FEBRUARY 2016: Augusta County, Staunton, & Waynesboro

 

Oh February! A time when we as Virginians wonder why we did not choose to reside just an itty-bitty-bit more south. Here is a link to the weather recap of winter’s “last hurrah” month. As we were worrying about our early-budding weeping cherries, the local real estate market was buzzing along, prepping for early springtime action…

02.16_SNAPSHOT

02.16_Monthly_Inventory_Charts

02.16_Monthly_SALES_Charts

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .
○  Inventory is waaaay-doooowwwwnnn. Guess what? That’s not a bad thing. In this case, we are slowly-but-surely digesting and ridding our market of the 2014 influx of recession side-effects, (aka foreclosures, short-sales, etc.) Less inventory means a healthier market; higher Average Sales Prices and lower Days on the Market. Classic example of Supply & Demand, ya’ll!

○  Speaking of “Foreclosures, Short-sales, and Bank-owned, OH MY“; our local foreclosure market is 1.6% of active inventory. The lowest it has been in years! (In the past, this percentage has fluctuated between 14-18%.) REO’s (“Real Estate Owned” or “Bank Owned Foreclosure”) made up 20.5% of Jan. 2015’s sales…but have steadily decreased to only 8.8% YTD sales. Woohoo! Let’s hope folks are getting steady on their feet again.

○  Average Sales Price increases 10.7% from Feb 2015. SAY WHAT?! Amazing. **This does NOT account for seller paid concessions. Seller paid closing costs have become quite consistent in the past several years, represented in 45-50% of sales. 46% of Feb ’16 sales had seller paid concessions, averaging at $4719.

○  Days on Market – We are holding steady within a “normal market” (90-120 days) in February with an average of 96 days, and a median of 93 days.

○ By the way, did I mention larger Ranch homes, (2000< sqft) with double garages, listed under $200k are this area’s HOT ITEM. Well, I just did…H-O-T, I said it again.

 W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .
○  Inventory is waaaay-doooowwwwnnn. I know, I just said it wasn’t a bad thing above…BUT if you have money in your pocket and ready to spend some major dough on the house of your dreams, not having a selection to choose from can be very frustrating! (Listen, it happens to me all of the time. When I finally get some alone time AND some chump change, it seems my favorite stores never have anything of interest.) Here’s to Spring and the housing excitement & activity that follows.

○  2014’s Lender underwriting “tighten-up” improvements are still affecting loan approval and closing deadlines. This past fall’s new adjustments to closing procedures has also provided some delays and “hiccups” in the process. COMMUNICATION between all parties is key, as well as lots of PATIENCE, young padawans.

 

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 2.1.16 through 2.29.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

1Q 2017 Real Estate Market Recap: Augusta County, Staunton, & Waynesboro

Low Housing Inventory Saga Continues…Boosting Sale Prices and Lowering Days on Market

RESIDENTIAL SALES: MONTH -TO- MONTH

RESIDENTIAL INVENTORY: MONTH -TO- MONTH…that red line looks so lonely.

ABSORPTION RATES: MONTH -TO- MONTH…

AVERAGE SALES PRICE: MONTH -TO- MONTH…

HOW DID WE COMPARE WITH THE REST OF VIRGINIA?…

All regions of the Commonwealth noted promising news across the board. Below, are some topline stats when compared to the state’s 1Q 2016…

  • Residential Sales were up 7.8%
  • Total Market Volume was up 12.2%
  • Median Sales Price rose from $249,000 -to- $260,000

Click on the link for VAR’s full First Quarter report… 1Q 2017 VIRGINIA HOME SALES REPORT

 

 

* This report was prepared by and for the use of Katherine McNicholas, Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of author.*

* All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 01.1.17 through 03.31.17. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.*

Price Adjusting, Low Supply, & Increasing Rates, Oh MY! A 2016 Home Sales Recap…

2016_snapshot

2016 KEPT US ON OUR TOES!

It was very much a “price adjusting” year, with foreclosures being flushed out, inventory running historically low, instability associated with a presidential election year, and wondering when those darn mortgage rates were going to finally rise! A more detailed, localized look below…

**Looking for a broader point-of-view? I got ya covered, VIRGINIA HOME SALES REPORT – 4Q 2016.

INCREASE IN SALES TRANSACTIONS

According to the US Census, (see below), the Greater Augusta County Area has seen little growth in the 2000’s. So, I was delighted to see the 6% increase in closed transactions, (1511 sales) when compared to the 2015 number, (1426 sales). Highest number of sales occurred during 3Q, (463 total transactions.); with the highest selling month being August, (162 sales transactions.) Aside from the natural recycling of households upsizing & downsizing, we have noticed a segment of folks from our neighboring larger, faster growing cities discovering the easy commute & less expensive real estate this area has to offer. (*Count my household as an example… My husband works in Ch’ville, but Waynesboro’s more laid-back & small town ambiance is a better fit for us.)

  • Augusta County’s population growth, from 4/2010 – 6/2015 was, 0.8%
  • Staunton’s……. 2.8%
  • Waynesboro…… 2.2%
  • Harrisonburg…… 7.4%
  • Charlottesville……7.3%

Projected Population Growth by the Decade – UVA Weldon Cooper Center

Projected Population Growth

(*Visit the Virginia Labor Market Information website for additional specific community profiles, featuring demographic, economic, and educational data.)

LOW INVENTORY

So, the big story for 2016 was the ever depleting supply of available residential inventory. The diminished supply began to affect several facets of our market here, (more on that below). The decrease began in Fall of 2015, and became historic in March of 2016. (You can see below, the dramatic increase in Spring 2014, the unfortunate bi-products of defaulted loans were pumped into the market, and continued to be replenished into Q1 2015.)12-16_inventory

Foreclosures, et al. represented approximately 20% or more of transactions in 2011-Q1 2015.) Though we noted a slight increase of their presence in December’s sales, REO’s & foreclosures have been relatively flushed-out & stabilized, (representing ~10% of 2016 total sales.)

Another contributor to the low housing supply, are the homeowners that, (even after a decade or more of homeownership), have little-to-no equity in their properties. According to an extensive 2013 NAHB study, the average residence turnover time is 13 years. If we use that statistic, a large segment of potential sellers purchased their home around the height of the market. Would YOU sell your home if you knew you were going to lose money? Ummmm, no-thankyouverymuch.

 

Low inventory means not-a-thang if you don’t have buyers…Fortunately, we DO have buyers in the Greater Augusta County and surrounding areas…(I mean, who wouldn’t want to live here!?) A great way to visualize this, is with something called an absorption rate chart…it’s a handy calculation using actual sales and available housing supply data, it’s measured in months. Of course, it isn’t that “black & white”, but it’s a helpful tool for checking the pulse.

2016_2015_absorption_ratesThis measurement tool can be focused to compare neighborhoods, price ranges, etc. and can totally vary depending on data set. For instance, if you were getting ready to put your own home on the market…the absorption rate for properties in your neighborhood & price range are both VERY IMPORTANT items to know. It will help both, you and your agent strategically price your home. As a buyer, (let’s say you were looking for a home last December.) Your preferred price range was $150k to $200k.  The absorption rate for that price range was an average of 2.9 months…With that rate, you need to get your sweetlittletushy out to see the property ASAP. With that said, if your price range was $600k-$650k, the absorption rate in Dec. was 24 months, not quite as urgent. I think you get the jist of it…

 

INCREASE IN LAND SALESyearly_land_sales

So, how did buyers react to restricted choice?…They started purchasing stale inventory at cheaper prices, (thus a huge jump in Average Days on Market back in the Spring.) – AND – they decided the alternative to purchasing existing homes, they decided to BUILD. Check out the stats to the left, s’il vous plais…

INCREASE IN MEDIAN & AVERAGE SALES PRICE

This year we noticed an overall increase of 3% in Average Sales Price. The chart below illustrates the increase, continuing into fourth quarter. *In 2015 & 2014, that line dipped in 4Q, creating more of an arc. I look forward to seeing what happens in 1Q 2017…will it continue to rise? (There is usually a pretty dramatic drop-off in first quarter…the holidays wear people out! But maybe 2017 has something different in-mind…)

2016_med_avg_salesprice

DAYS ON MARKET

2016’s Average DOM was a negligible 1.3% less days than 2015. On the surface, this seems nothing to write home about…the real story is 2016’s whopping decrease in median days by 24%. Remember when I mentioned buyers tapping into stale inventory that was overlooked in the past? That inventory has been on the market for several months, in some cases, years. That is a lot of days skewing into the yearly DOM average. The numbers below are another way to view the higher demand…

dom_compare

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2017…

I’m really, really, really curious to see what happens in First Quarter …Will low-inventory, and the threat of more rate increases, motivate buyers during the usual “slow-down” period? Will the higher interest rates lower sales prices during our high season in 3Q? – OR – Will the lack of supply continue to drop, keeping the demand high? Only time will tell…

Before I leave you with the National Association of Realtor’s 2017 Prediction infographic below, I would like to thank all of those who encouraged me this first year as a real estate agent. I have stepped out of my “homebody” comfort zone, and met some truly wonderful people. Honestly, the word, “clientele” seems so stiff. The families I have met, have become new friends, and what a joy & honor it has been to work with them as a consultant in their home buying/selling process. Its been somewhat of a Mary Tyler Moore moment for me; as I twirl off, throwing my hat in the air…

Ciao – Katherine

 

2017-housing-expectations-12-14-2016-1000w-1453h

 

* This report was prepared by and for the use of Katherine McNicholas, Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of author.*

* All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 01.1.16 through 12.31.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.*

DECEMBER 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

12-16_snapshot2016_sales 12-16_inventoryI N  A  N U T S H E L L  .  .  .

○ We saw a naturally occurring DECREASE in sold transactions for the month of December. A 15% decrease from the November’s “5 year historical high for the month” sales. A more accurate reflection of the market would be the 12 Month-Running-Total, we saw a negligible decrease of 0.3% from last month. The market is slowly, slowly, slowly slowing down.

○  On the other side of the coin…Low Inventory is keeping everyone on their toes. Even with the slightly slower market, properly priced homes within the $150k – $250k range are going quick. (* Especially brick ranch homes, featuring one-level living, a nice dry basement for storage is a-plus.)

  • Average Days on Market = 95 Days, a 12% DECREASE in days from last month.
  • Median Days on Market = 56 Days, a slight 0.8% increase in days from last month.
  • Year-to-Date DOM = 98 Days (one day decrease from last month)
  • 42% of December’s sold inventory was on the market for 45 DAYS or LESS.
  • 27% of December’s sold inventory was on the market for 15 DAYS or LESS.

○  Average Sales Price – Yes, there was a decrease from October ($208,467) to November ($193,139), and then again to December ($190,263)…but overall in 2016, we have noticed a 3% INCREASE.

○  List Price vs. Sales Price – Staying steady with 97%, (Good news! That’s much better than the 94% average from first quarter!)

  • Sales Price vs. List Price: 32% of December’s sales were sold at 100% of their list price…or more!

A N Y T H I N G  E L S E ?  .  .  .

○  News Alert: Fee Cut by FHA Set to Benefit First-Time Buyers –  Read Virginia REALTOR’s blurb on reducing the fees associated with mortgage insurance premiums for First Time Home buyers… Anything helps when rates are increasing 😉 Temporarily Suspended.

As always, Questions…Comments? Call me.

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 12.1.16 through 12.31.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

NOVEMBER 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

11-16_snapshot11-16_sales11-16_inventory

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ INCREASE in real estate transactions, November 2016 (129 sales)  20% increase from last November’s sales (107). The increase in Nov’s numbers equalizes the 20% decrease we noted in last month’s sales. With that said, 2016’s Year-to-Date transactions are at a slight increase of 1.7%, (that is 24 more sold homes than the YTD in Nov. 2015.) The 12-month running total, (a more accurate reflection of the market), mirrors the YTD, with a 1.6% INCREASE from October.

○  Average Days on Market = 107 Days; Median Days on Market = 51 Days ; Year-to-Date DOM = 99 (this is probably the more reliable number.)

  • About 47% of November’s sold inventory was available on the market for 45 DAYS or LESS.
    • 53% of those sales were on the market for 15 DAYS or LESS.

○  Average Sales Price – Yes, there was a decrease from October ($208,467)…but overall, this area has noticed a 6% INCREASE in 2016. The historically low inventory is slowly pushing prices up, as well as creating somewhat of a seller’s market. Appropriately priced homes, especially those under $200k, are flying off of the shelves!

  • Sales Price vs. List Price: 37% of November’s sales were sold at 99% of their list price…or more.
  • Seller Paid Closing Costs – 46% of transactions incl. these terms, with an average of $4823 paid.

According to Absorption Rates, Interested in which price bracket moved the fastest in November?…

  • 1.9 Months – $200,000 – $209,999 (10 currently active listings / 32 sales in the last 6 months)
  • 2.1 Months – $100,000 – $109,999 (10 currently active listings / 29 sales in the last 6 months)
  • 2.1 Months – $170,000 – $179,999 (18 currently active listings / 51 sales in the last 6 months)
  • 2.5 Months – $210,000 – $219,999 (18 currently active listings / 44 sales in the last 6 months)
  • 2.7 Months – $150,000 – $159,999 (23 currently active listings / 52 sales in the last 6 months)

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○ Selling your home at $400,000 and above. They represented only 1% of November’s sales. The absorption rate for this price bracket is over one year…yes, I said YEAR…and it just keeps getting longer the higher you go up in price. Again, it is all about perspective though…it IS beneficial to be a buyer in this price range because of the lack of other buyer competitors.

○ Low appraisals – Appraisers use previous sales when calculating value. Remember, that the sales prices reflected in comparables are even older than their closing date. The price was negotiated, at least, a month prior to the closing, possibly three months prior. The uptick in pricing occurring at the moment won’t be found in the comps. If an appraisal comes in low…its back to the table for all parties. A pretty stressful event, especially as banks delay the appraisal until the last minute.

On to December, my friends.

As always, Questions…Comments? Call me.

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 11.1.16 through 11.30.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

OCTOBER 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

10-16_snapshot10-16_sales10-16_inventory

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○  INCREASE in Average Sales Price…a 16.5% increase since Jan 2016. Whoppers. October’s average sales price was $208,900, that is a 2016 high, folks.

  • 52% of October’s transactions included seller paid closing costs, an average of $4850 was paid.

○  Average Days on Market = 96 Days; Median Days on Market = 56 Days  (**A normal market is considered to be 90-120 days. Besides that blip in the spring when Average DOM jumped to over 170 Days, we have been in a normal market all year. )

  • About 46% of October’s sold inventory was available on the market for 30 DAYS or LESS.
    • 50% of those sales were on the market for 15 DAYS or LESS.

○  Based off of the running 12 month’s sales, October’s absorption rate is at 7 months. (This reflects a slightly slower market.)

*Absorption Rate = the number of all active listings, including pending sales, divided by the number of monthly sales. It represents the number of months it would take to sell the actively listed properties currently on the market if no other properties were added, 6 Months is considered “normal”. So, in October 2016 it would take 7 months to sell everything active, (including those homes Under Contract.) This number can be broken down by price range, location, etc.

According to Absorption Rates, Interested in which price bracket moved the fastest in October?…

  • 2.1 Months – $200,000-$209,900 (10 currently active listings / 28 sales in the last 6 months)
  • 2.6 Months – $170,000-$179,999 (20 currently active listings / 47 sales in the last 6 months)
  • 2.7 Months – $100,000-$109,999 (12 currently active listings / 27 sales in the last 6 months)
  • 2.9 Months – $210,000-219,999 (19 currently active listings / 40 sales in the last 6 months)

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○ The organic decline in sales associated with Fall and the busy, busy, busy holiday season. Don’t fret, October 2016 Year-to-date residential sales (1265) compared to October 2015 Year-to-date (1265) is even. When comparing month-to-month…

  • DECLINE in October 2016 sales (101) vs. October 2015 sales (129).
  • Slight DECREASE of 1.1% in the 12 month running total. (Slowing of the market.)

○ Housing inventory down 3% from September 2016…the inventory is almost level with last winter, Dec 2015. Can it go any lower? What will happen this Spring? The anticipation is killing me!

On to November, my friends!

As always, Questions…Comments? Call me.

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 10.1.16 through 10.31.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

SEPTEMBER 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

09-16_snapshot09-16_sales09-16_inventory

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ “…and the saga continues…” Who thought the inventory could get any lower? Well, it has. 15% lower than last year. Are you thinking about selling your home? Stop thinking…and start DOING. This is your moment.

○  The lack of supply has caused a slight INCREASE of 3.4% in Average Sales Price from August. Overall, 2016 has been more stable within in the $180k (low in Jan.) – $200k (high in July) range. An improvement from the past few years, which has been all over the board.

  • 30% of September’s transactions sold for 100% OR MORE of Listing Price.

○  Average Days on Market = 85 Days; Median Days on Market = 45 Days  (**A normal market is considered to be 90-120 days. Besides that blip in the spring when Average DOM jumped to over 170 Days, we have been in a normal market all year. )

  • About 40% of September’s Sales were available on the market for 30 DAYS or LESS.
    • 68.5% of those sales were on the market for 15 DAYS or LESS.

○  For a broader Virginia snapshot, Check out Commonwealth Daily’s 3rd Quarter Real Estate Report.

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○ Folks, I think we have started the seasonal Autumn sales decline. September 2016 (140 sales) saw 11% LESS closed transactions than August 2016 (158 sales). Don’t fret, September 2016 residential sales (140) compared to September 2015 (139) is basically a wash. Even with the decline in sales as we head into colder weather…

  • Sept 2016’s Year-To-Date sales slight INCREASE of 1.4% over September 2015 Year-To-Date sales.
  • Sept 2016’s 12 Month Running Total (1512) is a 0.3% INCREASE over last month’s.

○ The decrease in sales during the “slower” winter months could hamper attitudes towards putting your house on the market. Two items to digest…

  1. The historic low in available inventory provides less competition for those anxiously trying to sell their home. This is very good.
  2. The quality of buyers looking for homes in the winter are s-e-r-i-o-u-s. Meaning, their intention and motivation for looking is fo’ real. Spring and summer weekend house-hunting can turn into a hobby for some buyers. If people are fighting the wind and cold during the holiday season to view your property…they aren’t messin’ around.

 

As always, Questions…Comments? Call me. May the Force be with you.

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 9.1.16 through 9.30.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

It all started with a house… The Patrick House: 337 Chestnut Avenue

337_chestnut

It all started with a house…

In this specific case, the house located at 337 Chestnut Avenue. This American Folk Victorian is nestled into the base of a hill surrounded by mature trees and next to local landmarks such as Fishburne Military School, (est. 1879), the public library, the Downtown Historic District, and some of the oldest architecture in the city. Its neighborhood is one of Waynesboro’s first-born subdivisions, the Historic Tree Streets, (designated in 2002.) The Waynesboro Company, (chartered in 1889), was one of several residential developers to take advantage of the significant economical growth at the turn of the 20th century; due in part to the appearance of the Norfolk & Western Railroad, and the industrialization happening across the river in the newly incorporated town of Basic City. The W’boro Co. purchased the majority of their 251 acre tract from John G. Guthrie and wife, then known as the Callahan Farm in Jan 1890. The future residential development was advertised as the premier place to live. According to local historian, George Hawke, the company’s prospectus touted “abundant water, ‘untold mineral wealth’, fine schools & churches“.

The Waynesboro Company upheld their residential vision of elegance by establishing deed covenants. New owners were prohibited from building closer than fifteen feet to front lot lines, were encouraged to “plant shade trees and otherwise beautify” their surroundings. As a quality control measure, the new build must be valued at $1000 or more.

The Waynesboro Company Plat Map Image courtesy of Augusta County Courthouse, Staunton VA

The Waynesboro Company Plat Map, Deed Book 109 Pg 192
Augusta County Courthouse, Staunton VA

 

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The heart of a home…

An experienced contractor once told me that you can “judge the integrity of a home by its heart, its newel post.” Well, the Patrick House boasts not just one newel post, but TWO s-t-u-r-d-y newel posts which gracefully lead to the upstairs. Its present and past owners sure have had a lot of heart as well. The current owner, Mr. Robin Hersey bought the home in 1982 from the last of the three generations that resided there.

 

Waynesboro, VA in 1891

Waynesboro, VA in 1891 – Population: May 1st, 1890 – 1,000 / May 1st 1891 – 2,500

 

In April of 1890, Mrs. Hettie Caruthers Massie Patrick purchased 337 Chestnut Ave as a real estate investment from The Waynesboro Company. Conveniently, the counsel of said W’boro Co. was Mrs. Patrick’s esteemed son, William Patrick. (*Side Note – Mr. Patrick was deeply involved in the progression of Waynesboro. He was also a well-respected and prominent attorney practicing in near-by Staunton. He was a major contributor to the construction and design of the current Augusta County Courthouse, c. 1901. Mr. Patrick hired the same architect, T.J. Collins, to design his own Queen Anne Victorian residence in Staunton.)

 

1890, View from Walnut. 337 Chestnut Ave being built. Bowman, Curtis L. Waynesboro Days of Yore, Vol 2, pg 31.

1890, View from Walnut.
337 Chestnut Ave under construction.
Bowman, Curtis L. Waynesboro Days of Yore, Vol 2, pg 31.

 

Mrs. H. C. Massie Patrick was born in 1823, the daughter of Nathaniel Massie and Mary Susan Woods Massie in Waynesboro, Va. Her father was a successful merchant and Virginia house delegate prior to the Civil War. The Massie’s were some of Waynesboro’s earliest “movers & shakers” . Miss Hettie lived in Waynesboro until marrying Maj. William Patrick.

Maj. Wm Patrick (1822-Sept 3, 1862)

Maj. Wm Patrick
(1822-Sept 3, 1862)

Maj. William Patrick was the second son in the equally pedigreed Patrick family. Maj. Wm Patrick’s lineage can be traced back to his Scotch-Irish immigrant descendants who purchased land from Robert Turk in the mid-1700’s. The Patrick homestead, Locust Isle, is located a few miles north of W’boro along Rockfish Rd. This is where Hettie lived the majority of her adult life. Maj. Patrick, then a Captain, led Company E out of Waynesboro as the war began but was wounded while leading the charge as a Major of the 17th Virginia Cavalry. Tragically, he was killed at the Second Battle of Manassas in Sept. 1862.

He fell in the attack while setting an example of gallantry to his men well worthy of imitation.” [Battle of Second Manassas: Official report of Lieut. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson]

“…He lived long enough to witness the triumph of our arms and expired thus in the arms of victory. The sacrifice was noble, but the loss to us irreparable.” [J .E. B. Stuart]

“…I was greatly attached to William, not only as a brother in law, but as an old friend of my childhood & early school days – There were few I had a higher respect of regard for personally & none I shall miss more- no more highminded honorable gentleman, and no braver truer spirit fought and fell on the sacred soil of Manassas…” [Letter from Hettie’s brother, N. H. Massie dated Sept. 9, 1862]

Letter from N.H. Massie, Hettie’s brother. (Original of this digital image is housed in: Special Collections, Univ. of Virginia, Ch’ville, VA 22904-4110)

 

Though Maj. Wm Patrick’s service and ultimate sacrifice brought honor to the family, Mrs. Patrick was left a widow to raise her five children alone. The story of his death was their infant daughter, Nannie’s cradle song. Nannie “grew up strong and self-reliant, gracious and vivacious in her manner and attractive in her person“, attributed to her mother, Hettie’s “strong personality“. Hettie became the family matriarch, and along with her younger & physically limited brother-in-law, James, was responsible for keeping Locust Isle running during the harsh Reconstruction years after the Civil War. Maj. Patrick had incurred considerable debt during his time in service, and those creditors came ‘a calling soon after the war’s end. Mrs. Patrick was forced to sell any holdings her dearly departed husband had in exchange for keeping the family homestead.

 

Locust Isle FOR RENT Staunton Spectator: Aug 9th, 1870.

Patrick Homestead, Locust Isle FOR RENT
Staunton Spectator: Aug 9th, 1870.

 

Mrs. H. C. Patrick moved back to Waynesboro and officially lived in 337 Chestnut Ave the Fall of 1907.  (She acquired neighboring lots 7 & 8 from the heirs of Dr. John S. Myers at this time.) She lived there with her son, Charles M. Patrick, her widowed daughter, Nannie M. Arbuckle, and her granddaughter, Marian “May” D. Arbuckle. Even though the family had lived out in the country previously, they had identified as townsfolk. They regularly attended W’boro’s First Presbyterian Church, (located in the old Valley News-Virginian building prior to moving to its current location on Wayne Ave in 1911), and the majority of their friends lived in town.

 

A View from across the River, 1907-1911. Tree Street district is upper third of image.

A View from across the River, 1907-1911. Tree Street District is upper third of image. (Bowman, Curtis L. Waynesboro Days of Yore, Vol 1)

 

The transition to the city was almost seamless except for Charles missing his horses. Even though he was still managing the Locust Isle farm regularly, he missed having his furry companions close-by. In 1910, he had the “stable” built out back for his own horse and an extra for the ladies to use when needed. (The present small garage facing the alley.) Miss May mentions in her 1977 interview that they never would have purchased their first car, if her Uncle Charlie’s last horse hadn’t died. (In case you are interested – According to Miss May, “Doc Smith, the dentist” was the first Waynesborian to own an automobile.)

In April 1910, Mrs. Hettie C.M. Patrick passed away.  She was described as being “a woman of queenly presence, fine, gentle, and motherly, filling all of the stations of life with dignity and grace.” (*Mental Note: Leave this description with family member for inclusion in my own obituary.) Charles and Nannie inherited both Locust Isle and the home on Chestnut. Miss May spent much of her time taking care of her often ill mother. After Nannie’s passing in 1921, Miss May took care of her Uncle Charles, who left this earth in 1930.

 

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At some point the house was separated into two apartments with Miss May renting out one side to D. K. Coolidge. (The only present evidence of this division is the “second” door on the front porch.) Miss May spent her days as a contributing member of First Presbyterian Church, the Library Board in the early 1900’s, as well as on the Hospital Board in the 1940’s. She was close with many neighbors on her street, specifically mentioning Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Guy Hamilton as her “great friends”. In her 1978 interview, she mentioned their namesakes were used in naming the popular Baldwin Sisters from the 1970’s hit, The Waltons. The director of The Homecoming: A Walton’s Christmas special was Fielder Cook. He visited W’boro as a youth, and as an adult he would visit Miss May.

337 Chestnut is currently for sale, listed for $279,900, (Click here to see more property details.) The home has four large bedrooms & two and a half baths. Original craftsmanship can be seen and felt throughout. The home has an updated kitchen, featuring a Thermador six-burner gas range and glass fronted maple cabinets. If you wish to continue this home’s early 20th century legacy of hosting afternoon Euchre card games, please give me a jingle.

Appropriately, I leave you with Miss May’s personal sentiments regarding her home…

 

“Well, I’ll tell you, houses that were built when this one was built, were built well. I wouldn’t trade my old house for these new things that warp before you get into ’em.”

– Miss Marian “May” Dabney Arbuckle, (1886-1981) , [March 9th, 1978 Interview, Oral Histories of Waynesboro, Vol 1.]

 

 

K A T H E R I N E  M c N I C H O L A S,    REALTOR®

540.256.2258

katheartshomes@outlook.com

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