National Association of REALTORs meeting in DC

If it is Mid May, you can bet the National Association of REALTORs will be meeting in Washington, DC.  The 2014 REALTOR Party Convention and Trade Expo will mean more than 8,000 REALTORs will be in the nation’s capital to advocate for and against legislation favorable to home ownership.

Read more in REALTOR Magazine.

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Careers in Real Estate

The market continues to improve and as it does we begin to hear from men and women who are considering real estate as their career. Many of the best agents came to real estate as a second career.  Consider this-The National Association of REALTORs reports that the average age of Brokers is 59.  It is obvious that the leadership of the industry is “greying”. With that in mind, why not consider real estate as your primary career.  There is room at the top and this seems to be a good time to begin.

What is important about beginning in real estate?  I am prejudiced, naturally, but think you need to affiliate with a great teaching firm.  A mentor and coach with experience in all markets will make a big difference to you.

What sort of candidates do well in our business?  Are you good at working with people, have good communication skills?  Are you able to work independently, are you motivated to do well?

Would you like to learn more?  Call me.

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Real Estate Market Report- CAAR- 1st QTR. 2014

The first quarter market report from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORs has been published and the findings continue to show an ever improving real estate market in Central Virginia.

1st Quarter Sales Report 2014

This year may be all about the inventory, or lack of it.  Property for sale now is at a five year low.  The number of properties sold in the first quarter is almost identical to last year but we know that buyers are out in droves, looking for a home.  It is likely that a strong spring demand and low interest rates will continue to push the median prices up.  Note the trend of pricing across the region. The prices are the BEST THEY HAVE BEEN IN FOUR YEARS.

Best median Prices in FOUR YEARS

Want to see the entire REPORT?

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FHA Program- Helps People who Lost Homes

This may be an important new program for those who suffered the most during the downturn in the real estate market, those who lost their home in a short sale or foreclosure. FHA has announced a program for qualified buyers to re-enter the purchase market.  Many lenders will not be able to help buyers for 36 months after a distressed sale.  Apparently FHA will offer a program to some buyers who could become buyers again after 12 months.  Those buyers would qualify by documenting at least a 20% loss of income that caused the loss,and will now have to demonstrate how they have been able to improve income and credit worthiness.   READ MORE

FHA Program for Distressed Sellers

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What Does a Settlement Agent Do?

A recent article by Court Square Title shared this information.

What does a settlement agent do?  Does it matter who you or your client uses?  The simple answer is that the settlement agent coordinates the services of the Realtor, lender, homeowner’s insurance agent, surveyor, appraiser, seller’s settlement agent, and numerous others to ensure that the closing occurs when you expect it to, and without any problems.  Sounds simple, but hours of phone calls, emails, and faxes are required in preparation for the actual closing.

click.jpgTake a sneak peek into what defines a great settlement agent, and read some recent feedback from Court Square Title customers on this month’s CST Blog.

Court Square Title of Charlottesville, Inc.

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Home Equity for Home Owners Improving?

The worst case scenario for most homeowners came in the winter of 2009 when more than 12 million home owners owed more on their mortgages than the value of their homes.  Those mortgages were said to be underwater.  REALTOR Magazine in its March issue reports improving numbers.  As home prices begin to rise, home owner equity is being restored.  READ MORE.

Amount of Owner Equity Improving

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3rd Place Award for Interactive Media at Leading RE Convention

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Montague Miller & Co wins the 3rd Place Award for Interactive Media at the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® convention in Las Vegas!

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Famous Real Estate Around Us

Realty Times, on-line , caught my eye today with a story about Famous Homes.  Not the Famous Homes you are thinking about, but the ones made iconic by movie fans.

It is almost Groundhog Day so all eyes will be turned toward Punxsutawney, Pa. on Sunday, February 2.

Punxsutawney, PA’s “most famous resident” is Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog said to predict the weather annually on Groundhog Day (February 2),” said Wikipedia. But there are approximately 6,000 other full-time residents who make their home in this 3.4-square-mile city.  As noted in the Realty Times Article:

Punxsutawney is filled with “pre-World War II architecture,” said Neighborhood Scout, “making it one of the older and more historic boroughs in the country.” Properties for sale range from a one-bedroom, 733-square foot home for $24,000 to a five-bedroom home on a 53-acre ranch priced at $425,000.  Realty Times

Bet you did not know that the movie Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois-not far from Chicago. During the filming there, the local towns people helped by serving warm beverages.

Our own Central Virginia has been home to many film companies over the years.  Every time I watch GIANT I love to watch the “Virginia” scenes filmed right here in Shadwell.

Giant (1956)

Scenes from THE FOUR SEASONS were filmed here too-Keswick Hall.  Weren’t we the Fall portion?

1 sheet movie poster

Oh well.  It is fun to think about movie making.  A very Happy Groundhog Day to you and yours.

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Year End Market Report for Central Virginia

The Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORs has just released its year end report for 2013 and as expected, the numbers were encouraging.  The number of home sales in the area increased by 10% and median sales price was 6.1% higher than 2012.

CAAR YEAR End market Report

Year End Highlights

Montague Miller & Company is ideally positioned to serve all of the local markets in Central Virginia.  With offices in Culpeper, Madison, Orange,  in Charlottesville, and in Amherst ,our agents can and do specialize in their market area.  Our Montague Miller and Company web site features monthly reports on Fluvanna, Louisa, Culpeper, Orange, Albemarle, Charlottesville, Greene, and  Nelson Counties. You may depend on us for information which is updated the 10th of each month.

Regional Market Reports

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Why a Tenant Background Check Is So Important.

Great article this morning in Realty Times. A good property manager is always looking for a “good tenant” and different landlords are looking for different criteria but what are the main attributes of a good tenant?  Our Rental Division at Montague Miller & Company serves many different landlord-clients, all of whom are looking for tenants who have the ability to pay the rent and pay it on time, and tenants who use the property “gently”.

A full tenant background check including a credit check and a criminal background check is a must.  Read the full story.

Realty Times Article. 1/6/2014

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