People, Places, Events, and Issues in Harrisonburg
(with an emphasis on real estate)

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An Inside Look at Harrisonburg’s Food Trucks: Grilled Cheese Mania

April 23rd, 2014 by Emily Marsh · 1 Comment

Food Trucks are popping up all over the Shenandoah Valley! This is the first in a series of interviews with our favorite local food trucks

On a beautiful, sunny day in April, we had the opportunity to visit the always bustling food truck, Grilled Cheese Mania. With a camera and interview questions in tow, we were able to catch Kathleen Mania-Casey doing what she does best – making delicious comfort food. If you want to get to know GCM (and the woman behind it all) a little better….read on!

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

What is the most popular item on the menu?
KMC: The Lindy…..but the Mama is close behind.

The Triple Lindy (A blend of Monterey Jack, Colby, and Cheddar Cheese, butter, and spinach; spread on sourdough bread with bacon crumbles; grilled with a touch of butter)
Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

The Mama Mania (Basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomato, and a drizzle of sriracha hot sauce grilled on a Torta roll)
Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

What is YOUR favorite item on the menu?
KMC: I don’t have a favorite item…. One day I’ll bite into the Mama and think, ‘this is amazing!’ Then another day I’ll bite into the Lindy and think, ‘Oh my gosh! That’s why they make that face when they bite into this’. But I do know that no matter what you pick on the menu, you won’t be disappointed.

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Who do you credit for your cooking skill?
KMC: My mother

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

What is your favorite part of this job?
KMC: I’m just so excited that Harrisonburg has embraced us – our food and our Team. And I’m so grateful for my Team. Also….we’re having a heck of a lot of fun!

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

What is the most unique/difficult thing about working in a food truck?
KMC: It’s a challenge running a full kitchen in a little tiny trailer. However, the people that I work with…..all of my weaknesses are their strengths. So together we make a good team. We have a good flow in the trailer.

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Do you have any “secret” menu items you can make upon request that are not on the menu?
KMC: The Colby Chrisp. It’s named after the Chris’s in my family. Colby cheese, bacon crumbles, and Route 11 barbecue potato chips are all piled together between two pieces of Country White Bread. Then the sandwich is grilled with butter and shredded cheddar cheese on the outside of the bread. The cheddar cheese grilled on the outside of the bread makes the sandwich crispy both inside and out.

Why a food truck?
KMC: I wanted to be able to offer something affordable. In a food truck the overhead isn’t as much. And it’s less of a risk….. And I found it exciting and different.

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Why did you pick Grilled Cheese?
KMC: In New Jersey [where Kathleen is from] you could always go to a diner – but there was nothing like that here. My daughter and my friend were always making grilled cheese in their office because there was no place to go to get simple comfort food. When I decided that I wanted to start a business here, they suggested that I make grilled cheese.

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania Food Truck Harrisonburg VA

Grilled Cheese Mania is located at 1321 South High Street in Harrisonburg, offers daily specials, great deals (if you “like” their Facebook page), and even sells their own merchandise! GCM is also super involved on social networking sites… visit their website to see the list.

Hours (as of this post): M – F 11 – 7; Sat 11 – 3

Want to read more about Grilled Cheese Mania? Check out this recent article from The Breeze, JMU’s student-run newspaper.

→ 1 CommentTags: People · Places


Earth & Arbor Day Celebration at Virginia’s Natural Bridge

April 21st, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments

Virginia’s Natural Bridge and Historic Hotel, now under new management and owned by the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, has re-opened and is hosting an Earth & Arbor Day Celebration on April 26, 2014. Although Natural Bridge is located about an hour south of Harrisonburg, it is definitely worth the drive to do some sightseeing! Plus, attending during this event would be an added bonus because of all that will be happening on the grounds: family-friendly and environmentally-oriented activities beginning at 9:00 AM and continuing until 9:00 PM.

Earth & Arbor Day Celebration at Natural Bridge Park and Historic Hotel

Artwork by Mary Kate Claytor

Be sure to check out all of the activities offered:

  • Dogwood tree planting
  • Virginia and local food-sourced lunch and dinner
  • Live music
  • Crafters and growers market
  • Various tours and free programs
  • Public E-waste collection
  • Children’s art activities
  • BONUS: bring a canned food donation and receive a 50% discount off admission to the Caverns and the Natural Bridge Park for the day!

The Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund owns the Natural Bridge Park & Historic Hotel, and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of conservation, education and outdoor recreation. The Park & Hotel are addressing these goals through the development of new hiking trails, implementing a property-wide recycling program, enriching SOL-compliant educational programs, and partnering with area businesses. Local farmers and artisans will be featured in the Earth & Arbor Day Celebration along with Twin Rivers Canoe Outfitters and the Stonebridge Equestrian Center. There will truly be something for everyone!

For more information and details about the tours, admission, and activities, visit the Natural Bridge Park’s website.


→ No CommentsTags: Events · Fun


Charlottesville-Based Brewery Adding Location in Harrisonburg

April 15th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments

There is a lot of hustle and bustle happening at Urban Exchange these days. The reason is this: a Charlottesville-based brewery, Three Notch’d Brewery, is working to open a location in Harrisonburg. The beer they brew at this new location will be sold exclusively in Harrisonburg, and it will not be available anywhere else!

Three Notch'd Brewery Opening at Urban Exchange in Harrisonburg

Learn more about Three Notch’d Brewing Company’s beers, the brewery itself, or the Tap Takeover event they are doing at Macado’s in Harrisonburg on May 8th.

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Harrisonburg Area Real Estate Market Report: March 2014

April 14th, 2014 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments

That lengthy Valley winter took a toll on the local real estate market. However, we’re now well into April — AKA springtime — AKA busy real estate season — and we’re grateful for the busyness! Take a look at how March fared. Keep in mind that March this year was still experiencing arctic temperatures, school closings, etc…



March 2014 Harrisonburg Real Estate Stats Infographic


Harrisonburg Real Estate: March 2014 Sales

Yes, you are seeing that correctly… the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market experienced a 12.2% drop in sales compared to last year at this time. Before you get completely bummed out, though, notice the increase in average sold/list percentage (the amount sellers are actually getting compared to their latest asking price), the uptick in average price per square foot of $5.45, and the decrease in average days on market of 22 days. Those are all wonderful positives!

Harrisonburg Real Estate: March 2014 Contracts

Fewer contracts were written, but the median price on contracts written was up 5.9%, even though the homes were smaller in size.


Harrisonburg Real Estate Sales: Month to Month March 2014


Harrisonburg Real Estate Trends in Average Price per Square Foot: March 2014


Harrisonburg Real Estate Contracts Written: March 2014


Harrisonburg Real Estate Sales vs Contracts: March 2014



March rounded out the first quarter of the year with a drop in sales of 12.2%, but we see positive news coming in the near future for our local real estate market. Contracts have risen three months in a row, average price per square foot is higher now than it has been for the past three Marches, sellers continue to get about 96% of their final asking price, and homes are sitting on the market for approximately one month less than last year at this time. Now that spring has finally arrived, we look forward to even more positive stats to share with you next month, and for several months following. Stay tuned!


Remember, you can always share any info you find valuable with your friends! Hover over “ShareThis” below to choose your favorite sharing method.

→ No CommentsTags: Market Trends


New Roundabout Coming to Intersection of Reservoir and Carlton

March 28th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments

The busy intersection at Reservoir Street and Carlton Street in the City of Harrisonburg, with the McDonalds on one corner and Spotswood Elementary School on the other, will soon have a single-lane roundabout. The traffic is a good mix of commuters, pedestrians, residents, and errand-runners to nearby businesses, the school, and the adjoining Kiwanis Recreation Park. With a roundabout, the goal is to provide an improvement to traffic flow, capacity, and safety.

Proposed Roundabout at Reservoir and Carlton, Harrisonburg

There are no plans to take property away from any families, businesses, or organizations for this project. The surrounding land needed to construct the roundabout is primarily existing right of way or city owned property.

The estimated cost for building this roundabout is $1,366,000, with a starting time of Summer 2014, and completion anticipated for Summer 2015.

→ No CommentsTags: News


Wilson Downtown Gallery: “Visual Noise” by Zach Sensabaugh

March 24th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments

We have loved having the beautiful and innovative artwork of Ragan McManus gracing the walls of our office — now dubbed the Wilson Downtown Gallery — the past two months. If you haven’t seen her work yet, stop in before she packs up her paintings at the end of the month.

Zachary Sensabaugh: Wilson Downtown Gallery Harrisonburg

Next, we are excited to introduce Zach Sensabaugh to the Wilson Downtown Gallery at the beginning of April with his photography exhibit entitled “Visual Noise.” Be sure to stop by our downtown office during First Fridays for a reception for Zach!

Here is a glimpse at some of Zach’s art:

Zachary Sensabaugh: Wilson Downtown Gallery Harrisonburg

Zachary Sensabaugh: Wilson Downtown Gallery Harrisonburg

Zachary Sensabaugh: Wilson Downtown Gallery Harrisonburg

Zachary Sensabaugh: Wilson Downtown Gallery Harrisonburg

First Fridays Artist Reception

“Visual Noise” by Zachary Sensabaugh
Wilson Downtown Gallery
83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg [map]
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Light refreshments provided

LIKE Wilson Downtown Gallery on Facebook

→ No CommentsTags: Events · People · Photos · Wilson Downtown Gallery


New Team Member: Emily Marsh, Client Care Coordinator

March 21st, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments

We are excited to introduce you to our newest team member, Emily Marsh! She is a smart, young Valley “transplant,” who married into a local family, and works for us as a Client Care Coordinator. Her role on the team is to assist in planning events at our downtown office, coordinate special marketing projects, manage transaction contracts, and generally keep the team organized on a day-to-day basis. Stop by our office at 83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, to say hi!

Emily Marsh, The Harrisonburg Homes Team

Welcome to the team, Emily!

→ No CommentsTags: People · The Team


Featured Listing: 1945 Smithland Road, Harrisonburg

March 19th, 2014 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments

Are you in search of a completely updated home that is situated on over an acre and close to the city? We have the privilege of listing this home at 1945 Smithland Road in Harrisonburg, located just outside the vibrant City of Harrisonburg, with close proximity to downtown, the Smithland Road Soccer Complex, city amenities, restaurants, and more. Not in a subdivision. No association fees. No covenants and restrictions. Just fresh air, mountain views, a great yard, and an extensively renovated, turn-key Colonial.

1945 Smithland Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 22802

Updates include:

  • Brand new, gorgeous hardwood floors throughout (except for the tiled bathrooms!)
  • New HVAC system (with 5-year full warranty)
  • Kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops
  • New stainless steel appliances
  • Bathroom fixtures — faucets, shower inserts, toilets
  • Fresh paint
  • Gutters (all)
  • Garage door and opener
  • Light fixtures (all)
  • Windows — all new on first floor, except family room
  • New interior doors, except for French doors
  • New roof on family room
  • Siding (all)
  • Upgraded plumbing and electrical

Although the circa 1980 home itself has been completely renovated, this property still offers charm in the floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace, mature trees, and French doors.

Take a tour of this home…

1945 Smithland Rd - Kitchen

1945 Smithland Rd - Casual Dining

1945 Smithland Rd - Formal Dining

1945 Smithland Rd - Family Room

1945 Smithland Rd - Great Room

The main level features an 11′ x 13′ formal dining room, a 13′ x 24′ living room with wood-burning fireplace and floor-to-ceiling brick hearth with accent lighting, an 18′ x 18′ great room with a wall of windows and access to the rear deck, a 13′ x 20′ eat-in kitchen with large pantry closet and brand new stainless steel appliances, a 6′ x 8′ laundry room, and a lovely powder room.

1945 Smithland Rd - Master Bedroom

1945 Smithland Rd - Spare Bedroom

The second level is home to a master suite with 12′ x 18′ bedroom, walk-in closet, and tiled bathroom with granite-topped vanity and full-sized tub, plus three additional spacious bedrooms and a full hall bathroom.

1945 Smithland Rd - Basement

1945 Smithland Rd - Rear View

1945 Smithland Rd - Yard

A full unfinished basement offers space for additional storage or room to expand. Outdoors is a HUGE grassy back yard, rear deck, mature trees, mountain views, and a blacktop driveway leading up to the double attached garage.

Many more details, a photo gallery, and a video tour can be viewed at 1945Smithland.com! For more information or to schedule your private showing of this home, please contact Chris Rooker.

This property is listed exclusively by Chris Rooker and The Harrisonburg Homes Team, proud to be a part of Kline May Realty, 83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. Licensed in Virginia.

→ No CommentsTags: Listings


Planning a Garden? Building a Home? Calculate Sun Position At Your Address

February 20th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments

If you are planning a garden, placing windows strategically in your new home construction project, or installing solar panels for going green, this SunCalc tool is for you! Even if you’re not currently doing any of the aforementioned tasks, its pretty sweet to see how the sun moves over your specific property.

Simply enter your address at the top, and SunCalc will show you sun position, sunlight phases, sunrise, sunset, dusk, and dawn times there. Here is an image for our downtown office address for February 19, 2014.

Calculate the sun's position at any time of day, any date on the calendar with SunCalc


Obviously as the seasons change, sunrise and sunset times will change. So, say you are planning a garden and you want to know which part of your yard will get the most sun exposure on July 15th… you can change the date with this tool, too!

There are tools you can purchase at home improvement and gardening centers that you stick in the ground and wait several hours or days for information like this to help you, but why go to the cost and trouble when a free, easy-to-use web tool will calculate this for you? We all have moments when we love technology and others when we hate it. This is one of those times when we love it.

→ No CommentsTags: Tools


Celebrate Downtown Celebration & Reception: February 24, 2014

February 19th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments

Celebrate Downtown! | Celebration & Reception in Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance is throwing a party! On Monday evening, February 24th, toast to another year of downtown’s success, hear exciting plans for the future, and enjoy complimentary refreshments, while also finding out who has won Design Excellence Awards, Partner of the Year Award, and Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Several local businesses have sponsored the event, and it is sure to be a great night of celebration.

Celebrate Downtown!

Celebration and Reception
Monday, February 24, 2014
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Clementine [map]

→ No CommentsTags: Events