31 S. Coalter St Staunton – Guest Contribution by Morgan Claborn

31 S. Coalter St Staunton – Guest Contribution by Morgan Claborn

I have a love for old houses, an affinity if you will, so when Shannon asked me if I wanted to paint the interior of 31 South Coalter Street this summer, I was super excited about getting to spend time in this house and be a part of bringing this home back to life. There is something about an old home that just speaks to me, touches me actually as I see them as the caretakers of generations past, keepers of history and real, live vestiges of a long ago tradesman’s handiwork.

Knowing that I would be a part of rehabing this beautiful home, I wanted to learn more about it. The Historic Staunton Foundation (http://historicstaunton.org/) was a huge help in providing me with some information about the house and the area it is located as well.

A late nineteeth century Vernacular Frame home, 31 South Coalter St does not appear on Staunton maps before 1886. As it appears on maps in 1891, it is believed to have been built between 1886-1891.

According to Wikipedia, “Vernacular architecture is a category of architecture based on local needs, construction materials and reflecting local traditions. At least originally, vernacular architecture did not use formally-schooled architects, but relied on the design skills and tradition of local builders.” I love this house even more knowing that it had a humble beginning.

When surveyed by the historic foundation in 1976, it was said to have corbelled (arched) chimneys, decorated architraves and an entry door with transom and sidelights. The original transom remains with the home today and is beautiful. Major alterations noted were the addition of the front porch between 1891-1894 with millwork. I believe some of that original millwork remains today and will be replicated to maintain the historic integrity of the home.

31 South Coalter is located in the Gospel Hill Historic district, a residential neighborhood with great historical and architectural significance. Within the district’s boundaries are located the site where Staunton was founded by Sir William Beverley, the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson and the homes of many prominent Virginians whose contributions ran the gamut of local, state and national levels.

Architecturally, the district represents a diversity of building styles from the sophisticated and elaborate late nineteenth century residences built during Staunton’s “boom years,” to the modest, simple vernacular structures.

31 South Coalter St represents one of the modest, simple vernacular structures which are common near the southwest boundaries of the district, the presence of which aids in keeping the district remarkably free of contemporary structures and non-conforming intrusions. Neighborhoods like this are why I love this city!

I can’t wait to hang out in this house over the summer and truly wish walls could talk. 31 South Coalter Street will be available for it’s next life sometime mid-fall 2016.

– Morgan


Landmark restoration in Staunton’s beautiful Downtown

Landmark overhaul. Not to be missed.

Meticulous restoration of one of Staunton’s most visible and well-known homes. 10 yrs of vacancy almost brought her to her knees. Queen City Concepts tackled this project, and it took a year and a half to make her what she is today.

Extensive before and after photos are available.

Main home is a 4 BR, 2.5 BA with gourmet kitchen, open floor plan, and 1st FL master. Upper level has 2 balconies off the front and rear BRs, plenty of closet space.

Full legal basement apartment is a state of the art 2 BR, 1 FB with laundry hook-up offering great monthly income.

See list of improvements below.

7 YR tax abatement. Will save the buyer thousands.

Gorgeous property. Owner/Agent.

All shingles stripped from home, and siding re-built as necessary. Trim and doors totally replaced.

Foundation completely dug out and re-poured in sections, around entire base of the home. Custom railroad tie retaining wall built in side garden plot yard.

New standing seam metal roof installed.

Brand new HVAC/Heat systems installed. 14 Seer units and high efficiency Lennox gas furnace. Completely new ductwork throughout.

Pro-active radon/moisture barrier lined the crawl space. No sign of radon, just a precaution.

Floor systems in all three levels completely detached and rehung. Brand new bamboo flooring throughout.

Any sheetrock and paster gutted, and total re-framing, re-configuring layout. New sheetrock throughout.

Home re-insulated with foam insulation. Super green, and awesome for monthly bills. State of the art way to encapsulate the thermal envelope of a home for maximum efficiency.

Two 200 amp panels.
Completely new wiring throughout, with new wire pulled. Pre-wired for cable.
All new lighting fixtures in all rooms.

Completely new plumbing system installed. Dual flush commodes.
Brand new tile in baths, and custom designs.

Brand new base molding.
New solid core pine doors in all doorways. Window trim re-built as necessary.

All wood windows completely re-built, and all glass replaced as necessary Brand new storm windows installed

Two 3rd floor bedrooms offer balconies, which have been completely re-built and are wonderful! Door systems replaced.

All new maple cabinets, and granite countertops in main kitchen. Custom tile flooring and backsplash. Wet island with farm sink and disposal. High end stainless steel appliances, including gas range for cooking.

DOWNSTAIRS LEGAL 2 BR APARTMENT ($950+/mo potential income)
Kitchen with butcher block counter top, designer backsplash, and stainless appliances. Great closets.
Large bath with washer/dryer hookups.
Access to large privacy fenced rear yard.
Awesome flow.
Custom stepped concrete walk-way to the rear entrance. Flood lights.
Garden plot.

Double deck on the rear of the home totally re-built.

For more information, please contact Exclusive Listing Agent

Shannon Harrington, Certified Historic REALTOR®, CRS®
RE/MAX Advantage – Staunton
413 N. Coalter St
Staunton, VA 24401

Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS®
Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®
RE/MAX Executive Club

540 294 5005



I am licensed to sell Real Estate in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I support Fair Housing.

Interested In Queen City Concepts? Like our designs?

Well, you can get virtually anything you like here!

How about a QCC mug? Or maybe a lovely wall clock?

Staunton, VA is one of the most beautiful places there is, and we are so happy to be part of this vibrant community.

We get to do what we do, and in our small way make this town a little bit prettier, one home at a time. It’s thrilling.

Quick Update: 29 S Coalter Street is just about finished. Look for it to come to market the second week of June. We will be posting lots of eye candy and information on what we have done over the past year and a half.

We can’t wait to tell you all about it, so please stand by!

Time, Money, Contingencies

If you and I have worked together, you know the three basic aspects of any real estate transaction. I tell my clients this in the very beginning of working together because transactions are very complicated, and it helps to be able to file the components into quick folders in our minds. This really does help keep us all as grounded as possible during a time of intense change.

The first aspect is TIME. All transactions have a date of offer, date that the seller is required to respond, inspection dates, lender letter commitment dates, and finally a settlement date. Timing is crucial in Real Estate, and your agent is responsible for keeping you abreast and within time frame on every aspect of the transaction.

Once these time frames are set, they are strict. If the Buyer runs over time on Home Inspection time frame, for example, they lose their ability to ask for any defects to be remedied. They lose that contingency because it timed out. Strict!

CONTINGENCIES are variable factors that can make or break a deal. They can come into play in the offer (“Seller to fix rotten wood on porch prior to appraisal”) or they can come into play within the Home Inspection process, (“Per inspection, Seller to ensure that all windows are operable.”)

So your requested repairs are an example of a contingency. Your financing is a contingency. If your financing does not come through as expected, you are not required to close. How can you? You don’t have the money!

So contingencies are weak spots in a contract. Places where the deal can shift, and even die. And the two main contingencies in a Purchase Agreement are Home Inspection and Financing.

Then there is MONEY. This is the third leg of that three legged stool. Money is also called Purchasing Power, and it is how you are going to make the transaction work. You can sometimes get a better deal financially by tweaking the other two pieces.

For example, if you don’t have a financing contingency because you are paying cash, you can often get a better price. If you do not do a home inspection because you are a qualified contractor yourself and you already looked over the property, that is a variable (or contingency) that the Seller does not have to deal with.

We can mix in the TIME factor here, as well. If you are paying cash and you are a contractor so you are not going to do a formal home inspection, AND you can also close quickly because you are not waiting for a lender to do their thing, then you can often get the best possible deal. WHY? Because the seller has no potential surprises waiting in the wings.

This may seem like a lot. And it is! A real estate transaction is a process where we can see many facets go haywire.

But all of the pieces can generally be organized into one of these three categories – TIME, MONEY, and CONTINGENCIES – and the more we can give in one category, the more leniency we often find in another.

Let me know if you have any questions. Happy to chat about this when you are ready to think about thinking about making that home purchase.


540 294 5005


EYE CANDY ALERT! Introducing 6184 Rockfish River Rd Schuyler, VA

Beautiful Nelson County, VA
Offered for $285,000

This storybook beauty has it all, and they really don’t make them like this anymore. Step into yesterday, but with modern amenities. Breathtaking is an understatement.

4 great sized bedrooms, 2 full baths, formal dining room, foyer, and grand living room. Designer choices. You don’t get much brighter and more spacious than this.

Each floor has its own master, and plenty of closet space here. It’s apparent that this home has been very lovingly cared for over the years.

A real country kitchen with everything you need, including local soapstone countertops and a working wood stove. Even the laundry is spacious and inviting!

Heart pine flooring throughout is in magnificent condition, curved walls, high ceilings, leaded glass windows, claw foot tub, good closets and attic for storage, and, most of all, space and privacy to breathe and relax in nature.

This is a landscaper’s dream, open and rolling with mature plantings. Nestled in the country and just a stone’s throw to the Rockfish boat put-in. The sound of trickling water is your new everyday soundtrack.

Even has a two story cottage which could be fixed up for an office or play space, and two small outbuildings for your gardening supplies.

Two full country porches welcome you home, and invite you to stay a spell.

Just 15 minutes or so to shopping.

See photos and enjoy!

Fore more information, please contact Exclusive Listing Agent

Shannon Harrington, REALTOR®
Certified Historic REALTOR® | RE/MAX Advantage – Staunton
413 N. Coalter St.
Staunton, VA 24401

Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS®
Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®
RE/MAX Executive Club

Mobile: 540 294 5005

See me: http://www.shannonharrington.com/


I am licensed to sell Real Estate in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I support Fair Housing.

Representation in real estate. Do you know what you need to know?

Are you in a real estate transaction? Do you know who is representing you? Do you understand who works for whom? It matters.

In the past couple days I have had several conversations with members of the public who are in real estate transactions, or some kind of agency relationship with real estate professionals, and they have no idea who actually represents them/what that representative does.

In fact, I spoke at length with a long time friend who is buying a property out of my area, is closing next week, and doesn’t know which person is his agent in the transaction. Smart person, too! I’m astonished. 

Agents, we need to do better with this. It is not acceptable that people are out there in the midst of already confusing real estate deals, and have no idea which is their mortgage person, which is their agent, and who represents the other folks in the transaction.

You can always call me if you need help sorting stuff though, but ideally you would call your own agent. If you don’t know who that is, someone may be falling down on the job. We can work it out together, but let me just say that this kind of communication is a problem, and if you or someone you know is dealing with it, you may not be getting the service you deserve.

No, it’s not you. It’s them. Make them take the time to help you understand. You deserve it, and communication is a two way street.

If you are not getting what you need as far as clarity, please make sure that you ask for it.

2016 – The Year of Your Financial Freedom

After over a decade, I have cancelled my account with the credit/debt website, TruCredit.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a total dork about knowing about my money. Almost ridiculously, I LOVE keeping tabs on my credit profile, (which contrary to most folks’ knowledge, is a very fluid thing.) I just don’t like spending $18/month to monitor my credit when it can be done for free just as well, or better, by another company.

Last month I heard an ad on the radio for CreditKarma.com. I like to stay up on this stuff because it helps me to better help my clients prepare for purchase, as well. So I created an account.

The process of setting up my account was super simple, and CreditKarma seems to have all of the important bells and whistles of the program that charges monthly. And it’s free!

They have your reports, your debt, your ratios, update your scores every few days, and even have a rough credit simulator. So you can look at your debt, and use a slider to see what might happen to your credit score if you pay off the balances to 50%. And what might happen to your score if you pay them off to 25%. Like that.

Make it your business to understand financial health. Our credit profile should not be something dark and daunting. It should be something that we keep an eye on – like a bank account. Know what is going on in there.

It’s not responsible to be in the dark about our credit. This can feel such a scary black hole to some folks, and it’s actually really easy. We just master credit understanding like we master any skill. It a most important skill!

Financial health brings freedom, and that if you are anything like me, freedom matters. By knowing how much I can afford, I just bought us a new truck! Totally guilt-free.

You really deserve to understand this part of your life. Opportunities are there to be grabbed, and it’s so much better when you know how much you can comfortably do.

Contact me if you want to understand more, and in the meantime, do it now. http://www.creditkarma.com/


shannon@shannonharrington.com / 540 294 5005

NEWS: Special Use Permits approved for 29 and 31 S. Coalter Streets.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we were approved for two individual Special Use Permits from the City of Staunton this past week. This means that each of our Coalter Street restorations will have a legal and rentable two-bedroom luxury apartment on the ground level.

Currently the City Zoning requirements state that if a home is vacant for more than 2 years, it must meet certain lot-size requirements in order to retain it’s multi-family status. Both homes were multi-family over the years at various times, and this design choice is natural and fitting for the architecture and layout.

Each apartment will be a luxury two bedroom, full bath with dedicated separate entrance. Each will also contain laundry facilities, and designer upgrades throughout. Appliances will be furnished, including dishwashers, and the location is awesome for walking to the shops and restaurants Downtown, as well as Mary Baldwin College.

The income that these will bring is anticipated to be between $900 to $1250 per month. Nice chunk to help with that monthly mortgage payment!

We thank the City of Staunton for approving this special use, and for supporting the revitalization of Staunton’s Historic Downtown.

Look for both 29 S. Coalter and 31 S. Coalter to be market ready in February/March. We cannot wait to show you what’s been going on behind closed doors!