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Rents Expensive in Virginia

Sep. 15, 2011
Categorized in: Workforce Housing

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has just come out with a report showing the affordability of rental housing by state. Virginia comes out looking pretty expensive.

In order for a single person to be able to afford rent and still stay within the guidelines advising total housing costs be less than 30% of income you'd have to make almost $20/hour. And keep in mind that that's the statewide average.

In Northern Virginia that means you need a lot of people helping to pay the rent. At minimum wage on average in Virginia you need 2.7 workers working full time to afford a 2 bedroom apartment. Imagine how many in the much pricier Northern Virginia suburbs.

If you think this issue doesn't impact you, you must not own a home or drive. Housing affordability drives people to commute longer distances to their jobs just to be able to afford a roof over their heads. The traffic that generates makes people who can afford it more and more inclined to live closer to their jobs. Guess what, most of their jobs aren't in Fauquier, Culpeper or Rappahannock counties. And, that, my friends, impacts the price of your home here.

Homeowners who want to sell some day should be very interested in solutions to both the affordability issues and the traffic problems in our area.

I66 Producing Energy

Jun. 18, 2009
Categorized in: Green Building

I found this tidbit today in EcoTech Daily:

Sainsbury’s Store is the first in Europe to use a green energy system where customers can create 30kWh an hour by driving over plates in the parking lot. The energy that gets made by the cars will be used to power their checkout stands. Anyone else think we should have these on every road in the world?

I immediately had a vision of all the cars on I66 every day and wondered how much power we could produce if these plates were part of the roadway. Cool!

Slowing Growth

Dec. 6, 2006
Categorized in: Local Market Conditions

Three local jurisdictions made moves yesterday to limit growth as a way of controlling the increasingly out of control traffic in our area. Or, in the case of Loudon County and Prince William County in Virginia, they hoped to send a message to the Commonwealth that the time has come for action on the issues of traffic, infrastructure and mass transit.

Loudon County and Prince William County are two of the fastest growing counties in the nation. You'd be hard pressed to find a local who feels good about that.  From the increase in gridlock to the higher taxes to pay for infrastructure, local residents are yelling "enough already"!

The question isn't whether a problem exists. It clearly does. The real question is whether their efforts to slow that growth by delaying future housing development is going to fix it. By itself, these moves won't do much of anything. Passing these pieces of legislation won't take a single car off the road tomorrow or next month or even next year. It may slow down how much additional traffic is added in future years. But with infrastructure already years behind current needs, that's small comfort.

The only way these measures are effective is if they produce action in Richmond to remedy this situation. Odds of that aren't great, despite clear signs in the most recent elections that in Northern Virginia this is a pressing voter issue. But Virginia's delegates don't always agree on either the problem or the solution. Compromise will be needed by all parties and it's yet to be seen whether either political party has the sense to put aside partisan bickering and get something accomplished.

What do you think? Will these latest measures to slow or limit growth make any difference? What are the effects likely to be, intended or otherwise? I look forward to your input!

Piedmont Real Estate Blog

Blog by Julie Emery
Amissville, Virginia

An ongoing dialog on real estate news, opinion and trends in Northern Virginia and the greater Piedmont area. Julie is an Associate Broker at Frankly Real Estate Inc, 6304 Crossroads Circle, Ste 102, Falls Church, VA 22044

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