The Guardian article about Happiness called Charlottesville
"....For years, Charlottesville has been picking up the prizes. It's been named best town for food lovers by Wine Magazine
; best college town in the country by Traveler's Today
; the country's favourite mountain town by Travel & Leisure
; and one of the happiest and healthiest places in the US by Business Insider
"It's a bastion of liberalism in the south," says building contractor
Jim Raymond, who arrived as a student in the late 60s and built a life
two hours from Washington DC, C-ville (as the locals call it) offers
quiet country retreats and horseback rides in nearby Shenandoah National
Park, the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains, as well as a
wealth of history that includes the homes of Thomas Jefferson and James
Madison. Its array of restaurants offer exceptional gastronomic variety...."
Charlottesville is the happiest place to call home!
Labels: albemarle, albemarle county real estate, best place to raise family, Charlottesviile real estate, charlottesville, happiest place to call home
Obama, Hollande tour Monticello
President Obama brings his "out of town" guest French President Hollande to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.
Presidents, they are just like us!
I wander what President Hollande thought about TJ's house. Compare to the palaces French royalty had, it is very modest.
BTW, if you are a C'ville resident and you bring a guest to Monticello, you go for free!
Labels: cville, monticello, president obama
UVA Lawn is one of the most beautiful and Iconic......
is named one of 14 the most beautiful and iconic American College quads. Come visit and stay! That's what happened to me and my husband.
Labels: Best college, best small town, Charlottesviile real estate, UVA
End of the Year Market Report is coming out today!
Here is what's inside: Greater Charlottesville
yearly home sales up 10 percent over 2012; and median sales price in
2013 was the highest level since 2008, with the quarterly sales price
up 4.6 percent over Q4-2012.
Labels: 2013 end of the year market report, albemarle, Charlottesviile real estate, Inessa Telefus, open house
When Is a Good Time?
How to Know When to Sell Your Home
Is there a right time to sell your home?
By Herbert J. Cohen
You like your home but you
just received a raise and your income will go up substantially. You
begin thinking of moving into a larger home in a nicer neighborhood. You
know you are living in precarious and unpredictable economic times and
you wonder if this is the right time to sell your home. Will you be
making a financial mistake if you sell in this unpredictable economic
environment? No one has a crystal ball, but there are several factors
you should consider before making a decision to sell your home. A
mistake could cause you lots of money and worry.
Why do you want to sell?
The big question you need to
answer for yourself is why you want to sell. It is a lifestyle question
and does not depend upon the time of the year. If you find yourself in a
buyer's market, the seller is at a disadvantage. You want to be
absolutely sure in your own mind that the move makes sense. If you
decide that you really want to sell your home, then here are some things
to keep in mind.
Is there a best time to sell?
Conventional wisdom says the
right time to sell your home is in the spring since that is the time
when there are largest number of buyers. But that is also the time of
the largest home inventory. So what about the winter? Good idea,
perhaps, since it is a time of less competition with fewer houses on the
market. But can you be sure? In the summer buyers may feel a sense of
urgency, with school approaching, and in the fall empty nesters, not
concerned about school opening dates, may be more motivated to buy. The
bottom line: Sell your home when you truly want to move and don't tie
your moving decision to any season of the year.
Before selling, do your homework to get the best price for your home
Once you decide to sell your
home, do your homework. Find out what comparable houses in your
neighborhood are selling for. Calculate what they are selling for per
square foot. That is a useful number to know as you evaluate the current
market value of your home and other homes you are considering buying.
Stage your home. You don't need a professional to do this. You can do it
yourself. Here's the basic idea:
Make sure your home is spotlessly clean, especially your kitchen and bathrooms.
Clean the carpets professionally. Paint the main areas of your home with a neutral color.
Get rid of the clutter.
Pack away personal stuff like photos of family and personal knick-knacks.
Put away small appliances like toasters to make more clear counter space.
You want a clean, spacious look. Consider taking one piece of furniture out of each room so your home looks uncluttered.
Price your home to sell
The most important thing in
today's economy is price. Forget about what you paid for the house. The
price of a home is determined by today's market conditions, so don't get
stuck playing an old memory tape about how great the house is and how
much it was worth when you bought it years ago. That is irrelevant.
Price your home under market value to get the most buyer traffic and
First impressions of your home
Now step outside and look at
your house. Does your house have "curb appeal?" Is the lawn trimmed? Is
the front door painted? Is there a plant near the main entrance? You
don't have a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure that
the first impression is a great one. Good luck on selling your home
when you want to sell it.
Labels: 2013 real estate trends, albemarle county real estate, buyer agent, c'ville, Charlottesviile real estate, real estate agent
Home Energy Efficiency check-ups at Fry's Spring and Jackson Via neighborhoods.
The Local Energy Alliance Program is a nonprofit
dedicated to encouraging homeowners in Central Virginia to make their homes
more energy efficient. A LEAP Home Energy Checkup combines our Healthy
and Efficient Home Evaluation with complimentary, energy-saving products
directly installed by our experts so you can immediately save energy and money.
You'll get an evaluation of your home's energy efficiency, the advice of one of
LEAP's Energy Coaches, energy efficient light bulbs, pipe insulation, door
weatherization and more; plus a checklist of additional energy saving measures
for your home.
The value of this package
is estimated at over $300 in goods, savings, and professional advice but with
LEAP's participation in Dominion Electric’s Home Energy Checkup instant cash
rebate program, our price to homeowners is only $35 during this neighborhood
promotion. Visit leap-va.org/checkup for more information. LEAP will be conducting the Home Energy Checkups from 12/09/13-01/03/14 and 01/20/14-1/24/13 in the Fry's Spring Neighborhood and the Jackson-Via Elementary School District as
a fundraiser for the Jackson-Via Elementary PTO- $10 will be donated to
the organization for each house that receives a checkup. The
homeowner/tenant must be a dominion customer, and the checkup is not
available for apartment buildings.
Please visit http://leap-va.org/leap-home-energy-check-up-scheduler/ (choose “Fry's Spring/Jackson-Via” from the drop down
menu) or call Jon Proffitt at 434-227-4666 to schedule. Remember to state that
this is for the Jackson-Via PTO Fundraiser!
Albemarle Housing Improvement Program » House Party
mission—To ensure safe, affordable homes for our neighbors in need.
Everyone should be safe at home. This is why, year-round, AHIP helps
families in need make critical home repairs. Together with our
supporters, volunteers and partners, AHIP changes lives, saves
livelihoods, and makes neighborhoods and our community a better place
RSVP deadline is today!
Albemarle Housing Improvement Program » House Party
Labels: AHIP, Charlottesviile real estate, loring woodriff real estate associates, Morven Farm
2nd Annual Bike Walk Play JPA event - just perfect!
Here is how our Bike Walk Play JPA event
was covered by local media:
NBC 29 story
"Even though a lot of people may drive up and down this street, actually
walking it, running into their neighbors, being able to say hi and just
take their time was a completely different experience for them, that
was really unique and also special," said co-organizer Susan Elliott.
"Summer means water and we could play the game
in our own driveway and yard any other day but today is about being in
the street with your neighbors," Inessa Telefus, who lives in JPA.
The Daily Progress
"It makes the neighborhood feel like a place I want to be, not just where my house happens to be," Elliott said.
Labels: Bike Walk Play JPA, Bike Walk Play JPA - 2013, Charlottesviile real estate, charlottesville city schools, Charlottesville fire department, City of Charlottesville, fry's spring neighborhood, Inessa Telefus
Bike Walk Play JPA this Saturday, Aug. 17 9am-1pm
Bike Walk Play JPA
is coming back! Last year it was tremendous success, didn't we have 5,000 people come to the event?! It was so wonderful to be able to experience a somewhat busy JPA on foot or by bike. Seeing the happy bikers, runners and walkers was very contentious! I always get this way after visiting big cities or Europe - I want to bike to places.
Last year Charlotte and her friend Oscar learned to ride a 2 wheel bike at Bike Walk Play JPA. We gave her a beautiful bike for Christmas and finally I got a bike too. Now Charlotte and I take our regular weekend rides to Atlas Coffee
This Saturday we'll also have all kinds of entertainment and good food. Here are just some of the highlings: FSBC
will have an Open House. Better World Betty and UVA will have booths. We'll also have chalk, bike decoration, and water balloon stations!
Katusha will have her spectacular Zumba "classes"
for kids and adults. Charlotte took her classes at Spectrum camp in July and she thought they were the best!
Jasmine will do personal training "sessions"
. I took personal lessons with her and thought they were the funnest workout sessions I've had in my life.
See you on Saturday at Bike Walk Play JPA!
Labels: Atlas Coffee, Bike Walk Play JPA, Bike Walk Play JPA - 2013, Chiseltraining, fry's spring neighborhood, FSBC, Katusha Fogg, spectrum camp, Zumba
Fantastic Offering - close to UVA and Downtown - $314,900
1180 Cottage Green Way - the current owners have not had this quality home for more than 2 years but new buyers will benefit from their exceptional taste in decorating and finishing choices. Close Downtown and UVA, county taxes. Parking is in the alley behind the house. Nothing could be built in front of the house!
Labels: 1180 Cottage Green Way, albemarle county real estate, Charlottesviile real estate, great buy, Inessa Telefus, Redfields, Southern Development
Speed problem unifies community - The Daily Progress: News
Here is an article in The Daily Progress about one of Fry's Spring Neighborhood's streets.
Speed problem unifies community - The Daily Progress: News
Labels: charlottesville real estate, fry's spring neighborhood, Inessa Telefus, jackson-via elementary school, safety
Not too high and not to low! Price it right and it will go!
Determining a price for your home is both an art and a science and I
have been perfecting it year after year.
Here are a few things I
have learned over the years:
Factors that do affect a property value:
Factors that do not affect a property value:
- time of the year
- property and neighborhood
- how quickly seller needs to sell
- what the owners paid when they bought the property
- some of the improvements or upgrades the owners made to the property
- the cash proceeds the owners need or want from the transaction
- what friends, neighbors or relatives say the property is worth
Labels: Charlottesviile real estate, cville, Inessa Telefus, local real estate, pricing, real estate market, selling real estate
Great real estate news nationwide
Heard on the radio yesterday, while driving around from one appointment to the next "sales of existing homes went up 12% nationwide, largest increase in the last 7 years". Indeed!
Labels: albemarle county real estate, Charlottesviile real estate, charlottesville, Inessa Telefus
Earth Advantage Broker certification
I got certified as an Earth Advantage Broker last month. This certification gives me knowledge about basic green home concepts, techniques, and features that are essential for the buying, selling and marketing of green homes.
Labels: albemarle, charlottesville, Earth Advantage Broker, green homes, real estate, trends in real estate
Spotlight on Fry's Spring | The Hook - Charlottesville's weekly newspaper, news magazine
Spotlight on Fry's Spring | The Hook - Charlottesville's weekly newspaper, news magazine
Area: Fry’s Spring
Price range: $108,800-$882,500
Schools: Jackson Via & Johnson, depending on location, Walker and Buford,
Charlottesville High School
Easy access to amenities, tight-knit community
Cons: Effects of student and rental housing on property values, heavy traffic during
Lions and tigers and bears in Fry’s Spring? How about a casino, an open-air theater, and an amusement park? If those images stretch the imagination, add in a 100-room hotel, the county’s first steeplechase, and a natural spring that served as the site of a great jubilee held in 1869 “without regard to color”– and the image becomes downright fantastical. But it's true – the Fry’s Spring area was home to all of these attractions through the years.
Today, the Fry’s Spring area extends from Old Lynchburg Road to just beyond Shamrock Road
. It encompasses numerous streets in between and has seen dozens of transactions over the past couple of years with prices ranging from $108,800 to $882,500.
The neighborhood traces its beginnings to 1839 when James Francis Fry built a plantation home called Azalea Hall on land he received from his father-in-law. Azalea Hall was reportedly located south of the modern-day Fry’s Spring neighborhood on a site in the vicinity of today’s Azalea Park. But the feature that drew the most interest wasn’t Fry’s showcase home, it was his naturally occurring spring. In the mid-1800s, natural springs were not only important water sources, they were also thought to have curative properties, and the area around Fry’s Spring soon became a public gathering place.
In 1890, the Fry family transferred ownership of their estate to Jesse Lewis Maury, who opened the Albemarle Hotel– later known as the Jefferson Park Hotel– in 1892. Hoping to keep his 100-room hotel full, Maury applied for permission to operate a railway along the city streets, though his efforts didn’t garner much support
, and the tracks that were constructed– documented by prolific 19th and early 20th century Charlottesville photographer Rufus Holsinger– have long since disappeared
According to Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, A Pictorial History
, by Fred T. Heblich and Mary Ann Elwood, the aforementioned steeplechase was first held in the late 1800s on a portion of the Fry estate, and by 1900 the Albemarle Horse Show Association was holding its yearly exposition at Fry's Spring. In 1907, the Wonderland Corporation created what is described by some sources
as a "menagerie" and by others
as an "amusement park" on property adjacent to the Albemarle Hotel.
The presence of the hotel and the park that surrounded the spring proved attractive to homeowners seeking a healthy alternative to city life, and land development companies abounded. Following the economic crash of 1893, the hotel foundered and the surrounding land was carved into lots, allowing the Fry’s Spring neighborhood to thrive even as the hotel was demolished in the early 20th century.
The loss of both the short-lived Wonderland and the Jefferson Park Hotel undoubtedly changed the character of the neighborhood, but residents didn’t have to wait long before the Fry’s Spring Beach Club helped fill the void. According to Rufus Holsinger's book Holsinger's Charlottesville,
in 1921, G. Russell Dettor purchased the Fry's Spring complex where the Albemarle Hotel, its park, and the surrounding amusements had once stood.
The club opened for business and became a huge success in the community, though it refused to admit African Americans until 1970. In 1992, the club was sold to its members, and the pool was replaced in 2003.
Inessa Telefus, Vice-President of the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association
, feels that the Fry's Spring Beach Club, which continues to operate today and is located within walking distance of her home, enhances the experience of living in the neighborhood.
Telefus, who first lived in the Fry’s Spring area as a renter in the late 1990s and became a homeowner there in 2004, notes some of the changes she has observed.
“Jefferson Park Avenue used to have a more residential feel. Now there are high-rise apartment buildings,” she says. “Things are still changing in pockets where the student rentals are clustered, but I think the students bring great energy to neighborhood.”
Telefus says that having sidewalks and being within walking distance of the university were important criteria when it came to choosing a place to live. These days, she’s thrilled to be able to stop for coffee or grab a pizza at Fry’s Spring Station along the way, though she admits to wishing that the trolley stopped at the Beach Club.
But public transportation is still fairly accessible. “You can walk down to JPA and hop on the trolley,” she says.
As an agent with Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates, Telefus believes that real estate in Fry’s Spring is a desirable investment. “There are houses with various price points, and some families move up to larger homes within the neighborhood,” she observes. “We’re a community geared toward families. We have charming older houses on park-like settings with lovely trees, many families can walk to the Beach Club and to the elementary schools, and there’s also Azalea Park, which has been renovated and connects to the Rivanna Trails.”
Though Telefus notes that some families have relocated due to the number of renters, she doesn’t see this as a problem, especially given the active involvement of the Neighborhood Association.
“We’re trying to protect and preserve the neighborhood feel and to minimize the impact of the renters and the students. Besides,” she adds with a laugh, “where else can you live and hear the Rolling Stones?”
Walk to Downtown Mall!
Several new listings in the Downtown area in various price points!
1104 St Charles Ct
Better than new condition!
Labels: Charlottesviile real estate, charlottesville city schools, Downtown Charlottesville, homes for sale, St. Charles Place
CAAR 4th Qtr Market Report is out - ready for spring market!
Charlottesville Area Year-End 2012 Highlights:
- Overall sales in Greater Charlottesville were up 15% over 2011, resulting in largest year-over-year increase in seven years.
- Active inventory to close 2012 was at the lowest level since year-end 2005 and down 13% from year-end 2011.
- Median sales price for the region in Q4-2012 was up 8% over last quarter and Q4-2011 to $260,000.
- New listings were up 9% from the same quarter last year—the largest increase since Q4-2006.
Labels: albemarle county real estate, buyer agent, Charlottesviile real estate, listing, market report, real estate investment
7 Reasons to Visit Monticello | Travel News from Fodor's Travel Guides
7 Reasons to Visit Monticello
By Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson
In Italian, the word means "little mountain," but for Thomas Jefferson no mountain ever mattered more. As a boy growing up in its shadow at his family's Shadwell plantation in Albemarle County, Virginia, Jefferson wandered the site of his future home, dreaming of what he might one day build here. And build he did, creating one of the great American houses and sites.
1. It's as close as you can get to a conversation with Thomas Jefferson. To walk these rooms and gardens is to walk through the mind of the man who created it. The light symbolizes his devotion to reason; the underground pavilions his dependence on slavery. It's all here—complex, detailed, and real.
2. The decorations. The portraits and statues embody a noble ethos. Here you will see a bust of John Adams, Jefferson's "frenemy," and a bust of Alexander Hamilton, who was pretty much just an enemy. Jefferson wanted his house to offer visitors a view of the great players in American history whether he was allied with those players or not.
3. The views. Jefferson placed his house facing west, where he could seemingly see forever. We still can.
4. The gardens. Jefferson loved to grow things and found joy in the creation and maintenance of beauty. The grounds are still wonderfully maintained by a terrific staff.
5. The dining room. Recently restored to its brilliant Jeffersonian yellow, the room is breathtaking—a center of civilized discourse.
6. Mulberry Row. Monticello is open and honest about the central role slavery played in making Jefferson's life possible, and there are an abundance of resources about life on the plantation both on-site and online.
7. Did I mention that going to Monticello is as close as you'll ever get to sitting down to talk to Thomas Jefferson?
Jon Meacham, executive editor at Random House, is the Pulitzer Prizeâ€“winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House and the New York Times bestsellers Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. His latest work, Thomas Jefferson goes on sale November 13. He lives in New York City with his wife and children.
Photo credits: Aerial view of Monticello courtesy of Leonard Phillips; Decorative arts courtesy of Robert C. Lautman; Gardens courtesy of Robert Llewellyn; Mulberry Row courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. All images copyright by Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.
Labels: albemarle, Charlottesviile real estate, charlottesville, monticello, Thomas Jefferson
Housing Recovery Picks Up, But Challenges Await
Housing Recovery Picks Up, But Challenges Await
Rising home prices across the country are giving a long-awaited boost to the housing market, but fiscal uncertainties could make the recovery a “bumpy ride,” according to economists who spoke this week at a webinar sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders.
Builders continue to experience challenges in obtaining credit for new projects, and potential buyers are also still struggling to qualify for mortgage loans due to tightened underwriting standards in place the last few years. The economists also cited the challenges of appraisals coming in lower than the agreed-upon sales price and a limited inventory of developed lots in certain housing markets. Another factor potentially jeopardizing the speed of the recovery, the economists added, are pending tax increases and spending cuts that are set to take effect in January.
Despite the challenges, the economists mostly remained optimistic about the outlook for the real estate market. Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s analytics, forecasts that mortgage rates will stay low, the availability of housing credit will improve as private mortgage lending picks up, and the job market will gain traction as policymakers resolve fiscal issues and the uncertainties facing the market.
Robert Denk, NAHB’s assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis, said that nationwide housing starts are projected to return to 55 percent of normal production by the end of next year, and reach 70 percent of normal levels by the end of 2014. The hardest-hit housing markets — such as Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and California — still have a long way to go for making up appreciation losses during the housing crash. However, energy-producing states — such as North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, and Wyoming — are expected to return to normal levels in housing production by the end of 2014, Denk said.
Source: National Association of Home Builders
CAAR 2012 Q3 Report
Here are the highlights (very much optimistic), please call or e-mail if you wanted to chat more about the report.
Labels: 2012 3rd quarter report, albemarle county real estate, Charlottesviile real estate, market trends, real estate statistics
UVA's Darden School is ranked number 2 in the world
The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business
is the No. 2 business school in the world, according to The Economist, which on Thursday released its 10th annual ranking of the Top 100 international MBA programs
Here is a full article
Labels: business, Charlottesviile real estate, charlottesville, darden school, UVA
In My Secret Life...
Just finished my second "teaching gig" this week. Taught a VHDA first time home buyers class on tues for Piedmont Housing Alliance, and healthy eating today! Teachers loved my "easy ways to improve nutrition in childcare" presentation.
Labels: charlottesville, health, home buyers' seminar, let's move child care, nayece, real estate, vhda
from a happy Belmont resident
"I had a very favorable experience using Ms. Inessa Telefus as my realtor
only two months ago now. From start to finish, I was impressed with her
professionalism, loyalty and sound judgment. When the seas got rough,
she knew how to steady the course to get the job done. Ms. Telefus uses
her superior interpersonal skills to quickly gain a sense of trust and
to establish rapport with her clients-This is ultimately what makes her
unique. I would recommend Ms. Telefus wholeheartedly." - M.A.
Labels: Belmont, buyer agent, Charlottesviile real estate, Inessa Telefus
School days, school days...
My clients often ask me about public schools in the area, especially city
I always say that all our public schools are very good and I also strongly recommend that everybody do their own research. All children (and parents) are different and they have different needs.
When it was time for my husband and I to find a kindergarten for Charlotte, we looked at several schools, talked to the principals and asked many questions. As it turned out, we were most impressed with our neighborhood school, Jackson-Via
. I loved the school environment, beautiful playgrounds, and the very passionate teachers and principal. So far, we've been very satisfied.
I am also pleased to announce my new appointment as Chair of the Charlottesville City School Health Advisory Board
. We just had our first meeting and reviewed last year's accomplishments, including the implementation of a new wellness policy. I was told that not all school districts have such a good detailed policy
. SHAB has done a good job working with the community to improve nutrition in our schools these last two years.
As we move forward, we are looking to prioritize among these areas:
Standards in Child Nutrition Programs
and School Meals
Physical Education and Physical
Counseling and Mental Health
Healthy School Environment
Labels: albemarle county schools, Charlottesviile real estate, charlottesville city schools, charlottesville city schools wellness policy, Charlottesville School Board Meeting, jackson-via