‘The Donald’ Enters the Albemarle County Real Estate Market

So, you’ve probably heard by now that Donald Trump is now an Albemarle County property owner.  Last week, he purchased the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard at auction.

Or maybe we should say he bought the winery and vineyard formerly known as Kluge.  You can bet the Kluge name will last about as long as Mike Tyson would on The Apprentice. Donald Trump, the master of self-promotion and branding, will surely stick a T-R-U-M-P in front of ‘Winery and Vineyard.’  Don’t think so?  See Trump Ice, Trump Tower, Trump Golf, and Trump Chocolate. (I could go on…but you get the picture.)

So what does this mean for the Charlottesville real estate and Albemarle County real estate market, economy, and life in general?  Here’s our analysis…

1. This will be a boost to the local economy.  Trump’s name and marketing prowess will bring thousands of new visitors to Central Virginia each year. Central Virginia’s growing wine business has been gaining respect for years now…but now this will add a little bit of ‘glitz’ to the region’s wineries and vineyards.  I’m not sure how Trump Wine will rate as compared with King Family or Pollak, but the Trump name will bring more airtime to our local vineyards.

2. We’ve been hearing for months that the ‘smart money’ is getting back into real estate.  Big cities like New York, DC, and LA are seeing high-end cash buyers jumping back into real estate with both feet.  Will Trump’s move spur on more buyers to move off the sidelines?  Maybe.  Inventory levels for ‘regular’ properties (i.e. those properties priced well under $6 million) in Charlottesville and Albemarle are still high, but we’ve been seeing inventory levels slowly drop over the last 6 months.  Let’s hope Trump’s track record in wise real estate decisions continues…it could be good for property owners throughout Central Virginia.

3. The Apprentice in Charlottesville?  Maybe.  The Donald’s Apprentice finales always seem to pit the final two contestants in a battle to see who’s better at coordinating and planning a big fundraiser/gala/golf tourney/etc.  I can envision Trump Vineyards as the scene of a mega event…and organized by his next apprentice.

4. A new battle for the biggest Charlottesville celebrity.  Trump will have some tough competition with John Grisham, Sissy Spacek, Howie Long, and Dave Matthews.  In the end, I’d bet our penchance for ‘local’ will win.

5. A helipad?  Bet on it.

6. www.nestrealtygroup.com/WillTrumpBuyThisHome?  My bet is no, but I’ve been wrong before.  I do know this: if Trump buys it, he’s not paying list price.

So what do you think?  Let us know your thoughts on your predictions on how this affects Charlottesville…

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