2009 WILL Be Better for Central VA Real Estate

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

It''s hard to think of this as possible when local "tabs" are printing articles about local Realtors and RE appraisers having their properties in foreclosure; however, the Central Virginia area will fare much better than many areas of the country in 2009.

The "We're Hiring" signs are out EVERYWHERE....the new Topeka Steakhouse in front of the Hilton Inn @ Pantops started their hiring efforts almost 6 weeks before their scheduled opening and fully expected to have to bring staff from their Richmond restaurant until fully staffed.

Although some restaurants on The Downtown Mall have suffered economic hardships from poor parking and City Council decisions, the new Vitamin Shoppe at Fashion Square Mall as well as the new Sephora store at the Mall are doing great as evidenced by my recent trips. The new 24/7 Snap Fitness across from Office Depot is gaining memberships and there are still long check-out lines at the local LOWE'S.

Mid-to higher end homes have been difficult to rent if they were not marketed early in the 2008 summer/spring season; however, mid-range properties close to town have been fairly resistant to drastic rent reductions.

Many of our rental Craigslist rental listings are actually from out of our area * Staunton & Culpeper * as they do not have a designated "site" of their own as of yet on the CL website.

By posting our rental home listings DAILY in a professional HTML format, we are attracting residents who know they will be moving to the area this summer. These "early lookers" are mostly military JAG families, new-hires for the UVA Med Center or the Martha Jefferson Hospital expansion on their Pantops campus.

The medical school residents will start looking in early-spring and the new hires for the sub-contractors at NGIC started arriving in waves since mid-summer as those employers have taken temporary offices in the airport/Forest Lakes area.

For the first time in the recent past, there are sufficient rental properties for tenants to live in Albemarle and work in Greene and Madison counties which have new businesses in those areas and little rental stock.

While Greene county is out of my "management/carbon footprint" for managing properties, it is good to see that this beautiful area is being enjoyed newcomers to the area.

Real estate investors have continued to buy quality rental homes in our area * other than the proximity of the UVA grounds * directly from builders with tenants already in place. Some have bought when the price in our local MLS was reduced sufficiently for the proposed rental amount to make the investment worthwhile in the long and short term. By purchasing newer or brand new homes, investors anticipate fewer repair/maintenance costs so their "asking rents" can be AT or BELOW current market to attractive and rent quickly.

The Lake Monticello area continues to be an attractive destination for rental families because of the schools, amenities and close proximity to I-64 and the west end of Richmond. The Zion X Roads area at Rt.15/I-64 has considerable commercial growth including a new LOWE'S and commercial/retail center. Since many of the new employees to these businesses are being transferred in within their company, they are electing to rent rather than buy as their current home has not sold and is being rented.

Adapting our rental marketing program to transpose from local print media to Craigslist, Google Base, Hot Pads and other internet housing web sites has worked well and we will continue to search for innovative and rewarding methods to fill our clients' properties with qualified residents.

Wallace S. Gibson CPM * Over 40 years of professional property management experience to serve you... http://VAHomes4Rent.com ....finding your new rental home in Central Virginia just got easier!!  We are currently marketing properties for the spring/summer 2009 on our website


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Wallace S. Gibson is a Certified Property Manager with over 50 years of property management experience and expertise.  She maintains a specialized property management business in Central Virginia serving Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties  


View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous


Comments (3)

Golden Estate Management
Golden Estate Property Management - Los Angeles, CA

Thank you wallace for sharing that with all of us. It was very useful and informative. I hope you have a great day and Happy Holidays!

Dec 23, 2008 03:44 AM
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

You may be living in the only area in the US that is not suffering.  I am seeing lots of foreclosures all over our area and the country.  Sounds like a great place to do business.

Dec 26, 2008 03:15 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Bob - there is an overabundance of multi-unit housing around UVa grounds; however, in the RE BOOM several years ago, many owners of older SFRs sold so that our frequent influx of UVA graduate students, medical school residents, JAG officers coming to UVA Law School JAG school find fewer and fewer DESIRABLE rental homes * most of these families have a housing allowance in their "assignment" pay.  We also have a government (secret) facility that is doubling in size with base closings and will bring in 2000+ new hires over next 3 years...the sub-contractors for this facility have been bringing in new-hires since last summer...these families will rent as they can't sell where they are moving FROM or they have been in military housing and the purchase of an area home is out of the question/pocketbook.

Even doctors who would normally buy if there would be here for 2 or 3 years are renting instead....they are my tenant/resident pool....

An IMPORTANT and often overlooked aspect of RE purchase is the "out plan"...if someone is buying with idea of selling in 2 to 3 years....the REPLACEMENT of their residence at their NEXT location should be considered....moving from SF to Boston is fairly equal....moving from Charlottesville to say Sacramento/Roseville may NOT be so equal....

Yes, we have few foreclosures and high-end homes $800,000 to $1,200,000 are selling as financing is rarely a problem.

When I left CA im 1993, I had option of going to Hilton Head, SC; Park City, Utah; and back to Charlottesville where my mother are sister are and where I already owned real estate....I'm so glad I elected Central VA.  



Dec 26, 2008 03:48 AM