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rad707

Richmond Housing

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Hey guys,

After searching through the existing threads, I wasn't able to find any info directly related to a big issue I have.

In the matter of weeks I'm moving my family to Richmond. Given I lived there for two years while a grad student at VCU, I'm dead set on moving into the Fan.

I'm selling a house here in Austin at a great time. There are still bidding wars going on in the central city; people seem to be ignoring what is going on elsewhere.

To that end, I've been paying close attention to the Fan pricing for a few months. It doesn't seem to be moving, but it also seems to be way overpriced...by 20 or 30 bucks a square foot.

Given you guys live there, what have you been seeing? I can't find any real information on the subject - my realtor in Richmond is painting a glowing portrait (as she should) and the Times Dispatch is, well, the Times Dispatch. They can't seem to write anything of substance.

Let me know what you think about pricing. Bubble bursting? Probably not. But should I wait 6 months and rent for now? Something tells me prices will go down another 40-50k per Fan house given there are so many on the market (many that seem to have been sitting there for a while).

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Rad Im glad I got you too come over too Urbanplanet from Skyscraperpage. Maybe some of our experts will give some info on here. Because I dont know much about it. But glad to see you come over here.

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Let me know what you think about pricing. Bubble bursting? Probably not. But should I wait 6 months and rent for now? Something tells me prices will go down another 40-50k per Fan house given there are so many on the market (many that seem to have been sitting there for a while).

Here's my completely amateur opinion. I don't think there's going to be any major bubble burst here. So far Richmond has avoided the real-estate downturn seen in other cities but the scales are balanced. A glut of homes and condos could potentially bring the prices down temporarily but where and when that window is going to open I have no idea. In the grand scheme of things though, prices should continue to slowly increase as more development takes place downtown and people decide to move closer to the city instead of isolating themselves in the new burbs. I'm trying to find a place in a neighborhood near the River that hasn't quite reached it's potential. You may have to put up with some undesirable elements the first few years but they payoff will be bigger down the road. Wish you the best of luck in your hunt!

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Here's my completely amateur opinion. I don't think there's going to be any major bubble burst here. So far Richmond has avoided the real-estate downturn seen in other cities but the scales are balanced. A glut of homes and condos could potentially bring the prices down temporarily but where and when that window is going to open I have no idea. In the grand scheme of things though, prices should continue to slowly increase as more development takes place downtown and people decide to move closer to the city instead of isolating themselves in the new burbs. I'm trying to find a place in a neighborhood near the River that hasn't quite reached it's potential. You may have to put up with some undesirable elements the first few years but they payoff will be bigger down the road. Wish you the best of luck in your hunt!

Having been looking in the same place for a while myself I think I can agree with ric's sentiments. Another avenue is to buy a piece of junk and refurbish it. Otherwise I can't see anything being cheap or becoming cheap, Virginia after all is good for Businesses and Richmond over and over recently is shining in nation-wide rankings - this all leads to either maintaining or increasing real estate prices...

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I sold one fan home in 2001 and the other in 2003 when the market went crazy. In my opinion, the prices for fan homes is way, way overpriced. The tax assessments chased me out of the very neighborhood where I grew up. If you have kids, or expect to have any in the near future, then I would suggest not moving to the fan. If you have several cars, or just one big one, I would suggest not moving to the fan. (Unless you are fortunate enough to find a house with a garage or two). The fan is a great place to live if you are not concerned with money. Not just the cost of the house you will purchase, but you have to be immune to the property taxes you will pay compared with the level of city services you receive. Let me explain. Public amenities like parks, swimming pools, community centers, etc. are not immediately available to residents of the fan or west of the boulevard area. Sure, you have a couple of little triangle parks, but no real community recreation centers. Humphrey Caulder is about the closest but is on the western outskirts of the museum district and still has no pool and the facility is outdated at best. Roads are in generally crappy condition, utilities are always on the fritz and since there are tens of thousands of college kids who have cars yet do not know what a stop sign is, you are destined to be involved in an accident. If you purchase a house on a corner lot and next to a city bus line, be prepared to come alive at 5:30am to the sound of a locomotive coming through your bedroom. You may actually become immune to this over time.

One would expect that with the prices of the fan houses being what they are, you would live a little bit more exclusive lifestyle. Not so. The criminal element which surrounds the fan district, continuously drift into the area and prey on naiive or weak individuals. They target this area because most of the new arrivals have lots of money and stuff. This automatically puts you into a category of "rich" and therefore fair game.

I really liked growing up in the fan and living there for a while, but once my kids started reaching an age where they needed to stretch out a bit, I figured it was time for me to leave. If you like walking to bars, restaraunts, shops, etc.., then you will probably love the fan. Since you are from a city like Austin, you are probably "street smart" enough to know how to carry yourself in a potentially hostile area.

Northside is close to city center, has about the same amount of crime and you can purchase a whole lot more house and lot for a lot less money. There are not as many places to eat and drink but there are more on the horizon and there seems to be a lot of refurbishment going on in the area.

Good luck and welcome to Richmond!

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I sold one fan home in 2001 and the other in 2003 when the market went crazy. In my opinion, the prices for fan homes is way, way overpriced. The tax assessments chased me out of the very neighborhood where I grew up.

All good points in your post. There are a lot of downsides to living in the fan, but the upsides for us outweigh the down. Just in the five years since we left Richmond for Austin we have seen things change dramatically in the Fan, at VCU and downtown for the better.

The part I quoted from you is where my interest really is. You said you sold two houses when things were going crazy. Have they settled down? I was in Richmond in 2001, and I think things have gotten much worse in terms of inflation. I guess nobody can anticipate a bust or even downturn, but I was just wondering if anyone has seen prices really start to fall or level out.

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Good luck with the house. I think all indications are that Richmond is not much affected by the national housing trends. While things cant keep going up for ever, development only seems to be accelerating and a certainly wouldnt want to bet on prices anywhere being lower six months from now. Then again, I know prices vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Anybody know what an average 3 bedroom in the fan is going for these days?

I'm just south of the river and just west of Powhite - my house has almost doubled since I bought it in 2000. Thing is, it would still be a steal in alot of markets (like Austin!)

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Just thought I'd throw my two cents here. Back in 2001 I bought a house in the west end... It was probably the 6th house I put a bid on before I finally was able to win out. And that was the first day that one was on the market. About 3 years later I sold that one. It took a month I think (max) to have a buyer for the price I wanted. Not bad. However, late last year I put my next house on the market (it was in the UR area) and it took 5 months and 3 price reductions before I finally got a buyer. I pretty much had to settle b/c I already had money down on a place in NC and couldn't afford two mortgages. I put in probably 15k worth of improvements, and still had a hard time selling it. My realtor, who had been selling homes for 20 years in the Richmond/C-Ville area said she never had such a hard time selling homes.

From friends that are still in the area, they say Chesterfield is the way to go especially if you have family. Houses in the fan were always over priced I thought too. Plus parking on the street wasn't ideal to me. Of course, it's all about your lifestyle. Living in Chesterfield wasn't exactly the place for single guys like me.

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The part I quoted from you is where my interest really is. You said you sold two houses when things were going crazy. Have they settled down? I was in Richmond in 2001, and I think things have gotten much worse in terms of inflation. I guess nobody can anticipate a bust or even downturn, but I was just wondering if anyone has seen prices really start to fall or level out.

In my opinion, the market has softened somewhat for properties in the Fan. The market leveled-out late last year and into the beginning of this year. I would have to agree with the previous posters about the market not dropping too much, at least in the city. With downtown rebuilding and VCU's continued expansion and rebuilding blitz, I believe that we will not see the market soften much more. It may take a little bit longer to get that top dollar but a Fan property will eventually sell for top dollar and I don't think we will see that change for a long time.

The only places that I foresee a downturn in home prices is in the area is in Chesterfield and near-west Henrico (Regency). For decades, people have been crowding themselves in those areas in the hopes of dodging crime, taking advantage of great schools and living the suburbian dream. Well, that was before $3 a gallon gas, and crime is definately on the rise in Chesterfield and Henrico. As for the schools, few do live up to their reputation but overall, the schools in Chesterfield aren't all that and a bag of chips.

I believe that if you can afford the real estate taxes that are based on over-inflated assessments every year, that the Fan is probably one of the best places to live in the area once you compare all of the good points vs. the bad points. You may consider looking just a bit to the west in the West of the Boulevard area (Boulevard to Thompson St./Grace to Main St.). It is the Fan's younger brother. Libbie Terrace is another beautiful neighborhood as well.

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Wow DC, that is a pretty broad brush that you use to paint Chesterfield. I can only speak for the Robious Road corridor, but our schools are as good, if not better, than Henrico's and there is very little crime.

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The Robious corridor is one of the better in the county so it probably isn't representative of D C's comment.

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Chesterfield is so large that it is hard to call any single area "representative." Thus, it isn't really useful to ascribe any characteristics to the county as a whole without being more specific.

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Tonight (November 1st) on the Learning Channel at 7PM, there's a show called Overhaulin' and I believe it is about a house in Union Hill that was recently renovated. Might be interesting to watch. :)

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Tonight (November 1st) on the Learning Channel at 7PM, there's a show called Overhaulin' and I believe it is about a house in Union Hill that was recently renovated. Might be interesting to watch. :)

Ha! I'm glad I put this story up during the current lull in readership and postings on the Richmond page. :wub: 'Cause it turned out to be bogus.

However, it was based in truth. A recent story about a man who had redone two derelict houses in the East End announced that it was likely his renovation work would be featured November 1st on TLC. When I looked at the NYTimes TV schedule yesterday for TLC, OVERHAULIN' sounded like it could have been the story. Mistake!! It turned out to be a piece on automotive engines.

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Chesterfield is so large that it is hard to call any single area "representative." Thus, it isn't really useful to ascribe any characteristics to the county as a whole without being more specific.

Maybe I was using the "broad brush" there. Sorry about that. True, the Robius corridor is not as bad as my previous post portrayed. James River High School is a fine school, although they did have 7 or 8 of the MRSA (anti-biotic resistant staph infection) cases recently and that has to be a result of someone's fumble. That's kind of scary. It just goes to show that there is no perfect Utopia.

How does the price of property in that part of Chesterfield stack up against other parts of the county though? Isn't it quite a bit more "pricey" than other areas?

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Maybe I was using the "broad brush" there. Sorry about that. True, the Robius corridor is not as bad as my previous post portrayed. James River High School is a fine school, although they did have 7 or 8 of the MRSA (anti-biotic resistant staph infection) cases recently and that has to be a result of someone's fumble. That's kind of scary. It just goes to show that there is no perfect Utopia.

How does the price of property in that part of Chesterfield stack up against other parts of the county though? Isn't it quite a bit more "pricey" than other areas?

That part of Chesterfield County is much more comparable to the West End in terms of housing prices. In my opinion, that area is a better suburban location than the far west end since you do not have to deal with any interstates to get downtown quickly and you have 288 to get to Short Pump if you want. We purchased before 288 opened and it appears to have had a sizable impact on housing prices down there. It will be interesting, however, to see how Watkins Center affects that whole area. If CTC goes the way of Cloverleaf, it could really destroy that whole area.

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I find this piece by Carol Hazard in today's inRich confusing. I believe this newest condo development is NOT the smartly designed one we see in pictures that has a nice roof line and is on 25th between Main and Franklin. Instead, I think it is the conversion of the building at the northwest corner of 25th and Main. Along side it on the north side of Franklin is a low rise building that was built by Bob Kline and contains apartments with patios in the rear. Comments?

http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news/busines...11-25-0115.html

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I think the nice thing about these units is the price range... it's more affordable to first time buyers and the location is a pretty good one. I wish there were more like it downtown and nearby.

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Those are nice. I've seen some of the other developments from that company and they do good work and manage to keep reasonable rents. I wish they would come out to Hampton Roads and put some competition in our market. Wages are nearly the same if not slightly less here than Richmond but rents are higher...

We only have a handful of historic buildings in need of rehab though. Most were torn down and the ones that weren't are already in use.

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Is this an instance of de ja vu?

I have a feeling this has been reported elsewhere on this forum, but since it is in today's Building Permit Highlights I'm posting it here.

Two buildings in the Cold Storage complex in and around 431 North 18th Street in Shockoe Bottom north of East Broad Street are being renovated. There will be a total of 147 new apartments which are expected to be on the market by summertime.

From today's RTD:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2010/dec/06/high06-ar-696666/

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