these dates on your calendar and plan to attend and speak in support of our schools.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 6:30 pm, Location TBD
ACPS School Board Public Hearing: Proposed budget, FY 2010/11

Wednesday, March 3, 2010, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The County Executive’s recommended budget, Fiscal Year 2010/11

Wednesday, March 31, 2010, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The BOS’s proposed budget, FY 2010/11 2010 calendar year tax rate

Wednesday, April 7, 2010, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The BOS sets the 2010 calendar year tax rate. The BOS adopts its FY 2010/2011budget (during ACPS Spring Break)

Continue reading “News From Henley Middle School – 15 December 2009”

Crozet Twitter Updates – Brief Notes for 2009-12-13

Crozet week in review via RealCrozetVA’s Twitter feed

  • Donated $25 to VPAP today. Because they’re wonderful http://ow.ly/L4c5 and help transparency in Virginia & C’ville politics #
  • @rprav8r I am 99% sure the original plan was to have the Old Trail pool open to all of Crozet. in reply to rprav8r #
  • The world is flat from a communication point of view. Time zones are such a bother. #
  • Find Christmas trees in Crozet – http://bit.ly/4AQ0A1 Thanks to one of my readers #
  • Pleased that the Deputy was in the intersection at WAHS this morning. Thank you #
  • Topic of discussion at Crozet Tweetup today: Old Trail pool is planning to open to the public. Much consternation. #
  • RT @CVilleKim: Fun Crozet Tweetup today.Consensus to do next one at start or end of the day for those not fortunate to live & work in Crozet #
  • http://bit.ly/8pJ6wQ tells me I should buy a Droid. #
  • @@stevebragaw In this case, wouldn’t it be a benefit for Old Trail homeowners to let their kids walk/ride bikes to school? Thus, not BoS? #
  • Topic of discussion at Crozet Tweetup today: why does Old Trail not have paths/trails leading to Henley & Brownsville? #
  • RT @MaryBethBowen: RT @ABrement: Looking forward to Crozet Tweetup Lunch today! 12:00. Fardowner’s. (me too!) #
  • Once again, traffic at the Old Trail/Henley intersection is a SNAFU #
  • Impressed that my little one is excited to walk to school today. #
  • RT @JimDuncan: Wreck at 240/250 intersection. Traffic blocked. #crozet #
  • RT @twtvite_alert: @jimduncan Friendly reminder: Crozet Lunch Tweetup is tomorrow! http://twtvite.com/2sktci #
  • RT @JimDuncan: Crozet Mudhouse Curtain http://post.ly/EZg6 #
  • Woman has been ironing the new curtain in the Mudhouse for about 90 minutes. I wonder how often it’ll have to be ironed. 🙂 #
  • Working in the Crozet Mudhouse this morning. Watching a stage & curtains come together #
  • Off to a listing appointment in Crozet. #
  • @centofante Coming to the Crozet Tweetup? http://bit.ly/4MS4cO in reply to centofante #
  • Only seeing mentions in @Tweetdeck from one of my twitter accounts. Back to Seesmic #
  • @stevebragaw Fardowners does have WiFi. in reply to stevebragaw #
  • Crozet Tweetup – Thursday at Fardowners. http://bit.ly/4MS4cO #crozettweetup #
  • Someone *did* move to Crozet because of the Library. http://bit.ly/6V1MGc #
  • RT @ancym: Darrell Rose at Crozet Mudhouse next Sat the 12th, from 6 to 9 – http://bit.ly/6vBaRt @jimduncan this is for you… #
  • Love the Batesville Store. Love it. And I’m not alone http://bit.ly/7KLpc7 #
  • RT @CrozetGazette: The Crozet Xmas Parade is today at 3 pm. Goes from Crozet Ave at Jarmans Gap to the Firehouse. We’ll be throwing candy! #
  • Picked up my copy of the Crozet Gazette yesterday. I love having a truly local paper #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Support the WAHS Library – Buy books at Barnes and Noble

As much as I prefer to shop at local bookstores rather than chains, in light of the recession and the need for schools to earn money, the following presents an opportunity to support the Western Albemarle High School Library:*

A book is a present you can open again and again!

If you plan to give books as gifts this holiday season, please plan to buy them all at Barnes & Noble during the WAHS Library Book Fair, Saturday, Dec. 12 through Monday, Dec. 14.

On those dates a percentage of all B&N purchases made with a WAHS voucher—including café and gift purchases—will be donated to the Western Albemarle High School Library Media Center! The voucher is available on the WAHS website and here— please give one to everyone you know!

This year’s Book Fair Events include:

– Sat. a.m. (time TBA) – Harp & Flute Music with Darailia Evans + Grace Chiarella

– Sat. 12/12 @ 1:00 – A Jazzy Holiday with Spencer Kulow on keyboard

– Sat. 12/12 @ 3:00 – Morgan High singing with guitar

– Sun. 12/13 @ 5:00 – Willie D-E singing original songs with guitar

Far away friends and relatives can even support your child’s school library by taking the WAHS Book Fair ID number 583088 to any Barnes & Noble in the U.S. and making purchases on behalf of the WAHS Library from a distance! There will be a Wish List Table of books we would love to have donated to the WAHS Library Media Center. With the current budget climate, we need your support more than ever! So don’t forget to save all your holiday book shopping for the WAHS Library Book Fair at Barnes & Noble Dec. 12 – 14. Thanks so much for your support!

In response to my question about what percentage of the proceeds actually go to Western, Clover Carroll, the school librarian kindly responded:

“The more that is sold with WAHS vouchers on those dates (Dec. 12-14), the larger percentage we earn. We usually make the cutoff for 20%, but not always. One of the reasons we have added the cheesecake sale this year is to bump up that bottom line figure. The important thing to emphasize is that only purchases made with a WAHS voucher count.

The voucher is also available on the WAHS website, and in the front office and library here at school. If supporters forget to bring their voucher, they can ask for one at the B&N register or just give them the WAHS bookfair ID #583088. In fact, relatives and friends all over the U.S. can shop that weekend at their local Barnes & Nobles, and if they provide our ID #, we will be credited!

Download the flyer here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Clover Carroll – 434-823-8700 or Jane Kulow – 434-293-9940.

* One question that I always ask when donating to charities is, “what percentage of the proceeds actually go to the charity?” They requested that I not publicize those numbers here, but if you’re curious, please contact me and I will gladly tell you.

Things to Do in Crozet – Crozet Mudhouse

The Crozet Mudhouse is (finally) 🙂 publicizing on Facebook the events they’re having. December’s going to be busy!

Mudhouse Coffee Fluid Jazz with R&B influence featuring keys, guitar, horn, and vocals. Steve Smith and Jim Wray bring the West Coast to the Blue Ridge.

Steve Smith & Jim Wray lay out some fine West Coast Piano Jazz
Time:7:00PM Friday, December 18thLocation:Crozet Mudhouse

featuring William Whitten, Greg Howard, & Kurt Patterson
Time:7:30PM Saturday, December 12th

Location:Crozet Mudhouse

Mudhouse Coffee Rhythm Administration: Crazy Stuff

Time:7:30PM Saturday, December 5thLocation:Crozet Mudhouse

Mudhouse Coffee Jason plays Old Time and Blues.

Old Time & Blues Music
Time:7:30PM Friday, December 4thLocation:Crozet Mudhouse