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Fauquier Market October 2011

Today we take a look at the October 2011 market statistics for Fauquier County. The beauty of statistics is that you can make them tell pretty much any story you want. And there's certainly that opportunity here!

What the ability to tell different stories should tell you first of all is that there's no dramatic story here. It's more like a muddled mess available to be shaped. Here are some of the elements you may find interesting.

Inventory is almost identical to last October. New listings are up 25% over a year ago. However, new contracts went up even more.

The average sales price is up 2.5% but the median sales price is down 5.5%. The number of units sold in October of 2011 is down about 18% from a year ago.

Sellers are ending up on average at about 90% of their original sales price when the do get the home sold which is taking about 4 months.

What is a buyer or seller to make of all this?

First of all, remember that October is typically when we begin to see a dip heading into winter when activity normally slows.

Second, there's nothing here that would indicate we're seeing any dramatic change in our local housing market. Steady as she goes.

Most importantly remember that this is a county wide look. Where you live in the county matters. The condition of your house matters. How you price your home really, really matters!

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Disaster Declaration for Snowstorm

A large number of counties in Virginia (and some municipalities) have been declared federal disaster areas and now qualify for government assistance to help pay for the cost of the storm. Here's the declaration from FEMA's web page:

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Virginia to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of December 18, 2009, to December 20, 2009.

Federal funding is available to the Commonwealth and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm and snowstorm in the counties of Albemarle, Allegheny, Amherst, Arlington, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Buchanan, Caroline, Culpepper, Dickenson, Fairfax, Grayson, Greene, Hanover, Highland, Lee, Louisa, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Wise and the independent cities of Alexandria, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, Norton, Staunton, and Waynesboro.

In addition, assistance is available to the Commonwealth and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures, including snow assistance, for a continuous 48-hour period during or proximate to the incident period.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures throughout the Commonwealth.  

The strange thing is that while Culpeper is eligible, Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties are noticably missing from this list. That means while Culpeper county citizens get help with the costs of clean up from the storm, county residents of Fauquier and Rappahannock will bear all the burden. It seems odd to say the least.

I know at the state level the governor has to request this declaration. I'm wondering if the same is true at the county level and Fauquier and Rappahannock simply didn't make that request? If anyone understands the "why" of this I'd be interested in hearing about it!

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Fauquier Geography and Real Estate Prices

 

You know what they say: Location, location, location!

That's true just about everywhere. (I allow for the possibility that there may be some corner of the world where this rule does not apply!)

But how does it apply specifically in Fauquier County? I'm going to examine one aspect of the location question here, where are you in Fauquier County.

How much a home is worth is dependent in large part on where in Fauquier County it sits. In general, plan on spending more if you're buying in the northern part of the county, less as you head south. So the same home on a similar lot in The Plains or Marshall will cost you more than one in Remington or Bealeton. There are a number of reasons for this.

First of all, Fauquier is part of the greater Northern Virginia real estate market. Yes, it's on the fringes of that area, but a huge percentage of local residents and potential home buyers commute into Northern Virginia each and every day. For most commuters, the northern part of the county is simply more convenient. You're closer to I66, the major commuting artery in this neck of the woods. You're also close to 50, 29 and 15.

If you're commuting into either Northern VA or DC, most people consider Bealeton or Remington a longer commute. It's further to get to 66. And, heaven help you if you're commuting route includes I95!

At the northern end of the county you're also closer to access to VRE (Virginia Railway Express). That's really the only mass transit option that's anywhere near us right now.

So if reducing their daily commute is the first reason for choosing northern Fauquier County, what's the second? The countryside itself. Let's face it, southern Fauquier is flat! There's nothing wrong with that, but for scenic beauty, most people would prefer the rolling hills and mountain views more frequently found in the northern part of the county.

Part of that scenic beauty is that this is hunt country. The horses definitely add to the gorgeous scenery, in my opinion and the opinion of many home buyers. And, if you're involved in horses, you're likely to find more events in this part of the county.

A third element I'll throw in is convenience. Like it or hate it, this is a society that likes to shop. In Fauquier County, for most people, that means Warrenton is their retail center, at least locally.

So, it's your turn. Why do you live where you live in Fauquier County? What do you think would improve the livability of where you are?

 

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Definition of McMansion

Date: Mar. 7, 2009
Tags: , ,

Interestingly, a friend recently e-mailed me to ask for my definition of a McMansion. Now, in the blog Bacon's Rebellion, there's a very, very local definition if you live in Fauquier County. (You have to read at least the first comment.)

By the definition here, pretty much every property I've ever sold is a McMansion so I believe I'd argue with that definition!

Here's my very slopping definition: Too big a home on too little space too far from any jobs that would support a mortgage on the property.

What's your definition?

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Feeding Fauquier's Hungry

 

This past Saturday was the monthly food distribution to Fauquier’s needy families.
This may not come as a surprise to most of you, but with the economic difficulties more and more families are lining up to get the meager amount of food we’re able to provide.
This past weekend 222 families equaling a total of 728 were there to get food. 290 of those were under 18 and 101 were over 65.
December is typically the busiest month, with families feeling the pinch during the holidays. But this month surpassed any previous December. And, it blew any other July out of the books.
 

Month
# of Families
Individuals
Under 18
Over 65
07/04
127
363
142
47
07/05
108
253
64
66
07/06
117
323
104
70
07/07
119
341
126
73

 
And, FCFDC believes that more families would show up for help if they had transportation and/or if they were aware of the distribution.
Unfortunately, at the same time more families are seeking help with just the basics like food, the families donating are also struggling. More and more often we hear that people are struggling just to get by and have nothing left to donate.
But miracles happen every month. Food donations may be down, but we continue to have lots of willing volunteers, even on the months it doesn't seem like anyone will show up!
If you've got the ability to donate either food or cash, consider getting in touch with the Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition. And, come pitch in on the third Saturday morning of the month. The distribution takes place at the Warrenton United Methodist Church. Extra hands are always welcomed!
Given the current economic conditions, I expect it may be awhile before we see these numbers come down. But let's all pray I'm wrong!

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Fauquier March Numbers

Today I'm going to talk about March's numbers for Fauquier county.

There is very little difference between the numbers in February and March. The total number of properties for sale in February was 730 and at the end of March we showed 734 available properties. That, actually, is good news. Many other counties continue to show substantial increases in that metric. 140 new listings were added this month as opposed to 153 in February. Again, at least it's moving in the right direction. There were 56 contracts written this month and only 44 in February. This is the biggest change in the month over month numbers. The number of houses sold last month rose from 32 in February to 35 in March. Not a huge difference, but an improvement.

Again, I think it's much more telling to look at year over year numbers.

Unlike Culpeper County we have not seen an explosion in inventory over last year, although we are up. That 734 homes for sale number is slightly higher than 723. We see a lot less homes coming on the market 212 last year as opposed to 140 this year. Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. The number of new contracts written has fallen almost in half, 94 a year ago down to only 56 now. The same story applies to closed sales. In March of 2007 there were 62 closed sales. In March of 2008 only 35.

Year over year it's hard to see any signs that this market is turning around. The flatter inventory numbers do give me some hope,  however.

Prices continue to drop. The average sales price in Fauquier county a year ago was $368,565. The average sales price now is $318,249. That's a 15% drop in one year. That's significant. There's no sign that prices are stabilizing either.

We're not seeing an increase in new construction listings. And, new construction sales are almost non-existent. There was 1 last month.

Overall, there's not much here to raise your hopes if you're a seller. But there is lots of continued good news for the buyers!

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Special Appeal

I've written here before about the Fauquier County Food Distribution and the work they do to feed the hungry here in Fauquier County. They're facing a real food shortage this month. Here is the situation and what you can do to help, directly from them:

Food is needed for individuals and Families in Fauquier County.
 
As some of you know the Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition, distributes food on the 3rd Saturday of every month.  This organization is supported by the USDA, through area food banks.  Unfortunately the area food banks have minimal amounts of food and increased cost to the coalition. 
 
Volunteers have been collecting food locally in front of Giant and Safeway on the Thursday and Friday before the food distribution.  This has been the main source of food for those needing food in Fauquier County at the Food Distribution for over a year. 
 
Unfortunately, today is a collection day and the snow has decreased the amount of food being collected. 
 
I am asking you to please help provide nonperishable food items tomorrow for this collection.  Volunteers will be outside Safeway today and tomorrow until 4pm, weather permitting.  Food can also be delivered to Warrenton United Methodist Church.  Though the church is closed today, please deliver the food on Friday.
 
Please send this request to everyone that you know, individuals, groups, and organizations.  Below is information on last month’s distribution.
 
RECORD NUMBERS RECEIVED FOOD, CLOTHING, BLANKETS, AND WRAPPED CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR KIDS ON SATURDAY. 651 GOT FOOD WITH 292 UNDER 19 AND 87 OVER 65.  WE COLLECTED $937.00 IN CASH AND GIFT CARDS  AND A WHOLE LOT OF FOOD FROM GIANT THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. ALSO FCFDC BOUGHT AN EXTRA $400.00 IN GIFT CARDS AND $800.00 OF GOVERNMENT FOOD AT 6 CENTS A POUND.  WE RECEIVED NO FREE GOVERNMENT FOOD, SO IF WE HAD TO DEPEND ON THAT SOURCE, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN CLOSED DOWN.  A NUMBER OF FOOD BANKS IN THE COUNTRY ARE OUT OF FOOD, YET THE NUMBERS NEEDING FOOD ARE INCREASING DAILY.BY VOLUNTEERING, YOU ARE HELPING FEED NEEDY PEOPLE WHO WOULD GO HUNGRY.  THANKS FOR YOUR TIME AND EFFORT. MAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.  GOD BLESS. 
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Shameless Self Promotion

I wanted to let you all know that I've been added as a featured blogger by the Fauquier Times Democrat and the Rappahannock News. Their new sites are up today. You can check out all the blogs there, including mine, at http://www.fauquier.com/blogs/

or, for Rappahannock

http://www.rappnews.com/blogs/

The blogs you see there will be different than what I do here, although the Fauquier and Rappahannock versions may be more similar than different.

I hope you'll check out these new venues. I'll be interested in hearing your feedback.

If you're a fan of this blog, don't worry. What I do here will continue, day in and day out! I'm having too much fun to give this up!

I look forward to hearing from you on any of my blogs!

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Fauquier October Market Numbers

FAUQUIER COUNTY REAL ESTATE STATISTICS

OCTOBER, 2007
MONTH
ACTIVE
NEW LISTINGS
NEW CONTRACTS
SOLD
02/06
489
149
64
54
03/06
610
296
91
61
04/06
692
254
94
77
05/06
732
237
107
87
06/06
781
218
78
90
07/06
816
190
62
54
08/06
823
206
79
79
09/06
794
162
62
61
10/06
821
197
51
55
11/06
723
105
59
44
12/06
643
71
36
54
01/07
656
171
60
42
02/07
676
135
71
53
03/07
723
212
94
62
04/07
804
217
66
68
05/07
867
206
53
55
06/07
865
171
65
65
07/07
805
142
71
58
08/07
823
157
49
60
09/07
832
164
42
38
10/07
787
140
56
44

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Fauquier Times Democrat Article

The Fauquier TImes Democrat this week features an interview with local real estate broker, Joe Allen. It was an interesting article and I found much to agree with there.

In fact, it was interesting that Joe Allen's words very closely matched those of Washington Mutual's head of their mortgage department who yesterday said this market was unlike any he'd ever seen. Joe says it's the worst housing slump he's seen in his 34 years in the business. And, that seems consistent with what I'm seeing and the sentiment of many of those who've been in this business for many years.

And, I share his skepticism about NAR's 2008 forecasts. But you should also remember that those are national forecasts and real estate is very, very local.

And while he's right that there are always buyers I would have like to see a more in-depth discussion about how many buyers it's going to take locally to pull us out of this slump and what might be discouraging those buyers right now. There was no mention of the unique local factors that we face.

Still, all in all, a good interview. Joe's been around a long time and his opinions are usually worth listening to!

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Warrenton

Date: Oct. 31, 2007
Tags: ,

Warrenton, Virginia



The largest town and county seat for Fauquier County.
With quite a bit of new residential construction and growth, commercial conveniences are springing up around town. Home Depot and Borders are the latest "adds" but if you prefer the personalized attention and relationships created in a small town environment, Warrenton still has that too. Main Street is lined with charming clothing and antique shops, delightful restaurants and gran; In the summertime there are boats for rent on the parks lake, performances in the amphitheater, and plenty of playground fun for the kids.

The town was incorporated in 1810 and named after the Revolutionary War hero, General Joesph Warren. But you will probably see many more landmarks noted around town for Colonel John S. Mosby who raided the area during the Civil War, and later settled here and practiced law in Warrenton.The Old Jail was build in 1808 and now holds a museum of local history. The Old Courthouse on Main Street is still in use and a great historic landmark for the town.

The Fauquier public school system serves Warrenton and several elementary schools, the Warrenton Middle School and Fauquier High School are all located in town.


The
Fauquier Hospital is located in town and there are countless top-quality health care practices throughout the town and vicinity.

Fauquier County, Warrenton is located just about 40 miles Southwest of Washington, DC.It is the county seat and located in the northern region of Virginia. The primary arteries that run through the town are Routes 29,17,15 and 211 and provide easy access to Interstates 66, 64, 81, and 95. With the smaller community feel, while remaining close to more urban areas, many people are taking advantage of the lower cost of living and moving to the Virginia countryside.
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Fauquier Wineries

FAUQUIER COUNTY WINERIES

Fox Meadow Vineyards & Winery
3310 Freezeland Road
Linden, VA 22642
540-636-6777
http://www.foxmeadowwinery.com

Linden Vineyards
3708 Harrels Corner Road
Linden, VA
540-364-1997
http://www.lindenvineyards.com

Mediterranean Cellars
8295 Falcon Glen Road
Warrenton, VA
540-428-1984
http://www.mediterraneancellars.com

Naked Moutain Vineyard
2747 Leeds Manor Road
Markham, VA
540-364-1609
Http://www.nakedmtn.com

Oasis Winery
14141 Hume Road
Hume, VA
540-364-1609
http://www.oasiswine.com

Pearmund Cellars
6190 Georgetown Road
Broad Run, VA
540-347-3475
http://www.pearmundcellars.com

Piedmont Vineyards & Winery
2546-D Halfway Road
Middleburg, VA
540-687-5528
http://www.piedmontwines.com

Rogers Ford Farm Winery
14674 Rogers Ford Road
Sumerduck, VA
540-439-3707
Http://www.rogersfordwine.com

Stillhouse Vineyards
4366 Stillhouse Road
Hume, VA 22639
540-364-1203
http://www.stillhousevineyards.com

Three Fox Vineyards
10100 Three Foxes Lane
Delaplane, VA
540-364-6073
Http://www.threefoxvineyards

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Fauquier County

Fauquier County, Virginia

Nestled between booming Northern Virginia and the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, residents of Fauquier County enjoy the best of both worlds. Developing communities and towns of commerce offer fine restaurants, great shopping and an inviting area for new business. All the while, maintaining beautiful farmland and the county's agricultural history. For those who enjoy spending time outdoors, the county offers many areas for great hiking or horseback riding, such as Sky Meadow State Park. There are many vineyards to explore and sample some of Virginia's finest wines.

As a somewhat "horsey" community, the county holds many point-to-point and steeplechase races throughout the season. The best known races, the Virginia Gold Cup and International Gold Cup steeplechase races, are held every spring and fall at
Great Meadow Park
. Great Meadow also has twilight polo matches every weekend throughout the summer. The Upperville and Warrenton Horse Shows are two of the oldest, and best known equine events. The Bluemont Concert Series make its rounds about the towns each summer and Bealeton boasts the Flying Circus Air shows.

Fauquier Hospital is located in Warrenton and serves the entire county. In 2003 it embarked on a $50 million dollar, hospital-wide renovation project to build new wings and expand and enhance current facilities.


The public school system consists of 2 high schools, 5 middle schools and 10 elementary schools and is currently in the midst of a six year improvement plan to address the growth the county is experiencing. For more information on the district, go to www.fcps1.org. The county offers many reputable private and parochial schools as well.

MM Piecre Elementary in Remington serves about 540 children from pre-K through 5th grade.

Liberty High School is the home of the "Eagles" and serves students in grades
9-12.


With a population of about 63,000 the county is enjoying significant growth.There is a lot of new residential construction, but there are still many grand old Virginia homes, charming farmhouses and everything in between.

Some of the communities and subdivisions in the Fauquier County area include:

Lake Whippoorwill

Warrenton Lakes

White's Mill


For more information on
FauquierCounty, visit The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce and/or the Fauquier County website.


Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains


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Lake Whippoorwill Overview

Date: Oct. 18, 2007
Tags: None
LAKE WHIPPOORWILL SUBDIVISION



This beautiful subdivision is located on the DC side of Warrenton, an ideal location for commuters. There are approximately 130 homes here, all on large lots of generally one to three acres.

Almost all the homes in this subdivision are colonials, many of them with brick fronts.





The "lakes" in the name would probably be called ponds by most people! But they're very pretty and a great place to sit and relax.

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