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.
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 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.
Interested in specific properties?
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.
Absorption Rate is often considered the best indicator of the health of a housing market. Simply put, it is figured by dividing the number of homes currently for sale by the average number of sales per month. The resulting figure shows how many months it will take to exhaust the supply of homes on the market. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market. Less than a six month supply of homes generally indicates a “Seller’s Market,” where conditions favor the home seller. Greater than a six month supply means a glut of inventory, which normally favors the buyer.
Roanoke’s Absorption Rate for November 2012 is 11.2 months. Still high, but at its lowest point since February 2009! The chart above goes back to January 2011, and shows the downward trend. A continuing downward trend would mean rising home prices and a better overall local real estate market. All figures are as reported to the Roanoke Valley MLS from 1/1/11-11/30/12.
This weekend, (October 19th-21st) Roanoke hosts the “Go Outside” Festival at the River’s Edge Sports Complex. The festival is an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor recreation. For full information, visit the Go Outside website.
Owens & Company was founded in 1980 by two brothers with a vision. Service, high ethical standards, and a people-first philosophy led to spectacular growth in a few short years. Thus began the first sentence of the Owens & Company, REALTORS website back in the mid-1990’s. It was a time when few companies had websites, and I doubt many people read it until years later. Working for Jeff Owens (and his brother, Ron) however, we lived that philosophy every day.
Sadly, my friendship with Jeff Owens began and ended with a funeral, although ended is perhaps the wrong word. It was the last week of September, 1989, and I had interviewed for a job at Owens & Co., assisting the sales manager, Barbara Delaney. Jeff Owens called and offered me the job, calling me “sweet lady” on the phone. “We’d like you to come work with us, sweet lady.” “What a kind man,” I thought.
It would be the first of many times he’d call me that over the years. The day I was to start, I got a call from Barbara explaining that the Owens brothers had lost their father, who had lived in Stuart, VA. So it came to be that burying Guy Lamar Owens was my first introduction to his sons.
Kathy Martin, the company Comptroller, and I left the office that morning and rode to the funeral together. Neither of us had been to Stuart before, and we truly didn’t know where we were going. After the ceremony, we made a wrong turn and accidentally drove to North Carolina instead of back up to Roanoke. We wound up in Mayberry, looking for the Snappy Lunch and a pork chop sandwich. OK, it was actually Mt. Airy, but in our hearts it was Mayberry. Of course, we stayed only a few short minutes; we were expected back at the office. Most of the ride back to Roanoke was spent figuring out how we were going to explain our absence. How was I going to tell my brand new boss that I went AWOL on my first day of work? We settled upon telling the truth, as embarrassing as it was. Jeff and Ron never said an unkind word about it, instead thanking us for making the trip to Stuart.
Over the years, many Roanokers passed through the doors of Owens & Company. Jeff always greeted visitors with a smile, a handshake, and the offer to come in and sit down, whether the guest was a local celebrity, or the guy who stocked the coffee machine. Speaking of coffee, in all the years I knew Jeff, I’m not sure I ever saw him without a cup. He’d re-fill his mug before it ever was empty. Most visitors never realized they were sharing a coffee with the company President. He loved and respected people, and it showed.
Jeff’s love of people served him well throughout his real estate career, in fact, he sold homes for many families time and again. Over the years, he would assist his clients’ children to purchase their first home. He took pride in dotting every “i” and crossing every “t.” Each client mattered to him as if they were the only one. In recognition of his outstanding career, Jeff was voted REALTOR of the Year in 1996 by the Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS.
Jeff Owens-Life Outside of Work
Jeff had many interests outside of real estate, however. Golf was a passion for him, often playing with friends Steve Turner, Don Lilly, and Keith Robertson. He also loved attending the Roanoke Regional Home Builders functions and was a secret bowling fanatic. (Many people never knew he was an excellent, and very competitive, bowler!) That said, none of these activities compared to his love of God, of his family, and of his friends.
We lost Jeff Owens to lung cancer, seven years ago tomorrow. He was 58 years old. When I get up tomorrow morning, I’m not going straight to work. First I’m going to take a ride, not to see my boss, but to see my old friend. I’m going to bring him a cup of coffee.
RIP Jeff, not a day goes by…