Restore N Station On Hold?

The Newsplex is reporting:

Plans for a proposed gas station in Crozet remain on hold until June after a group of residents file an appeal. No decisions were made on whether plans for the RestoreNStation would move forward during the Albemarle County Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night.
“Under state law, when you appeal it stops any other process that might further a determination,” says Chief of Zoning Ron Higgins.

View Crozet, Virginia, USA in a larger map

Background reading:

Public Hearing on 20 April
Gas Station coming to 250 in Crozet
Close-Knit Free Town is Feeling Squeezed

Learn more at the County of Albemarle’s site:

PROJECT: SP200900034 RE-STORE’N STATION PROPOSED: Use of more than 400 gallons of groundwater per site-acre per day for convenience store. ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: HC, Highway Commercial – retail sales and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre); EC Entrance Corridor – Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access SECTION:, Uses permitted by right, not served by public water, involving water consumption exceeding four hundred (400) gallons per site acre per day. Uses permitted by right, not served by public sewer, involving anticipated discharge of sewage other than domestic wastes. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Rural Areas – preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5 unit/ acre in development lots) ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes LOCATION: US 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) approximately 1,600 feet (0.3 miles) west of Western Albemarle High School TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 55B Parcel 1 MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Whitehall  

By the way, I am marketing a great house on Free Town Lane. 🙂

Crozet Home Sales and Contracts in March

Home sales in Crozet* in March 2010 were double those of March 2009! (okay, they went from four to nine, but we’ll take whatever good news we can find). I also expect that that “nine” will increase by a few as transactions are closed out over the next few days.

Even more heartening is the fact that properties placed under contract in Crozet are double last year as well.

It seems that 2004 was a boom year. 🙂 Mind you, the above data are preliminary, but they show an uptick. The real test is going to come in the second half of 2010. Continue reading “Crozet Home Sales and Contracts in March”

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”

Charlottesville regional real estate market update

Download a copy of the Nest Report, which is what we believe to be the best, most “comprehensive and transparent analysis of the residential real estate market in Charlottesville, Albemarle and surrounding counties, prepared quarterly by Nest Realty Group.”

It’s a PDF, and it is a good, insightful and thorough analysis of what is happening in the broader Charlottesville real estate market:

2010 will be an interesting year to watch. Employment numbers continue to creep higher throughout the country and the state; national debt and deficit levels are of a constant concern; the foreclosures and short sales will increase; and yet there are positive signs that our market is making a stride toward normalcy. Number of transactions increased from Q2 to Q3. On a seasonally adjusted rate, sales increased from Q3 to Q4 by more than 10.8%. Charlottesville remains lowest of all Virginia for unemployment rates. And while statewide and nationwide unemployment numbers are up, Charlottesville has fallen for four straight months (Aug thru Nov) to 5.1%, which is lower than we have seen since December of 2008.

The big “what-if” for 2010 will be keeping an eye on Short Sales and Foreclosures across Central Virginia. We will go into this in more detail, but the basic issue is that Short Sales are up all across our state, and Charlottesville is not completely immune. Foreclosures are up significantly in Central Virginia, but are still way behind rates in other parts of the state. If that trend ends, and Central Virginia catches up with Richmond and Northern Virginia, we will see a significant erosion on prices throughout this year. As it stands, signs point to another 6-9 months of price drops followed by some stabilization, but no sign of increases in the next 18-24 months.

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?”