1st Dominion Realty

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The monthly water/sewer bill for a city home had increased exponentially over the period of a couple months. With all the water in the house turned off we looked at the meter in the ground by the street. The little flow triangle was turning. There was a leak in the water line somewhere between that meter and the house.
The problem: the water line was a distance from the house and possibly ran under a concrete stairway, and it did run under a concrete front porch, and also there were two elevations from street level, so the line itself could have been a number of feet underground in a couple places. Worse, the house itself perched on a concrete slab.
There was not any water in the meter compartment itself. Water from a break in the line usually follows the water line back into the meter, so the concern was that the leak was near the house or under the house (beneath the slab). The plumber, Ray Hunt, dug next to the foundation on either side of the concrete stairway, but could not find water line – that was bad news as it indicated the line ran under the stairs and concrete porch. The idea had been to find where the line entered the house, cut and cap it, and see if the meter’s flow indicator were still spinning. If it was, that would mean the break was between the house and the meter. If it was not spinning, that would mean the break was somewhere under the concrete slab of the house – bad news, as to repair or replace would mean breaking through the concrete slab in several places inside the house, and that would mean a huge mess and expense.
As it was, Ray turned the water on at the meter and waited a few hours. Eventually he saw the ground near the meter was moistening. Water still was not flowing into the meter compartment. Where was it going? Who knows, but Ray did find the break only a few feet from the meter itself, and that was a lucky break.
I’ve seen a few water line breaks during the course of my real estate career, but this could have been a true disaster for the property owner. It made me wonder why when water lines are installed they not run through a conduit? In other words, the water line would pass through a slightly larger line, both running from the water source to the house. That way if a break should occur, the water line can easily be pulled through the conduit and repaired or replaced. There would be an increased but negligible cost at time of construction, but a huge savings in the event of a water line break.

Not long ago I mentioned a new development in the mortgage loan industry: the Qualified Mortgage and Qualified Residential Mortgage (QM and QRM). At that time the regulatory body creating the new regulations, which will affect a borrower’s ability to get a mortgage loan that is backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, was still in the process of drawing up the new regulations. They are further along now. This link to an article published by the National Association of Realtors talks more about QR and QRM:

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/10/26/qm-qrm-lock-in-tight-loan-standards 

How’s the local Real Estate market doing? In a nutshell, it’s doing pretty good and expected to get better. You may have seen this article in the Daily Progress. If not, here is a link to it:

http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/business/article_a31cc114-4cf8-5091-b95e-1c2ae932f5c5.html

For help and inquiries about real estate in the Charlottesville and the Piedmont area of Virginia, contact me!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Not long ago I wrote that the regulators were coming up with new requirements for lenders making home loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Those new requirements are getting formulated and you can read about it by following this link:

http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_high-cost-mortgage-rule_what-it-means-for-consumers.pdf

You can be certain that more is to come.  Hopefully these new regulations won’t make it more difficult for people get loans.

This post is courtesy of the Trulia real estate people via the VAR (Virginia Association of Realtors) BUZZ daily newsletter:

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Trulia on the pluses and minuses of Obama’s re-election

Posted: 09 Nov 2012 06:20 AM PST

Forbes has a column from Trulia’s chief economist, Jed Kolko, “What Obama’s Re-Election Means for Housing.” Interesting reading, but if you’re lazy here are the main points:

1. More opportunities for refinancing as the Obama Administration is expected to expand programs such as HAMP to more underwater homeowners.

2. New mortgage regulationsbecause Dodd-Frank isn’t going away. We’re still waiting to see how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will define “qualified mortgage” and “qualified residential mortgage” — and what effect that will have on lenders.

3. No changes to the mortgage interest deduction. Gov. Romney proposed capping itemized deductions at $25,000, effectively reducing the MID. (When it comes to the amount of mortgage interest per household, Virginia ranks #3 in the country and Washington, D.C., is #9.)

4. Less of a chance for principal reductions. Gov. Romney had called for principal reductions, but with protections for lenders if a home’s value appreciates. That would have been more palatable to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has refused to allow Fannie and Freddie to cut principal without such a clause, as the Obama Administration wants.

Dramatic, open and bright. What a great home for family and entertaining! Entirely open from front to back, a true great room with lofted ceilings. The center kitchen location makes for great flow and access. Bonus room is bright, perfect for office, den, studio, study. Generous sized bedrooms. Large 2 car garage with space for storage. One level living, excellent views and so close to downtown and UVA. Check out the Visual Tour! Community clubhouse, pool and walking trails.

A true Great Room with center located kitchen.  And a great neighborhood with awesome views!

Sunday Open House 15 April 1-3PM.

1430 Willow Lake Drive, just a mile south of Charlottesville VA.

Just minutes to town and UVA! The original owner of this home worked with the builder to create a delightful, truly livable home. Original upgrades included: hardwood and ceramic tile floors, custom bathroom with large sit down shower/tub and tile surrounds, tile kitchen counter tops and upgraded cabinets, a passthrough from the upstairs bathroom into the hallway linen closet, access to storage space behind upstairs walls, and a unique and efficient central heating system. The current owner enclosed the patio with roof and screening to create a hospitable lounging area, paved the driveway, stained the exterior of the home, and surrounded the rear of the home with a french drain. Wonderful mountain views from the first floor master suite. Come See!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:  from downtown Charlottesville go south on Route 20 about a mile and turn right into Willow Lake.  Stay on Willow Lake Drive and this home will be on the right hand side.

 

Just minutes to town and UVA! The original owner of this home worked with the builder to create a delightful, truly livable home. Original upgrades included: hardwood and ceramic tile floors, custom bathrooms with large sit down shower/tubs and tile surrounds, tile kitchen counter tops and upgraded cabinets, a passthrough from the upstairs bathroom into the hallway linen closet, access to storage space behind upstairs walls, and a unique and efficient central heating system. The current owner enclosed the patio with roof and screening to create a hospitable lounging area, paved the driveway, stained the exterior of the home, and surrounded the rear of the home with a french drain. So many clever and thoughtful touches. Wonderful mountain views from the first floor master suite.  

 

Ready to move in! This spacious home has 4 roomy bedrooms and a large finished basement. Very close to UVA and 3 county schools, minutes to downtown C-Ville, easy walk to Barracks Rd Mall. Open kitchen with granite counter tops and family room w/fireplace are perfect for entertaining. Screened porch, basement office w/fireplace. Dining room and living room with built-ins. New in 2009: windows, front & screen door, heat pump, house wrap and siding. Roof new in 2005.

Lot’s of nice touches: built-ins, on demand hot water at kitchen sink, workshop area in basement, 2 fireplaces, screened porch, rear deck, shed beneath deck. Large finished area in basement! Office with fireplace in basement. This is a great home for family life and entertaining, and located in a favored Charlottesville neighborhood.   Nice!

The Circular Path

More than twenty years ago I saw a need for housing options for the Boomer Generation. I believe more than ever that many Boomers will need a viable affordable living arrangement that supports and enhances the lifestyle they desire. One such option will be a small scale condominium of 2 to 6 units. This could be a large house retrofitted for the purpose with each unit a nicely finished ‘home’. This house/condo would also have a common area to support ‘community’. Each resident would enjoy total privacy, and can also enjoy the company and support of other residents if so desiring. The residents can manage their own building, and the monthly condo fee can be small (unlike those big complexes). Going on vacation? Someone is home to bring in your mail. Need to relocate? You can sell your unit and benefit from your investment. Privacy, Community, Support, Affordability. Is this idea appealing to someone you know? Please have them contact me.

This really is a crazy low price for this property:  $123,000.  Owner must sell, so a real opportunity for a prospective home owner or investor.  And what a destination:  Albemarle County, Virginia!  Blue Ridge Mountain views, excellent schools, wonderful community close to Charlottesville, VA!

 Well maintained and very solid. Super insulation for heating and cooling efficiency. New since 2009: 30 year roof, really excellent insulated windows, and most appliances. Garage and a shed with a reinforced floor (to accommodate owner’s motorcycle). Two covered carports. Large open fenced yard with great garden spots and a close-up mountain view. Convenient to Charlottesville and the Valley, located in a friendly rural neighbor adjacent to the charming town of Crozet. Close to the Crozet Elementary School, Henley Middle School, and Western Albemarle High School. Compare with other Albemarle County homes – this is a great buy and opportunity.