The past year has seen an incredible increase in residential property prices, with a corresponding decrease in inventory in our DAAR (Dulles Area Association of Realtors) region. It's becoming more and more of a challenge to secure the purchase of property when representing clients, due to fierce competition and significant waiving of contingencies by other prospective buyers.
When it comes to land sales, however, it's a little bit of a different story. There's nowhere near the instant gratification phenomenon one gets with a raw piece of land, as compared to an existing home. That said, land prices have increased significantly with a corresponding increase in volume, however the level of frenzy is lower which allows more patient buyers, who may be willing to plan for the long-term, to acquire their dream location, and build their dream home.
Below is a quick video I took while showing two land properties in beautiful Northern Virginia this weekend. The clients in question are indeed planning for the longer-term, following a return to the US after a foreign posting. They were able to spend the day walking these delightful parcels, envisioning how the house they want to build could be sited.
One of my more recent marketing taglines for some of these land properties has been "Land - they're not making any more of it!". Moral of the tale is if you don't need to move immediately, and other parameters work for you, consider searching for a lot and enjoying the design and build process. I know someone who can help…
Earth Day may only happen once a year, but the hope is that its impact will last far longer.
Middleburg, home to Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty, has its very own Go Green Committee which advises the town council on sustainability matters, and this past weekend not only spearheaded the spring town cleanup, but held its annual dead household battery collection day at the town office.
This program ensures that batteries which would otherwise have been tossed in the trash, ending up in the landfill, are collected and sent away for environmentally friendly recycling.
Go Green joined the town's police department which was holding its annual prescription drug take back day, a national event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). They collected bags of expired and no longer needed medicines which are immediately sent to a secure incineration facility.
So hang on to old batteries and drop them off at the town office any time, and bring old Rx drugs next time we hold the take back day.
Middleburg, Virginia is a wonderful town, for many reasons. It is historic, often described as quaint, walkable and full of interesting, eclectic shops and great restaurants.
It is also a town which is called home to residents and businesses who care about the town enough to venture out a couple of times a year to help spruce up Middleburg. This spring, clean up day was also an opportunity for folks to get out after a year and more of COVID, safely walking the streets with orange buckets and trash bags, picking up discarded trash items and recyclables.
Yours truly was the weed killer guy, dressed like one of the ghostbusters with backpack sprayer filled to the brim with a white vinegar based organic weed killer.
Notably, the streets were in fact not particularly bad, garbage-wise, partly because people have not been out and about as much as usual but also because there are members of the public who do this themselves every now and then, not for payment, not for any kind of recognition, but because they love their town.
Despite the fact that the town adopted a cigarette butt recycling campaign a couple of years ago, including special butt receptacles attached to all town trash cans, the cleanup volunteers did fill a small bag with butts which will be sent to Terracycle for complete safe recycling.
The town's Salamander Resort & Spa contributed not only with several members of staff who kindly pitched in to help, but supplied a delicious breakfast of coffees and pastries. Other businesses like Northwest Federal Credit Union were well represented with wonderful staff members who pitch in every cleanup day.
The next cleanup is tentatively scheduled for early fall, and there are many regulars ready to step up again - thank you!
Peter Leonard-Morgan and Susan Hensley, both with Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty's Middleburg, Virginia office, assisted two businesses in relocating this month.
Peter represented Southerly House, a high end design and furnishings studio, which is relocating from Middleburg to Saint Simons Island, Georgia while Susan's long term client, Hastening Designs is moving into the former Southerly space on West Federal Street, Middleburg.
The space is light and airy and ideal for displaying beautiful paintings, antiques and decor items, and includes a large lower level which works well as a client meeting space.
Pop in to 103 West Federal St, Unit D, Middleburg, VA 20117 when you're in town to find some great items.
Wonderful large, bright and airy retail unit on main and lower level now available for sublease initially, with the option to negotiate a longer term lease with the owner. Just a short stroll from Washington Street, the unit has been used most recently as a high end home furnishings showroom, but would be ideally suited for numerous retail operations, and is nestled between several other high quality retail establishments. The main floor is well lit, with large windows at the front and rear, and benefits from high cathedral ceilings with recently installed wood beams concealing integral lighting cables. With a virtually unobstructed 64' x 12'5" main level, the unit offers excellent display and staging space. The lower level, with access from the rear parking lot, which includes spaces for the tenant, virtually mirrors the main floor and includes a large storage room, closet, bathroom and entryway. This large lower level has served as a client consultation space for interior design, including product displays. An open plan staircase connects both floors. $2,400/month
The past year has seen so much upheaval globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An unexpected effect of this in the local countryside real estate market has been a significant uptick in sales, and corresponding reduction in available inventory. The net result has been property value increases and bidding wars being the norm, rather than the exception.
Recently, the respected Loudoun County, Virginia magazine, Leesburg Lifestyle magazine arranged an interview at the Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty Leesburg main office with my industry friend and colleague, Debbie Meighan of Washington Fine Properties and myself.
We are delighted to exhibit beautiful horse and animal artwork by Isabelle Truchon at our Middleburg office. Isabelle, who last year relocated from Loudoun County to Oregon, has passionately painted horses and animals for many years. Her polo art is very popular and, we hope, she will paint more of that fast and amazing sport.
My quick tour below shows our current paintings, all of which are also available for sale - except for our own polo canvas.
Please contact me if you would like to see Isabelle's currently available paintings at our office, Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty, 2 W. Washington Street, Middleburg, VA 20117.
Virginia, a southeastern coastal state, hugs the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west. One of the 13 original colonies, Virginia is home to around 8.5 million people, approximately 15% of whom are aged 65 and older. This senior population is expected to double between 2010 and 2030, with around 20% of the population over age 65 by 2030. This means that a significant number of seniors currently need and will continue to need assisted living care.
According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Virginia costs an average of $4,800 per month. This is around $750 higher than the national average of $4,051. However, there are several resources available to help Virginia seniors with assisted living expenses.
This guide serves as an overview of the costs of assisted living care in Virginia and financial resources that may help pay for care, as well as assisted living facility policies.
Covid-19 Rules and Restrictions for Virginia Senior Living Facilities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from the Virginia Department of Health website, as well as other state-level government sites. Among others, these rules apply to assisted living.
This data has been most recently updated on 7/2/20, but keep in mind that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, so all of the below information can change at any time. For additional questions and up-to-date information, you can contact your loved one’s senior living facility or your local Area Agency on Aging.
Visiting Loved Ones
Outings and Group Activities
Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors
Safety Measures for Residents
Paying for Senior Living in Virginia
Assisted living facilities are a great option for seniors living in Virginia, but they are not the only avenue for senior care. Those who want more affordable options may consider adult day care or in-home health services. However, those with more serious health issues may require nursing home care.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Virginia
According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Virginia can expect to pay around $4,800 per month for assisted living. This is higher than the national average of $4,051. It is also more expensive than all surrounding states, including Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Carolina.
Cost of In-Home Care in Virginia
Compared to the United States’ average and that of four surrounding states, the cost of in-home care in The Old Dominion state is close to the median with its monthly rate of $4,195. That’s lower than the national average by $95 per month and Maryland by $286 per month. The cost of supportive in-home services like housekeeping and shopping in Virginia is a bit higher than in three nearby states though. On average, home care providers in West Virginia charge $3,432 monthly and those in both North Carolina and Kentucky ask for $3,813.
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Virginia
Nursing home care can be very costly due to the extent of specialized services required on a continual basis. Virginians will likely love that nursing home care costs in their state are below the U.S. average of $7,513. At $7,350 per month, Virginia’s seniors pay on average $163 a month less than their peers in other states. They save even more money when compared to those in Maryland ($9,673) and West Virginia ($10, 707). Budget conscious seniors can find even lower fees in North Carolina and Kentucky.
Financial Assistance for Senior Living in Virginia
I am so pleased with this new listing, an exquisite home built in 2006 by Cumberland Custom Homes on 10.3 acres just west of the Town of Hillsboro, Virginia.
As you will see from the photos, this house is beautifully sited in the woods, just up a private gravel road, which serves six houses on 60 acres, and which is accessed by a community electric security gate.
A Generac backup generator has been installed so that, in the unusual event of a power outage, it will engage automatically to provide a significant amount of the power needed in the house.
Priced incredibly competitively at $695,000, this property may go before it even hits the market.
Check out the full details HERE.
Traditionally, we Realtors host face to face broker and public open houses, which enable us to promote our listings, and get the word out about a specific property. That all changed with the onset of this pandemic. Now, thanks to video, and live electronic meeting programs, we have the opportunity to host virtual open houses, where the listing agent schedules an open house as normal, bute adopts a platform such as Facebook Live, Zoom, Facetime or other similar live two-way video feed to 'virtually' show the property.
I'll be hosting my first virtual open house this Sunday April 19th, 2020 between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., at 3 Chinn Lane, Middleburg, VA 20117 , and I am pretty psyched about it! And mildly apprehensive too...as happens with something new.
Further, for this first virtual open house, I will be interviewing my client, the seller, while we both adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. Prospective buyers and their representatives will have the opportunity to ask her about her house, why she purchased it in the first place and what she loves about it. And what she will miss.
Stay safe, look out for one another - we are in it together.
Peter writes for his local magazine, Country Zest & Style, as its Wine Editor. He also enjoys writing blogs on interesting and pertinent real estate matters, so please follow!
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