Charlottesville Breaking News
The number of vacant houses has fallen by more than a third. Could this be the recovery sign that blogging realtor Jim Duncan hopes it is?
On April 20, Duncan posted an entry on realcentralva.com that noted, according to his calculations, that the percentage of vacant homes listed for sale in the Multiple Listing Service has fallen from 36 percent in 2007 to 23 percent today.
First, what's so bad about vacant homes? For starters, even under the best of circumstances, some insurance companies require an inspection before agreeing to underwrite a home that has been vacant. Other insurers demand something called a vacancy endorsement if the house is going to be uninhabited for more than 30 days after the purchase.
Potential buyers are understandably concerned about the potential neglect and deferred maintenance items that so frequently accompany homes left empty by job transfers, marriages, deaths, or other changes in family circumstances. But when a vacancy occurs due to a foreclosure or a short sale, as is so often happens in these current market conditions, concerns multiply.
A homeowner facing foreclosure may have neither the means nor the motivation to continue the upkeep, a situation that often results in significant deterioration before the bank takes ownership. Once uninhabited, bank-owned...
First stop for First Fridays
With its artist studios and monthly receptions, McGuffey Art Center is the headquarters for the local art scene, the place you're going to find some art that you like. Photographers Margo Hamilton and Ron Evans take the main gallery with their archival ink-printed photos (like Hamilton's Swan shown here). Scott Supraner's ceramic reliefs and Blake Hurt's "Lines on Faces" ink-on-canvas, paper, acrylic, and glass works line the lower hall. Upstairs, Jefferson School African-American Cultural Center's Andrea Douglas curated "From Backyard Clotheslines to Museum Walls," with the work of Frank Walker and the late Gerry Mitchell.
May 4, McGuffey Art Center, 5:30-7:30pm, free
The man who sings about his reticence in "Na Na Nothing" turns out to have plenty to say– or at least write about. If fans haven't always been privy to intimate stories from Mike Doughty, they've had their chance since the January release of his tell-everything memoir, The Book of Drugs, which examines not only his adventurous lifestyle and experience with addiction, but also the gut-wrenching days of his time in Soul Coughing, the quirky and experimental band noted for Doughty's poetic lyrics.
“People have always felt really close to me because I'm an over-sharer,” Doughty says in a telephone interview in advance of his upcoming solo performance in Charlottesville. “I was on AOL messageboards when I was 23 putting out my first album.”
Now 41, Doughty finds himself in the middle of a tour that emphasizes that openness, mixing readings from the book with songs from his solo career and time for Q&A from the audience.
Doughty says many fans think that "Q&A is code for 'I will tell you gnarly things about Soul Coughing.'" He says he won't speak about his old band, but he will take on strange hypotheticals like the one from a fan who asked if he'd "rather play Twister with Dick Cheney or punch a kitten in the face."
Such questions can be heard on his new live album The Question Jar Show, and much of the book looks at the problems in the band, a revelation w...