Fredericksburg, VA Real Estate News

By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Many years ago, while in the US Army and stationed in Germany, an officer in the German Air Force was talking to me about his youth in Nazi Germany.  He told me that he had seen Adolph Hitler when he was a child.  As time went on, he shared many other stories about growing up during World War II.  He was a few years older than I; as such he was too young to be in the service too.  He did, however, watch for aircraft from the roofs of houses in his hometown.  He had even been trained to fire anti-aircraft weapons.Among the most interesting experiences was when he offered to show me a Jewish cemetery in Ansbach, Germany.  We were living near Ansbach at the time and I had no idea that there would be such a thing.  Jews, he told me, were well respected in Ansbach and were well known for bei...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Two days ago, one of historic Fredericksburg Virginia's landmarks opened for business again.  No, it's not a museum.  It's not an historic shrine either.  It isn't a new store in a new mall.  It's Carl's.Never heard of it?  Well our friends, Jim and Ellen Crawford down in HotLanta are big fans of Carl's and they asked me to post something about it on Active Rain.When we first moved to the Fredericksburg area, everone told us about the must "go to" places here.  Carl's was one of them.  They were quick to tell us that Carl's served the best frozen custard in the world.  Now that's a pretty big claim.  Naturally, we had to try it and soon did.  It was good!  Real good.  Lines of 100+ customers are commonplace in the summer; serpentining for almost a block is not rare.  But the best in the...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Mole1 : any of numerous burrowing insectivores (especially family Talpidae) with tiny eyes, concealed ears, and soft fur2 : one who works in the dark3 : a machine for tunneling4 : a spy (as a double agent) who establishes a cover long before beginning espionage; broadly : one within an organization who passes on information From the definitions above, to which do you think I am referrring?Previous postings have described numerous aspects about living in historic Fredericksburg Virginia.  Even think that I have posted pictures of the home in which my wife and I live.  Briefly, it is an all brick home (very modest size) which was constructed in 1816.  It withstood two hardfought battles during the Civil War (1861-1865).Like many homes constructed during the same period, there was no kitch...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Historic Fredericksburg Virginia survived despite two major battles of the Civil War being fought on its territory.  Union forces shelled the City heavily and many buildings were totally destroyed.  Many of the surviving buildings were used as hospitals for both sides.  Many of those were churches.Through the years churches were built to meet the requirements of the growing population.  Today there are many churches within the city limits.  With the growing number on new homes for sale in Fredericksburg, I suppose that new churches are on the horizon.  Interestingly enough, I have never seen a church included in a planned unit development.  Think it would be a good idea for a developer to build a church and then sell it to a church or make it a community church available to any denomina...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
As in many cities throughout our great nation, Fredericksburg has some streets that have some beautiful homes and some whose homes are not as impressive.  As a matter of fact, some streets have some wonderful old homes and in another part of town the homes are not as wonderful.  Such is the case with Charles Street.  As I mentioned in a previous article on this network, Fredericksburg Virginia has an historic district.  The district is a 40 square block in the downtown area plus a few homes on Washington Avenue.  Washington Avenue is several blocks outside the original historic district but homes there are included at the request of the owners.Charles Street is unique in many ways and one of those is that it runs for several blocks (10 to be specific) and ends.  After one block it conti...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Fredericksburg Virginia is not a very big place.  It is midway between Richmond Virginia (50 miles to the south) and Washington DC (50 miles to the north) and sits astride Interstate 95.  Many people come here to visit the Civil War battlefields that are located within a 15 mile radius of Fredericksburg.  In addition to the Fredericksburg National Military Park (administered by the National Park Service), there are parks in Spotsylvania Courthouse, Chancellorsville, and the Wilderness.  Thousands of visitors are drawn to those parks annually.Others come just to see what Historic Fredericksburg is all about.  One of the things I find interesting about the town in which I live, is the great architecture found in the historic homes.  If you ask someone who lives in Fredericksburg this ques...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Less than a block from my home office in downtown Historic Fredericksburg Virginig there is a very interesting tree.  Coincidentally, it is just around the corner from the hybrid tree we wrote about yesterday.Not being a botanist, I have no idea what kind of tree this is.  One thing I do know is that there is a fine historic home in the backgrouind.Anyone out there know?Remember as a child looking up into the sky and trying to see what forms you could make out in the clouds?  Now just in case you are not a botanist either, what can you see in this closeup shot of that large tree above?  I have my idea!
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
My apologies to Mr. Ripley.This afternoon, when returning to my home office in downtown Historic Fredericksburg, I suddenly stopped my car on Lewis Street.  Am sure that my passenger thought that the old boy had lost it (again).She asked "What are you doing?""Taking a picture of that tree." I replied."What tree?""The one in front of that old house there."When she saw me pull out my trusty Nikon Coolpix L4 and start shooting (after tugging on the stem of the "mutant", she saw what had piqued my curiosity.Here it is, and you have to trust me on this one.  This is not staged (my apologies to those who stage for a living) in any way.  It is reality!  No smoke or mirrors.  Just a plain old mutation I guess.What you see is a magnolia limb growing out of an oak tree.  Check it out for yourself...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
The other day I was driving from my home in Fredericksburg Virginia to preview a home in Spotsylvania County.  I decided to drive through the Fredericksburg Battlefield.  I had driven through it several times in the past and every time I take the trip I it from a different perspective.It was a cool day (lower 30's) and there were joggers and cyclists sharing the road with me.  With the trees gone you can get a better view of the terrain; particularly noteworthy were the trenches which had been dug by the Confederate soldiers.The drive through the park terminates in a small parking lot which is at the place where 12 Confederate cannons fired on the Union soldiers who were crossing a massive open area.  Apparently, the area today is much the same as it was then because I could see several...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
For over 30 years I was a member of the United States Army.  Our family moved throughout the United States, Central America, and Europe.  Because of the frequent moves we were not able to associate with any community other than the Army.  We feared that the constant moving would have an adverse effect on our children but, to this point, it does not seem to be the case.Only recently, we have been able to become involved in community activities in the civilian sector.  Truthfully, it has been a very rewarding experience to us.Over a year ago, one of my loyal clients asked me if I would be interested in becoming a board member of the Rappahannock Area Council for Children and Parents (RACCAP).  Truthfully, I had never heard of the group prior to his call.  He described the organization and...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Ever heard it said that the real estate market is always slow this time of the year?It there any truth to it?How do you determine if it is true?  What are the signs you look for?Well, since we are not up to our ears in showing and listing property right now, we thought that we might like to examine whether or not our market (City of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, King George County, and Caroline County) in Virginia is typical for the holiday season this year.  Truthfully, we never knew whether or not it was always slow in November and December.  We think we know the answer now though.Since the actual sale of a property is the only basis upon which we can say it has been a good market, the best way to see if the market is slow during a given period of time is to de...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
A few minutes ago I read a very interesting blog posting by Sharon Simms of St Petersburg Florida.  Sharon had written a very short piece on the Kenwood neighborhood in her hometown.Sharon is a very clever writer and superior real estate professional.  She is also a caring and sharing lady.All of those nice words are not meant to offset the feelings she may have with my piggybacking on her innovative idea of describing a community/neighborhood in a blog.Fredericksburg Virginia is often thought of as a historic city on the east coast (which it is) and not one that has grown immensely over the past 20 years (which it has).One of the features of the recent growth is Idlewild.Developed from an old antebellum estate (Idlewyld), the community features many varying types of housing, an impress...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
There has been a great deal of talk in professional journals, national newspapers and on national TV about the state of the real estate market.Just today, one of my clients told me that her friend in Northern Virginia told her that the market was getting better!  My client asked me if the real estate market here was getting well.  My reply to her was that while there was a 1.44% improvement in the average sold price between October 2005 and November 2006, the number of total units sold for the month saw a 31.63% decrease.  If that is getting well . . . I definitely do not wish to be a purveyor of the "doom and gloom" state of the real estate market in Fredericksburg Virginia.  However, just in case some others think you are the only one suffering from a slow market, you might want to st...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
This past weekend the holiday festivities began in Historic Fredericksburg Virginia!An annual highlight is the Candlelight Tour of selected homes in downtown Fredericksburg.  This year the weekend included an added attraction.  The National Park Service had a commemoration of the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg.Entire blocks of downtown Fredericksburg were closed to traffic so that thousands of visitors could view homes featured in this year's tour.  Homeowners opened their doors to those who desired to view the homes that had been professionally decorated for the season.  This year the tour featured homes not far from downtown Fredericksburg.  The tours are arranged by the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.The National Park Service's contribution took place on S...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Yesterday, while making my daily check of our local MLS, a wonderful buy appeared on my update.A listing appeared for a home in one of the Fredericksburg Virginia area's nicest communities.  The price shown was $300,000 and homes there are selling for more than $500,000.  My first thought was that I would contact some of my good friends who could easily afford to purchase the home and "flip" it as soon as it was purchased.When I investigated the listing (which happened to be in Spotsylvania County - one of Virginia's fastest growing areas) I determined that the list price was the tax assessed value.  You see, this was a listing entered into the MLS because the listing agent is working with a local auctioneer and is entering homes that are about to go to auction.My question is this: "Why...
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