Tag Archives: real estate

Lowndes County’s own videos @ LCC 2014-12-09

Paige Dukes told us about this Monday, but why steal her thunder about the county’s new website and the videos on it?

Joe Adgie, VDT, 17 December 2014, Lowndes County website goes live,

County residents can pay bills, read county ordinances, search for real estate and read meeting agendas on the new site.

In addition, a first for the county government, videos of the Lowndes County Commission meetings are also available through the site and on YouTube.

“Due to schedules, Continue reading

Stealth VLCIA real estate meeting last Wednesday @ VLCIA 2014-08-13

Well, the agenda says the Invocation was “For the purpose of discussing real estate”; it doesn’t say what the Executive Session was for.

Maybe they’ve got a customer for one of those empty industrial parks Brad Lofton talked them into building before he left the state.

Maybe they’re going to build some of those spec buildings they and Valdosta Mayor Gayle admire in Vidalia and Douglas.

Maybe they’re still negotiating with Continue reading

Executive Session for Real Estate @ VLCIA 2014-05-27

The Industrial Authority is having a Special Called Meeting Tuesday at 4:45 PM, the agenda for which goes straight into Executive Session for no stated reason. Is that even legal, as I’ve asked before about a VLCIA executive session?

Also, why is G. Norman Bennett still listed as a board member and Vice Chairman, even though according to the VDT he resigned from VLCIA 13 March 2014? I asked him about that in Hahira a month ago today and he said he’d talk to VLCIA. Somebody didn’t follow through.

Here’s the agenda, which says they’re having an invocation for the purpose of discussing real estate and gives no reason for the Executive Session. Also from the Georgia Open Meetings Act of 2012, 50-14-3(b)(1): Continue reading

Broadband fiber correlates with increased house prices

Preliminary research indicates that broadband fiber results in about 5% increase in property values for connected houses. This would indicate that an MSA wanting to profit from broadband should want to deploy it as widely as possible, especially in new housing. Hm, what’s the Homebuilders’ Association’s position on this?

NCM 0268 fiber ... result in 5.1% change in real estate value

The authors report that “fiber presence is associated with a positive effect on property values”, in The Impact of High-Speed Broadband Availability on Real Estate Values: Evidence from United States Property Markets by Gabor Molnar, University of Colorado at Boulder; Scott Savage, University of Colorado at Boulder; Douglas Sicker, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Continue reading

Videos: Beer, filters, roads, weather, and executive session @ LCC 2013-03-25

A beer license, and some filters for public works: that's all that's on the agenda for the unquestioning Lowndes County Commission. They did have two very brief reports on the weekend's weather and how they dealt with it. Then they went into executive session for real estate and litigation, which seems to have been the real purpose of this meeting, which otherwise lasted four minutes. They vote on the agenda items Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

Here's the agenda, with links to the videos and some notes.

WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
Continue reading

He who has the gold rules —Mike Hill

Finally, some truth from the Chamber! “Unification” has nothing to do with education, and everything to do with “He who has the gold rules.” Not any Realtors’ fault of course, “The Realtor doesn’t drive to showings; she just turns the wheel and hits the gas.” So they’d rather destroy public education through a proven failed “unification” than deal with their claimed perception problem. -jsq

‘No’ Vote May Hit You Where You Live

By Mike Hill
Valdosta resident

I’m not qualified to talk about the quality of school systems in Valdosta or Lowndes County, probably a rare admission these days. I am qualified to talk about the damage done to Valdosta residential real estate by the perception that one system is better than the other. It ain’t pretty and it’s getting worse.

I’ve been a Realtor since 1976, when newcomers couldn’t house hunt until they rolled in with the kids, dogs and all the furniture looking for yard signs and a local newspaper, which led them to agents and property managers, who then sold or rented them a home. Boy, has that changed!

I’ve got friends teaching or retired from both city and county systems who tell me that a good education is available from either system for students who want one. But newcomers concerned about their children’s education have consistently been getting a different message long before they ever see a “sale” or “rent” sign here.

Unlike even 10 years ago, Internet magic now allows newcomers to arrive armed with all the statistical knowledge our two school boards provide, plus state and federal statistics. And right or wrong, the perception those statistics create that one system is better or worse than the other travels like gossip between anybody anywhere in the world with an Internet connection who has or can create the slightest link to anybody in Valdosta/Lowndes County with one.

How do I know this? Because families walking into my real estate office to buy or rent “in the county school district” who have never been here before has been consistently increasing for years. Newcomers concerned about their children’s education will sacrifice a garage or fenced yard from the “wish list” for their new home, plus make higher payments, for a county location. It irks me that retired city school superintendent Sam Allen has publicly accused Realtors of adding to a problem that started well before he retired from the city school system. Realtors, he has publicly stated, avoid showing houses for sale in city school districts.

Space isn’t available to address the absurdity of that statement, except to quote the other side of the Golden Rule: “He who has the gold rules.” The Realtor doesn’t drive to showings; she just turns the wheel and hits the gas. The client started driving the car the minute he got into the passenger seat with his checkbook and knew where he wanted to go before he and his family came to town. Accurate or not, perceptions about differences in our split school system exist, with serious consequences in several different directions that aren’t going away. Industries may avoid us, for instance, and we’ll never know how many jobs we lost. In real estate, “perception” makes the value of a house on the city side of a street worth less than an identical house on the county side of the street.

Neither of those things are good and without change, it’s not going to get any better, either.

We educators were ignored back then —John Wayne Baxter

Received today on LCBOE did its homework about consolidation. -jsq
Hey John, I appreciate your summary of the latest meeting on consolidation. I was on the Chamber sponsored consolidation committee back in 1993-94. The same folks pushing the effort then are pushing it now. Back then, nothing about improving education was ever mentioned; it was all about banking and real estate. Only two educators back then were on the committee, the two superintendents from the school systems, and we were never asked our opinions on anything. We were totally ignored.

Yes, we educators were ingored back then and there is no doubt in my mind that this group pushing for consolidation is ignoring opinions of educators now. I believe the “dollar bill” mentality of a handful of folks is the driving force behind this effort, and I don’t mean the tax payers. Of course, this is just my opinion; I could be wrong.

We have two excellent school systems now in one county. Here is the method that I propose for a merger: if and when one of our school systems gets to a point where it cannot provide quality education for it’s students, let that school system’s school board approach the other school board and begin discussions on consolidation or some other remedy. Why should some bank or real estate company be the driving force behind consolidation. Maybe kids should be put ahead of lining the pockets of a few business owners. And the most important thing to remember about this action is: once Valdosta gives up the charter for it’s school system, it’s over and done with; good or bad, it’s over; Valdosta can never get it back. Think about that!

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Why all those VLCIA special meetings?

Here’s the VlCIA board approving minutes for some of those recent meetings, although you can’t tell what they were for, since they were listed on the agenda like this:
  • Special Called Meeting, May 17, 2011
  • Executive Session, May 17, 2011
  • Regular Meeting, May 17, 2011
  • Special Called Meeting, May 20, 2011
  • Executive Session, May 20, 2011
  • Special Called Meeting, May 21, 2011
  • Executive Session, May 21, 2011
  • Special Called Meeting, June 7, 2011
  • Executive Session, June 7, 2011
That’s right: no indication of what the meetings were for.

I was told outside afterwards by one board member that the special meetings were for Continue reading

How did Lowndes County approve a contract with VLCIA that could force raising taxes?

We’ve seen that the inter-governmental contract between Lowndes County and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) could force the county to raise taxes to pay for VLCIA’s debts. How did the county pass such a thing? Apparently in a rush, with little review.

Matt Flumerfelt wrote in the VDT 19 November 2008, County approves bond issue:

LOWNDES COUNTY — The Lowndes County Commission heard a presentation Tuesday evening from Glenn Thomson, Alston & Bird LLP regarding a bond issue the County has entered into for the purpose of providing needed funding for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority.

After the presentation, a vote was taken accepting the issue and Lowndes County Commission Chairman Rod Casey, County Attorney Walter Elliott and County Clerk Paige Dukes adjourned to an adjoining chamber to complete the signing of the documents that will enable the Industrial Authority to negotiate for the acquisition of property pursuant to their mission of attracting manufacturing and other businesses to Lowndes County.

Bond Counsel, Glenn Thomson, stated, “Mr. Chairman and Commission, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and brag on your staff and consultants. Your staff put this transaction together very quickly. In fact, the underwriter’s counsel remarked that he had never encountered county employees and staff that had worked so diligently and that due to their preparedness and hard work, he was able to put his information together in near record time. Their performance and that of County Attorney, Walter Elliott, who worked tirelessly on this project as well, is a tremendous credit to those responsible for managing the business of the county.”

Why was it necessary to put together a guarantee for a $15 million dollar bond issue in “near record time”? Continue reading

Solar panels increase home value

Posted on slashdot 23 Apr il 2011:
“Venture Beat reports that a study (PDF) by Berkeley National Labs has found that homes sold in California earned a premium for solar panels. The benefit ranged from $3900 to $6400 per kW of capacity. An earlier study found that proximity to solar or wind power may also raise home values.

PS: Hats off to Cheryl Ann Fillekes for this one.