Harrisonblog

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

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Wilson Downtown Gallery: Martha Mobley, Deborah Kay Nees, and Nick Terry

October 23rd, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments


Wilson Downtown Gallery’s rotation of artists continues with the taking down of Denise Kanter Allen’s paintings and showcasing a new set of paintings for the months of November and December. For the first time, we’ll be displaying works from a group of artists: Martha Mobley, Deborah Kay Nees, and Nick Terry. The show will be called “Our Viewpoints,” and each artist will bring their unique viewpoints to their individual watercolor subjects. Remember to stop by the gallery during First Fridays on November 7 for a FREE artist’s reception and refreshments!

Wilson Downtown Gallery: Martha Mobley, Deborah Kay Nees, and Nick Terry | November & December 2014

Wilson Downtown Gallery: Martha Mobley, Deborah Kay Nees, and Nick Terry | November & December 2014 Wilson Downtown Gallery: Martha Mobley, Deborah Kay Nees, and Nick Terry | November & December 2014

FIRST FRIDAYS ARTIST RECEPTION

Our Viewpoints: Martha Mobley, Deborah Kay Nees, and Nick Terry
Wilson Downtown Gallery
83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg [map]
November 7, 2014 @ 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Light refreshments provided
FREE!

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Shop for a Good Cause at Wilson Downtown Gallery: November 8, 2014

October 22nd, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments


Festival of Gifts @ Wilson Downtown Gallery: November 8, 2014 | Proceeds benefit Relay for Life

We are excited to host a fun event for a great cause in our downtown office space, AKA Wilson Downtown Gallery! Stop by on November 8 from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM to peruse the Festival of Gifts. The Relay for Life team Smiles for a Cure is putting on this shopping extravaganza, and proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.

Vendors at the Festival of Gifts include:

You’ll also be able to purchase baked goods and crafts. Come and shop for gifts for the upcoming holiday season!

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How to Eat Out on the Cheap in Harrisonburg

October 16th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · 10 Comments


If you know us at all, you are fully aware that we love food. The fact that our office is nestled in the heart of the downtown Culinary District makes our hearts (and bellies) sing. Eating, for us, isn’t a problem. The problem comes when we want to dine on our favorite dishes but the budget doesn’t allow for it. So, another good reason to have an office downtown means that we can stay on the pulse of where the best deals are at our favorite restaurants.

How to Eat Cheap at Popular Harrisonburg Restaurants

Here is a list of some of the best dining deals we’ve found in Harrisonburg, and how you can eat out on the cheap in the ‘Burg:

Union Station serves $1.95 “bar bites” with a drink purchase every day during specific hours (they change depending on the day).

Capital Ale House has $2 burger night on Mondays from 4:00 PM – 1:00 AM, with a beverage purchase.

Bella Luna’s $5 pizza happy hour every day is truly one of the best deals in town.

A Bowl of Good has you covered on Saturday mornings with an $8 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.

Local Chop & Grill House serves 5 for $6 until 7 – that is, 5 menu items for $6 until 7:00 PM Tuesdays – Thursdays.

Clementine offers $4 appetizers from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Mondays – Fridays.

Ruby’s (in the basement of Clementine) offers $2 Barbecue on Tuesdays, $3 Burgers on Wednesdays, and $3 Wings on Thursdays.

Corgans’ Publick House has 50 cent wing night on Mondays, and stop by on Wednesdays for $5 burgers.

The Artful Dodger has a buy one get one deal for appetizers from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

Billy Jack’s serves $2 sliders on Tuesdays and $3 sticky nuggs on Thursdays.

Cuban Burger features a different burger each day (Monday – Friday) that you can get for ½ off from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM.

Food.Bar.Food offers happy hour specials from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Tuesdays – Saturdays, including half bowls and small plates for $4 – $6.

Joshua Wilton House has a $55 date night special on Thursdays, which includes a shared appetizer, two entrees, and a shared dessert.

The Baker’s Dozen serves an all-homemade daily (from 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM) all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for $6.99.

And, of course, another way to eat out on the cheap in Harrisonburg is to visit one of the many food trucks in the area!

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Do you know of any other fantastic, can’t-pass-it-up deals on dining in Harrisonburg? Let us know in the comments!

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Halloween on the Square: October 25, 2014

October 15th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments


The 11th annual Halloween on the Square, one of Harrisonburg’s most popular — and spooky — downtown events, will feature fun holiday festivities for the whole family — even pets!

Young folks can enjoy face painting by Larkin Arts, balloon animals, magic tricks, caricatures, games, and more from 10:00 AM – noon. At 11:30 AM, children ages newborn through 13 years old will have the chance to show off their costumes in the Kids’ Costume Contest.

Your furry friends can also don costumes while chowing down on doggie treats and participating in Digico’s Howl-O-Ween costume contest. Don’t have a dog, or desire another? Fear not. The Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA will also have a selection of adoptable dogs at their “Muttsters Mash” Pet Station.

Trick or Treat @ Halloween on the Square

The best part, at least for us, is the trick-or-treating! Be sure to visit our office at 83 South Main Street (across the street from Jack Brown’s) as we (and 30+ other businesses) open up our business to you with candy! You can pick up a trick-or-treating map and bags at the Hardesty Higgins House or at the information booth on Court Square during the event.

As if that weren’t enough, more Halloween fun can be had with pumpkin painting, free popcorn at the Friendly City Food Co-op, live music at Asbury United Methodist Church, and a special 2:00 PM Rocktown Bites! food tour with a “Goons, Goblins, and Grub” theme for kids. (Be sure to purchase food tour tickets in advance.)

Event Details

Halloween on the Square
Court Square and Downtown Vicinity
October 25, 2014
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
FREE

photo credit: lobo235 on Flickr

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Harrisonburg Area Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

October 8th, 2014 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments


When someone considers selling their home, he/she is putting what is likely his/her biggest asset on the line. Listing a home on the real estate market is a big decision. It is beneficial to know how the market is performing, not just at this point in time, but what trends have been occurring over the past 6 – 12 months. On the flip side, buyers, too, are considering purchasing a large asset and want to get good value for their dollar. This is why we publish these market reports each month. It not only tells us how we’re doing as real estate professionals, but also guides buyers and sellers in their decision making. Our key takeaways for 2014 so far: sales and sale prices are steady, homes are slightly smaller, but price per square foot has increased. Sellers are getting a sales price that is closer to their final asking price, and buyers have plenty of options to choose from. Read on for more market trends…

[ INFOGRAPHIC ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

[ TABLES ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

September’s sales have closed the gap in year-to-date sales by a whopping 3.8% (last month, YTD sales were down by 4.3%)! Homes are also sitting on the market for 21 fewer days compared to last year at this time, saving sellers almost an entire month in mortgage payments.

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

The number of buyers committing to purchase homes continues to increase at a steady pace, with a year-to-date growth of 2.8%, plus a rise in average list prices of 3.0%. This rise in prices of homes going under contract will likely translate to an increase in sales prices because the average sold/list percentage is nearly 97%, which means sellers are getting approximately 97% of their final asking price. When the list price rises, so does the sales price. And again, we see that homes going under contract are sitting on the market for 21 fewer days compared to last year.

[ GRAPHS ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

 Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014
Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014
Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: September 2014

 

[ SUMMARY ]

Average price per square foot is faring better now than it has since 2010, which means the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market is pretty healthy. Buyers are also continuing to write contracts on homes, which will translate to sales in the coming months. Sellers can be confident in listing their homes because of the likelihood that they’ll sell at a price fairly close to their final asking, and because their home would, on average, sit on the market for less time now than if they had listed last year at this time. Because of the healthy market from the seller’s perspective, buyers have a nice inventory of homes to choose from. We look forward to what the final quarter of 2014 will bring to our local real estate market. Stay tuned for more market trends

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Vote For Turner Ashby High School’s $100,000 Grant to Construct Mile-Long Trail Around Campus

October 6th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments


Cindy Ferek, a Physical Education teacher at Turner Ashby High School is seeking a grant for the school to construct a mile-long track to assist with physical health and education for special needs youth. This paved trail would allow her students and others in the community access to parts of the 70-acre campus that have never been accessible before. Her submission has earned her a top spot in the running, but now it’s all up to a vote — see below about how you can vote to help this project!

We talked to Cindy Ferek about this, and it was such an inspirational chat. She said that this is her chance to make an impact in her student’s lives and in the community. To quote Ferek:

“This trail will be built a pebble at a time. I’ve thrown out the first pebble, but if it stops there it won’t do any good. Each vote is another pebble that goes toward getting this trail built. At the end of the voting session, if we get the funding, we’ll be able to look back and see all the pebbles that built this trail.”

How long has this been a vision for Ferek? In her 17 years of teaching, she’s wanted to do this from the start. It took her 10 years to get the bikes (see the video below), which she got little by little. TAHS now has a fleet of 42 bikes, a shed, helmets, etc. The trail is the next step. It would benefit the school, the Special Education students, and the community. Ferek’s desire to see this project to completion goes along with her daily mantra: “Be a blessing to others.”

VOTE for TAHS to Receive $100,000 Grant For Mile-Long Trail Around Campus

Your vote can help Cindy Ferek and Turner Ashby High School receive this grant!

All you have to do is click here, then go to Zone: Eastern and click the VOTE button for “Two Wheels Squared Driving Course Challenge.” You may vote once a day during the month of October. You can also check out the short video explaining the need for this grant that Ferek put together.

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Traffic Configuration Changes in Harrisonburg

September 25th, 2014 by Emily Marsh · No Comments


So that you’re not caught off guard this week while driving around Harrisonburg, we wanted to make sure you are aware of a few traffic configuration changes. The reconfiguration is scheduled to take place this week at the intersection of Evelyn Byrd Avenue and University Boulevard and the intersection  of East Market Street and Linda Lane.

Intersection of Evelyn Byrd and University Boulevard
traffic configuration changes in Harrisonburg
Source: City of Harrisonburg Public Information Office Press Release

As pictured in the image above, the plan for this intersection is to reconfigure the intersection approach lanes on Evelyn Byrd to create a left-turn only, a through only, and a right-turn only lane. However, the traffic signals will not be updated with left-turn arrows as the left-turn traffic was not deemed heavy enough to require them.

The University Boulevard approach lanes are scheduled to be reconfigured in 2015.

Intersection of East Market Street and Linda Lane
traffic configuration changes in Harrisonburg
Source: City of Harrisonburg Public Information Office Press Release

At this intersection, the southbound approach lanes will be reconfigured to have dual left-turn lanes onto Eastbound East Market Street. This will hopefully reduce wait times on Linda Lane and, in general, make the flow of traffic more efficient.

Now that you are aware, happy driving!

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Harrisonburg’s New Dog Park!

September 23rd, 2014 by Emily Marsh · No Comments


On a beautiful, clear, September morning a group of people (and their furry friends) gathered for an exciting event – the Grand Opening of Harrisonburg’s very first Dog Park.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

The Happy Dogs Unleashed Dog Park boasts two large fenced areas (one for large, and one for small dogs), waste clean-up stations, benches, picnic tables, a double-gate entry/exit, and plenty of trees for shade.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

After some brief opening remarks, the leash over the gate was cut, and the dogs were let loose to have the time of their lives.

Harrisonburg Dog Park
Source: Happydogs Unleashed Facebook

Here are a few snapshots from the day.

There were big dogs and little dogs…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

….sleek dogs…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

…fluffy dogs…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

…and even dogs that look like a giant stuffed animal.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

There were happy greetings and many new friends made.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

There was lots of running…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

…and chasing…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

…and playing.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

There were frisbees…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

…and a game of keep-away.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

There were lots of tennis balls…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

…and even an impromptu game of “tackle ball”.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

With all that playing, periodic water breaks had to be taken.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

There were even treats…which brought all play to a standstill.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

And, of course, there were tongues….lots of tongues…

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

But most of all, there were dogs that were ridiculously happy to be able to run free with friends.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

Harrisonburg Dog Park

So, if your canine companion wants some new dog friends and some space to run around, head on over to 1646 Smithland Road between 8am and dark. Check out the Rules and Policies of the Dog Park before you go.

Harrisonburg Dog Park

There is only one way to this dog park…It leads straight to a tail-wagging good time.

 

 

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Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

September 22nd, 2014 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments


Last month we were pretty excited about the number of sales growing quite steadily throughout 2014. However, the percentage of sales compared to last year in July was -3.1%, and now it has dropped again to -4.3%. Don’t lose hope, though, because August is known for its slow-down. Folks get busy with back-to-school and end-of-summer vacations. We predict a healthy amount of sales to close out the year. Why? Check out the amount of contracts that have been written lately!

[ INFOGRAPHIC ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

[ TABLES ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

Although we don’t like to see the number of units sold dropping, sales prices are on the rise, and average price per square foot is nearly $106, plus the amount of time homes are sitting on the market is 20 days less than last year.

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

Good news! The number of contracts written this month jumped 9% compared to last month, which means the year-to-date contracts have crossed over the “zero” mark and we’re now in the positive! 811 contracts have been written this year so far, which is 2.3% more than last year during the same time. This is great news because most of these will eventually turn into SALES! (And, you’ll notice on the first graph below that contracts have increased for 4 years in a row.)

[ GRAPHS ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

 
Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: August 2014

 

[ SUMMARY ]

August is pretty predictable when it comes to sales, but the number of contracts written exceeded our expectations. Compared to last year, sales are down 4.3%, but contracts are up 2.3%, so this fact alone gives us something to look forward to… more sales to come. Sellers can still list with confidence because homes are selling for almost 97% of final asking price and sitting on the market for 20 days less than last year at this time (not quite 6 months). Buyers still have a nice selection of inventory to choose from. Stay tuned for more market trends

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Downtown Hotel & Conference Center Back on the Table

September 22nd, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments


A few months ago, the development of a downtown hotel and conference center was being discussed, but because of disagreements about how to finance the project, it was put on hold indefinitely. Since June, though, the City of Harrisonburg and the JMU Foundation have revisited this discussion and have tentatively come to an agreement, pending final approval from City and Foundation attorneys on the updated contract language.

Proposed Downtown Harrisonburg Hotel & Conference Center

Architectural rendering of the downtown Hotel & Conference Center (source: HDR)

A public hearing will take place on October 14. Project details and associated documents will be presented at this time.

You can keep up with the progress of this project on Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance’s website, view architectural renderings, and link to other related resources.

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Introducing House Stories: Every Home Has a History… We’re Here to Tell the Story

August 27th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments


The Shenandoah Valley is rich with history, most widely known for the American Civil War… but have you ever wondered about the homes that are nestled in this luscious valley? Some have been around for hundreds of years, while others have just been constructed. House Stories, just launched by The Harrisonburg Homes Team, is a virtual storybook of the history of homes old and new in our area.

Introducing House Stories: Every House Has a History... We're Here to Tell the Story

Who’s behind all this? Us: The Harrisonburg Homes Team. We’re passionate about houses, especially when they tell intriguing tales of their pasts — whether those pasts are long or short.

Every home has a history, and we’re here to tell the story.

Introducing House Stories: Every House Has a History... We're Here to Tell the Story

Our first House Story features an interview with Mike and Donna Trainum, owners of 205 Franklin Street in Harrisonburg’s historic Old Town neighborhood. This home has undergone an amazing transformation over the years, so we’ve included several photos and memories made throughout this home to highlight its restoration, which is both attractive and functional. (Teaser: this home used to be a quadraplex, has hosted weddings, become an impromptu live music hall, and more!)

Visit often to read the pages in our virtual storybook of the history of homes throughout the Shenandoah Valley. We’re thrilled to share this journey with you!

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Rise and Shine and Get Your Breakfast On, Harrisonburg!

August 27th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · 3 Comments


It’s the most important meal of the day. It gets your metabolism jump-started. It feeds your brain. It gets you going. It’s breakfast. Harrisonburg is home to a wealth of delicious, locally owned breakfast hot spots. Check out our list of favorites, then rise and shine and get your breakfast on! Try them all. You won’t be disappointed!

Favorite Local Breakfast Spots in Harrisonburg

Breakfast All The Time

  • Little Grill Collective. Probably the most popular breakfast joint in the ‘Burg, this refreshingly eclectic, community oriented, restaurant serves a fabulous morning meal. 
  • A Bowl of Good. A bountiful bowl of local ingredients and handmade specialties await you in the morning hours at this popular restaurant, which has two locations in Harrisonburg (one on Port Republic Road, and the other on Mt. Clinton Pike). They also have an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet on Saturday mornings for just $8 at the Port Republic Road location!
  • Earth & Tea Cafe. Not only can you enjoy an aromatic cup of hot tea, but you can also delight in a beautifully prepared breakfast or brunch dish at this globally inspired cafe in downtown Harrisonburg. Serving banana bread pancakes with special toppings, Belgium waffles, french toast, various parfaits, sandwiches, and fruit salad.
  • Artful Dodger. Breakfast is served everyday, all day! Simply go for a bagel or quesadilla, or try the french toast, Morning Glory Plate, or a handful of other egg-focused dishes.
  • Mr. J’s Bagels. The Harrisonburg bagel place is Mr. J’s, which serves up breakfast sandwiches and platters every day.
  • Cinnamon Bear Bakery & Deli. Breakfast served all day every day at this sweet cafe across from JMU on University Boulevard. Wraps, sandwiches, and cinnamon rolls to start your day, alongside a glorious cup of coffee.
  • Bakers Dozen Donuts. Open daily except Sundays, this donut shop provides Harrisonburg with delectable sweets for breakfast, including donuts, breads, cream puffs, cinnamon rolls, and much more.
  • L & S Diner. A classic diner experience with a friendly staff, serving affordable breakfast daily. Eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, omelets, french toast, and breakfast sandwiches are on the menu. They also have daily specials!
  • Southside Diner. This popular truck stop on Route 11 South offers daily breakfast (all day every day) in a diner atmosphere, and is a great spot for groups or kids! If your feeling mighty hungry, this is the place to fill up… large portions at a great price.

Brunch on Saturday + Sunday

  • FoodBarFood. Global comfort food for brunch means menu items like dulce de leche on blueberry banana pancakes, homemade biscuits, heirloom tomato martinis, and more. Anyone else’s stomach growling yet?
  • Billy Jack’s Wing & Draft Shack. Weekends are for brunch, and Billy Jack’s does it right with breakfast sliders, chicken and waffles (what?? yes, you read that right.), crab cake benedict, special brunch cocktails, and more.

Brunch on Sunday

  • Clementine. Clementine’s Sunday brunch menu goes on and on, with several fabulous choices in each of these categories: entrees, sandwiches and burgers, sides, drinks, a kids menu, and even desserts. Yes, please!
  • Bella Luna Woodfired Pizza. Bella does brunch on Sundays! Try their House Biscuit Sandwich, which oozes handmade decadence. They’ve truly added breakfast dishes that are just as amazing as their original pizza line-up.
  • Corgans Publick House. From 11 AM – 3 PM on Sundays at Harrisonburg’s only Irish pub, you can dine on a traditional Irish breakfast, breakfast pizza with sausage, eggs, bacon, and cheddar, or their famous french toast, plus sip on a cocktail or Irish coffee!

Where is your favorite breakfast spot in Harrisonburg? What is your favorite menu item? Please share in the comments!

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Wilson Downtown Gallery: Denise Kanter Allen

August 25th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · 1 Comment


Jennifer Lockard Connerley has had her beautiful paintings donning the walls of Wilson Downtown Gallery, located in our downtown office at 83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, for the past couple of months. We’re now ready for the next local artist to be showcased. Denise Kanter Allen will be displaying her works of art in September and October. Please join us for a FREE artist reception during First Fridays on September 5!

Wilson Downtown Gallery: Denise Kanter Allen

 

Here is a little bit of background about Denise:
DENISE KANTER ALLEN

Denise received a BFA in painting and drawing from James Madison University. She favors acrylic paints for her portrait-making but continues to explore all types of media, as well as collaborate with other artists. Denise is co-founder of Art Lotto portrait show, co-founder of Artery collaborative troupe, Treasurer for Spitzer Art Center, as well as a volunteer and supporter of the downtown local arts scene and events. Denise enjoys participating in downtown Harrisonburg’s First Fridays art exhibitions and working for Harrisonburg City Public Schools.

FIRST FRIDAYS ARTIST RECEPTION

Denise Kanter Allen Paintings
Wilson Downtown Gallery
83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg [map]
September 5, 2014 @ 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Light refreshments provided
FREE!

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What the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Means To Us

August 25th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · 2 Comments


If you’re on Facebook, your news feed has probably been inundated with videos of people dumping ice water on their heads. This is due to a brilliant marketing campaign by the ALS Association, and has so far raised upwards of $70 million. ALS is a neurological disease that can strike pretty much anyone at any time. There is no cure at this point. The ALS Association states that ALS patients are like snowflakes… no two are alike. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint similarities in order to find a common thread in patients with this disease.

In January of 2013, I knew nothing about this disease, except that it was named after Lou Gehrig. (ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) Then my own father was diagnosed. It all started with a lack of feeling, or numbness, in his right thumb and forefinger. His arms and legs would cramp and twitch. He got very weak. He went from walking, to needing a cane, to eventually using a wheelchair. He had trouble breathing, and needed a bi-pap machine, then a cough assist machine. He had a feeding tub installed exactly a year after his diagnosis. He caught pneumonia and ended up in the ICU. The doctors got rid of the pneumonia with antibiotics while dad was intubated, but he was too weak to breathe on his own after that. He passed away on March 8, 2014. He had just turned 66.

Here I am with my dad just last summer:

P1080497

This disease hits home for me, and several friends have asked me how I feel about the Ice Bucket Challenge. I personally think it is wonderful! Millions of dollars have been raised to help fight this dreadful disease, and awareness is spreading like wild fire around the world! My dad would have loved it, too, seeing all of his buddies dousing themselves in ice water while helping to bring awareness to the forefront.

I’m thankful for Chris Rooker, our team leader, and Karl Waizecker, Broker at Kline May Realty, who took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and also donated to the cause. Click the image below to watch the video:

Chris Rooker and Karl Waizecker of Kline May Realty take the #ALSIceBucketChallenge

If you’d like to donate, please visit www.alsa.org. From someone who has seen someone dear affected by this disease, it is very much appreciated. Please consider helping to STRIKE OUT ALS!

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Harrisonburg Area Real Estate Market Report: July 2014

August 19th, 2014 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · 1 Comment


If you’ve been reading our Market Reports ritually throughout 2014, you’ve probably noticed a trend in sales. Although sales are down this year overall compared to last year, the rate at which they are gaining ground to the “zero” market (breaking even with last year) is quite remarkable. Each month, the percentage of decline on sales has decreased fairly significantly, and July is no exception. For instance, in May sales were down nearly 17% compared to 2013, and now its down just over 3%. Read on for more local market stats…

[ INFOGRAPHIC ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: July 2014 Infographic

[ TABLES ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Sales July 2014

Sales are down 3.1% compared to last year at this time, but last month they were down twice that much (6.1%), so we’re seeing a positive trend in sales this year. Sales prices have dipped slightly at less than 1%, but average price/square foot is up 3.7%. Last year at this time it was $102.40 and now we’re at $106.15, which is a difference of $2.75. Not too shabby!

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report: July 2014 Contracts

We’ve almost neared the break even point in contracts this year! Contracts written are down by just 0.1% compared to last year. And speaking of good news about contracts, you can see below that contracts have risen each July for four years in a row.

[ GRAPHS ]

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

 Harrisonburg Real Estate July 2014: Median Sales vs List Prices

Harrisonburg Real Estate July 2014: Contracts Since 2009

 

Harrisonburg Real Estate July 2014: Sales vs Contracts

Harrisonburg Real Estate July 2014: Sales Trends

Harrisonburg Real Estate July 2014: Contracts Trends

[ SUMMARY ]

July provided the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market with a good boost in sales and contracts written. 2014 started out well, dipped a bit during the early spring months, and has since picked up speed and looks to be nearing the pace of 2013 now. Only time will tell if we surpass last year’s numbers, but for now, we’re happy with where the market currently stands. Sellers continue to sell in a reasonable amount of time (about 5.5 months) and for a reasonable amount of money (getting on average about 97% of final asking price), while buyers continue to have a nice selection of homes to choose from. We’re excited to see what the next few months bring to our local market! Stay tuned for more market trends

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How Zillow’s Acquisition Of Trulia Affects You

July 29th, 2014 by Zach Koops · No Comments


How Zillow's Acquisition of Trulia Affects You

We all know the saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” Well, Zillow has done more than just join Trulia – on Tuesday, July 29, it was announced that Zillow will be acquiring its rival, which will make it the main contender in the online real estate shopping world. Both companies will keep their individual brands, but live under the same roof.

What this means for buyers:
There’s no doubt that the home buyers of today want to shop online. More and more, people begin their research on websites like Zillow and Trulia, relying heavily on the information garnered from the MLS used to populate the data on these websites. Pictures are easy to browse, prices are front and center, and estimated market values are quickly calculated from default algorithms in the code. Everything is available immediately for anyone to see, and buyers everywhere love it. It’s a great way to start the process of purchasing a home, and now it will be even easier to do as these two companies merge.

Remember, though, that no website can substitute the service and representation that a real estate agent can provide. An agent will meet with buyers, get to know them, and conduct a thorough search of what is available within their preferences. An agent also has a thorough knowledge of local areas, and can provide details a website cannot. Not to mention the ability to negotiate on a buyer’s behalf, assist with drafting of contracts, manage the transactions, ensure the proper inspections are conducted, and generally provide protection for their client throughout the process.

What this means for sellers:
Since these websites only grab data from the MLS system when a house is for sale, it is imperative that sellers list their home on the MLS. Even (dare I say) if it is via limited representation, which allows an agent to put the home on the MLS for a low fee. The key will be to make sure the home is listed accurately, with up-to-date (and correct) information, and photos of the best quality, which should be a standard practice anyway. Sellers should consider, however, that although their listing will appear on Zillow, what appears with it is the “Zestimate,” which has a 6.9% median of error, and does not have complete data in every area of the country. This should be considered as merely a starting point for determining price, not an accurate representation of market value.

What this means for real estate professionals:
Brokers and agents will need to continue to educate both buyers and sellers on the pros and cons of real estate websites. While most users of these sites understand that the dollars and cents presented are estimates, some insist on using them as their bottom line, which is never the right move without first determining their accuracy. Since an agent’s duty is to uphold their client’s best interests, they must not allow a website’s algorithm to dictate the approach to pricing a home over their own expertise in market evaluation. Website numbers can be misleading, so it is extremely important to note to both buyers and sellers that they can better rely on a person who can physically evaluate a home, than a website that makes an educated guess based on limited data.

Harrisonburg Homes
Don’t forget – our website offers a local MLS search tool and the ability to save searches. If you’re looking for a home in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham area, this can be a great resource!

Zach Koops, Realtor
540-746-8753
zach@harrisonburghomes.com

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An Inside Look at Harrisonburg’s Food Trucks: Delgado’s Antojitos Mexicanos

July 24th, 2014 by Emily Marsh · 2 Comments


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

You know that craving for Mexican food that hits every now and then that you just have to satiate? Next time you feel that need, drive on over to Delgado’s Antojitos Mexicanos for some absolutely superb, perfectly authentic Mexican food. “Antojitos” means “snacks” or “little cravings”. But don’t let the name fool you – go here when you’re hungry for a meal. The portion sizes are generous and you will want to devour every last morsel. And then, yes, the cravings will start for more. I had the privilege of talking to Juana Delgado, who owns the truck with her husband, Juan. Between cooking mouth-watering food and serving her customers with a smile and a quick sense of humor, she was able to answer my questions.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
The little shed next door has tables and a fan to stay cool while you eat

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

What is the most popular item on the menu?
JD: Tortas Locas and also Chicken Enchiladas.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Torta

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Enchiladas

What is YOUR favorite item on the menu?
JD: My favorite is the tamales. My idea first was just to have a tamale stand. But my kids said, “no mom, you do other things really delicious too, so put a variety of different things from Mexico.” Tamales sell well at certain times of the year – they’re really popular. So our plan next is to make a tamale stand and just sell all kinds of tamales, separate from the truck.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Tamale

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Don’t speak Spanish? No problem! Just point to what you want.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Tostada

Who do you credit for your cooking skill?
JD: I’d have to give the credit to my husband, because he’s the one that always tells me this thing needs a little more of this or that. And I guess he just has all these Mexican food cravings, so as I’ve tried to please him over the years, I’ve just perfected it.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Quesadillas

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

What is your favorite part of this job?
JD: The thing I like the best about it is that it’s a job that my husband and I can do together, we can see each other more time during the day. And I really love to cook.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Tacos

What is the most unique/difficult thing about working in a food truck?
JD: It really involves a lot of time. It’s really a challenge because it doesn’t matter what’s going on in your personal life, if you feel good or bad. You always have to give it a hundred percent so that the food will be just as delicious as always no matter how you feel that day.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Taco Dorado

Why a food truck?
JD: It’s expensive to rent a place. It seems like the people who rent buildings for restaurants, they’re working just for the benefit of the owner of the place and there’s little benefit for the person who’s actually doing the work.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos
Soft Shell Taco

Why did you pick Mexican food?
JD: When we moved here to Harrisonburg, we wanted this kind of food and there wasn’t any place to buy this kind of food. And I still don’t think there’s another place where you can get exactly this kind of Mexican food.

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

Harrisonburg Food Truck Delgado's Antojitos Mexicanos

To satisfy your craving head on over to 16 Pleasant Hill Road. Delgado’s Antojitos Mexicanos is located in the parking lot of Halterman Karate.

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Harrisonburg Area Real Estate Market Report: June 2014

July 14th, 2014 by Lisa Oates · No Comments


This year started out pretty sluggish in our local real estate market, but June has helped to pick up speed with a major rise in contracts written, an increase in sales for several months in a row, and steadily increasing sales prices. The biggest highlight right now, though, is a rise in average price per square foot of 4.3% for the year! Read on to see more…

[ INFOGRAPHIC ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Stats Infographic: June 2014

[ TABLES ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate: June 2014 Sales

Although we’ve seen a drop in sales year-to-date, we have seen a steady increase in month-by-month residential sales, which is diminishing the year-to-date negative change. We’re hoping this will eventually turn into a positive this year! With the large uptick in contracts written this month, this is quite feasible.

Harrisonburg Real Estate: June 2014 Contracts

Contracts written year-to-date has fallen by 1.5%, but we’ve seen a serious increase in number of contracts this past month, which should help to boost the sales number in the months to come.

[ GRAPHS ]

Harrisonburg Real Estate Sales vs Contracts

 Harrisonburg Real Estate Contracts 2010 - June 2014

Harrisonburg Real Estate: Trends in Average Price per Square Foot

Harrisonburg Real Estate Sales Prices vs Sales

 Harrisonburg Real Estate Sales Month-to-Month

 Harrisonburg Real Estate Contracts Month-to-Month

[ SUMMARY ]

June came through for the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market with increases in sales, contracts, prices, and average price per square foot, plus a significant decrease in days on market. We’ve seen an uptick in sales for four months in a row while the number of contracts written has increased by dozens over the past few months. This all fares very well for our local economy, giving home sellers confidence in listing their property on the market. Statistics have proven for months on end that sellers, on average, will get more for their homes and in much less time than last year at this time. Meanwhile, buyers still have a pretty nice amount of inventory to choose from, and at a wide variety of price ranges. We’re looking forward to seeing how the rest of the summer plays out for our local real estate market. We’ll inevitably see more sales due to the large increase in contracts written!

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Valley Fourth is Almost Here!

July 3rd, 2014 by Emily Marsh · No Comments


It’s time to get excited for Harrisonburg’s 4th of July celebration:

The 13th Annual Valley Fourth!

valley4th
Source: Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

The Event Schedule is packed with great activities for all ages from 8:30am-9:30pm. So come on down and make a day of it!

Here’s a glimpse of what you have to look forward to:

8:30amValley Fourth Run kicks off at Court Square.

Check out this video from last year’s run!

RUN

Source: VAMomentum

11am – Competitors fire up their grills for the 2nd annual Grillin’ at the Pavilion competition at Turner Pavilion.

grillin at the pavilion
Source: Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

From 4pm-7pm you can be a part of the people’s choice entries with purchase of a sampling ticket (mmmm!)

4pm-9:30pm – The smells of BBQ will be mingling with the tastes of beer & wine and the sounds of live music as Beers N’ Cheers in the Park goes into full swing at the Turner Pavilion and Municipal Lot. Make sure to check out The Judy Chops band at 4:30!

4pm – 9pmChildren’s activities galore will be taking place at Court Square, including:

Face painting and an art market, courtesy of Larkin Arts

“Touch a Truck”, courtesy of the Harrisonburg Fire Department

“Spitty” Seed Spitting Contest, courtesy of Friendly City Co-op

seed spittin
Source: Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

5pm-8pmFirst Fridays downtown continues at several downtown locations

Make sure to stop by the Wilson Downtown Gallery in our office to see the artwork of the incredibly talented Jennifer Connerly!

6pm – The anticipated “Celebrate Downtown” parade will begin it’s march down Main Street

Plus, there will be craft and food vendors serving up fun and delicious eats all throughout the day.

And don’t forget the grande finale – FIREWORKS!

 

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Why I Became a REALTOR®

July 2nd, 2014 by Zach Koops · 1 Comment


When most people think of real estate agents, certain words come to mind. Greedy, arrogant, dishonest, sneaky…just to name a few. I’m pretty sure that on a national level, we’re considered to be just a hair above a used car salesmen when it comes to rating the profession.

So why would I want to take up residence in a pack of money hungry hyenas?

Simple. To stand out and make a difference. To work with integrity and uphold my clients’ interests. And to try and impact the public’s perspective.

As a real estate licensee, I am not required to make that pledge. But as a Realtor, I am, and I do.

I recently attended a three hour long course on the Realtor Code of Ethics. Did you know there is such a thing? It consists of 17 articles outlining our duties and standards of practice to Clients and Customers, to the Public, and to other Realtors. Here are a few lines to give you an idea of what it means to practice real estate as a Realtor:

“shall not mislead”
“obligation to present a true picture”
“become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate”
“willingly share the fruit of their experience and study”
“uninfluenced by any personal motivation”

Make no mistake – this is serious stuff. Violating the code can mean fines and loss of credentials, not to mention loss of reputation (which is any agent’s livelihood).

So, to sum up, the expectations set before a Realtor are high – but no higher than what each customer deserves. And I’m glad I get to help set the bar!

Zach Koops, Realtor
540-746-8753
zach@harrisonburghomes.com

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