Archives: January 2013

The LOWdown on Real Estate at Lake of the Woods, VA; 2012 in Review

WOW; what a difference a year makes! 2012 was a substantially better year than 2011 for real estate at Lake of the Woods. According to MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems), our local MLS, 205 sales were reported in LOW in 2012; in 2011, the reported number was 142. This means that we experienced a whopping 44% increase in home sales in 2012 over 2011!
Here’s a break-down of # of sales per specific price ranges for both 2012 and 2011:
HOMES SOLD  2012                                                                                                                                               
<= $100,000               17
>$100,000-$175,000    89
>$175,000-$250,000    57
>$250,000-$350,000    21
>$350,000-$500,000     9
>$500,000                   12
TOTAL                        205
<=$100,000                 17
>$100,000-175,000       55
>$175,000-$250,000     39
>$250,000-$350,000     14
>$350,000-$500,000       7
>$500,000                    10
TOTAL                         142
Good News in 2012: As the MLS shows, in Lake of the Woods, the percentage of homes selling as “distressed” (short sales or foreclosures) showed a decline for the second year in a row, and within the distressed category, the # of short sales rose while foreclosures fell. 30% of our 2012 total sales were distressed (18.5% foreclosures and 11.7% short sales), while 39% were distressed (30.5% foreclosures and 8.5% short sales) in 2011, and 42.6% were distressed sales in 2010. Since foreclosures often suffer from lack of maintenance and sell for less than market value, this is a great trend for our community!
LOWA reports that 20 lots transferred in 2012 compared to only 3 in 2011. In addition, 6 building permits were issued for new home construction in 2012, while only 3 were issued in 2011. Using December year-over-year statistics, in Orange County (including LOW), the “average days on the market” decreased from 174 to 142. The number of waterfront homes sold in the higher price ranges rose in 2012: 6 homes sold above $650,000, while only 2 sold above $650,000 in 2011. We are expecting 2013 to be a strong year for waterfront sales if there are homes on the market.
I am currently working with several waterfront buyers in all price ranges who are impatiently waiting for their “perfect place at the lake” to become available.
According to the National Association of Realtors and many other sources, all indications are that 2013 will realize even greater, welcomed improvement!
If you are considering selling, list your home soon to take advantage of early buyers!
Thank you for the continued opportunity to be a trusted resource!
Is the time right for you to buy or sell? Call me today at 540/735-7998.
Pat Licata, REALTOR
Licata on the Lake
It’s another beautiful day at the lake!

My Relaxing Ride

My hosts, patient Carolyn and gentle Fred

Unless it involves an animal rescue of some sort, I am not much of the adventurous type. Unlike some gusto-filled, brave residents who “plunge” into the new year by plunging into the lake, I ease into it gradually. If I want to accomplish something, I have learned to make it a goal rather than a new year’s resolution.
As you may recall from a previous article, the last time I rode a horse did not end well. So one of my 2012 goals was to “get back up on the horse” and take a trail ride. Thanks to the persistence of Carolyn McFarland, LOW Equestrian Center Manager, Fred’s gentle nature, and my resolve, I reached my goal!
After my public declaration in Lake Currents that I would take the ride, I had received encouragement from Carolyn periodically. So I finally mustered up my strength and made an afternoon reservation for a day in the fall. I must admit that, although quite anxious, I was determined to face my fear. I must also admit that, on many occasions, I thought about cancelling. But I am determined to take advantage of the incredible amenities our great community offers!
The morning of the ride, I awoke earlier than usual with the impending event on my mind. It didn’t matter in which activity I participated that morning, the ride pervaded my thoughts. When I arrived at the Equestrian Center, palms sweating, Carolyn was awaiting me. She introduced me to Fred, my host for the ride. With trepidation, I looked deeply into his large brown eyes and attempted to communicate that he had the power to change the ending, and that I was counting on him to do so.
Then it was show-time! I took a deep breath and mounted Fred. I exhaled a sigh of relief as Carolyn took the reins and began leading us to the trail.  Within a few moments, we were joined by Teresa Critchfield on her horse, Applejack. A long-time resident and frequent barn visitor, Teresa boards Applejack at the Equestrian Center.
We alternated between friendly conversation and enjoying the scenery with the melodic clip-clopping of the hooves as they touched the ground. I had never been through the Wilderness Battlefield National Park, on which the trail is located. While on the trail, I felt as though I truly was in the wilderness: there was no sound or indication of human-life other than our presence.
As a matter-of-fact, I had forgotten that I was on a horse at all! It was actually so relaxing! If you have a resolution or goal for 2013 that involves relaxation, please allow me to suggest a trail ride. If I were able to enjoy it, surely you can too!
Until next time…It’s another beautiful day at the lake!
Pat Licata, REALTOR
Licata on the Lake