Ghost Houses? Fact or Fiction?

Halloween is upon us once again and as they say, “I don’t believe in Ghosts but I sure am afraid of them.”  Believe it or not, Virginia does not permit its real estate licensees to discuss whether a house is haunted.  Word that a house is haunted could stigmatize it and reduce the value.  Or maybe it would increase the value? In a Continuing Education class I met a broker whose client insisted the house was haunted and instructed him to have Open house from Midnight to 3am! Happy Halloween.  Want to enjoy more REALTOR Ghost Stories?  Keep Reading.

REALTOR Ghost Stories

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Charlottesville Real Estate Market Report for 3rd Quarter

Charlottesville Real Estate Market Report for 3rd Quarter

Charlottesville Real Estate Market Report for 3rd Quarter

Overall sales in the Greater Charlottesville area were up over 25% over the same quarter last year and represented the highest 3rd quarter sales total since 2007.

Median sales price of $267,612 in the 3rd quarter was up 11.6% from third quarter 2013, the highest yr over yr price gain of any quarter since 2007.

Half of homes sold in third quarter 2013 were on the market 46 days or fewer, a 24 day improvement over the median day on market, down from 70 days in Q3 last year.

Click here for the full report:

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Consider a Career 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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Montague Miller & Co Fall Portfolio of Homes

Montague Miller & Co presents our 2013 Fall Portfolio of homes for sale in Charlottesville VA Homes, farms and estates, in Albemarle, Charlottesville, Greene, Orange, Amherst, Madison, Culpeper, Louisa, Nelson and Augusta featuring some of the finest homes for sale in our area.

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What Draws a Family to Buy a Home?

In an article posted on the Keeping Current Matters Blog site, September9,2013 the KCM Crew writes Why American Families Buy a Home. We all have our own reasons for wanting to own a home. Some of us enjoy the “control” piece of owning your own space and being able to do as you will.  Many of us have enjoyed the “investment/appreciation” factor of home ownership. Granted, some have not done well financially, but the majority of long term homeowners will do well.

What do you suppose is the number one draw for a family to buy a home?  According to the Keeping Current Matters crew, the top reason for home ownership is to own the place where they raise their family.

Read more:

Top Reasons Why American Families Buy Homes

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4-H Cattle Shows, a Wonderful Part of Summer

August makes me think about summers which rolled by all too fast; summers spent getting ready for the county fair or the state fair.  When I say getting ready- I mean competing in the 4-H cattle shows, or perhaps in shows sponsored by the Virginia Angus Association.  I grew up on a cattle farm where pure bred Angus cattle were bred,raised, and sometimes taken out on the show circuit.

As an 8 year old I had my first 4-H steer project.  We had a project book to keep which kept track of costs of care for the animal and schedules for working with the steer to break him to halter and so forth.  The record keeping was pretty detailed and I have often thought that what I learned in 4-H has been important to me all my life.  We were taught public speaking, how to make presentations, and certainly learned a lot about being responsible.

My first steer was named “Bonanza” and after months of  work we were ready for the county fair.  We did pretty well until my steer decided to lie down and roll in the saw dust.  I could see my Dad waving his arms to “GET HIM UP”.  I did, and with big ole tears still streaming down my face, I got him up.  Bonanza won the blue ribbon that day.

The kids working now with their summer projects will learn a great deal, too. The Albemarle County 4-H helps children and their families with all sorts of livestock projects.  You can raise lambs, pigs, chicken-just about any farm animal.  It is a wonderful part of growing up in the country.

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Virginia Real Estate Board- You Are Going the Wrong Way

This is my first rant in Blog land and have been mightily provoked to write.  Montague Miller & Company has a proprietary Real Estate School and over the years we have written and had approved dozens of classes to help agents fulfill their continuing education requirements.  Experienced agents need 16 credits in topics including, Fair Housing, Ethics, Contracts, and Agency. Brokers need an extra 8 hours beyond the basic CE.  New agents have been required to take 30 hours of Post License classes within their first year of being licensed.

Last year the Real Estate Board, through its Education committee, began revising the curriculum for the newest agents.  The revised outline seems to be taking us in the wrong direction.  My main objection is that we will be obligated to teach an 8 HOUR segment on Real Estate Law and Board Regulations.  In addition, we must teach a 6 HOUR class on contracts.  I totally agree that the topics are necessary and even agree with the number of hours but to require the classes be offered in 8 and 6 hour segments is ridiculous.  The new curriculum is way too narrow and does not give credit for any other skill building which new agents require.

As a member of the NAR’s Professional Development Committee for the last two years, I have heard many discussions about making classes relevant.  One of the ways we discussed doing that was to cut down those in class hours to more workable segments.

My Academy would be delighted to write 2 Four Hour segments but that is not allowed.  Who makes these decisions?  It sounds like the same people who brought us the SOLS have jumped into Real Estate Education in Virginia.

The other disappointing change in submitting classes to REB for approval is that the process is becoming a bureaucratic nightmare. The scrutiny of content is way over the top.  What a waste of time for me to write such a detailed outline.  It seems I am required to send, in outline form, every word to be spoken.  How do you do that when your class delivery is not just lecture but engages the students?

Last thought-As a partner of Dearborn Publishing, why would my Academy have to resubmit every course already written and approved through Dearborn Publishing.  Their on-line courses are vetted and ready to go.  it is a foolish waste of resources to resubmit an application for each course.

PS- REB You Are Going In the Wrong Direction.

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Local Market Report- CAAR

For the 7th consecutive quarter Sales reported to the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORs have increased.  The report released this morning reports an 11.2% increase in the number of sales over the same quarter last year.

The median price of those sales increased 6.3% from the same period of time last year.

County Statistics

Increase in Prices

We also note the decline in the number of Days on the Market.

Please Read More

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Home Builders Positive About Market

The Virginia Association of REALTORs has shared a poll conducted by the National Association of Home Builders

and for the first time in seven years, the builders surveyed are feeling positive. “Today’s report is consistent with our forecast for a 29% increase in housing starts.”

This continues a string of good news in the housing sector.  When new construction begins to improve, we know that the market is much improved.

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In Memoriam, Percy Montague III

Percy Montague III, Founder of Montague Miller & Company and Chairman, Emeritus, died Saturday June 22nd, 2013 at the age of 91. Monty has been our foundation and leader since our beginnings in 1948. He and partner Ben Miller set the tone and lead the way for what began as a small farm and estate firm and has become

Percy Montague III, Founder-Montague Miller & Company

a full service, regional brokerage firm serving Charlottesville and all of central Virginia from Culpeper in the north to Amherst in the south.

After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Mr. Montague began his real estate career in 1946, with another real estate legend, George Barkley.  Company lore has it that Monty was drawn to the business after riding with his parents and George Barkley as they searched for a farm for the Montagues.  The other important piece of company lore is that Monty’s first sale was of Castle Hill, 1,100 acres and an historic home in the Keswick area, for $100,000.   There were many other sales along the way and by 1948 Monty became a sole practitioner of his own firm..  In 1952 he joined forces with Ben Minor Miller and Montague, Miller & Company was launched..

Monty and Ben were leaders in the real estate business in many ways, but in particular, they were responsible for developing many residential subdivisions, including, Greenbrier, Woodbrook, Foxbrook and other smaller areas of new construction.  Monty was also involved with commercial development including assembling the land for the Fashion Square Mall project and properties along Milmont Street. (Miller-Montague).  Monty served as president of our local association, the Charlottesville Area Associaiton of REALTORs®, in 1954-was honored as a member of the inaugural Hall of fame class in 1989 and was, at the time of his death, a member, Emeritus of NAR.

We owe a great deal to our founders for moving in that direction, because at that point it became necessary to add a sales team in support of the homes being built.    Oh, what a home we found as new agents.  Monty made sure we were supported and he was a staunch advocate when we needed one.  It was a privilege to work for a gentleman. He was always a man of his word.

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 25th, our offices are closing at 11:00 am to honor our founder, Percy Montague III.  He would say it isn’t necessary. I would say, “Monty, we will be there wearing M&M green ribbons to honor your legacy. Thank you for the wonderful opportunities you created for hundreds of us.  Thank you for setting the course. Well done.”

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