Archive for the ‘Selling your home’ Category

August Newsletter

Spring is coming, are you getting the itch to plant?

Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday March 11th, temperatures are beginning to get warmer, the grass is starting to get green and the daffodils are starting to bloom. I don’t know about you but I am starting to think about planting things in my vegetable and flower gardens.

When is the right time to plant? When is the last frost? When do you plant what vegetables? Here is a great publication by Virginia Tech that will help you answer all those questions.

5 Ways to a “Greener” Lawn and Garden

Just because the gardens in the front and backyard of your home look green doesn’t mean they are environmentally sound. According to experts, typical homeowners are unaware that they usually apply seven times more chemicals per acre to their gardens than those used in agriculture, much of which has the potential to run into local lakes and leach into groundwater. There are ways, however, to make sure you are living green and making your landscaping as environmentally sensitive as possible. Here are the top five “greener” landscaping ideas:


In order to have environmentally friendly landscaping, it is important to take the appropriate steps. By hiring a landscaping service to conduct a thorough site analysis at the onset, you’ll be better able to use elements like sun exposure, wind, drainage and the impact of different soil types to your advantage. This step will likely lead to a more natural, healthier garden, and reduce your dependency on fungicides to prevent disease and stimulate healthy growth.


Develop your landscaping to use water efficiently. This practice is referred to as “Xeriscape,” and is pronounced “Zera-scape.” Xeriscaping refers to creating a landscape that limits the need for irrigation. This originated in arid regions of the U.S., but is catching on across the country as water use becomes restricted in many areas. One way of limiting water use is to group plants with similar water needs together so water isn’t wasted. Additionally, you can plant shrubs and trees in your yard that require little water. Some annual flowers require substantial water each week.

Proper Planting

In order to be certain your plants are resistant to drought, insects and others issues, soil preparation is essential. Prepare your planting beds by digging to a depth of more than 12 inches and using enriched organic matter, which will result in stronger root structure for all types of plants. Make sure you loosen the root ball of plants from containers to ensure the roots grow outward allowing for proper water penetration.

Appropriate Maintenance

Once you’ve utilized the appropriate soil and properly established your plants, you still have to consider the ongoing water needed to sustain them. Drip irrigation and soakers are most appropriate when trying to conserve water. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests sprinklers can waste up to 50 percent of water used. If you need to use a sprinkler, run it during off peak hours, either late in the evening or first thing in the morning.

Use Organics

Due to their limited impact on the soil, environment and household pets, organic fertilizers are becoming increasingly popular. They are available in many areas, both in dry and liquid form, and have many of the same benefits of harsher chemical fertilizers. Whichever you use, remember that over-fertilizing (especially with chemical fertilizers) is the cause of many problems in lawns and gardens, such as burnt brown lawns. Using organic fertilizers is as simple as sprinkling grass clippings over your lawn—a perfect alternative to chemical fertilizers—as grass clippings contain high nitrogen levels and can supply your lawn with a third of its nitrogen needs.

Feel free to call or email me with any questions!

Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS Year End Report

Thanks to Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS for the following year end report:

The results in our local market are in line with national figures. Home prices have remained steady andpockets of value are still attractive for buyers. The gradual float down of listing inventory and thestability in Days on Market all support the move towards a sustainable and saleable market. For now,we will continue to watch the inventory of homes for sale and the number of foreclosures coming intoour local market. If we see inventory levels continue to decline and the pace of foreclosures stayssteady, we can expect prices to begin a gradual rise. If inventory climbs again and the regionaleconomy and loan availability both remain stagnant, there is limited opportunity for growth in ourhousing sectors.Price sensitivity is still a key factor in this market and if you plan to sell a home in 2011, be sure tohave a REALTOR® prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) so that you can price it to sell. And,if you are looking to buy, a REALTOR® can help you understand the current market and evaluateyour options.

To read the complete report click on this link:

Is Your Home Ready for Winter?



3rd Quarter Market Report, Fluvanna and Louisa

Charlottesville Association of Realtors (CAAR) released the 3rd quarter market report for the entire area, but I wanted to concentrate on Fluvanna and Louisa Counties.

Home sales were up for the first nine months,  Fluvanna (+18.8%) and Louisa (+14.3%), that equaled 227 sales for Fluvanna and 136 for Louisa.  The median prices have remained relatively unchanged, Fluvanna (+1.8%) and Louisa (+5.9%), median prices year to date are in Fluvanna $205,000 and in Louisa $221,818.  The price per square foot went down in Fluvanna from $121 in 2009 to $117 in 2010, but stay at $113 for both years in Louisa.

The average days on market have dropped in both counties, Fluvanna from 122 to 87 and Louisa from 134 to 112, which is good. As we continue in this up and down market it is very important to rely on the expertise of a REALTOR in buying or selling residential or land.

It is difficult to draw a conclusion as to how the year will end up compared to last year, the last quarter will tell that. Just remember that rates are still historically low and prices are very good.

To read the entire CAAR report, click on this link

Is your home on the market or in the market?

If your home is priced right it is in the market, otherwise it is on the market. Todays buyer wants to feel like the either got a deal or got a steal. You no longer can put your house on the market at a higher price “to see what happens”. You get your most amount of traffic in the first couple of weeks, so you need to put the right price on first.

Your home is already on the market? You feel that you may have priced it too high? Here are some great tips to tell if you have over priced your home.