Richmond 300 Insights Report Updated

The Richmond 300 Project Team has gathered a comprehensive snapshot of the current conditions in Richmond. This Insights Report:

  • Provides background information on various topics relevant to developing the city-wide Master Plan for the City of Richmond.
  • Displays information in a way that is not too excessive and overwhelming.
  • Displays information in easy-to-read maps and charts.
  • Provides information in “plain English” by avoiding jargon where possible.
  • Provides summary data – in other words, there are many plans and documents that take a “deep dive” into these topics and entire dissertations have been or could be written about some of these topics – the Insights Report just provides key points from those efforts.
  • Gives a high-level of how Richmond has changed and how it is growing.

The Richmond 300 Project Team is hosting office hours twice a month for the duration of the Richmond 300 project. The office hours are the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 3 to 5 P.M. at City Hall (900 E. Broad St, Richmond, VA 23219 in Room 511). Stop by if you have a question or want to talk about about Richmond 300.

The next office hours days are: July 26 3-5 P.M. and August 9 3-5 P.M.

If you have any questions about the Richmond 300 process, call 804-646-6348 or email

Selling/Buying Real Estate in a Sellers Market

Downsizing? Upsizing? Ready for something different? So you’ve decided it’s time to sell your house. You couldn’t have picked a better time. House prices have recovered from the recession and have in some areas surpassed pre-recession prices. Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. Unemployment is down and wages are increasing. Many listings are getting multiple offers and above asking price.
Buyers are falling out of the trees.

What could be wrong with the above scenario. Unless you’re moving to a rental you’re also going to be a buyer. If you already own a house you could be at a disadvantage with buyers who don’t have a house
to sell. However, there are ways to deal with this without making you homeless. If you’re sitting on enough available cash to buy your next house, you don’t have to worry about it.

First step is to contact your neighborhood realtor. This is where I come in. Have an agent like me come over and check out your home and make suggestions to get your house ready to go on the market. Next
ask the agent to do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your house. The CMA reviews the neighborhood for houses on the market, houses under contract and houses that have already sold. Now
the price range for your house can be determined.

In the good old days, when it took months to buy a house, you could write a contract contingent on the sale your house and before you closed on the next one. This is referred to as a Right of First Refusal contract. The seller will continue to market their property. If they get a better offer, you’ll usually have 24 hours to perform or the other buyer gets the house. Since we’re in a sellers market, very few sellers will consider this type of contract. There are plenty of eager and qualified buyers in the market who don’t have a house to sell. However, this may work on a listing that’s been on the market awhile.

You could put your house on the market and sell it. Selling your house is not going to be difficult if it’s reasonably priced right. If you have a non-contingent contract on your house, you could make an offer
on the next house subject to the settlement of your house. Seller will still expect a lender approval letter which is subject to selling your house. This may work. However, any offers that are contingent on
selling your house are not looked on favorably in this market.

Well now what do we do? I can sell my house but I can’t buy another one. There is another option depending on whether you can get approved for another mortgage to purchase your next house. You
still have a mortgage on your home. So now you have two mortgages. This may sound financially irresponsible and reckless. It’s not. However, as long as you can still sleep at night and not have a
nervous breakdown, you can do this. Understand that not everyone can qualify for two mortgages at the same time. Strategizing your options should be discussed with an experienced mortgage
professional at the beginning of the process. I can refer you to some excellent local lenders.

Now your house is ready to go on the market. You should be looking at houses with your agent and going to open houses so you know what the market is like. When you find the next house, you’ll have to pounce on it and make an offer.

The really good listings are selling on the first day. This means you can’t go home and sleep on it since another buyer may grab it. Here’s where being approved for two mortgages comes into play. One of
the first questions the seller’s agent is going to ask your agent is, “Does your buyer have a house to sell?” Your agent will say they have a house but are approved for a mortgage that does not require
them to sell their house first. Your agent will attach a copy of a letter to your contract from your lender confirming this. Since you listened to your agent and made a great offer, the seller accepts your offer
which beat the others.

Now we put your house on the market immediately and sell it. We make the closing date on your house before the closing date on the next house. If we do this, you will only have one mortgage at a
time to deal with. Also, don’t forget to put a rent back clause in your buyer’s contract. A rent back clause means you will still occupy the first house for a set period of time after closing. This is usually less
than a week. This will give you time after both closings to move into the next house.

Congratulations you have managed to sell/buy in a very competitive market.

Jim Donohue has been a Hills and Heights resident for 35 years and has been selling real estate for 23 years. He’s a Realtor with Long & Foster.

Leave the Show to the Pros!

According to Richmond Fire and Emergency Services, fireworks cause an estimated 18,500 fires each year in the United States. Hospital emergency rooms see in excess of 10,000 people for fireworks-related injuries each year. Sparklers, which can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees, account for more than 1/4 of emergency room fireworks injuries. Over 50 percent of fireworks injuries occur with people under the age of 20. As we approach the Fourth of July and other summer celebrations, please remember:

  • Don’t handle fireworks. At all. This includes sparklers.
  • Don’t attempt to alter or modify fireworks.
  • Don’t allow children to pickup spent fireworks.
  • Don’t forget that you can be held legally and financially liable for injuries cause by using fireworks.

It’s a violation of Richmond City code to store, expose for sale, sell at retail, or use or explode any fireworks except at a permitted event with the display handled by an approved, competent operator. Leave the fireworks to the pros.