Handley Farm Estates

Remarkable Building Opportunities 6 minutes from Western Albemarle Schools

handley-signSweeping views and privacy within a stately neighborhood setting distinguish Handley Farm Estates in Western Albemarle. Parcels range in size from 4 to 23 acres with prices from $295K. Choose a builder or work with Peak Homes to design the perfect residence. Only 6 minutes to Brownsville, Henley, and Western Albemarle schools, Handley is conveniently located for your every day needs. Beyond close proximity to Crozet, you can be almost anywhere in Charlottesville or Waynesboro in 15-20 minutes.

Lot 10


Lot 10 has it all. This 21 acre parcel offers multiple options for home sites with breathtaking views. This parcel boasts a private pond and large expanse of gently rolling land, making it an ideal choice if you’d like a horse or two.

Lot 11


With over 7 acres, Lot 11 offers an open, elevated home site with potential for dramatic panorama views after select clearing.

Lot 12


A stunner with magnificent views, lot 12 includes hiking trails, and fishing pond on 23 acres. Cleared and level home site backs to a large conservation tract ensuring privacy in perpetuity. The jewel of this property is the opportunity to fish for trout on your own private spring fed pond.

Lot 2


Spanning 22 acres, Lot 2 is one of Handley’s larger parcels. A private pond greets you as you enter the property. The elevated home site offers lovely north-facing views and privacy provided by hardwoods dotting the property.

Lot 3


Ready for construction to commence, Lot 3 is mostly open with a large, level, cleared area. At just over 4 acres, this well-priced lot offers mountain views from its elevated home site and has the convenience of a well already in place.

Lot 9


At just under 8 acres, Lot 9 offers jaw-dropping views plus a level home site that backs to a preservation tract, ensuring supreme privacy. This parcel is also build-ready with a well in place.

Lot 4


Mature hardwoods sprinkled throughout Lot 4 provide privacy without inhibiting the Blue Ridge views that are Handley’s signature feature. Selective clearing could greatly enhance the mountain views and create a stunning backdrop for your future home.

Lot 5


Off the neighborhood’s one cul-de-sac, Lot 5 provides simply gorgeous views. Thanks to the hardwoods dotting it, the 7 acre parcel’s elevated, level home site has potential for shaded lawns and excellent views.

Lot 6


There are stunning panoramic views and a well already in place on Lot 6. The acreage is mostly level with views to the west, north, or south. Thanks to plentiful level land and views in 3 directions, there are several strong building sites to choose from. Panoramic views provide the potential for views from every room.

Handley offers you the freedom to work with whomever you choose when designing and building your new home. One excellent custom option is Peak Builders. With a keen attention to detail and a knack for marrying function with beauty, the team at Peak will partner with you to create a truly unique home perfect for you and your family.


If you are looking for that neighborhood feel without sacrificing privacy or your enjoyment of nature, then take a drive out to Handley Farm Estates. This neighborhood offers a rare opportunity to enjoy stunning natural scenery without increasing your daily commute. The views from Handley cannot truly be appreciated until seen in person. If you would like to schedule a walk-through, contact Loring or Sydney for more information today.


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Sydney Tenhundfeld

Do you need an agent to sell your house in a hot market?

Some sellers may get lulled into a false sense of security that their homes will sell without an agent’s help when hearing statistics that the market is stronger than ever and inventory is low. The problem is that a good real estate agent is so much more than simply a service to get it into the MLS.


It is incredibly difficult to be objective about one’s own home. Having an experienced third party perspective can make all the difference in getting your home show ready. Several recent properties were sold the first day on the market because of their agent’s ability to be critical and know when to pull in professional help when needed.

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Shannon Thomas called upon one of her trusted contacts to have this home professionally staged. The work paid off as she was able to get a motivated buyer the first day on the market.

Another example of staging making all the difference is this stunning downtown property. Gorgeous in its own right, this home’s appeal was maximized by staging to secure the seller a top dollar offer in record time.




From the moment you sign your listing agreement with an agent they begin marketing the home. While getting it into the MLS can require weeks of staging, photos, and yard work the agent can start soft marketing your home to other agents as coming soon. This helps agents poise their buyers for a new listing and creates abuzz around the property motivating buyers to come in with competitive offers.


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My buyer just closed on this home that we were able to get because I knew about it before it hit the MLS. The listing agent spread the word when it would be coming on and I was able to get my buyer in there at first notice with preapproval letter ready. This also proves the necessity of an in-the-know buyers’ agent.


Another strong asset of having an agent is access to advertising. We have the funding built into our business and the relationships with local outlets to get your home in front of thousands. Our firm employs a full time graphic designer to make sure your home stands out and doesn’t get lost in the sea of other homes. This extra step makes all the difference in how your buyers perceive your property and helps set our properties apart from other listings.



Agents know how to get your property in front of as many eyes as possible. In a hot market like this one it shouldn’t take long for a well priced home to sell. Anecdotally in my neighborhood alone there have been 3 agent listed properties all under contract within days whereas there are 2 for sale by owners that have had signs out for months.


Agents have their finger on the pulse of a home’s market value. They can guide you through how to negotiate multiple offer situations to come out with the best offer possible. Getting a home under contract is only half the battle though. Many things can happen between contract to closing from financing mishaps to deficiencies discovered in the inspection. Likely as a homeowner you have only been involved with a handful of transactions in your life. An agent has invaluable experience and a nuanced understanding of how to navigate these hurdles without killing the deal. Having an experienced agent helps protect your interests while maintaining a neutral, third party buffer between buyer and seller.

Interested in cashing in on the hot market? There are still motivated buyers looking for the right property. Contact me to give you an opinion of value and discuss more what Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates and I can do to help you sell your home.

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Sydney Tenhundfeld

Condo, Townhome, or Single Family Detached?

When looking to buy a property you will have the option of buying a condo, an attached townhome, or a single family detached home. Each option has it benefits and can appeal to different buyers.

Condo 428 Monroe LnCondos – the low maintenance option
The ownership structure of a condominium is such that you own your individual unit and have a shared ownership of any common areas such as a lounge or pool. Condos typically have higher Association fees than attached or detached homes but in return lower maintenance costs. In a traditional condo you will not have any yard, roof, or exterior building maintenance for which you are specifically responsible.

Condo 1001 E Market StAdditionally the Association fees will typically cover a few of the utilities such as trash removal and water. This makes condos very appealing to several different categories of buyers. First time homebuyers can find the often lower price point and fewer cost variables appealing. Investors love condos for their easy rentability and lower maintenance.

Condo  2695 Barracks RdThose valuing walkability may opt for a condo near downtown or the university. Condos are also very popular among those downsizing. As always it is important to review the Owners’ Association documents carefully to make sure you can use the condo as you wish. Some may not allow pets while others may not allow you to rent the unit.

Townhomes aka Attached homes – the happy medium

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Townhomes are traditionally set up where you enter on the ground floor and own all the way up to the roof. They typically offer more square footage than a condo and can accommodate more bedrooms and bathrooms.

Townhome 1629 SawgrassThese attached homes will always share at least one wall with another unit. It is dependent upon the specific Owners’ Association guidelines how exterior maintenance is handled. Some townhome style properties are actually in a condo ownership structure so review carefully. The higher the Association fees the more that should be covered.

Townhome 109 Old Fifth CircleWith attached homes it is possible to have a garage and even a small yard to yourself. A bigger bang for your buck and moderate maintenance can make attached homes appealing to first time homebuyers, families, and downsizers alike.

Detached Single-Family Homes – freedom of choice

Detached 4980 Summer LnIf you want acreage, a lot of square footage, or a one of a kind of home then a detached house is the way to go.

Within the category of single-family homes there are many different directions you can take. If you appreciate the privacy of a detached home but don’t want the additional maintenance you can choose a subdivision with an Owners’ Association that takes care of all of the yard work.

Detached 1210 Mowbray PlaceAlternatively you may want land for horses, gardening, or just the feeling of being away from it all. Those looking to design a truly unique home will also choose detached whether for new construction or rehabbing and adding on to an existing structure.

Detached 2810 Old Oaks SpurIf you are still unsure which option is right for you, contact me today and we can start looking.

sydney for blogSydney Tenhundfeld

Investment Property: Is it Right for You?

Many people turn to real estate as a way to diversify their investment portfolio. Depending on what you read, it can either appear like a no brainer way to achieve passive income or a daunting prospect fraught with risk. The reality, of course, is that property investment falls somewhere in between. There are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your earning potential and mitigate risk factors.

Think With Your Head, Not Your Heart
Investment properties are all about how the numbers shake out. Falling in love with a beautiful kitchen is not a reason to make an offer. If anything you will likely find a better value in a property that has yet to be updated. Renters will care more about new appliances than soapstone counters.

Barracks Condo

Consider Maintenance Costs
Maintenance is one of the larger variables in owning real estate. A detached home will need yard maintenance and will mean you hold sole responsibility for the roof, plumbing, and major systems but will have a larger resale audience when it comes time to sell. Condos and townhomes mitigate a lot of the maintenance issues by having a Home Owners Association (HOA) but at an additional fee not recouped when selling the property.

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Select the Right Area
Location and cost are likely to be the top two priorities for a potential tenant. Proximity to employers or schools can be the single most important factor as to whether or not your property stays rented or remains vacant. When deciding on a particular area take stock of the current inventory and price range. You can learn a lot from others’ mistakes. Your agent can guide you on typical rent and demand for a neighborhood.


Gather Your Team
Depending on your own areas of expertise you will need to have a trusted handyman, insurance representative, attorney, and accountant to keep everything in order with your property. Your real estate agent can be a great resource for all of these needs. Additionally if you want to be more hands off and just let the checks roll in we do offer Property Management services at our firm. You can learn more about that here.

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If you have the patience, funds, and supporting professional guidance it takes, you could start profiting quickly with the right investment property. I would love to share with you the knowledge I have gained in my experience managing rental properties and representing investors. Contact me to start looking or learn more about my analysis of the above properties.

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Sydney Tenhundfeld

Walkability VS Tranquility

When looking at properties you will likely have options in both highly walkable locations and in beautifully tranquil settings but rarely one that offers both. Each buyer has his or her own priorities. Some simply must be able to walk to work while others prefer to get away from it all at the end of the day. We are lucky that in the Charlottesville area you can find ample properties on both ends of the spectrum.

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Most areas within Charlottesville’s city limits are walking or biking distance to a delicious restaurant, fun music venue, or lovely park. If you go only ten minutes from downtown though, you can find absolutely breathtaking mountain views and peaceful scenery that would make it hard for anyone to want to leave.

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Homes with high walkability often mean high rentability as well. Many first time home buyers I work with like the idea of buying a home that would also appeal to renters. This is a nice safety net for the cautious buyer to know that when they move on to their next home they can have an income producing rental property should they choose not to sell.

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If you don’t want to sacrifice the serenity of nature while bringing in that rental income you may want to consider properties in more peaceful settings with the acreage for additional homes on the property. This would give you plenty of options whether you want to rent it out for additional income, provide truly private guest quarters, have family live on the property, or offer lodging as compensation for a part time property manager.

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When considering a walkable versus tranquil home, maintenance is an item to consider. Walkable homes typically have smaller fantastically low maintenance yards that can be very attractive to those with busy schedules. On the other hand sometimes you need a bit of land to fit your needs. If you want horses, a swimming pool, or large garden you will likely find the properties a few minutes from town with larger lots more accommodating.

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The Charlottesville area has such a diverse array of home offerings that you will most definitely be able to find what you need no matter if your preference is next door to a café or away from it all.

sydney for blogSydney Tenhundfeld

The Ups and Downs of Using Third Party Websites

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Zillow and Trulia have been in the news a lot the last few months. First for Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia and more recently when word spread that ListHub cut ties with the Zillow Group on April 7th.

Local professionals’ reactions have been mixed. Many agents hope that Zillow’s inaccuracies will become more apparent and buyers will go back to the more reliable sources such as realtor.com, mycaar.com, or individual firm websites like LoringWoodriff.com. Others are worried that Zillow will continue to be a front runner with increasingly inaccurate information.


Our local association, CAAR, has stated that they are choosing to work with Zillow to feed listing information to their sites in an effort to improve accuracy but only time will tell if things improve.

While these websites and apps can be very useful for buyers in the initial stages of exploring a new area I personally have found they are often more a source of confusion than reliable information. Half of my buyers will inevitably ask me why I haven’t sent them a specific house they found online. Each time it is either because that house already sold or often the information provided is wrong and it doesn’t fit my client’s needs or budget. Wanting to serve my client’s interests to the best of my ability, I always investigate these leads but without fail it is reaffirmed that it indeed is just inaccurate information. One agent was so alarmed the house she helped clients buy over a year ago was advertised for sale she called them up to check. They were just as surprised as she that it was listed for sale.

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Never trust a zestimate. It is impossible for a computer program to understand the nuances that contribute to a property’s worth. Especially in an area like ours where one street’s average price per square foot can vary dramatically from the next street over. Even the basic information can be way off. On one of my listings the county assessment Zillow had listed was over $100,000 less than the real assessment and it had the wrong number of bedrooms and baths. Just comparing information on Zillow and Trulia side by side will often show discrepancies. There are hundreds of examples I could give but the picture is pretty clear that you can’t take anything at face value on these third party sites.

So what should you do to find reliable information? One tool several of my clients have loved is Client Connect. This is a feature of our new MLS system that allows agents to set up a personalized website for their clients. This is a great way to keep track of listings you’ve seen by marking them as favorites, writing notes, and saving searches. This tool can even email you and your agent the minute a new listing comes on that fits your search criteria. Alternatively you can use LoringWoodriff.com, mycaar.com, and realtor.com to find reliable information.


It is very important to remember though that not every property for sale can be found online. The spring market has taken off and properties are selling at record pace. This means it is important to have an agent with an ear to the ground for upcoming listings. Choosing an agent at the right firm can mean being the first to see a property and the first to put in an offer. Just recently I helped two different clients get the first crack at properties not even listed with our firm by being proactive about contacting other agents. One was under contract within a few hours of being listed.

If you are looking to buy but haven’t seen anything you like, contact me. I may be able to find you the perfect house before it hits the market.

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Sydney Tenhundfeld

Neighborhood Spotlight: Old Trail

Old Trail has quickly become one of the most popular neighborhoods in Crozet and it is easy to see why. Between the amenities, location, and community it has just about everything you could ask for.

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Brownsville Elementary, Henley Middle, and Western Albemarle High schools are all a short walk or bike ride from Old Trail. This has made it an immensely appealing neighborhood for families. What is not to love about walking your child to school along a scenic path with mountain views?

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Swim and Golf
The Swim Club and Golf Club offer amazing opportunities to stay active. Old Trail’s 18 hole golf course offers simply beautiful blue ridge views also enjoyed from the well appointed club house. The Swim Club has something for everyone whether you are looking for a quick dip on a hot day or want to do some laps and dive.

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You don’t have to sacrifice convenience for the quiet Crozet lifestyle. Old Trail Village Center offers shops, restaurants, and even physician offices. Crozet is getting more and more

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Something For Everyone
Old Trail really has something for everyone at any stage in life. Properties range from smaller starter homes to beautiful custom built houses with a view. You may be surprised you can even still build in Old Trail!

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If you are interested in learning more contact me to go out and explore this wonderful community.

sydney for blogSydney Tenhundfeld

Common Misconceptions about Home Inspections


I was having lunch the other day with friend and local home inspector Robert Foster of Trebor Home Inspections and we were talking about how there are a lot of misconceptions about home inspections.

A home inspection is primarily about providing information. This is the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much about their potential new home as possible, from an experienced professional. Home Inspections are not code compliance inspections. If a house has more than a few years on it, there will likely be items that are not up to current code but are still functional.


A thorough home inspection provides a handbook to your future home. The HVAC might be fully functioning but could be nearing the end of its expected service life or the attic door isn’t insulated causing conditioned air to escape both in the winter and summer. These are the sorts of things that a home inspector may point out that are good to know but shouldn’t affect the purchase of the home.

Home inspection protocols and regulations vary from state to state. In the commonwealth of Virginia, Home Inspector certification is voluntary with no report standardization, which makes for a wide variety in the services rendered by the profession. Before you get worried about how to find a thorough home inspector, remember your real estate agent has had the opportunity to vet inspectors through previous transactions and can recommend an inspector they trust.


Buyers, when inspection day arrives do not be shy. Whether this is your first home or you are an experienced home buyer you should ask every question that comes to mind, because every house regardless of age has issues. Home inspectors are there to serve you by answering all of your questions while conducting a thorough and unbiased evaluation of the house. A thorough inspector will point out everything they discover about the house even the small maintenance issues, which can add up to quite a number of items. Try not to get alarmed by the maintenance items. While you are negotiating through the inspection contingency try to stay focused on the larger items that might be deal breakers if the Seller doesn’t agree to correct them or give you a credit to have them corrected yourself. This is a key area that your agent will help you navigate. I always go through the inspection report with my clients to help them evaluate each item found before deciding what we will be requesting.


Sellers, if the buyer has made a request for deficiencies to be corrected you will also receive a copy of the inspection report. The inspection report can be alarming to someone who has been living in a house for years unaware that deficiencies were present. As you move forward try to focus on what you as the seller would have to correct for any reasonable buyer. There are few problems that can’t be fixed and you are very close to selling your home.

If you have any further questions feel free to contact either me or Robert. We both are more than happy to help.


sydney for blogSydney Tenhundfeld                                        Robert Foster
REALTOR®                                                            treborhomeinspections.com

When To Start Looking


Home SearchI’m asked frequently, “when should we start looking?” Some people know they want to buy a house a few years in advance while others need to move in next month. This brings up the questions of when to start looking for your next home. For First time home buyers I think it can be educational to look before you are ready to buy so you get a feel for how quickly houses sell and what your money can really get you.

The risk you run in looking before you are ready to buy is finding a house you love that you can’t buy which can burn you out for the rest of your search.

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To find the optimal time to start looking let’s back track from when you want to close. If you are getting a mortgage you typically need around 45 days to get financing settled. Everything else can be handled in that time.

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Next we must consider how long it takes for a buyer to find a home they actually want to buy. This can vary widely based on the availability of what you are looking for and your decisiveness on knowing exactly what you want. Let’s assume you have done your research and have a very good idea of what you want and can afford.

A serious buyer will often look at 5-10 houses before finding the right property. Spring typically has the highest level of inventory and winter the lowest and that is also in line with popular times for buyers. I tend to work with buyers for a week or two before narrowing down the list to start viewing properties.

Once you have found the perfect place getting from first offer to ratified contract typically takes 2 to 5 days.

Add all of this up and you get about two and half months before move in. This can be sped up or drawn out dramatically depending on your needs but for the typical buyer 2.5 months allows enough time to get to the closing table confident in their purchase.

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If you are not financing your purchase then you can go from under contract to moving in as little as 7 days if you need. Similarly if you are in no hurry and looking for a very specific property it can take years.

If you are ready to start looking today visit our website to start searching!


sydney for blogSydney Tenhundfeld

Charlottesville Gift Guide

Finding the right gift for everyone on your list can be exhausting but luckily there are so many fantastic options in Charlottesville you are sure to find a fantastic gift with a local story.

For Mom
Moms can be tricky to buy for but something handmade is always a hit in my experience. Luckily there are a few options for making a gift that not only comes from the heart but is truly beautiful as well.

OrnCutOut72dpi-258x300Blow Your Own Glass Ornament at Sunspots Studios! This fantastic gift option allows you to put your own spin on a truly beautiful piece of artwork that you can enjoy every year when decorating the tree. Ornaments cost $40-45 and children age 5 to adult can participate.

If ornaments aren’t your thing, The Glass Palette has supplies for you to make jewelry, dishes, and artwork.

Another option for crafting your own gift is Wine and Design. Started as a BYOB step-by-step guided painting class it now offers kids classes too. Join one of the prescheduled classes or get a group together and pick what you want to paint. You’ll love the class and leave with a beautiful piece of artwork for mom. If you think she would enjoy the painting herself a gift certificate would be a great option too!

For Dad
Dads can certainly be tough to buy for so I find it is best to stick to the basic pleasures in life.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 3.08.24 PMFor starters, food is a generally safe bet. When it comes to food there are few gifts more decadent than A Year of Cheese from Feast!. Each month the recipient goes to Feast! and chats with the cheese monger about this month’s selection. Not only are you giving the gift of fantastic cheese but also an education on how to pair it with other food and drink. If the $200 price tag is above budget consider one of their many other gift boxes.

blue whalteFor the scholarly father, pop into Blue Whale Books on the Downtown Mall. Here you can find special edition books, artwork prints, and beautiful maps. The owner is almost always there and incredibly helpful. I just heard they got a new shipment in of Virginia maps so hurry in before they are all gone.

For the Kids
Check out the local toy shops for the children in your life. Shenanigans at 601 West Main Street is where I bought my niece her first baby doll. Alakazam on the downtown mall always has loads of fun gadgets and gizmos for the creative child. O’Suzannah just off the mall on 4th street northeast has curated a unique and aesthetically sophisticated collection of children’s books and clothing.

One of my most memorable Christmases was coming down to see a shiny red bicycle with my name on it. If you are looking to give a bike I suggest Blue Ridge Cyclery at 1039 Millmont St.

For Teens & Young Adults
Often the most fickle demographic, teens and young adults can prove difficult to shop for. Fear not though as several local shops can help you find the right gift.

Alb AnglerThis is a very active age for most people so heading to Ragged Mountain Running Shop is a safe bet to find something they need. They have a wide assortment of athletic clothes and shoes as well as running accessories like belts, water bottles, and gps watches.   If you have a hunter or fisher in your life consider The Albemarle Angler to find the right gift.

For the preppy on your gift list you can’t beat Country Club Prep founded by two UVA alum who decided to put their first brick and mortar store on Elliewood Avenue on the corner. Other fun shops around this area include Duo, Finch, and Southern Proper.

UnknownFor Out of Town Family
Every year we celebrate not only with my family in Charlottesville but also make a trip to visit family in Louisiana. It has now become a tradition to bring down a basket full of local goodies not available there. We include local candies, jams, granola, sauces, peanuts, honey, you name it! It is a fun way for us to share our daily favorites with them once a year. Just stroll through the local food shops of Main Street Market to fill up your basket at such shops as The Spice Diva, Gearhart’s Chocolate, Albemarle Baking Company, and of course Feast!

Another favorite for our out of town family is local jewelry. Sterling silver dogwood flower earrings from The Virginia Shop were such a hit we got a necklace the next year.

Being UVa alums there is always a stop at Mincer’s to gear up on hats, T shirts, and socks for the family to wear as they root on the Hoos from afar.

Last but not least there are always some new local craft beers and wines to share with the adults as well. Beer Run offers perhaps the most extensive selection in town!

cutest kitty in the worldFor Your Pets
Sammy Snacks is sure to make any pup in your life very happy this holiday season. Visit them at 1055 Millmont St.

Animal Connection is another great shop to pick up something for your furry friend. They are located at 1701 Allied St behind Cville Coffee.

JoeHostess Gifts
With the holiday season comes all of the holiday parties and a good guest never shows up empty handed. There are several places in town to pick up the perfect hostess gift.

Again, Beer Run can help you select the perfect wine, beer, or cider for your host.

Gearhart’s Chocolates are an irresistible gift anyone would love to receive. Visit their shop at 416 West Main Street next to Albemarle Baking Company.

Locally roasted coffee from Shenandoah Joes can be a nice gift as well.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 4.17.10 PMFor Everyone Else
If you are still looking for ideas here are a few more general suggestions most anyone would like.

Two tickets to a show at The Jefferson would be a great idea. Anyone who can appreciate some funky 80s music and a good time would love tickets to New Year’s Eve with Love Canon. Other shows coming up are Corey Smith and Steep Canyon Rangers.

Gift certificates for an evening out are a great idea. I don’t know anyone who could resist dinner at C&O, Mas, or Fleurie.

rock paperAn exquisite pen, stationary, or journal can be a lovely gift for anyone. Visit Rock Paper Scissors in their new location on the downtown mall.

A massage, facial, or pedicure from CitySpa is an unexpected treat.

All of these options make shopping local a cinch so get out there and spread some cheer. Happy Holidays!

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Sydney Tenhundfeld