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Blacksburg Transit Provides Election Day Transportation - 10/30/08 10:47 PM
Need a ride to the polls this election day, or want to continue the theme of Sustainability Week and encourage the use of public transportation while exercising your right to vote? Blacksburg Transit is providing "Election Day transportation service to voting locations within the Town of Blacksburg. Service will operate from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 4, 2008 to the following voting locations: Blacksburg Library, Blacksburg Middle School Blacksburg Community Center on Patrick Henry Gilbert Linkous Elementary Luther Memorial Lutheran Church Margaret Beeks Elementary Slusser Chapel St. Michaels Lutheran Church For detailed information regarding your district and voting (0 comments)
Ask Appraisal Questions of Leslie Frantz THIS WEEK! - 10/27/08 04:31 PM
I had a video session scheduled today with Leslie Frantz, owner and operator of Hometown Appraisal Services here in Blacksburg, and we FORTUNATELY had to cancel the appointment. I wanted to talk with Leslie about how the current market has changed her appraisals, and what she's seeing on a daily basis because, truthfully, if there's anyone that sees more homes in the New River Valley it's probably Leslie - this woman is BUSY! I say that it's a fortunate delay for all of us, then, because it gives you an opportunity to ask Leslie questions directly ... are you a buyer (0 comments)
Have You Considered Biking To Work? - 10/23/08 11:01 AM
It's Sustainability Week in Blacksburg, which means we should be focusing a little bit more on minimizing our impact in the communities we live in. One of the ways to do that is to bike around Town. Have you ever tried it? Blacksburg is a pretty bike-friendly town, at least more than most, and it's pretty easy to get around from place to place via pedal power. It's great exercise, the main corridors of Blacksburg (Main Street and Prices Fork Road) have bike lanes, there are bike racks around Town (although not enough, in my opinion) to lock your bike (2 comments)
Stuart Mease On Supporting Local Business in the Roanoke and New River Valleys - 10/21/08 04:40 PM
Rackspace, and it's webmail division of Mailtrust - which, coincidentally is Blacksburg-grown - IPO'd in August 2008, yet very little was written about it in the local paper. Stuart's contention is that success stories like Mailtrust, and so many others located throughout our region, need the support and publicity that all of us can provide.
Thanks to Handshake 2.0 for sharing the video. (0 comments)
They Call It The Tower of Power - 10/21/08 10:34 AM
Coal-fired power plants. Critics say they're dirty, that it has enormous leave-behinds in the form of ash, pollutants like sulphuric acids, arsenic and loads of carbon dioxide, not to mention the costs - both quantifiable and non-quantifiable - for mining, disposing of leave-behinds, and illnesses in the local communities. Doesn't sound like a really pleasant thing to be around, does it? Did you know that Virginia Tech has it's own power plant, and that it's fueled by coal, that dirtiest of fossil fuels? Before you jump up and start making picket signs, check out this article by 16 Blocks Magazine - (2 comments)
Jefferson National Forest Day Use Area - Pandapas Pond - 10/20/08 11:12 PM
Pandapas Pond From Blacksburg - 460 West to Pandapas Pond, From Giles - 460 East to Pandapas Pond, , VA Pandapas Pond is a gem just four miles from Blacksburg VA. It's a popular hiking and mountain biking spot, with trails that head off into the Jefferson National Forest. A lot of people just like to hang out on the banks of the scenic 8-acre pond, however. A man-made body of water, it serves as the headwaters for Poverty Creek. Hiking trails surround the lake, with several more that head off into the Jefferson National Forest. The trail around the lake (0 comments)
McAfee's Knob, Catawba VA and the Appalachian Trail - 10/20/08 10:57 PM
Took a hike up the AT to McAfee's Knob this past weekend. I'd never been up there, and I had no idea what I was missing. Absolutely gorgeous, you've got to see it in person. McAfee's Knob, on the Appalachian Trail McAfee's Knob, on the Appalachian Trail, Outside Catawba, VA, McAfee's Knob is one of the most scenic - and most photographed - sites on the Appalachian Trail. It features a breathtaking view of the Jefferson National Forest, Tinker Ridge and the Catawba Valley. Easily one of the most beautiful spots in Virginia's section of the Appalachian Trail. More information on (0 comments)
Dazed & Confused Concerning Affordable Housing in Blacksburg - 10/20/08 03:58 PM
The Current yesterday ran a "forum" piece regarding the proposed Blacksburg workforce housing project that's been hotly debated; it appears that the forum was a response to this October 5th editorial. Please tell me this was a joke. Honestly. I'm confused as to the message this sends to community residents. Quotes include: "Residents ... would have the convenience of having elementary, middle and (proposed) high schools; churches; parks; recreation fields; and grocery and other shopping located one mile or less from their neighborhood" "Blacksburg Transit service would be extended to the site ..." the residents would enjoy "social and environmental benefits (0 comments)
Through The Seller's Eyes - The Home Inspection - 10/17/08 05:08 PM
Last month, I wrote "What Is A Home Inspection?" I fully intended to write more ... but I didn't. Then Jay Thompson in Phoenix wrote about the home inspection from the Seller's point of view. I think he wrote it better than I could. The seller should be looking at the inspection in much the same way as the buyer is: "A home inspection for the purposes of this Contract is RESTRICTED TO DETERMINING ONLY that the plumbing (including well, well pump and septic systems, if any), heating, air conditioning (if any), electrical systems and appliances are in safe working order, (0 comments)
Sustainability Week in Blacksburg - October 20-25 - 10/17/08 04:44 PM
I mentioned Sustainability Week recently, but there wasn't much information available. Now, there's a lot more. What is Sustainability Week? What's happening? Short version or long version. Why is this important? Taking care of our environment is more than a fad, it's the right thing to do. We have a legacy to leave - what will it be? If you enjoyed this post, why not leave a comment and subscribe via RSS or email here to be sure you don't miss the next post? (0 comments)
The State of the Market - September 2008 (Renamed: A Slow And Steady Approach) - 10/16/08 08:51 AM
August has come and gone, and September has as well. The leaves are changing ... it's one of my favoritest (can I say that? Sure I can) times of the year here in the New River Valley. September has NOT been nice to the stock market, however - there's no secret there, we've passed a bill with economic implications that are really beyond comprehension to try and stabilize it, and oh yea, there's a presidential election going on as well. Wondering how it all effects housing? My best guesses here, here, here and here. As I said last month however: "a (0 comments)
A Rebuttal From Radford University - 10/15/08 11:45 AM
Radford University's been under fire a bit, and Michael Hemphill provided a response in today's Roanoke Times Editorial section. There are three sides to every story - the truth, the lie, and the in-between - but I still contend that Radford's a university on the move; and that can only be good for the rest of the City. Bullseye. (0 comments)
Blowing Smoke? Not Hardly ... - 10/13/08 12:07 PM
Have you heard? There are a few things happening in the financial sector that are probably giving you cause for concern. Truth bet told, they've given a lot of us cause for concern ... Just a quick note to let you know that there are home loans currently being funded, just as Mark Weddle and Dennis Duncan said there were. I'm not going to blow smoke and say that there a lot of companies out there that are having trouble providing credit to buyers, and the stock market is absolutely a scary place to be right now. BUT ... the mortgage (0 comments)
Help The Huckleberry - 10/12/08 09:42 PM
They've determined how to cross Route 114, they've determined the route ... But they need the money. You can help the Friends of the Huckleberry by writing to express your support. Brad Stipes tells us how ... If you enjoyed this post, why not leave a comment and subscribe via RSS or email here to be sure you don't miss the next post?
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 - What's It Say? - 10/11/08 08:43 PM
The bailout bill - also called the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 - has been passed, and I know you've been itching to get your hands on a copy. You can read the full report here. But if you'd like a summary (and I'd suggest it might be a bit easier to digest) you should check out the Financial Planning Association's site. Thanks to Eric for sending this in. (0 comments)
Weathering The Real Estate Storm - 10/08/08 01:13 AM
Zach Crizer of The Collegiate Times called me early last week and asked "why do people decide to invest in college towns?" We talked for a few minutes, and later in the week he posted "Blacksburg Real Estate Weathers Financial Storm". Thanks, Zach, for the chance to talk with you, and to be quoted in the same article as someone as well known in his field as Dr. Koebel was an honor. He certainly described it in much more intelligent terms, but at least I didn't stutter. I appreciated the chat, Zach, call anytime. Wow. (0 comments)
Why Does The Days On Market Statistic Matter? - 10/08/08 12:43 AM
Later today, I'm showing a few homes to a nice couple from out of town. Like most folks who live elsewhere and are considering a move to the New River Valley, I've been emailing them listings for quite some time. I've previewed many of the homes beforehand, and all told we've seen a few dozen homes, at least, in the time we've been working together. I really like these folks, and always look forward to working with them. The right house hasn't come available yet, but we've got such a good rapport now that I think all three of us will (3 comments)
How To Get Financing In Today's Market - 10/06/08 10:57 AM
Bailout is what everyone's been talking about lately, and I wanted to find out what lenders were thinking would be happening in the short term, particularly as it relates to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac products. According to Mark Weddle, and Dennis Duncan, both of Suntrust Bank, there are some positive sounds coming out of the purchase market. Mark Weddle: "Two main changes in the purchase market. The first is that on cash-out refinances, Fannie and Freddie are both requiring at least six one-time payments on their existing mortgage since the time of purchase. The second is that if a purchaser (0 comments)
$700 Billion Isn't Monopoly Money - Yet We Print It Like It Is - 10/05/08 11:44 PM
I've been sitting on this post for a few days. Last week, the Bailout Bill was all anyone could seem to talk about, and I was one of millions watching and waiting to see what the government was going to do. And they threw me a curve. I didn't expect them to vote it down. I fully expected that they'd get together, vote, then slap each other on the back and head out to vacation. They took some more time, voted for it and THEN headed out for vacation. You can read the latest iteration here. We shouldn't be in this (0 comments)
Practice What You Preach - 10/03/08 01:51 PM
The Town of Blacksburg is showcasing it's latest project in sustainability October 25th. This should be cool, hope to see you there. (2 comments)
Politics As Usual - 10/02/08 09:56 AM
A reasonable delay, or politics as usual? What are we saying to those citizens who would benefit from a project like this if we're not willing to discuss it openly, honestly, and act decisively? Is this a project that a silent majority of Montgomery County citizens truly want, but is being silenced by a vocal minority and plodding politics? (0 comments)
Will The Colosseum Stand The Test Of Time? - 10/01/08 01:23 AM
Blacksburg's newest development project, The Colosseum, has broken ground. Here's a link to the recap in Multi-Housing News. I wrote in January that I thought it was too much for the area - too much product right now. I still do; condos are lagging behind the rest of the market. Only time will tell how this project does. Just like to say that this picture was taken by my wife on a trip she took to Italy over the summer. It's my absolute favorite - I'm so proud. (0 comments)
The Colosseum In Blacksburg - 10/01/08 01:22 AM
A few weeks ago, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Colosseum project in Blacksburg. The event featured speakers, all kinds of food and drinks, Roman gladiators (I mean, honestly - can you name something "The Colosseum" without gladiators?) and golden shovels. I took video to show you, in fact. Stupid video - somehow, everything was corrupted and I lost it all. So I'll recap the project here, as best I can. Sorry about that, but I DO have answers to some of the common questions people have been asking about the project. From the project's marketing department: What exactly (3 comments)
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