Charlottesville Last Minute Shopping

Small shops in Charlottesville, VA

For last-minute Christmas shopping in Charlottesville, VA, consider these top 10 small stores:

  1. Agents in Style: Luxury consignment store with high-end brands.
  2. BitterSweet: Chic boutique with locally designed clothes and jewelry.
  3. Bottle House: Wine shop offering quality selections and tastings.
  4. Brigid & Bess: Unique decor and artisan items, perfect for gifting.
  5. Darling Boutique and Dashing: Secondhand and artisan combo store for sustainable fashion and gifts.
  6. Rock Paper Scissors: Custom paper store ideal for unique invitations and gifts.
  7. C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery: Offers local art, crafts, and unique handmade gifts.
  8. Derriere de Soie: Lingerie boutique for luxurious and intimate gifts.
  9. O’Suzannah: Quaint store with an eclectic mix of gifts, stationery, and home goods.
  10. Telegraph Art & Comics: Perfect for comic book enthusiasts and art lovers.

These stores offer a diverse range of options for all tastes, ensuring a unique and thoughtful gift for anyone on your list.

Horse Farm for Sale in Madison County Virginia

This beautiful horse farm for sale in Madison County Virginia could possibly fulfill your horse farm dreams!  On the 33+/-acres you will find

Indoor Riding Arena

Indoor Riding Ring in Virginia

Outdoor Riding Ring

Horse Farm in Virginia for Sale

Nine Stall Stable

Virginia Horse Stable for Sale

Lucas Equine Stall Fronts

Lucas Equine Stall Fronts

Wash Stall

Horse Farm in Charlottesville VA

12′ x 12′ Matted Stalls

Nine Horse Stalls

Heated Tack Room

Tack Room at VA Horse Farm for Sale

Bright Attached Apartment

Madison County VA Horse Farm for Sale

Everything you can imagine for your dream Virginia Horse Farm! Visit the website for more details about this beautiful horse farm for sale in Madison County Virginia.

Buying Real Estate in Virginia

Did you know that Virginia is one of the few caveat emptor (buyer beware) states in the country?  Most buyers coming outside of the state expect to see a long list of disclosure items from the seller.  For example:  Dishwasher works, stove works, there is an easement across the property and so forth.  In Virginia, the seller has to tell you very little about the property.  When you make an offer on a property, you will be given a Summary of Rights and a Residential Disclosure form to sign.  You would be wise to read these documents and ask some questions about the property.

Here are some of the items that the seller does not need to disclose.  This list comes from the link off of the Residential Disclosure Form.

  1. The Seller makes no representations or warranties about the property, the improvements and if there are any covenants and restrictions.
  2. The Seller makes no representations pertaining to the adjacent parcels.  That beautiful field across the street could become the next high-density development or the county dump and the Seller does not have to tell you.
  3. The Seller makes no representation as to whether the property is in a historic district and if you need to go before a board for approval prior to making any changes to the home or property.
  4.  The Seller makes no representations as to if the property is in a resource protection area.
  5.  The Seller makes no representation if there are any registered sexual offenders in the area.
  6.  The Seller makes no representation as to whether the property is within a dam break inundation zone.
  7.  The Seller makes no representation as to if there are any stormwater detention facilities n the property or if there are if there are any maintenance agreements on it.
  8.  The Seller makes no representations about the wastewater system and if there are any regulations pertaining to it.
  9.  The Seller makes no representation as to whether you can place solar panels on your home or property.
  10.  The Seller makes no representation that the property is in a flood zone and if flood insurance is required.
  11.   The Seller makes no representation that the property is or is not under a conservation easement or any other type of easement.
  12.   The Seller makes no representation as to whether the property is subject to a community development authority.

Most Sellers and their agents will do the proper thing and make you aware of potential problems.  If the Seller’s agent is aware of a problem and it lies within the property boundaries, then the agent must disclose the problem.

So, what does the Seller have to tell you?

  • If there have been any mining operations on the property.
  • If the property is located in a locality with a military installation.
  • If the home has defective drywall.
  • If the home has pending building code or zoning ordinance violations.
  • If the property has been used to manufacture meth.  Yes, like a Seller is going to really tell his agent this.  Nevertheless, it is the law!
  • If the property septic system has an operating permit that cannot be transferred.

So, what is a buyer to do????  Do some research at the courthouse to find out about covenants and restrictions, easements, historic districts and adjacent parcels.  Talk to your insurance agent about insuring the property.  Get the well and septic permits, if they exist, from the county health department.  Look at the county website for zoning permits and zoning districts.  Look at the FEMA website for flood zones.

It never hurts to ask lots of questions and to do your due diligence!


Red Horse Farm in Virginia

Looking for a horse farm in Virginia?  Red Horse Farm in Elkton, near Harrisonburg, has lots to offer the horse or small farm enthusiast.  The beautiful and practical one-level home offers stunning mountain views looking out towards the Shenandoah National Park and Massanutten Ski Resort.

Red Horse Farm in Virginia
Red Horse Farm in Virginia

The large barn currently has eight stalls but could be expanded for more or remove them and have a fabulous workshop.

Virginia Horse Farm
Virginia Horse Farm

Horse Stable at Red Horse Farm
Horse Stable at Red Horse Farm

The Stable includes a wash stall with hot and cold water and a conditioned tack room.

Stall with Dutch Doors
Stall with Dutch Doors

Horse Wash Stall in Stable
Wash Stall

Going back to the house, there is a fabulous patio with built in grill.  This is perfect for entertaining in the warmer months.

Patio at Red Horse Farm
Patio at Red Horse Farm

The expansive kitchen has room for multiple chefs and a great island for the non-chefs to hang out.  Notice the beautiful views out the windows.

Chef's kitchen
Chef’s Kitchen with amazing views of the mountains.

Relax in the spacious den with fireplace.

Mountain views at Red Horse Farm
Views from den at Red Horse Farm

The three-bedroom home offers a split bedroom design with a large master bedroom suite that encompasses one end of the house.

Master Bedroom at Red Horse Farm
Master Bedroom at Red Horse Farm

The large master bath offers an additional Jacuzzi Room.

Master Bathroom at Red Horse Farm
Master Bathroom at Red Horse Farm

Relax at the end of the day.

Spa at Red Horse Farm
Spa at Red Horse Farm

For more details about this spectacular small farm on 41+/- acres, click here.

Virginia Farmhouse for Sale

Just minutes from the town of Orange, you can find this Virginia Farmhouse for sale. Currently used as a Bed and Breakfast, this farmhouse combines classic old home charm with today’s modern home necessities.Virginia Farmhouse for Sale in Orange County VA
Below is one of the lovely farmhouse porches. This one is off of the first floor master suite which could also serve as an office or for an Air BnB rental.
Orange County Virginia Farmhouse for Sale
The classic barn is currently used as an event venue but is also suitable for most types of livestock.
Virginia Barn in Orange County
The wonderful kitchen is equipped for the home chef.
Virginia Farnhouse kitchen
Enjoy serving meals in the lovely dining room.
Dining room in Virginia farmhouse
Four bedrooms are on the second level. Three are en suite.
Comfortable bedroom in a Virginia Farmhouse for Sale
The rear of the home offers a large deck and patio area.
Virginia Farm house for Sale
To learn more about this wonderful Virginia Farmhouse, click here. Or call Gayle Harvey Real Estate at 434-220-0256.

Charlottesville Area Real Estate Taxes

The Charlottesville area is very fortunate to have reasonable real estate taxes, as compared to other areas in the country.  Below is a list of the 2018 local real estate tax rates.  All of the counties except for Buckingham County offer reduced rates for various types of agriculture and forest uses.  A property has to qualify for land use and applications must be made and renewed periodically.


ALBEMARLE .839/cents per $100
CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE .95/cents per $100
AMHERST .61/cents per $100
AUGUSTA .63/cents per $100
BUCKINGHAM .55/cents per $100
FLUVANNA .939/cents per $100
GREENE .775/cents per $100
LOUISA .72/cents per $100
MADISON .68/cents per $100
NELSON .72/cents per $100
ORANGE .804/cents per $100
CULPEPER .67/cents per $100
ROCKINGHAM .74/cents per $100


The 5 Best Pancake Restaurants in Charlottesville, Virginia

For an indulgent breakfast, warm, rich pancakes are hard to beat. While Stone Age cooks were believed to be grinding flour and cooking it in hot patties as long as 30,000 years ago, the first American pancake, or “Johny Cake” as they were once called, appeared in a cookbook in 1796. If you’re looking for modern day pancakes in Charlottesville, VA, be sure to try the wonderful pancake dishes offered at the 5 restaurants below:

1. The Nook

The Nook in downtown Charlottesville is a popular weekend breakfast and brunch spot for good reason. Their breakfast portions are tasty, hardy, and skillfully prepared. With lovely, aged mahogany booths, a bar, and an outdoor café, The Nook, which has been in operation since 1951, is a great breakfast spot (and is open for other meals as well). Their fluffy buttermilk pancakes and full breakfast menu are available all day.

2. Tip Top Restaurant

Tip Top on Pantops also serves breakfast all day, as well as lunch and dinner. With retro diner décor, ample seating, and quick service, Tip Top is a great choice when you need to scratch an itch for old-fashioned, traditional breakfast. Also, if you’re looking for a wide variety of pancakes, they offer buttermilk, buckwheat, corn, chocolate chip, strawberry, banana nut, and pecan.

3. Blue Moon Diner

With breakfast all day and weekend brunch specials, the old school and eclectic Blue Moon Diner on Main St. does breakfast right. They offer their delicious buttermilk griddle cakes in a three-stack or as one single on the side. For a fun surprise addition, the pancakes come topped with powdered sugar that is stenciled into images and portraits from retro and contemporary pop culture. They are also open for lunch and dinner and regularly have local live music in the evenings.

4. Bluegrass Grill and Bakery

Just across the train tracks from the downtown mall lies Bluegrass Grill and Bakery, in The Glass Building, and they’ve been open since 2011. It’s made from scratch fare is very savory, plentiful, and popular; on a weekend morning you may want to get there early and be prepared for a possible short wait. But planning ahead is well worth it, because their rich buttermilk or honey wheat biscuits in stacks of two or four won’t disappoint. Their website shares this description from a review in The New York Times: “hearty southern comfort fare.”

5. The Flat: Takeaway Crêperie

If you prefer thin, sweet crepes to thicker pancakes, The Flat specializes in delicious, warm crepes offered with a variety of savory and sweet fillings.  They are located on the Water St. side of the downtown mall and are open at 11 Friday-Saturday and at 10 on Sunday. Their “Greene Eggs” and “Hangover Relief” breakfast crepes are served all day. The Flat is a charming, compact space and has limited seating, so you may be taking your crepes to go.

Because Charlottesville has such a diverse and thriving restaurant scene, this list is certainly not exhaustive. But hopefully it will give pancake breakfast fans and connoisseurs some good ideas of where to start exploring Charlottesville’s pancake offerings. Enjoy!

Charlottesville Named Best Small City for Living Well

Trulia recently released a new online feature “Living Well Maps” which aim to help prospective home buyers get a better feel for neighborhoods.  The data takes a look at features such as Quiet Streets, Great Places to Play, as well as Care and Essentials.  Using this data the team at Trulia found something we have known all along.  Charlottesville, VA was ranked the #1 place to live for living well in a small metro (population under 1 million).Additionally, a neighborhood just north of downtown, Locust Grove, was named the best neighborhood for living well! From Trulia “Those looking to live well in a small city would be best off in the Locust Grove neighborhood of Charlottesville, Va. Locust Grove sits just north of downtown Charlottesville, and boasts a high concentration of play-centric amenities such as the Meadow Creek golf course and numerous playgrounds. It’s also nestled between three large parks and is quiet – over half of it’s streets have low traffic volume. Another added bonus: It’s close, but not too close, to the University of Virginia, which is full of restaurants, bars, and bookstores.”

We are thrilled to see Charlottesville getting more recognition as a wonderful place to live.

To read the article in full click here.

The Top 5 Burgers in Charlottesville

burger-1150315_1280Burgers come in many shapes, sizes, and personalities. One person’s favorite burger will not satisfy another. That being said, if you are a burger lover, you will not be disappointed by the burger offerings in Charlottesville, Va. Below are five that are not to be missed.

The Cheeseburger @ Riverside Lunch

This casual, friendly, and reliable local diner offers delicious, classic, old-time burgers and quick service. As their Facebook page extolls, they are “[t]he ORIGINAL Riverside Lunch since 1935 and ‘Flat out, STILL the best burgers in town!’” The burgers are compact, delicious, and very satisfying, as are the onion rings. Riverside Lunch is appropriately located a few blocks from the river near Route 250, between Pantops and Downtown, on Hazel St., which is just off E High St.

The Mini @ Citizen Burger Bar

As described on their menu, The Mini’s main ingredient is a “4oz griddle-smashed Timbercreek Angus.” Add the American cheese, iceberg lettuce, onion, citizen sauce, and a potato roll, and you’ve got a mouth full of happiness. Citizen Burger Bar focuses on offering local and fresh ingredients and they also have a great vegan patty. They have a big restaurant with a long bar and outdoor seating and they still manage to stay quite busy in their central downtown mall location.

The Zinburger @ Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar

This namesake burger is really a savory treat. You may be unsure what a wine and burger bar would be like, and will be pleased to find a hip, bustling, open space with delicious fare. Their menu shares that this treat is “topped with Manchego Cheese, Zinfandel Braised Onions, Lettuce & Mayo,” and it’s a full meal. The Manchego sheep’s milk cheese is a wonderful, zesty topper. Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar is at Barrack’s Road Shopping Center.

The Danny Laruso @ Jack Brown’s

The first Jack Brown’s was opened near JMU in Harrisonburg, and recently opened up on the downtown mall in Charlottesville.  All burgers are made with all natural Wagyu Beef and come with unique toppings and an amazing special sauce. Our go-to is the Danny Laruso topped with cream cheese and a jalapeno jelly.  Make sure to order a side of fries and a craft beer from their large list.

The Varsity @ Boylan Heights

This organic burger with cheddar, tomato, chili, fried onion rings, hot sauce, ranch, and even jalapenos, is not for the faint of heart or appetite, especially as it comes with a choice of side as well (the sweet potato fries are great). But if you crave a spicy and hearty burger, you’ll be glad to try this unique and delicious one from the “Dean’s List” section of the menu at Boylan Heights, on the UVA corner.  

If you find that you want to try more Charlottesville burgers, check out the Bison Burger at Beer Run, the Blue Burger at Blue Moon Diner, and the Firefly Cheeseburger with sriracha aioli.

5 Reasons Living in Belmont is Amazing

BelmontBelmont is a popular Charlottesville, VA neighborhood, located right off the downtown pedestrian mall, and steeped in culture, history, beauty, and modern convenience.

Here’s a little history on the early growth of Belmont: Belmont, the neighborhood, was born when the Belmont Land Company purchased the remaining property of the late Slaughter W. Ficklin, owner of the Belle-Mont estate. James H. Buck Jr. shares in Belmont: The History of a Neighborhood that the other main influences that led to the establishment of Belmont were: “the old Three Notched or Three Chopt Road that connected Charlottesville with Richmond…the old Scottsville Road (presently Sixth Street in Charlottesville)…[and] the flourishing of railroad activity in the late 1800s.”

Through the decades Belmont evolved and grew, and with its central location and a variety of places to eat, hear music, shop, play, and live, it is truly at the heart of Charlottesville, and a beautiful place to call home. Here are 5 reasons why living in Belmont today is amazing:

1. The Plentiful Food and Drink

Belmont is full of wonderful places to eat, drink, and be merry. In downtown Belmont, the area closest to the downtown mall, restaurants, art galleries, and convenience stores are conveniently interspersed among the residential streets. Belmont offers a variety of choices, ranging from the delicious locally sourced meals available at The Local to the incredible, award-winning beer selection and organic fare at Beer Run. When you’re in Belmont, any palette or preference can be pleased somewhere nearby. Here are a few highlights in available fare:

  • Tavola Restaurant, offers upscale and exquisite Italian fare. It’s a perfect choice for an intimate and truly decadent night out (try the gnocchi!).
  • Mas, just a few doors down from Tavola, offers a fun and fresh atmosphere serving an inspired (and ever changing) tapas menu.
  • Lampo, a small and intimate space serving delicious wood-fired pizzas and other locally sourced entrees.  Best part is the pizza scissors to cut your own slice!
  • Spudnuts was opened in 1969 by Richard Wingfield. His daughter, Lori, runs it today and continues to keep Charlottesville residents happy with their fabulous potato based donuts. If you’ve never had a spudnut, you really must try a classic glazed spudnut as well as the blueberry cake variety. They often sell out by noon so plan on a morning visit.

2. Proximity to Downtown Charlottesville and Music Venues

  • The Pavilion: This large venue adjacent to the Belmont Bridge brings nationally and even internationally known and celebrated musical artists of every genre to Charlottesville. This outdoor arena with both a covered and grassy area also hosts the free weekly concert series, Fridays after 5, from April to September.
  • The Jefferson Theater, built in 1912 and renovated in 2006, is a historic, indoor theatre on the downtown mall that currently thrives as a popular music venue.
  • The Paramount Theater, originally built in 1931 as a movie theatre, was fully renovated in 2004 and now is a successful community performing arts venue. In 2015 they even re-illuminated their historic, massive blade sign with retro blinking lights.
  • The Restaurants and Shops Downtown range from hotdog stands, an elegant movie theatre with a built in restaurant (The Violet Crown) to a selection of award winning international cuisine. Also keep in mind a visit to the Virginia Discovery Museum, the various art galleries, and The McGuffey Art Center.

3. The Views

  • The Views from Belmont Park: This hilltop park, completed in 1915, offers 360 degree panoramic views of Charlottesville and the Blue Bridge Mountains to the west. With benches, a picnic shelter, playground, basketball court, and water play area, it’s a peaceful and fun place for community members to gather.
  • The Views from the Belmont Bridge: The current version of the Belmont Bridge was built in 1961 to connect Ninth St. and Avon St. Belmont residents enjoy crossing this bridge by car or foot to easily reach downtown. When you walk over the bridge, I highly recommend pausing as the bridge goes over the train tracks; you will see a unique view of Charlottesville’s downtown stretching before you that is particularly charming at sunset.
  • The Belmont neighborhood also went through a beautification between 1996 and 1999, which entailed the addition of new paved crosswalks, trees, and planters throughout downtown Belmont.

4. The Art and Culture

Belmont, like Charlottesville as a whole, blooms with culture and artistic expression.

  • The Bridge PAI (progressive arts initiative) is a local gallery and community organization that focuses on authentic art projects that include, invigorate, and express the local community. This art center is located next to the Belmont Bridge (across from Spudnuts).
  • The nearby IX Art Park on 2nd St. offers outdoor food truck catered concerts, art openings, flea markets, drawing parties, and a variety of other fun activities for young and old.
  • The Innovative Tom Tom Festival’s Belmont Block party is a free yearly celebration that brings the neighborhood together for music, food, and even collaborative street art.

5. Convenience and Accessibility

While Belmont is an active, engaging, and fulfilling place to live all on its own, it also offers convenient access to other popular and useful parts of town. These include:

  • Pantops, an area offering additional shopping and eating options, accessible via High St. and Route 250.
  • Interstate 64, which links to Richmond, Waynesboro, and beyond, via Monticello Ave. or 5th Street.
  • Scottsville, a lovely small town to the south along the James River, well worth a visit, accessible via Route 20.
  • UVA, the acclaimed educational institution and cultural center designed by Thomas Jefferson, reachable from Belmont via Cherry Ave.

Belmont offers its community members enjoyable activities, charming residential neighborhoods, and convenience. It is located near the intersections of several major travel routes yet remains local, welcoming, and friendly. It is an amazing place to live for the reasons listed above, and offers unique access to many of Charlottesville’s cultural delights.

Buck, James H., Jr. “Belmont: The History of a Neighborhood.” Web. 7 Mar. 2016. Published May, 1980 in Charlottesville, VA