Congratulations to the Prudential Premier, REALTORS agents, family and friends who ran in the Blue Ridge Marathon (and half-marathon) on April 20, 2013! Prudential Premier co-owner Beth Wilson completed the half-marathon with friend Peggy Stancil; they enjoyed the day and saw long hours of training pay off.
Vanessa and Fred Wall of Roanoke
Prudential Premier agent Fred Wall and his wife Vanessa also competed, successfully finishing the half-marathon in 2:27. Fred and Vanessa are already working on plans to compete again in 2014.
The Blue Ridge Marathon is widely considered to be America’s toughest road marathon, which was evident from the course. It included 3,620 feet of total elevation gain and 7,234 feet of total elevation change; a true challenge for just about anyone!
The date for next year’s Blue Ridge Marathon has been set: April 26, 2014.
by Dolores Farmer Most people know that it’s important to have a “home inventory,” to lessen your chances of a disagreement with your insurance company about replacement of personal property under your homeowner’s insurance policy. If the thought of completing an inventory is daunting, read on.
Easy Home Inventory
What you might not know is that there’s a free app designed to assist you in making that inventory, available for both iPhone and Android. It’s provided by the Insurance Information Institute, and is called “IIIinventory.” The easiest way to locate the App is to navigate to https://www.knowyourstuff.org, and scan the QR Code they provide in the App’s section. It will take you to the download page. You’ll need a free account on the website, because the App syncs the inventory made with your phone to the main website. The app guides you through entering each item, room by room, and you can take photos as you go.
With any luck, you’ll never need the home inventory, but it’s a good thing to do. It’s the type of project that nobody likes to take on, but everyone is happy to have it when they need it.
April 2013 continued to bring improvements to the Roanoke real estate market. The Absorption Rate in March 2012 was 12.11 months but it dropped to 10.27 months in March 2013. Home inventory in the Valley remains high, but overall it is dropping, meaning prices will likely rise if demand remains steady or increases. Average list price in the Valley was $283,040 in March 2013, up from $272,278 in March 2012. Residential homes in and around Roanoke averaged 131 days on the Market in March 2013. There were 3158 homes for sale in and around the Valley as of 4/2/13, according to the Roanoke MLS. For more facts about the Roanoke housing market, see the Infographic.
by Dolores Farmer Botetourt County real estate is doing well! See the March 2013 market update for some interesting facts about the recent market.
How’s the Market for Botetourt Homes?
One area we looked at for the report is “sales by price range.” The price range with the most sales is $200,000-$250,000, with 8 sales from 1/1/13-2/28/13. This represents a 33% increase from the same time period in 2012. The $400,000 to $500,000 price range is also doing well, with 7 sales, representing a whopping 600% increase over 2012. The over $500,000 range, and $100,000 to $120,000 range have experienced drops over 2012. See the infographic for more details about the home market in Botetourt County.
For more market updates and various real estate charts for the Roanoke Valley, visit Prudential Premier’s Google Plus page. Prudential Premier will be opening a new Botetourt County office at 1638 Roanoke Road in Daleville in April of this year (2013.) Some of the best real estate agents in Botetourt will be working out of the office.
by Dolores Farmer Roanoke real estate is recovering nicely! Click on the info-graphic (below) one time to enlarge it, then click a second time on the “enlarge button” (see photo, above) and it will become the intended size. The info-graphic compares early 2012 to early 2013. Categories include “days to sell,” “number of contracts written,” “list to sales price ratio,” “dollar volume of homes sold,” and “number of homes sold.” It will be updated again as soon as February closes out, and figures can be obtained.
This graphic is also featured on the SWVAhomes.com Facebook page.
Please, help us win! Prudential Premier, REALTORS is in the running for an award (Best of SWOCO) that is widely recognized in this area. The voting is conducted by the Roanoke Times newspaper, and we need votes for “Best Local Real Estate Company.” IMPORTANT: The poll requires that you vote in at least 5 categories in order for your vote to count. (We are category #46-Prudential Premier REALTORS.) Please help us win…thank you so much!! http://blogs.roanoke.com/swoco/bestof2013/
After I used an iPhone App to help plan my home garden…it occurred to me that I have a long way to go on the journey back to simpler times. Nevertheless, that journey has begun, with some of our family goals detailed below.
To take responsibility for producing some of our family’s food.
Backyard gardening has been a pleasure. As a child, I always had a garden, but got sidetracked by the rat race and “growing up.” Somehow in the frenzy to get an education, get married, have children and find a job, I forgot to live everyday life.
Returning to gardening is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It forces you to slow down and appreciate things. We live in a subdivision, so there’s not much room to plant. However, another family goal is to move to some acreage within the next two years. Raised-bed gardens seemed to be a good start in my small space. Sam’s Club in Roanoke had a kit that snaps together, so we began there. Far too many seeds were stuffed in the little garden, mostly caused by the over-enthusiasm of the gardener. It all worked out, however, and we had fresh, chemical-free vegetables all Summer long. No pesticides were used at all; I decided the insects could have their fair share and I think they talked it over and decided to let me have mine! We lost very little.
It’s nice knowing I have friends who will help. My longtime buddy Steve Turner, known as “Mater Man, gives me gardening tips and answers my questions patiently. My friend (and employer), Tom Wilson, offered use of his tiller. Roanoke, VA is that kind of town; people help one another. A fantastic place to live.
This Fall, my husband Eddie and I will hunt for venison to fill the freezer. Certainly it won’t supply all of our meat, but this isn’t an all-or-nothing activity. We know we can’t supply all of our food; we just want to cut down on prepared grocery store food items and move in the right direction.
To Enjoy Family Time not Spent in front of a Television
Justin helping with the Garden
Gardening started out as “Mom’s thing,” but over time the whole family got involved. My son helped place the raised beds, my daughter helped harvest and my husband pulled weeds. Even granny came out back for a look. I’d much rather have family activities centered around the garden than the television.
There was hard work involved but it was fulfilling; when we finished, we felt a real sense of accomplishment.
Cable TV is so overrated-have you noticed that, in addition to the regular commercials, now they use up part of your screen to put more commercials at the bottom? And we pay them to watch… their own commercials! What are we thinking?
Cable TV-MORE ads on our Screens?
To Live a Life that is not dominated by “Stuff.”
We cleaned out our garage this week. Borrowed a truck from our friend Chuck Campbell. The garage is not empty, but we made a significant dent. When my husband returned from the dump, where he took the junk, he told me it had weighed 1500 lbs.!! Until he showed me the ticket, where they weighed the truck before & after, I thought he was joking. Never again-we are de-cluttering and will no longer be ruled by “stuff.”
In the End…
This process is going to take time, but at least we got started. So far, here is what we’ve done to move towards a life of self-sufficiency:
Made our own body wash for 1/3 the price of store bought
My job is as the Director of Technology for Prudential Premier REALTORS. Surely I won’t be removing all technology from my life. That’s not the goal at all. It was great that my iPhone could help me plan my garden. Technology should assist you when you need it, but it certainly isn’t what’s meaningful in life.
We’re always open to more ideas of small changes or projects we could do …feel free to share yours in the comments.
See where your home style ranks when compared to others in Roanoke, VA.
Does the style (Colonial, ranch, split-level) affect the time it takes to sell a Roanoke VA home? Very much so! Contemporary houses were the slowest to sell, on average. From my observations over 25 years in Roanoke real estate, contemporaries are slow to sell. Tudors sold the fastest, which was a surprise to me, but the data supported it. They don’t make up much of our market, so it was a small sample, but the few that sold, sold fast. Of the more common styles of home in Roanoke, split-foyers moved faster than ranches and colonials.
Some of the time differences are not particularly significant; a colonial took an average of 4 days longer to sell than a ranch-style home. However, if you compare a split-level to a contemporary, the difference is measured in months!
See the chart to view all the differences in home styles and time to sell.
If you’re considering selling your Roanoke VA home this Spring
Roanoke VA homes come in all shapes and sizes. The agents I work with are trained and experienced with selling all styles of homes-you can find them at: http://prudentialpremierrealtors.com/
After riding out the Roanoke derecho in June/July of 2012, and spending 5 days with no power in 100 degree heat, our family has decided to make an effort to be more prepared for the unexpected. We don’t have a lot of money to devote to this, so we’re taking baby-steps towards our goal. My intention is to do a series of posts on the small projects we undertake, mistakes and all. We thought a good start would be: 2 weeks of stored food, 2 weeks of stored water, and developing some alternative methods of heating, cooling, cooking, etc., in case we have no power.
One of my great loves is gardening, and so I started there. The family garden is our “alternative method” of obtaining food. Every year I start seeds indoors, and I usually buy a prepared “seed starting kit” from Lowe’s. This time I decided to make my own, out of items that were laying around the house. Long ago, I remembered reading that seed-starting pots could be made from newspaper, wrapped around a jar and then folded.
We had some old newspapers and an empty salsa jar, so I was game to give it a try. The idea is not to use anything that won’t degrade in the garden-no paper clips, no thing but the newspaper. Of course I worried that I’d never get the pots to hold together, and would have a mess on my hands once soil went in.
As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. A few tucks of the paper, and it held together nicely. I screwed the lid on the salsa jar to help compress the newspaper and make good strong seed-starting pots.
The pots can be planted right in the ground, so there is no need to transplant the seedling when the time comes to put it in the garden. It worked out beautifully, and I am all ready to start my tomatoes this Spring.