The Rapp for May 3

Realty Rapp

Is the local real estate market slowing?

At last count there were 85 homes for sale in Rappahannock County, 18 of which were listed in the first quarter of 2018, compared to 46 during the same period in 2017. The last time inventory was this low was in February 2015.

Meanwhile, 17 residential properties sold in the first quarter of 2018 in Rappahannock County, compared to 21 in the same quarter of 2017. Year-to-date, transactions are down 14 percent, although that represents only four sales, observes Adam Beroza, vice president of sales and marketing at Cheri Woodard Realty.

The majority of the decrease is in the $250,000 to $500,000 range, which is down 53 percent.

Year to date, homes are selling 7 percent below list price. The average list price for all homes on the market is $875,178 and the average days on market is 338.

As for land sales, 7 properties sold in 2018’s first quarter, as compared to 12 properties in the first quarter of 2017. Land sales are down 42 percent. No lots over 50 acres have sold so far in 2018.There are currently 58 lots on the market.

Wildflower Weekend

Native spring wildflowers and children’s creativity will be celebrated during Shenandoah National Park’s 32nd annual Wildflower Weekend — as in this coming weekend, May 5-6.

Special hikes and programs will focus on the diversity and value of hundreds of species of flowering plants that are protected by the park. Visitors may also view the winning entries in the park’s annual “Youth Art in the Park” wildflower art contest. The top-winning works will be exhibited at Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51 on Skyline Drive) from May 5-12, and at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6) from May 13-20. Winning artists will be recognized in a ceremony at noon Saturday, May 6, at Byrd Visitor Center.

Special features this year are a botanical art workshop by watercolor artist Betty Gatewood (Saturday only), and a citizen-science phenology project led by ranger Chrissy Cochran (both days). Both events start at Byrd Visitor Center. All materials will be provided. Adults and children are welcome.

New this year is a one-way, 1.5-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail from Skyland to Timber Hollow Overlook. A van will return drivers to their cars afterward. There will also be a new hike on the 4-mile Saddleback Mountain loop. Easier hikes include strolls at Franklin Cliffs and Crescent Rock overlooks. There will also be a bird walk, hikes to waterfalls and peaks, and hikes on other favorite wildflower trails.

Getting Greener

The Reformed Piedmont Green Party (RPG), a local grassroots political organization, announces its reorganization in offering community support and membership within Rappahannock County.

Former founding members of the original Piedmont Green Party have reorganized the group, along with leadership from the Socialist Caucus of the state Green Party of Virginia, “re-dedicating ourselves to serving the needs of the people and environment in our communities in the Piedmont region.”

RPG says it looks forward to functioning as a local community group working to create space and be a resource for progressive eco-socialist political and social activism and as an affiliated chapter of the state Green Party of Virginia, supporting regional candidates for office.

Members promise to actively address pressing social, economic, and environmental issues affecting the quality and integrity of life in Rappahannock, the Piedmont region, state, nation, and planet.

Firnew @ 15

Time flies when you’re making art: Firnew Farm Artists’ Circle is turning 15. The Madison County farm/studio/gallery will celebrate 15 years of creativity and community at its juried art and photography show this Sunday, May 6, at the gallery. The exhibit will feature works by more than 40 regional artists, all from Virginia, in varied mediums — oil, photography, watercolor and mixed media. “Our focus is the natural Virginia Piedmont landscape that surrounds us. It is the perfect muse. It is line and color. It is ever changing and precious; and each artist has a unique and individual response to it,” says Trish Crowe, founder and leader of Firnew Farm Artists’ Circle. This year, photographer John Berry is taking his passion for large prints to the next level. The May show will feature new, large print installations of his work outdoors.

Firnew Barn Gallery, 19 Wolftown-Hood Road, Hood, VA. 1-5 p.m. More at

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