• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

A new sign comes to Towne

Hampton Roads-based residential real estate firm Prudential Towne Realty is aligning itself with the Oracle of Omaha.

On January 7th, 2014.  Prudential Towne Realty becomes part of the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services team. They will then be known as Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Towne Realty.

In 2009, Towne Bank combined 3 local companies, GSH Real Estate, Prudential McCardle Realty and Prudential Decker Realty, to form Prudential Towne Realty,

In flying the Berkshire Hathaway flag, Prudential Towne becomes part of the residential real estate franchise that Warren Buffett’s conglomerate began building two years ago.

 Prudential Towne Realty becomes part of the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services team. They will then be known as Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Towne Realty.

A case for title insurance- What do you mean I don’t own my land anymore ?

In my job as a real estate agent I am always asked by clients why do we need title insurance ?

Guy Gugliotta Here is one instance where the buyer was very lucky to have bought it.

In spring 2013, the Virginia Beach real estate market was up, and Guy Gugliotta was thinking about selling.

For decades, the New York writer had owned two vacant lots on the seaside in Sandbridge – investment properties surrounded by vacation homes. With thoughts toward buying in another part of the country, he contacted Siebert Realty in Virginia Beach to talk about options.

The call seemed to surprise the agency, and the agents’ response surprised Gugliotta even more. He couldn’t sell the properties, they said, because he had already sold them. Didn’t he remember? The deal had closed the previous August.

Gugliotta was floored. He hadn’t sold his properties, so who did? And in the world of real estate, so full of documents, signatures and attorneys, how could someone do that?

Those questions have dogged Gugliotta through court proceedings in which he fought to reclaim his property and through calls to law enforcement agencies he hopes will catch the thief. The same questions have haunted the two buyers who thought they made above-board purchases and the agencies and banks who thought they were conducting a standard real estate transaction.

The truth bewildered them all. But the most startling discovery may be that while this exact crime is rare nationally and in Virginia Beach, some who work in real estate say it’s surprisingly easy to commit.

"It’s mind-blowing how vulnerable our system is," said Billy Joe McFarland, a Florida attorney who works in real estate law. He said he’s seen fraudsters fake deeds and pretend to be owners, but Gugliotta’s case seems to be the most brazen yet.

 

Read more here

See homes with ZERO ELECTRIC BILLS in Hampton Roads

Imagine a home with No Electricity Bills.

The 2014 Hampton Roads Solar Tour is a self-guided tour of over two dozen Hampton Roads homes and businesses that run on solar energy, as well as homes with other renewable energy and sustainable technologies.  Selected sites throughout all of Hampton Roads will have free open-house tours to showcase technology and share information on solar energy. This year four specific tour areas will be available: Southside, Peninsula, Middle Peninsula and Eastern Shore.
Experts will be on-hand at each site to answer questions.
The 2014 Hampton Roads Solar Tour will be held on Saturday October 4, 2014. The central site at [TBD] will have educational material, speakers on sustainability and renewable energy technology, and vendor displays for renewable energy firms.
As energy prices rise, this event offers participants the opportunity to tour homes and buildings to see how Virginians are using solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies to reduce their monthly utility bills and help tackle climate change.
The 2014 Hampton Roads Solar Tour is sponsored by the Hampton Roads Green Building Council. The local tour is part of the  National Solar Tour. This year, more than 170,000 participants are expected to visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the United States. Now in its 18th year, the National Solar Tour is coordinated by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), a non-profit organization,  This is the seventh year for the local tour here in Hampton Roads, and last year there were over 600 participants!

Get stamps at three sites you visit on the tour, including the central site, and you can enter in a drawing for great local prizes: a folding bike from Origami Bikes, wine from Good Luck Cellars, beer growlers from Smartmouth, and a $50 gift certificate for Crocs!

Registration is free! Register HERE today!

When: Saturday Oct 4, 2014

More info here

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Hampton Roads VA July 4th Fireworks/ Events 2014

imageHere is my 2014 annual list of area fireworks and 4th of July celebrations for the Williamsburg, Yorktown and Hampton Roads VA areas .

View Independence Day fireworks at any of our region’s displays this year, and ooh and ahh en masse. Or watch the sky light up from the relative privacy of a neighborhood street, the top of a building, or a park bench near the water.

If I missed any please drop me a line at John@MrWilliamsburg.com

If you have questions about the specific events please contact them directly. The list includes events in Chesapeake, Gloucester, Hampton,Mathews,  Newport News, Portsmouth, Smithfield Suffolk, Urbanna, Yorktown, Williamsburg,  and VA Beach, Virginia

Have any secret tips about what to do or where to park. Please add them in them in the comments section below for all to share.

Thanks and Have a Happy 4th !

Chesapeake: Join us July 3 for a holiday concert w/ Fireworks @ 7:30. Come out and celebrate our nation’s birthday under the stars, featuring lively music and a fireworks finale! FREE admission. ($5 fee for on-site parking will help us continue this great family event!) Bring lawn chairs and/or blanket. You can purchase food at the concessions for a picnic supper.

Chesapeake City Park  Address: 900 Greenbrier Parkway , Chesapeake, VA 23320 Thursday, July 03, 2014 (5:00 PM)

Hampton-With several special events along with our usual popular attractions, you and your whole family can spend Independence Day at Fort Monroe. During the day, you can visit the beaches and Engineer Wharf Fishing Pier. City of Hampton lifeguards will be on duty from 10 am – 6 pm.  At 10 am there will be a flag raising ceremony to honor the life of President James Monroe, our fifth President and for whom Fort Monroe was named after.  Then stop by the Casemate Museum to explore the military history of Fort Monroe and gather your Fort Monroe National Monument Junior Ranger program information and Passport stamps. Family fun activities will be offered in the Wherry Quarter of Fort Monroe.  The Music by the Bay Summer Concert at the Wherry Quarter will feature the US Fleet Forces Wind Ensemble.  The concert will begin at 8 pm.  Food vendors will be onsite.   Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. . Fireworks—this year, Fort Monroe will present a new twist on Fourth of July fireworks! Instead of a traditional aerial fireworks show, a 12 minute close proximity show will be launched from the top of the fortress wall at 9:15 pm. This show, presented by Pyrotecnico of New Castle, PA, will highlight the unique features of the stone fort and offer a view of the Fort never seen before. Close proximity fireworks offer a more entertaining show and use less space. They are intended to be viewed within a close distance so that the pyrotechnics can be seen from the ground up. The ideal location to view the fireworks is just north of Outlook Beach, along Fenwick Road from the East Gate to Stillwell Road.

Mathews MATHEWS 16th ANNUAL FIREWORKS CELEBRATION
Mathews High School Food Vendors with traditional Independence Day fare
Free Admission, Shuttle bus service from Thomas Hunter starting at 7pm to MHS. Rain dates are the 5th and 6th. For details call 725-1488 or Charles at 725-3236

Newport News-Everyone is invited to the Virginia Peninsula’s biggest Fourth of July party – Fourth of July Stars in the Sky at Victory Landing Park. This waterside park, which offers spectacular views of the James River, is filled with 30,000 people who come to celebrate our nation’s birthday. The evening begins as crowds gather to enjoy summer’s favorite foods from a variety of vendors and children check out the rides and crafts. As dusk approaches, the stage comes alive with the music of a nationally-known entertainer. As the last note from the concert ends, the sky over the James River explodes with a kaleidoscope of color in a spectacular fireworks show. Free parking. Victory Landing Park is located at exit 6 from I-664, just minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and all Newport News attractions.

 Victory Landing Park ,50 26th Street ,Newport News, VA 23605

Norfolk  July 4 – Annual AT&T Fourth of July Great American Picnic & Fireworks 5pm – 10pm – Leave the grilling to us on the 4th of July and bring your family and friends down to Town Point Park! Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.!

Portsmouth – July 4 – Independence Day Celebration – 9:30 p.m. – Fireworks light up the sky in celebration of our Nations birthday.  View the fireworks from the Seawall or along Crawford Parkway. The right side of the river!

Smithfield  July brings fireworks to Isle of Wight County! On July 3rd bring the family to Clontz Park in Smithfield, and on July 4th come out to Windsor High School in Windsor to watch the spectacular array of color light up the night sky.

Suffolk  Enjoy the Stars and Stripes Spectacular as the skies of Suffolk light up with the firework show over the Nansemond River at Constant’s Wharf Park & Marina. The park will open at 5:30pm with entertainment, children’s activities, local merchandise vendors and food choices available. The fireworks show will begin at 9pm, for the whole family to enjoy! Free and open to the public.

Constant’s Wharf Park 100 East Constance Road , Suffolk, VA 23434

Surry – July 3 – Fourth of July Fireworks and Entertainment – 4pm – 11pm – Celebrate the 4th with fireworks and entertainment

Urbanna It’s all about quaint family fun on the rivers at the Town of Urbanna 4th of July celebrations!  Bring your boat, rent a boat, charter a boat or hang out on the shore!  There will be music and food at the Urbanna Town Marina at Upton’s Point, a Boat Parade on Urbanna Creek with a contest for the best boat decorations. And of course Fireworks over Urbanna Creek!! Come enjoy the ease of coastal life and share in the fun!  Address: 45 Cross Street Urbanna, VA 23175

Virginia Beach – July 4 – 4th of July Celebration at First Landing SP – 10am – 9pm – Come out for a day full of fun events celebrating our Independence Day! All activities will begin under the big tent at the end of the main boardwalk on the beach. This fantastic day of fanfare will end with our annual fireworks display.

Virginia Beach – July 4 – July 4th Celebration at Mount Trashmore – 4pm -10pm – Celebrate America’s birthday and salute the military with live main stage musical entertainment, children’s activities and delicious festival foods! The night concludes with a BANG – ooh and ahh at our fabulous fireworks display that will fill the summer sky. FREE with on-site parking (fee).

Virginia Beach – July 4 – Stars and Stripes Explosion – 8pm – Close – Great music, fun in the sun, and breathtaking fireworks over the ocean! Enjoy the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra and Virginia Beach Chorale as they perform on a stage built right on the beach at 20th Street.

Virginia Beach – July 4th4th of July Fireworks at Sandbridge Beach – 6:30pm – 9pm -At 6:30 pm on July 4, the annual Boat Parade will begin. The Fireworks display will start at 9:00 pm and be set off from the Mill Pond at Sand Bend Road and Back Bay Crescent. A July 5 rain date is scheduled.

Williamsburg – July 4 – Independence Day Celebration at Colonial Williamsburg – 10am – 10pm – Celebrate the anniversary of the nation’s birth in Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City for a vibrant and patriotic celebration. With a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, a leisurely picnic, a performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and a dazzling display of fireworks – you’ll want to come early and stay late into the evening.

Williamsburg Busch Gardens® celebrates America with a bang during an all-new summer spectacular, “Star Spangled Nights” July 3 through Aug. 10. This event inspires park-goers through fireworks, moving original soundscapes and unforgettable environments. Unique merchandise and culinary offerings blend seamlessly with rich musical traditions, creating a fun red, white and blue event that can only be found at Busch Gardens.  A special extended fireworks event will be presented July 3 – 5 to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Yorktown -Thursday, July 4 – Independence Day Celebration, 9 am.

Come to historic Yorktown and salute America along the waterfront!  Festivities begin at 9 a.m. with the patriotic parade on Water Street. Evening activities feature a bell-ringing ceremony at 7 p.m.; a patriotic concert at 8 p.m. at the Riverwalk Landing stage; and, a spectacular fireworks show on the York River at 9:15 p.m.  For complete information, visit the July 4th website.

HAMPTON ROADS 2013 TOP NEW HOME BUILDERS

Ryan Homes was again the top builder in Hampton Roads VA for permits, closings and revenue in 2013 with 309 permits issued, 292 closings, and $104,699,944 in revenue. Ryan Homes is actively building in 18 new home communities in Hampton Roads. Their top subdivision was Turtle Creek in Newport News with 50 permits, 42 closings, and $13,303,294 in revenue. Windsor Ridge at Wellington in Williamsburg/ James City County was their number two subdivision for permits, closings, and revenue with 32 permits and 32 detached closings recorded for $11,898,876 in revenue. Chesapeake Homes was the number two builder in Hampton Roads VA for permits, closings, and revenue with 134 permits issued, 173 closings recorded, and $46,874,097 in revenue in 15 communities on the Southside and Peninsula. Cornerstone in Virginia Beach was their number one community during the year with 36 permits recorded, 51 closings recorded, and $12,349,142 in revenue. West Neck Village was their number two community with 21 permits issued, 16 closings, and $5,648,588 million in revenue. HHHunt Homes was the number three builder for closings and revenue with 154 closings recorded, and $37 million in revenue. HHHunt Homes had closings in ten communities in Hampton Roads during the year including eight detached and two attached. Their top subdivision in 2013 for closings was Weatherly in Whitehall in the Toano area of James City County with 40 closings. Their top subdivision for revenue was the single family product at Whitehall with closings totaling $7,835,125 in revenue.

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Hampton Roads Economy Grows for the Third Year

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates for the Gross Metropolitan Area Product (GMP) indicate that Hampton Roads experienced its third consecutive year of real growth in 2012. GMP rose to a nominal $84.8 billion, an inflation  adjusted increase of two percent. The Hampton Roads economy grew by 0.5% in 2011 and 1.2% in 2010. 

MORE

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Flood Insurance Jumping Sevenfold Depresses U.S. Home Values

Monthly premiums for more than 1 million homeowners are set to increase due to a rewrite by the U.S. Congress last year of the federal flood insurance program. Home prices in flood zones around the country are declining as potential buyers balk at the premiums.

Rangel Dockery and her husband bought a waterfront house in Florida four months ago, assuming their $2,000-a-year flood-insurance premium would remain about the same. After reading recently about a change in the federal flood program, they checked on next year’s rates and were stunned: Their bill will grow to $14,000 annually.

Now the elementary school teacher and her husband, Clint, an information technology specialist, are considering selling their two-bedroom St. Pete Beach home, probably at a loss, because she said they can’t afford the bill, and their mortgage requires flood coverage.

“It was very frustrating to finally have what we’ve worked hard for all of our life,” Rangel Dockery, 52, said. “I feel like the rules were changed in the middle of the game. And unfortunately, we can’t play by the new rules.”

Monthly premiums for more than 1 million homeowners are set to increase due to a rewrite by the U.S. Congress last year of the federal flood insurance program. As a result, home prices in flood zones around the country are declining as potential buyers balk at the premiums, said Moe Veissi, a Miami real estate agent who led the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors last year.

Federal flood insurance covers $1.3 trillion of property in all 50 states, with Florida, Texas, Louisiana, California and New Jersey making up two-thirds of all policies, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the program.

Read more here

Hampton Roads families seek $2.6M for Chinese drywall damage

About $2.6 million is on the line for seven Hampton Roads families fighting for compensation from the manufacturer of the Chinese drywall that ravaged their homes.

That’s just a sliver of the millions more that could be doled out to others if they win their case. Thousands of Americans are waiting in the wings for recompense after the toxic wallboard turned their lives upside down.

But one big hurdle stands in their way.

A panel of judges in the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday that will set them up to decide in the coming weeks whether Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. can be held accountable in American courts for its tainted products.

It’s one of the biggest questions yet in the five-year legal saga, and Hampton Roads families – four from Williamsburg, two from Newport News and one from Virginia Beach – are blazing the trail for the rest of the country. They are representing at least 300 families in a class-action lawsuit, Germano v. Taishan, which was filed in 2009

Read more about the case here

Read more about past Chinese Drywall issues in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads Virginia here

Cost of flood insurance poised to rise for thousands in Hampton Roads

Mother Nature has spared U.S. coastal cities from devastating hurricanes this season, but some local homeowners should brace themselves nonetheless.

The cost of flood insurance for thousands of properties in South Hampton Roads soon could go up – significantly in some cases.

Subsidies that have kept insurance costs down for many homeowners across the country will be phased out beginning Oct 1. And those discounts no longer will be transferable from owner to owner, which will add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the annual out-of-pocket costs for buyers of such homes.

On top of that, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is redrawing flood zone boundaries. Houses that aren’t in a flood zone now might find themselves on the riskier side of the line once the maps are finalized in 2014. Those homes will have to be insured against flooding.

Read more here

Williamsburg Outlet Owner Looking to Build Center in Norfolk

The nation’s largest owner of retail properties is looking to build an upscale outlet center near Norfolk International Airport that would replace at least part of a city-owned golf course.

Simon Property Group Inc., which owns Williamsburg Premium Outlets, has made an offer for land on Northampton Boulevard, the site of Lake Wright Golf Course, according to sources who would speak only anonymously because the project has not been announced.

Details, such as what Simon offered to pay and when a deal might be completed, were not available. There is also no information on potential tenants. But one source told The Virginian-Pilot the project would be the most significant retail development in Norfolk since MacArthur Center opened downtown in 1999.

If the project is like other recently opened Simon outlets, it could create 800 to 1,000 retail jobs and about 200 construction jobs. The city is not offering tax incentives, the sources said.

Read more here in the Pilot

Map location of proposed center

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Hampton Roads in TOP 15 Markets for house flipping

Real estate investors who flip houses in the Hampton Roads are are making a few bucks this year.

They saw an average gross profit of $26,565 or 13 percent, on an average purchase price of $206,765 in the first six months of the year, according to a report released this morning by RealtyTrac, an online researcher of foreclosures  It is worth noting that RealtyTrac did not factor in how much was spent on the rehab.

As the Hampton Roads housing market has gradually improved over the past year, so has the potential for making a quick buck.

At least, so says research firm RealtyTrac, which ranked Hampton Roads as the ninth-most profitable U.S. market for buying and quickly selling homes during the first half of 2013.

Daytona Beach, Fla., topped the list with a profit margin of 82 percent. Omaha, Neb., came in second at 56 percent. Five other Florida metro areas and Pittsburgh finished above Hampton Roads.

The report also showed that flipping is cooling in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Southern California, places that previously had been hot spots.

Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, sees a wave moving across the country from west to east. The wave is the housing recovery, and it is driving trends such as flipping.

The report also broke down flipping by state. For the entire state of Virginia, flipping was up 135 percent. In Maryland, it was up 104 percent, and in D.C., it was unchanged.

Rising mortgage rates don’t appear to have a dampening effect on flipping, since most real estate investors pay cash or finance through a hard money lender. However, the rising rates are making it more challenging for the investors to sell their properties once they have renovated them.

Statewide, real estate investors made an average gross profit of $23,170 on an average purchase price of $326,333 in the first half of the year, according to the report.

By comparison, investors nationwide made an average gross profit of $18,391 on flipping houses, a 9 percent gross return. The average cost of the house for the investor was $200,942.

Top 15 Markets for Profitable Home Flipping

imageRealtyTrac, an online marketplace for real estate data, defines a flip as a home sale that happens within six months of the home’s previous sale. Gross profit is simply the difference between what the flipper paid and what the flipper later sold the property for. The profit figure doesn’t take into account any improvements the flipper might have made on the property, nor does it factor in the possibility that the flipper bought the house with a mortgage rather than cash (which could greatly increase the profit — though many investors pay for homes in full rather than use borrowed money).

“While flipping continues to be profitable in most markets, particularly those where the home price recovery is still nascent and a recent rebound in foreclosure activity allows investors to find distressed inventory at a discount, home flipping is tapering off in markets where fewer of those distressed bargains are available,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Out of the 100 markets we analyzed for the report, 32 had declining flipping numbers, including perennial flipping hot spots like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Southern California and Atlanta. Still flipping was on the rise in more than two-thirds of the markets, including New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and several Florida metros.”

Click here to search foreclosed , bank-owned homes/ REO in all of Hampton Roads VA FREE and  No registration required.

The Hampton Roads real estate market update June 2013

Inventory is down and prices are up !

The following update is for the Hampton Roads areas of Carrolton,  Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth  Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry,  Va Beach, Yorktown  and York County Virginia as well as other outlying areas of VA and NC

For Williamsburg Real Estate Update click here

Local and national real estate markets seem to be sizzling like the summer temps, and several economic sources are crediting this surge to the recent increase in mortgage interest rates. In the Hampton Roads VA area, the real estate market has experienced a spike in homes under contract , homes sold as well as the median sales price, while the number of residential homes for sale has dropped. The distressed homes market had slight improvements as well, leading the way towards a strengthening housing market.

Hampton Roads home sales increased 8.9% in June 2013 compared to the same time period last year. Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) Chesapeake and Newport News saw the largest year-over-year increases at 22.9% and 17.27% respectively. Along with the rise in home sales came an upturn in the median sales price. The residential median sales price is currently $225,000, up 8.43% from June 2012’s median sale price of $207,500. This is the highest residential median sale price the Hampton Roads market has seen since July 2010 when it was $229,000

Residential pending sales ( Homes under contract) jumped significantly for the month of June, increasing 11.93% when compared to June 2012. Portsmouth and Norfolk showed the most significant increases at 32.98% and 23.35% respectively.

Hampton Roads home sales increased 8.9% in June 2013 compared to the same time period last year. Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) Chesapeake and Newport News saw the largest year-over-year increases at 22.9% and 17.27% respectively. Along with the rise in home sales came an upturn in the median sales price. The residential median sales price is currently $225,000, up 8.43% from June 2012’s median sale price of $207,500. This is the highest residential median sale price the Hampton Roads market has seen since July 2010 when it was $229,000

The months’ supply of home inventory continues to decline as the number of homes listed for sale decreases. June 2013 recorded 11,010 residential active listings, down 4.53% from June 2012. The months’ supply of inventory is currently at 6.47 months, a 13.04% drop from June 2012’s 7.44 months and down 1.67% from last month’s 6.58 months. A balanced market is considered to be between 6 and 8 months worth of inventory.

The percentage of home sales that were distressed homes (, (BANK OWNED, FORECLOSURES OR SHORT SALES ) dropped to 22.84%, down 5.97% from June 2012. June’s decrease in the percentage of distressed sold sales was the lowest since June 2010 when it was at 20.84%. Distressed homes accounted for 21.68% of active residential resale homes for sale, down 3.02% from June 2012.

This information is derived from the Real Estate Information Network, Inc., (REIN) an independent MLS owned by broker stockholder members serving real estate brokers in the Tidewater / Hampton Roads area of Virginia from Williamsburg east to Virginia Beach and south to the North Carolina border.

REIN MLS database primarily lists homes, condos, townhomes and land for sale in Carrolton,  Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth  Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry,  Va Beach, Yorktown  and York County Virginia as well as other outlying areas of VA and NC

Psst……I’m a real estate agent.

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area and his expertise in the local real estate market.

Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home.

I can help you access all the information you will need about choosing a neighborhood and buying a home in New Kent, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Poquoson or the greater Hampton Roads area, including area information on schools, local government, shopping, activities for the children and more! Whether you have made a decision to relocate, retire or are just considering a move to Williamsburg or Hampton Roads VA, let me help make your transition or PCS to the area a smooth and enjoyable one!

Hampton Roads is a transient community due to the large population of military members in the area. I have a unique perspective on relocation and have helped many families move in and out of the area. I understand the kind of support team it takes to make a smooth transition.

You can search homes for sale , active adult communities, 55+ communities, condos and townhomes ,foreclosures/ REO, land, building lots, commercial property in Williamsburg , Yorktown, New Kent, Gloucester, Poquoson as well as the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads, Virginia

You can reach text or call me at 757-254-8136 or email John@MrWilliamsburg.com

July 4th Events in Hampton Roads 2013

imageJoin the celebration of our nation’s 237th birthday in the Hampton Roads area with parties and pyrotechnics. You’ll find plenty of music, food, games, fireworks and fun out there. However you choose to honor Independence Day, be safe. Here’s a list of some of the region’s festivities in alphabetical order

THURSDAY July 4th-2013

Chesapeake VA 4th of July Celebration, parade, entertainment, games, food and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Lakeside Park, Chesapeake. War Memorial Ceremony at

Gloucester VA- Join us on July 4th for a great day at the beach…Gloucester Point Beach Park – Enjoy a great Fireworks Display at dark, sponsored by Yorktown July 4th Committee Enjoy live music  from 6-9 pm – 1255 Greate Road, Gloucester Point.
East of Coleman Bridge on the York River

Hampton VA -Music by the Bay
, features U.S. Fleet Forces Band – Wind Ensemble. 7-8 p.m. Continental Park, Fort Monroe, Hampton. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. 251-2754. www.fmauthority.com.

Hampton Military Appreciation Day. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. July 4. The Freedom Support Center is hosting a free event for active duty service members, veterans and their families just north of Outlook Beach at Fort Monroe. Special guests include Gov. Bob McDonnell and Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell. Military identification is required to attend. http://fscmilitaryappreciationday.eventbrite.com/ .

HamptonParadise Ocean Club. Country music artist Kip Moore performs at 7 p.m. at the Paradise Ocean Club at Fort Monroe. Tickets: $15-$35. http://paradiseoceanclub.com

Mathews VA-MATHEWS 15th ANNUAL FIREWORKS CELEBRATION
Mathews High School
Food Vendors with traditional Independence Day fare
Free Admission. Shuttle buses service from Thomas Hunter at 7pm to MHS. Rain dates are the 5th and 6th. For details call 725-1488 or Charles at 725-3236

New Kent –Racing to the Stars and Stripes at Colonial Downs. 5 p.m. July 4. A holiday celebration with horse racing, fireworks, live patriotic music with the York River Concert Band, a family-themed "after party" with magician Jonathan Austin, Proverbial in concert, free ice cream and more. $5-$30. Colonial Downs. colonialdowns.com.noon on the Holly Avenue side of the park. 382-6411.

Newport News -Classic Cruisers 4th of July Car Show, all makes. Benefits Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. 10 a.m. Cheeseburger in Paradise, 12361 Hornsby Lane, Newport News. 890-9434.www.ccccofva.org.

Newport News"Spirit of America" in the Abbitt Planetarium, 4th of July laser display mixes patriotic music with America-inspired rock ‘n’ roll and songs that have defined American music. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News. 595-1900.www.thevlm.org/Spirit-of-America.aspx.

Newport News VA -4th of July Stars in the Sky, children’s rides, food vendors, entertainment by United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, fireworks and more. 7-10 p.m. Victory Landing Park, 23rd Street at the James River, Newport News. 926-1400. www.nngov.com.

Norfolk-Fireworks Cruise aboard the American Rover, narrated sail of the Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads Harbor featuring live music by an acoustic guitarist and the Independence Day fireworks show. 7:30-10 p.m. Waterside Festival Marketplace, 333 Waterside Drive, Norfolk. 627-7245.www.americanrover.com.

Norfolk VA -31st annual AT&T Fourth of July Great American Picnic & Fireworks, features traditional all-American fare and patriotic sounds by United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Band, fireworks (9:30 p.m.) and more. 5-10 p.m. Town Point Park, Waterside Drive, Norfolk. 441-2345. www.festevents.org.

Smithfield-Fireworks in downtown Smithfield take place a day early, 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, from Robert S. Clontz Memorial Park. Fireworks will also be visible from downtown Smithfield and along the Pagan River near downtown. Clontz park is located off North Church Street on the northern banks of the Pagan River. The park is equipped with a gazebo, picnic tables and fishing pier. http://www.co.isle-of-wight.va.us/parks-and-recreation/  or 357-2291.

Suffolk VA -Stars & Stripes Spectacular, music (Hotcakes), food, children’s activities, fireworks (9 p.m.) and more. 6-9:30 p.m. Constant’s Wharf Park and Marina, 110 E. Constance Road, Suffolk. 514-7250.www.suffolkva.us/parks/events.

Suffolk VA-Fourth of July Celebration, 11 a.m. opening ceremony followed by bike and float parade. Games and inflatables (noon-3 p.m.), raft race at Chuckatuck Creek (3 p.m.), fireworks (9 p.m.). Baked goods and lunch for sale; proceeds go to mission projects. Nate Sparks Band performs. Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 1589 Steeple Drive, Suffolk. www.ebenezerchurch.net.

VA Beach -Stars & Stripes Explosion, fireworks (9:30 p.m.), music and more at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Music: Chester B’s MoTown Tribute Show (8 p.m. 17th Street Stage), Symphonicity with the Virginia Beach Chorale (8 p.m. 20th Street on the Beach), The English Channel (7 and 10 p.m. 24th Street Park), 2U (7:30 p.m. 31st Street Park) and Almost Journey (9:15 p.m. 31st Street Park). 491-7866.www.beachstreetusa.com.

VA Beach -July 4th Celebration, music (User Friendly and Strictly Bizzness), games, food, fireworks (9:30 p.m.) and children’s activities. 4-10 p.m. Mount Trashmore Park, 310 Edwin Drive, Virginia Beach. 385-2990. www.vbgov.com/specialevents.

Yorktown Independence Day Celebration, salute America with a patriotic parade on Water Street at 9 a.m., bell-ringing ceremony at 7 p.m., patriotic entertainment at 8 p.m., fireworks on the York River at 9:15 p.m. Riverwalk Landing, 331 Water St., Yorktown. 890-3500.www.visityorktown.org.

Yorktown VA -Liberty Celebration, military exercises, role-playing demonstrations, museum galleries and more. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Saturday. Yorktown Victory Center, 200 Water Street. 253-4838.www.historyisfun.org.

Williamsburg VA Patriotic Fireworks Tribute, 9:30 p.m. Busch Gardens, 1 Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg. 800-343-7946. www.buschgardens.com/va.IllumiNights at Busch Gardens. July 1 through Aug. 11. A nightly extravaganza featuring live performances, music and special effects culminating in a park-wide fireworks spectacular. .

Williamsburg -Colonial Williamsburg. Events on Thursday, July 4, are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. throughout Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area. The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums will play a salute to the original 13 states at 10 a.m. There will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence at noon, a concert by the Fifes and Drums at 5:30 p.m., an 8 p.m. concert by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra at the Governor’s Palace Green, and a grand, old fireworks display at 9:20 p.m. Free. Preferred seating for the Virginia Symphony performance can be purchased for $45.  757-229-2141 or 1-800-447-8679.

July 4th events in Williamsburg VA 2013

imageThere’s no better place to celebrate independence than the town where so much history was made.(Williamsburg VA)  Bring your family and spend the holiday with us this July 4th.

As darkness falls, high flying aerial fireworks visible from much of the Historic Area in Williamsburg celebrate our nation’s birthday. The best places to see these spectacular fireworks are from Market Square, Palace Green, or the Public Hospital grounds. Parking is available at the Visitor Center but, due to heavy traffic, shuttle bus service to the Historic Area is not available from 8:45 until 10:45. Shuttle bus service is available with or without tickets on the 4th of July.

Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m., and a whole day of special programming precedes them.

Independence Day Celebration

Light up Your Independence Day at America’s Birthplace

Join us in Williamsburg for a vibrant and patriotic Fourth of July celebration. With a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, a leisurely picnic in the Palace Garden, a performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and a dazzling display of fireworks—you’ll want to come early and stay late into the evening.

Independence Day in “The Revolutionary City”

Begin your Independence Day celebration with our special morning militia muster in “The Revolutionary City” and a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. Spend your afternoon touring the city before the evening Independence Day Celebration, including a lively picnic in the Palace Garden and performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Our stunning fireworks display—and your participation with glow sticks—finishes out the night.

July 4th, 2012 Event Schedule, Colonial Williamsburg VA

Colonial Williamsburg’s programs begin with “Salute to the States” at 10 a.m. on July 4 on Market Square behind the Courthouse. A special militia muster in commemoration of the anniversary of the birth of our nation salutes the 13 original colonies. The Fifes and Drums perform, flags of each state are displayed, and music and cannons celebrate the event.

The Declaration of Independence is our nation’s founding document and announces a vision of a new society in which “all men are created equal.” A special interpretation at noon at the Capitol gives voice to “the People’s” document.

colonial williamsburgfourthofjulyDuring “Music for the Fireworks” at 8 p.m. behind the Courthouse on Market Square, Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums perform a concert of patriotic music. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. and can be enjoyed on Palace Green or from Market Square.

Parking is available at the Visitor Center. Due to heavy traffic, shuttle bus service to the Historic Area is not available between 8:45 and 10:45 p.m. Shuttle bus service is available with or without Colonial Williamsburg admission tickets.

Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and park at the Visitor Center and take Colonial Williamsburg’s buses to the Historic Area. No ticket is required to enjoy this program.

More info here

Event Schedule

10 a.m.
Salute to the States behind the Courthouse

noon
A Declaration of Independence at the Courthouse

5–7:30 p.m.
Independence Day Celebration: Food,
Fanfare & Fireworks

Casual come-and-go evening
Reservations required

5–7:30 p.m.
Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums and Alumni Perform on Market Square

5–9 p.m.
Historic Tavern dining available
Reservations required

8–9:30 p.m.
Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs in front of the Governor’s Palace
Reservations required for exclusive seating

9:20 p.m.
Fireworks begin

Parking and Transportation

Take advantage of free parking at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center, where you can purchase admission tickets and use the FREE shuttle bus service. Please note that the pedestrian bridge to the Revolutionary City will be closed to traffic from 9:15 to 10 p.m.

Shuttle Schedule

9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Every half hour from the Visitor Center to all regular stops

8–9 p.m.
Express service ONLY from the Visitor Center to the Palace stop

9–11 p.m.
NO SERVICE*

11 p.m.
Regular service to all stops

*Buses to “The Revolutionary City” will not run during the fireworks. Please plan to arrive early.

Enhanced  Trolley Service on July 4th-2013

Starting to dread the traffic and parking hassles on the 4th of July?  The Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA) is offering a great alternative.

Park at New Town or High Street and ride one of the three trolleys scheduled to run at approximately 15 minute intervals.   
The Trolley will begin its normal service at 12:00 p.m. and run until 11:00 p.m.  Passengers can ride all day for only $2.00.

As an added bonus, starting at 5:00 p.m., the first 200 children on the Trolley will receive a Patriotic Glow Necklace or Bracelet.
For more information on the Williamsburg Trolley please call WATA 757-220-5493 or visit their website to view the new trolley route and schedule.

williamsburg trolley

4th of July Ice Cream Social

A Sentara Williamsburg  Community Hospital Auxiliary event with proceeds used for
equipment, free screenings, training and scholarships

The 31st annual "Ice Cream Social" has become a tradition for locals and visitors and is sponsored by Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center Auxiliary.

Money raised from the social helps support the auxiliary’s community programs, including free mammogram, bone density and health screenings for the uninsured, scholarship programs, pediatric gift bags in emergency, chemo cap program and holiday tray favors for patients

The  event takes place 4:30-7 p.m. July 4, 2013 in the Wren yard in front of William & Mary. Sponsored by the auxiliary of Sentara Williamsburg Regional medical Center. Music by Smith Wade Band. Ice cream, cake, hot dogs, soft drinks, raffle prizes, games, face-painting.

A HUGE scoop of ice cream and some homemade cake costs $3. Hot dogs will be sold for $3 and soft drinks will be $1.
The social has become an ideal place to spend some time before the gala fireworks display in the Historic Area at night fall.

This is a a great community event and a nice place to picnic before the fireworks in CW.

There are always a lot of people–and especially families–who attend and we look forward to good weather.

Please plan to attend and bring your co-workers and friends and family !

Nearby July 4th events

FIFTY NIGHTS OF FIREWORKS KICKS-OFF @ Busch Gardens

Join Busch Gardens Williamsburg  in celebration of summer at IllumiNights — a nightly extravaganza featuring live performances, music and special effects that culminate in a park-wide firework spectacular. July 1 through Aug. 11, journey through the park as each village celebrates IllumiNights in its own way with multiple performances throughout the evening.

  • Event runs July 1 – August 11 ,2013
  • Enjoy special shows in each country at 5:30, 6:30, 8 and 9 p.m..
  • Each night enjoy a fireworks spectacular starting at 9:30 p.m..
    Event Website

Busch Gardens is the source for nighttime fun this summer when IllumiNights: A Busch Gardens Encore returns with 50 nights of spectacular live performances throughout the park followed by nightly fireworks. Guests can visit Ireland for The Legend of Killarney, where larger-than-life puppets spin a magical tale of leprechauns and a lost fortune. In France, Voila! transports families to the bustling streets of Paris where outdoor performances including exciting ladder walkers entertain park guests. In Italy, lush gardens transform into a stage for an Italian strength troupe at Giardino Magico. In addition to the other night-time entertainment, Germany’s Oktoberfest Plaza is turned upside down with colorful characters and crazy critters at the all-new Wunderbarn!. Henrik and Helga, owners of the zany Black Forest Farms lead the German festivities that build to a rollicking finale with park guests’ favorite, The Chicken Dance. Park performances begin nightly at 5:30 p.m. and culminate with the park’s signature Tour de Force: Fireworks Finale at 9:30 p.m. This spectacular fireworks show blends dazzling color with an original score that can be viewed throughout the park. It’s the perfect summertime capstone to a wonderful day at the Williamsburg theme park.

Yorktown Independence Day Celebration
07/04/2013
9:00 AM – 9:15 PM
Event Website

Come to historic Yorktown and salute America along the waterfront!  Festivities begin at 9 a.m. with the patriotic parade on Water Street. Evening activities feature a bell-ringing ceremony at 7 p.m.; a patriotic concert at 8 p.m. at the Riverwalk Landing stage; and, a spectacular fireworks show on the York River at 9:15 p.m.  For complete information, visit the July 4th website. Free. (757) 890-3500

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In historic Yorktown, salute America along the Yorktown waterfront beginning with a 9 a.m. patriotic parade on Water Street and during its evening Independence Day Celebration, featuring a bell-ringing ceremony at 7 p.m. and patriotic entertainment at 8 p.m. at Riverwalk Landing, followed by spectacular fireworks on the York River at 9:15 p.m.

The 33rd annual Yorktown Fourth of July Celebration will be held on Wednesday, July 4. Activities taking place in Historic Yorktown will include:

 8 a.m. Yorktown Independence Day 8k Run and 5K Walk – York High School

 9 a.m. Parade on Water Street – music provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Band at Riverwalk Landing

 4 p.m. Event Parking opens Corner of Cook Road and Ballard Street

 7 p.m. Sounds of Liberty Bell Ringing Ceremony – Riverwalk Landing Stage

 8 p.m. United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Band ( Dixie Band) – Riverwalk Landing Stage

 9:15 p.m. Spectacular Fireworks Display over the York River

 For additional event information, please visit www.yorkcounty.gov/fourth  or call York County Parks and Recreation at 890-3500.

Hampton Roads Home Sales Up, Inventories Down & the Market Is Recovering

As we approach the mid-point for 2013, real estate statistics for the Hampton Roads market continue to undergo consistent improvement, setting benchmarks that tell of a recovering market. May 2013 saw steady year-over-year increases in residential pending and settled sales, while the number of residential homes for sale continues to dip, thus lowering the market’s months’ supply of inventory

The strongest performing statistic for May 2013 was the number of residential pending sales; up 27.18% when compared to May 2012. Our region has not seen a percentage increase this high since January 2012 when it jumped 32.9% year-over-year from January 2011. Each of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) recorded year-over-year increases in residential pending sales. Suffolk and Norfolk contributed significantly to this surge, with year-over-year increases of 48.67% and 35.53% respectively, while Newport News and Hampton saw the smallest year-over-year increases of 8.9% and 5.77% respectively

Residential settled sales increased 5.73% when compared to May of last year. Each of the area’s seven major cities, with the exception of Hampton, experienced year-over-year increases in the number of housing units sold. Suffolk and Portsmouth underwent increases of 18.68% and 13.73%; contrarily Hampton suffered a 15% decline in regard to year-over-year residential settled sales. The region’s residential median sale price is currently $205,000, a nominal increase of 1.23% from May 2012’s $202,500.

As the year progresses, residential listing inventories continue to wane. There was a 5.84% decrease in the number of residential active listings from May 2012 to May 2013. Portsmouth was the only city not to experience a year-over-year drop in the number of homes for sale, with Newport News and Chesapeake experiencing the largest declines of 16.82% and 9.91% respectively. The region’s months’ supply of inventory is currently at 6.58 months, which tracks as a 13.42% decline from May 2012’s 7.6 months, but an increase of 1.5% from last month’s 6.48. Industry benchmarks accept a six to eight months’ supply as an indicator of a healthy market.

In May 2013, distressed homes (those that are either foreclosures or short sales) accounted for 22.41% of all residential active resale listings. This is the smallest percentage of distressed homes in the residential active listing makeup in the past 18 months. Of the total number of residential resale settled sales  26.25% were distressed properties, a statistic nearly identical to that recorded in May 2012 at 26.26%. The percentage of distressed properties as residential resale sold listings has consistently declined throughout 2013 from 34.88% in January to 26.25% in May.

 

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These statistics are from our local MLS , the Real Estate Information Network, Inc., (REIN) serves real estate brokers in the Tidewater / Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Areas covered include :

Carrolton,  Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth  Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry,  Va Beach, Yorktown  and York County Virginia

Search Foreclosures/ REO / Foreclosed homes in Hampton Roads here

 

Time to Buy? Sell?

As we always say, the best time to buy or sell a home is when you need to buy or sell. If you have a house to sell, selling when its a buyers market may hurt you on the selling end, but you’ll make it up on the buying end. If you’re trying to get into the market for the first time, the only way you’ll know that we’ve “hit bottom” is when its in the rear view mirror. Work with professionals who can help you analyze your financial and lifestyle to determine if now is the right time to buy or sell.

Looking strictly at the numbers, it appears the recommendation for this month is (again)…it’s time to sell. With inventory at record lows, a home that’s priced right will have no problem finding a buyer. As we head into June 2013, buyers who have been waiting for more inventory will continue their searches. Get your home on the market now and be moved into your new home by July ! If you’re looking to sell, we can help you get top dollar for your home in the shortest time. For more info about the best home selling program in Williamsburg VA  visit Sell MY WILLIAMSBURG HOME

If you’re a buyer, that doesn’t mean sit on the fence and wait. Interest rates are increasing and will continue to do so. Buying now could mean a difference in hundreds of dollars to your payment. As more and more inventory gets snatched up, you’ll find less and less available. Waiting until the market slows down could mean you could afford less home as interests rates go up. And, as buyers continue to snatch up everything, market values will go up as well. If you’re looking to get into the market, the best time to find a great deal is any time you can.

Questions About the Williamsburg Real Estate ?

Do you have questions about Williamsburg Real Estate ? Call or text 757.254.8136 or email John@MrWilliamsburg.com  and we’ll help you in any way we can.

If you’re looking to buy or sell Williamsburg or Yorktown VA real estate, don’t forget to check out our Buyer Center or Seller Center  for more tips.

nosy neighbor mr williamsburg Nosy Neighbor

Are you interested in monitoring home value trends in your Williamsburg or Yorktown VA  neighborhood?  If you would like to receive e-mail alerts when new listings or sales happen in your neighborhood, we can set you up.  There is no cost or obligation to participate in our Nosy Neighbor  e-alerts, just let us know which neighborhood(s) you are interested in following, and we’ll make it happen! Fill out the form here

What’s my home worth ?

Mr Williamsburg offers a complimentary, no obligation market analysis of your Williamsburg VA home.  It’s a great way to get a handle on what your home might sell for in today’s market, with no obligation to list.  Call him today at 757,254,8136 or click here to request more info or an appointment.

Hampton Roads Top Home Builders for 2012

Ryan Homes was again the top builder in Hampton Roads for permits, closings and revenue with 238 permits issued. This is a 16 percent increase over their 2011 volume.

Ryan had 242 closings and $72,036,822 in sales in 18 new home communities throughout the New Kent, Williamsburg, Yorktown and  Hampton Roads areas of Virginia . They are currently building in the Patriots Landing, Oakmont Villas, Stonehouse Glen, White Hall,. Wellington, Windmill Meadows, Greensprings West, (SOLD OUT) Burlington Woods, Powhatan Secondary, RIverwalk Townes , The Settlement, The Village at Quarterpath, The Woods on Mansion Road, Turtle Creek, Eagle Harbor. Crystal Lake South, Culpepper Landing and the Park at Centerville Commons. 

Ryan Home’s  top subdivision was Turtle Creek in Newport News with, 59 closings and $16,655,447 in home sales. Number two on their list was The Settlement at Powhatan Creek, a 55+ active adult community in James City County . Ryan sold 18 detached homes and 13 townhome their for a total of $9,847,885 in sales.

 

ryan homes in hampton roads community map list

The number two builder in Hampton Roads ( for permits) was Chesapeake Homes with 172 building  permits issued in 11 subdivisions during 2012. Graystone Reserve in Suffolk had the most permits issued with 39.
HHHunt Homes was the number two builder for closings and revenue with 165 home sales recorded and $38,167,764 in revenue.

TOP 15 Builders in Hampton Roads

top 15 home builders in hampton roads for 2012

HHHunt Homes had closings in eight communities in Hampton Roads during the year, including six detached and two attached. Their top subdivision for 2012 was Meridian Parkside in Newport News with 55 closings and $11,358,545 in revenue

Search new homes for sale in Williamsburg VA area

Search new homes for sale in Hampton Roads here

SAT Scores in the Williamsburg-Yorktown Area

One of the ways high school students measure their progress toward being ready for college is their SAT score

SAT tests are standardized tests that are administered by The College Board. The purpose of the SATs is to measure a student’s proficiency and readiness for college.  Most colleges require prospective students to provide their SAT score as part of their admissions package.

Average SAT scores can be used to compare high schools

At the high school level, the average SAT score for the school is one way to compare how well one high school prepares their students for college.  When we review the Average SAT scores by high school, it gives us a parameter to help us compare high schools.

At the high school level, the average SAT score for the school is one way to compare how well one high school prepares their students for college.  When we review the Average SAT scores by high school, it gives us a parameter to help us compare high schools.

What should we read into SAT scores? By and large, SAT scores are less reflective of classroom-level outputs and more a measure of cumulative individual input, aptitude, or initiative. Nonetheless, however, SAT participation and results may indicate the degree to which a school, division, or community promotes or supports college readiness, preparation, and admission.

Below is a table ranking all of the high schools in the Williamsburg/ James City County, York County, Poquoson, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Newport News, New Kent, Gloucester, Suffolk school districts by their average 2011 SAT test results. 

School Rankings – by 2012 Average SAT Scores2012 Sat rankings for Yorktown, Williamsburg VA high schools by mr williamsburg

The scores are derived from the Virginia Department of Education database to show average SAT test scores statewide for 2012. The state provides each public high school’s verbal, math and writing scores. Mr Williamsburg has added up the scores and ranked high schools from the area. 2012 Rankings are provided for schools 1 through 25

SAT scores are only one way to compare high schools

As  mentioned earlier, SAT scores apply specifically to gauge how well the high school has prepared its students for this standardized test. But only a fraction of the students take this test, since not all the students in a high school plan to go to college.

To get a better picture, we can compare using SOLs

Another way to rank Hampton Roads, Williamsburg & Yorktown high schools could be using their Average Standard of Learning (SOL) scores, which is a test mandated by the State of Virginia and is administered to all the students (unlike the SATs which are only administered to those who choose to take it). But then one could wonder if the school is “teaching to the test” or if the school is truly preparing its students for real life.

View SOL, ACT other test results for all Virginia Schools here

Of course, tests only tell you part of the story

Academics are a very important part of education, but there are many other aspects of education that are highly relevant, for example: foreign languages, sports programs, leadership programs, clubs, and, of course, the environment in which everything takes place.  All these (and more) are very important parts of a student’s education.

Search homes for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown and beyond by School district here

Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Continues its positive growth for April 2013

The Hampton Roads Real Estate market got off to a strong start for the second quarter of 2013.  April 2013 was characterized by a year-over-year decrease in the number of residential active listings while residential pending and settled sales experienced significant year-over-year increases, driving the market in a positive direction.

Home  sales showed a substantial increase of 13.4% in April 2013 when compared to the previous year.

Home prices showed a small 0.15% increase from April 2012’s $198,950. to $199,250 this year.

The number of residential homes listed for sale declined 7.64% during April 2013 as compared to April 2012. Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) Newport News and Chesapeake saw the largest year-over-year declines in active listings, at 19.84% and 14.95% respectively. The region’s months’ supply of inventory is currently at 6.48 months, down 15.4% from April 2012’s 7.66 months. On the Southside, the months’ supply of inventory is 6.02 months, and on the Peninsula it is 7.26 months. Six months worth of inventory is considered a balanced market.

Pending sales ( homes under contract)  increased 21.98% overall when compared to April 2012. Each of the region’s seven major cities underwent year-over-year increases in residential pending sales, with Newport News and Chesapeake experiencing the largest jumps at 39.86% and 35.37%.

Short sale and foreclosure (REOs) properties accounted for 27.76% of all resale residential settled sales in April 2013. This percentage is down 3.21% from April 2012 and is the lowest percentage of distressed properties accounting for residential settled sales in the past six months. In terms of residential active listings, distressed properties accounted for 23.89% of all homes for sale, the lowest percentage in the past 18 months and down 1.14% from the same time last year.

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Hampton Roads Property tax rates 2012-2013

With many localities in Hampton Roads looking to raise property tax rates I thought I would post the current tax rates. You can see in the chart below that rates range from a low of .47 per $100 of home value in Mathews to a high of $1.27 in Portsmouth.

Here in James City County we enjoy a very reasonable rate of  .77 per $100  that will not increase for 2014 according to our proposed budget. The adjacent City of Williamsburg offers a .57 tax rate. . You can see from the chart the differences in annual taxes on a home valued at $300,000 in area localities can range from $1410 in Mathews County  to $3810 in Portsmouth VA. .  A monthly payment difference of $200.00 if you have a mortgage !

 

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Note a few of these localities have slightly higher rates for their business districts.

Hampton Roads Real Estate Market continues to stabilize in 2013

The first quarter of 2013 ended strong for the Hampton Roads real estate market as March 2013 posted nearly a double digit percentage increase in residential settled sales when compared to 2012  Homes under contract increased significantly year-over-year while active home listings continued to decline, once again lowering the months’ supply of inventory

The Hampton Roads region saw an increase of 8.53% in closed home sale for March 2013 when compared to March 2012. Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) Portsmouth and Suffolk recorded the highest year-over-year increases of 27.03% and 13.10% respectively. Hampton and Norfolk were the only two cities to experience year-over-year decreases, dipping 21.60% and 2.68%. Residential closed  sales are up 10.71% for the first quarter of 2013 (January-March) when compared to first quarter 2012.

The residential median sales price is currently $199,000, a considerable increase of 7.57% from March 2012’s $185,000.

Last month’s largest statistical improvement was in residential under contract sales, with a year-over-year increase of 12.84%. Portsmouth and Newport News saw the largest increases of 36.17% and 18.18% respectively. .

The region saw a drop of 8.62% compared to last year for active home listings. Newport News and Chesapeake contributed largely to this decline, with recorded reductions in inventory of 18.75% and 17.71% respectively.

The overall decrease in the number of homes for sale has resulted in a 6.38 months’ supply of inventory, as compared to 7.57 months in March 2012. A balanced real estate market typically maintains a 5 to 6 months’ supply of inventory, so this statistic does suggest a stabilizing market for the area.

Short sales & foreclosures, continue to have an impact on the region, while maintaining a relatively consistent market share. In March 2013 25.20% of all resale residential active listings in the Hampton Roads real estate market were distressed properties. This is little change from March 2012 when distressed properties accounted for 25.73% of active listings.

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Distressed properties comprised 28.44% of all resale residential settled sales in March 2013, a 5.09% decrease from the same time last year, when distressed properties accounted for 33.53%

These statistics are based solely on on listings entered into the Real Estate Information Network by REIN broker members. The geographical area includes southeastern Virginia (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Franklin, Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Hampton, Newport News, York County and Poquoson) to Williamsburg, James City County, Gloucester, Middlesex, Virginia’s Eastern Shore and northeastern North Carolina. Reports include all property types: Attached and Detached Residential, Duplex, Apartments, Commercial, and Land & Farms.

 

Psst….    .I’m a real estate agent.

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area and  his expertise in the local real estate market.

I can help you access all the information you will need about choosing a neighborhood and buying a home in New Kent, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Poquoson or the greater Hampton Roads area, including area information on schools, local government, shopping, activities for the children and more! Whether you have made a decision to relocate, retire or are just considering a move to Williamsburg or  Hampton Roads VA, let me help make your transition or PCS to the  area a smooth and enjoyable one!

Hampton Roads is a transient community due to the large population of military members in the area. I have a unique perspective on relocation and have helped many families move in and out of the area. I understand the kind of support team it takes to make a smooth transition.

Area Orientations

Complete tours can be scheduled to help you familiarize yourself with Williamsburg and Hampton Roads neighborhoods, home prices, shopping centers, military bases, recreational facilities, public & private schools and transportation systems. My orientation will provide you with awareness of aircraft noise & accident potential zones, flood zones, major traffic patterns and commute times to your job.

You can search homes for sale , active adult communities, 55+ communities, condos and townhomes ,foreclosures/ REO,  land, building lots, commercial property  in Williamsburg , Yorktown, New Kent, Gloucester, Poquoson as well as the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads, Virginia

You can reach me by phone at 757-254-8136 or email  John@MrWilliamsburg.com

I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

Best,

John

Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Continues to Stabilize

March 2013

The Hampton Roads real estate market steadily approaches stabilization.

Homes sales and properties under contract both maintained positive trends for February 2013, while the number of residential active listings for sale has continued to drop lowering the month’s supply of inventory.

home sales statistics williamsburg vaThe number of homes for sale in February 2013 was down 8.83% when compared to February 2012, dropping the region’s month’s supply of inventory to 6.34 months. This time last year the month’s supply of inventory was 7.46

Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach) Chesapeake and Newport News experienced the largest year-over-year declines in residential active listings at 19.44% and 16.70% respectively.

Pending sales ( homes under contract)  saw a spike in February 2013. When compared to February 2012 pending home sales were up 17.63%. Chesapeake and Portsmouth recorded the largest year over-year gains at 44.44% and 44.05% respectively.

New home sales also saw an increase of 13.26% compared to February of last year. We should see boosts in closed sales over the next coming months once these homes close. image

 

Continuing the month’s positive trend closed residential sales, which are up 4.63% over February of last year. Suffolk and Newport News experienced the largest year-over-year gains in residential closed sales at 43.75% and 30.68% respectively, while Portsmouth and Norfolk were the only two cities not to experience an increase with year-over-year declines of 25% and 5.17%. Hampton Roads residential median sales price is $189,000, up 2.22% from February 2012’s $184,900. The new construction segment of the market followed suit and experienced an 8.70% increase in closed sales when compared to February 2012.

Distressed Homes  (short sales or foreclosures), continue to their large share of the  the region’s real estate market. Distressed homes accounted for 26.37% of residential listing for sale in February 2013. They have accounted for as little as 23.61% (September 2011) and as much as 28.05% (December 2012) of residential active listings over the past 18 months.

Distressed homes accounted for 34.20% of residential homes sold in February 2013. Distressed homes have accounted for as little as 24.4% (August 2012) and as much as 37.18% (January 2012) of residential settled sales over the past 18 months.

image

These statistics are based solely on on listings entered into the Real Estate Information Network by REIN broker members. The geographical area includes southeastern Virginia (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Franklin, Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Hampton, Newport News, York County and Poquoson) to Williamsburg, James City County, Gloucester, Middlesex, Virginia’s Eastern Shore and northeastern North Carolina. Reports include all property types: Attached and Detached Residential, Duplex, Apartments, Commercial, and Land & Farms.

 

Psst….    .I’m a real estate agent.

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area and  his expertise in the local real estate market.

I can help you access all the information you will need about choosing a neighborhood and buying a home in New Kent, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Poquoson or the greater Hampton Roads area, including area information on schools, local government, shopping, activities for the children and more! Whether you have made a decision to relocate, retire or are just considering a move to Williamsburg or  Hampton Roads VA, let me help make your transition or PCS to the  area a smooth and enjoyable one!

Hampton Roads is a transient community due to the large population of military members in the area. I have a unique perspective on relocation and have helped many families move in and out of the area. I understand the kind of support team it takes to make a smooth transition.

Area Orientations

Complete tours can be scheduled to help you familiarize yourself with Williamsburg and Hampton Roads neighborhoods, home prices, shopping centers, military bases, recreational facilities, public & private schools and transportation systems. My orientation will provide you with awareness of aircraft noise & accident potential zones, flood zones, major traffic patterns and commute times to your job.

You can search homes for sale , active adult communities, 55+ communities, condos and townhomes ,foreclosures/ REO,  land, building lots, commercial property  in Williamsburg , Yorktown, New Kent, Gloucester, Poquoson as well as the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads, Virginia

You can reach me by phone at 757-254-8136 or email  John@MrWilliamsburg.com

I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

Best,

John

Any Billionaires in Williamsburg or Hampton Roads ?

According to the latest Forbes billionaire list five Virginians have been named to the list of the world’s billionaires.

The Virginia residents include Jacqueline Mars, who lives in The Plains; William Conway Jr., McLean; Daniel D’Aniello, McLean; Winnie Johnson-Marquart, Virginia Beach; and Steve Case, McLean.

Hampton Road’s only Billionaire is Winnie Johnson-Marquart is the president of the Johnson Family Foundation and the only Johnson sibling to live outside of hometown Racine, Wisc. She lives in Virginian Beach. The youngest daughter of Imogen and the late Samuel Curtis Johnson (d. 2004), who ran household products company SC Johnson. Sam passed the company to his children in 2000.

Forbes estimated her net worth at $2.8 billion. Marquart-Johnson is president of the Johnson Family Foundation.  She ranks 503rd among world billionaires and is 168th in the U.S.

By the way here is an aerial photo of her waterfront compound in VA Beach

winnie johnson marquart home in va beach va

Fannie Mae speeding up Short Sale process

In an effort to prevent foreclosures Fannie Mae has introduced its HomePath for Short Sales tool to help assist real estate agents in short sale transactions.

The  tool is available to real estate professionals working on a short sale that involves a Fannie Mae-owned loan. Once the short sale case is escalated, Fannie Mae will directly work with the agent or mortgage servicer to assist challenges such as valuation disputes, delays by servicers or uncooperative subordinate lien holders.

Agents can also use the new escalation process to receive a recommended list price from Fannie Mae prior to listing the property for sale

“By giving agents a straightforward, transparent way to escalate short sale issues to Fannie Mae, agents will close more sales, prevent foreclosures and help neighborhoods continue to recover.  Getting short sales done benefits everyone involved and Fannie Mae is committed to doing their part.”

Real estate professionals across the country have already begun using the HomePath for Short Sales escalation tool to resolve challenging short sale issues.

"I was working on a short sale recently with a servicer who was not being responsive, so I used the HomePath for Short Sales site to escalate the case to Fannie Mae," said Kelby Teer, a real estate professional with HomeSmart in Phoenix, AZ.  "I heard back very quickly and within two days the sale was approved.  My clients will now be able to avoid foreclosure."

"Fannie Mae has taken a serious step to address common issues with short sale files,

 

Borrowers Considering a Short Sale

If you are facing foreclosure and can no longer afford your home, you may qualify for a short sale, even if you don’t think you can sell your home. A short sale is when you sell your home for less than the balance owed on your mortgage. If your lender approves a short sale, you can sell your home and pay off all (or a portion of) your mortgage balance with the proceeds.

If you are a borrower considering a short sale, take a look at Fannie Mae’s Know Your Options website. Then contact Mr Williamsburg to get started listing your Williamsburg or Hampton Roads home for sale.

John@MrWilliamsburg.com 

757 254 8136

Frequently Asked Questions by borrowers

1. What is a short sale?

A short sale is a real estate transaction selling a home for less than what is owed on the mortgage. The bank or financial institution that holds the mortgage has to approve a short sale since it means taking a loss on that loan. With the decline in property values as a result of the housing crisis, short sales have become a larger share of home sales and an important tool to prevent foreclosure.

  • You are ineligible to refinance or modify your mortgage
  • You are facing a long-term hardship
  • You are behind on your mortgage payments
  • You owe more on your home than it’s worth
  • You haven’t been able to sell your home at a price that covers what you still owe on your mortgage
  • You can no longer afford your home and are ready or need to leave

2. What is Fannie Mae’s role in the short sale process?

If Fannie Mae owns your loan, Fannie Mae provides direction to the servicer of your loan. For short sales, Fannie Mae’s guidance includes borrower eligibility guidelines, specific list price guidance, offer requirements, and other potential foreclosure alternatives available to you if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for a short sale.

3. How do I know if Fannie Mae owns my loan?

To determine if Fannie Mae owns your loan, use Fannie Mae’s Loan Lookup tool. If you are not the property owner, you must have the property owner’s consent to use this tool.

4. What is the role of my mortgage servicer in the short sale process?

Your mortgage servicer handles all borrower interactions and the borrower eligibility process for a short sale. If a short sale offer meets Fannie Mae’s guidelines – including acceptable offer price, terms and normal and customary expenses – then certain servicers can approve and close the transaction on Fannie Mae’s behalf. If an offer does not meet Fannie Mae’s guidelines, a servicer can submit the offer to Fannie Mae to determine if the offer is acceptable.

5. What are my options if a short sale isn’t approved?

Contact your servicer to discuss the options for a Mortgage Release™, which is another option to resolve delinquency and avoid foreclosure. With a Mortgage Release, you have the option to 1) leave the property immediately, 2) remain for a three-month transition period with no rent payment required, or 3) sign a temporary lease with Fannie Mae for up to twelve months. (The Mortgage Release option was previously called deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.)

January Homes Sales Update for Hampton Roads

home sales statistics williamsburg vaInventory is down and prices are up !

The Hampton Roads real estate market is off to an optimistic start for 2013.

The number of residential homes for sale significantly dropped when compared to January 2012, resulting in a lower month’s supply of inventory. Residential closed  sales and homes under contract both experienced double digit percentage year-over-year increases.

The number of residential homes listed  for sale in Hampton Roads in January 2013 was down 10.75% when compared to the same time last year. Of the regions seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach) Chesapeake and Virginia Beach experienced the largest year-over-year declines in residential active listings at 19.01% and 16.87% respectively. Portsmouth was the only city not to experience a year-over-year decline as residential active listings increased 2.05%. The drop in active listings has resulted in a low 6.18 months’ supply inventory which is down 17.6% from January 2012 when it was 7.5 months.

Pending sales (Homes under contract) showed promising numbers during January 2013 with an increase of 14.14% when compared to January 2012. Suffolk and Chesapeake saw the largest year-over-year increases of 39.74% and 25.54% respectively, while Hampton experienced the smallest year-over-year increase of 3.74%. Portsmouth was the only city not to see a year-over-year gain, with residential under contracts down 14.12%.

Closed home sales round off the month’s positive trend. January 2013’s residential settled sales increased 20.66% when compared to January 2012. Suffolk and Hampton substantially contributed to this increase as they saw year-over-year gains in residential settled sales of 59.26% and 40% respectively. Norfolk experienced the smallest year-over-year gain of 3.87% and Portsmouth saw no gain at all as residential settled sales dropped 1.18% year-over-year.

Home prices

The median residential sales price is currently $193,000, a 10.63% increase from $174,450 in January 2012. image

 

The Hampton Roads distressed homes market, (BANK OWNED, FORECLOSURES OR SHORT SALES ) continue to impact the region’s real estate market. Distressed homes accounted for 34.88% of residential settled sales during January 2013. This is the highest percentage since February 2012 when distressed homes accounted for 36.39% of residential settled sales. As for residential homes for sale, 27% of the listings in January 2013 were distressed properties. This percentage has fluctuated between 22% and 28% over the last 18 months. There appears to be an upward trend in both active and sold distressed residential properties starting in August 2012

This information is derived from the Real Estate Information Network, Inc., (REIN)

An independent MLS owned by broker stockholder members serving real estate brokers in the Tidewater / Hampton Roads area of Virginia from Williamsburg east to Virginia Beach and south to the North Carolina border.

REIN MLS database primarily lists homes, condos, townhomes or land for sale in Carrolton,  Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth  Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry,  Va Beach, Yorktown  and York County Virginia as well as other outlying areas of VA and NC

 

Psst……I’m a real estate agent.

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area and his expertise in the local real estate market.

Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home.

I can help you access all the information you will need about choosing a neighborhood and buying a home in New Kent, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Poquoson or the greater Hampton Roads area, including area information on schools, local government, shopping, activities for the children and more! Whether you have made a decision to relocate, retire or are just considering a move to Williamsburg or Hampton Roads VA, let me help make your transition or PCS to the area a smooth and enjoyable one!

Hampton Roads is a transient community due to the large population of military members in the area. I have a unique perspective on relocation and have helped many families move in and out of the area. I understand the kind of support team it takes to make a smooth transition.

Area Orientations

Complete tours can be scheduled to help you familiarize yourself with Williamsburg and Hampton Roads neighborhoods, home prices, shopping centers, military bases, recreational facilities, public & private schools and transportation systems. My orientation will provide you with awareness of aircraft noise & accident potential zones, flood zones, major traffic patterns and commute times to your job.

You can search homes for sale , active adult communities, 55+ communities, condos and townhomes ,foreclosures/ REO, land, building lots, commercial property in Williamsburg , Yorktown, New Kent, Gloucester, Poquoson as well as the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads, Virginia

You can reach text or call me at 757-254-8136 or email John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Twelve Standout Schools in Hampton Roads

Congratulations to  Tabb , Jamestown Grafton and Poquoson High Schools for being recognized by Hampton Roads Magazine among the twelve best public high schools in Hampton Roads for the 2012 school year!

imageBased on the statistics compiled by the magazine  in their high school stats chart, and with academics (AP test taking percentages and SOL scores) weighted slightly more heavily than dropout rates and behavioral offences,

Below are their top five best public high schools in the Hampton Roads region for the 2012 school year.

DEAN’S LIST

1. TABB HIGH
4431 Big Bethel Rd., Yorktown
757-867-7400
www.YorkCountySchools.org/THS

District: York County Schools
Awards: Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence (2011); Virginia Board of Education’s Competence to Excellence Award (2010); more than 20 state athletic championships
Standout programs: The York County School of the Arts, a program in the fine arts, provides students with an education comparable to the math and science opportunities offered by the Governor’s School for Science and Technology. Through the Virtual Learning Program, students engage in curriculum that blends online and offline learning experiences.

2. JAMESTOWN HIGH
3751 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg
757-259-3600
www.WJCC.k12.va.us

District: Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools

Awards: Second-highest ranked high school in the Hampton Roads region in Newsweek’s listing of America’s Best High Schools; 63 percent of 2012 graduates enrolled in four-year colleges or universities.
Standout programs: Students may enroll in concurrent courses at The College of William and Mary, Christopher Newport University and Thomas Nelson Community College. Dual enrollment credit is offered for many technical and academic classes, with some technical courses leading to industry certification.

3. PRINCESS ANNE HIGH
4400 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach
757-648-5600
www.PrincessAnneHS.VBSchools.com

District: Virginia Beach City Schools

Awards: Maintains its place as the highest ranked high school in Virginia Beach as well as the Hampton Roads region in Newsweek’s listing of America’s Best High Schools.
Standout programs: Home of Virginia Beach’s International Baccalaureate program, designed to meet the highest standards required of any high school in the world. The prestigious program offers a rigorous, comprehensive approach to learning in the last two years of secondary school. The school also hosts the Virginia Beach center for students with moderate to severe disabilities.

4. GRASSFIELD HIGH
2007 Grizzly Trail, Chesapeake
757-558-4749
www.CPSchools.com/Schools/GFH

District: Chesapeake City Public Schools
Awards: Principal Carolyn Bernard received the prestigious 2013 AdvancED Virginia Excellence in Education Award.
Standout programs: Governor’s STEM Academy operates as a school-within-a-school and features a cutting-edge curriculum especially designed for students with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. Students have multiple opportunities for taking advanced courses and sampling special programs such as mentorship and internship.

5. FRANK W. COX HIGH
2425 Shorehaven Dr., Virginia Beach
757-648-5250
www.CoxHS.VBSchools.com

District: Virginia Beach City Schools

Awards: More than $3 million in scholarship money awarded to graduating seniors in June 2011; Virginia High School League Wachovia Cup for outstanding academic and athletic achievement has been awarded to the school more than any other school in the state.
Standout programs: The school has won 40 state athletic titles overall. Blue ribbon awards were also given for the music program, student newspaper and student yearbook.

Other local schools in the honor roll list of Hampton Roads Magazine included:

Maury High,
Norfolk
Salem High,
Virginia Beach
First Colonial High,
Virginia Beach
Hickory High,
Chesapeake
Grafton High,
Yorktown
Poquoson High,
Poquoson
Great Bridge High,
Chesapeake

 

Statistics were gleaned from the Virginia Department of Education website: www.DOE.Virginia.Gov

This article appears in full in the February 2013 issue of Hampton Roads Magazine.

Search homes for sale in the top rated Hampton Roads high school districts below.

 

Search homes for sale in Jamestown High School District  in Williamsburg VA

 

Search homes for sale in Tabb High School District in York County VA

 

Search homes for sale in Grafton High School District in York County VA

 

Search homes for sale in Grassfield High School District in Chesapeake VA

 

Search homes for sale in Great Bridge High School Zone, Chesapeake Virginia

 

Search homes for sale in Poquoson High School District in Poquoson VA

 

Search homes for sale in Princess Anne High School District in Virginia Beach VA

 

Search homes for sale in Cox High School District in Virginia Beach VA

 

Pssst.——I’m a real estate agent.

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area and his expertise in the local real estate market.

Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home.

I can help you access all the information you will need about choosing a neighborhood and buying a home in New Kent, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Poquoson or the greater Hampton Roads area, including area information on schools, local government, shopping, activities for the children and more! Whether you have made a decision to relocate, retire or are just considering a move to Williamsburg or Hampton Roads VA, let me help make your transition or PCS to the area a smooth and enjoyable one!

Hampton Roads is a transient community due to the large population of military members in the area. I have a unique perspective on relocation and have helped many families move in and out of the area. I understand the kind of support team it takes to make a smooth transition.

Area Orientations

Complete tours can be scheduled to help you familiarize yourself with Williamsburg and Hampton Roads neighborhoods, home prices, shopping centers, military bases, recreational facilities, public & private schools and transportation systems. My orientation will provide you with awareness of aircraft noise & accident potential zones, flood zones, major traffic patterns and commute times to your job.

You can search homes for sale , active adult communities, 55+ communities, condos and townhomes ,foreclosures/ REO, land, building lots, commercial property in Williamsburg , Yorktown, New Kent, Gloucester, Poquoson as well as the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads, Virginia

You can reach text or call me at 757-254-8136 or email John@MrWilliamsburg.com

I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

Best,

John

Hampton Roads Home & Garden Show starts Feb 8, 2013

Join the Peninsula Housing and Builders Association for the Hampton Roads Home & Garden Show, an all-new event, featuring an exciting line-up of celebrities and home and garden experts,offering gardening activities that offer something for everyone in the family.Join the Peninsula Housing and Builders Association for the Hampton Roads Home & Garden Show, an all-new event, featuring an exciting line-up of celebrities and home and garden experts,offering gardening activities that offer something for everyone in the family.

The  Home and Garden Show is on the  Peninsula at the Hampton Roads Convention Center this weekend February 8-10.  This is a new show, but it has some strong sponsorship, great scheduled guest celebrities and lots of fun activities for the kids.

Meet one of the country’s most famous “pickers” as Mike Wolfe from The History Channel’s hit series American Pickers will be there Saturday afternoon to share his tales from the trails.

An art historian and certified antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori, (Lori Verderame, Ph.D.) reveals insider tips about art, antiques, museums and yard-sale finds.

Whether you’re a novice or a certified green thumb, you’re sure to pick up some new knowledge from a three-day line-up of horticulture experts assembled by garden writer and editor Kathy Van Mullekom of York County.

Hours:

Friday: 10am-9pm
Saturday: 10am-9pm
Sunday: 10am-6pm

Admission is $10 for adults, and free for children 12 and under. Active-duty and retired military and senior citizens (ages 62 or better) get a $2 discount. Parking is free.

When:
Tomorrow, February 8, 2013 10:00 am
Sunday, February 10, 2013 6:00 pm

Add to Calendar

Where:

Hampton Roads Convention Center

1610 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666

How:
Official Website

2012 Was A Very Good Year For Hampton Roads Real Estate

I post a number of real estate sales statistics on this website throughout the year, Yesterday I recapped the Williamsburg VA market with stats from the local Williamsburg Area Association of Realtors. (WAAR)

Today we will cover the remainder of Hampton Roads with data from the Real Estate Information Network (REIN). This includes the cities and counties of Carrolton,  Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth , Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry,  Va Beach, Yorktown  and York County Virginia

The final numbers are in and the Hampton Roads real estate market ended the year with encouraging statistics that indicate 2012 was a year of strengthening and recovery. Although inventory levels are the lowest since 2005, pending and settled sales posted healthy increases for a second year in a row, and the median sales price is slowly but steadily moving up.

The number  homes listed for sale in December 2012 is down 13.36% when measured against December 2011. This brings the region down to a 5.91 month’s supply of inventory. Six months is considered a normal real estate market. Chesapeake’s active residential active listings are down the most at 22.94% year-over-year, to a 4.96 month’s supply of inventory, and Virginia Beach is down 21.45% to a 4.18 month’s supply. This is the lowest number of active residential listings since May 2006 when there were 9,448 residential homes for sale.

image

Residential pending sales (homes under contract) were up 8.55% year-over-year for December 2012. Only two of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton and Newport News) did not experience an uptick in pending sales; Norfolk and Chesapeake with 15.05% and 3.23% decreases respectively. The number of residential pending sales increased the most for Suffolk, up 21.74% over December 2011.

We did see a dip in closed sales in December of 5.03% when compared to the same month last year. A dip in settled sales is not uncommon for the month of December, as homeowners often prefer to concentrate on the holidays instead of moving residences. All of the region’s major cities experienced this down-turn, except for Portsmouth and Norfolk with gains of 3.70% and 2.72% respectively. Suffolk saw the most dramatic decline in December’s settled sales with 14.42% year-over-year. Of all of December’s closed sales, 16.83% were for new construction. The median sales price for all residential homes sold in December 2012 was $200,000, up 1.27% from $197,500 in December 2011.

Year-to-date summaries for 2012 showed promising trends when compared to the prior year. For all of 2012, 34,746 new listings were added into REIN’s database (all property types). This is down 6% when compared to 2011 and is the lowest since 2003. Of the region’s seven major cities, Newport News experienced the largest dip in the number of new listings, down 12.54% from 2011, while Suffolk was the only city to see an increase, up 1.05% for 2012. For the year as a whole, 12.71% (4,416) of these new listings were for new construction, suggesting that new home activity is picking up.

In all of 2012, 20,174 residential listings went under contract, up 9.27% from last year. All of the region’s major cities underwent increases, except for Portsmouth (down 1.77%) and Newport News (down .72%). Suffolk felt the most significant increase in total pending sales, up 20.80% over 2011. There were 19,518 residential closed home sales throughout all of 2012, up 7.35% from the previous year. Suffolk benefited with the largest gain over 2011, an increase of 12.75% in settled sales. Newport News and Portsmouth were the only two major cities to face declines, each of which was down less than 1% from 2011. The median residential settled sales price for 2012 is $199,900, up 2.51% from $195,000 last year. In 2012, residential new construction closings (2,663 units) were up 12.65% from 2,364 units in 2011. Unlike the median price for all residential settled sales, the median sales price for residential new construction closings in 2012 is down 1.5% ($274,000 vs. $276,908).

image

The share of foreclosures and shorts sales,  known as distressed sales, has been inching upward in South Hampton Roads since August. The percentage of existing home sales that were distressed in December broke the 30 percent threshold for the first time since April. This does seem to happen for some reason at the end of each year..

Mr Williamsburg real estate banner

Psst.I’m a real estate agent.

This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area and  his expertise in the local real estate market.

He can help you access all the information you will need about choosing a neighborhood and buying a home in New Kent, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Poquoson or the greater Hampton Roads area, including area information on schools, local government, shopping, activities for the children and more! Whether you have made a decision to relocate, retire or are just considering a move to Williamsburg or  Hampton Roads VA, let John help make your transition or PCS to the  area a smooth and enjoyable one!

Hampton Roads is a transient community due to the large population of military members in the area. I have a unique perspective on relocation and have helped many families move in and out of the area. I understand the kind of support team it takes to make a smooth transition.

Area Orientations

Complete tours can be scheduled to help you familiarize yourself with Williamsburg and Hampton Roads neighborhoods, home prices, shopping centers, military bases, recreational facilities, public & private schools and transportation systems. My orientation will provide you with awareness of aircraft noise & accident potential zones, flood zones, major traffic patterns and commute times to your job.

You can search homes for sale , active adult communities, 55+ communities, condos and townhomes ,foreclosures/ REO,  land, building lots, commercial property  in Williamsburg , Yorktown, New Kent, Gloucester, Poquoson as well as the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads, Virginia

You can reach me by phone at 757-254-8136 or email  John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Chinese Drywall bill clears Congress awaits Presidents signature

Congress has taken action to stop the spread of tainted drywall blamed for corroding pipes and causing breathing problems in thousands of homes in Florida and 38 other states.

The bill essentially bans high-sulfur building products and also raised hopes that homeowners will be able to bring Chinese manufacturers to court to recover the cost of replacing dangerous drywall.

image"Most of the homes in Williamsburg or Hampton Roads have been repaired, and people are moving forward, But any level of relief for those homeowners will  be welcomed, because many were devastated.

The bill that Congress sent to President Barack Obama Tuesday evening relies on diplomatic pressure to help alleged victims gain compensation.

It directs the U.S. secretary of commerce to arrange a meeting between Chinese drywall makers and U.S. officials on how to remedy homeowners. And it instructs the Commerce Department to insist that the Chinese government direct those companies to submit to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and their judgments.

Though consumer advocates were encouraged, some remain doubtful about the Obama’s administration’s determination to demand a response from the Chinese.

The original legislation, H.R. 4212, was introduced by Representative Scott Rigell  and passed the House of Representatives unanimously this summer.  In December, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a longtime advocate for Chinese drywall victims, was instrumental in moving the legislation unanimously through the Senate with an amendment.  Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the measure on a strong bipartisan vote of 378-37 and sent the final bill to the President’s desk.
“This is a bill about protecting American families – their health and financial well-being.  Too many of our friends and neighbors have suffered because of the effects of Chinese drywall in their homes, and this bill ensures that preventative standards are in place so no American family is faced with the hardship and heartache from contaminated drywall ever again,” said Rigell, co-chair of the bipartisan Contaminated Drywall Caucus which has worked on legislation to address this issue since the beginning of the 112th Congress.

  “Having worked on this issue since the day I took office, I am pleased that this legislation is headed to the President’s desk.  But China must also be held accountable for the devastation this product has already caused, and we will continue to fight for these victims as well.”
“Hundreds of Virginia homeowners have been put through hell after building or repairing their homes with toxic drywall.  Our bipartisan legislation should ensure that, in the future, more Virginians will not have to go through similar nightmares,” said Senator Warner.  “This legislation helps make sure that unsafe drywall won’t be sold in the future, and that the manufacturers of tainted drywall will be held accountable.”
Senator Warner and staff have worked closely for nearly three years with about 100 affected Virginia families.  The Senator has worked with mortgage lenders, insurance companies, and the IRS to provide some short-term financial relief for affected families. In October 2009, Senator Warner accompanied Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Inez Tenenbaum to Hampton Roads to speak with families and tour several homes affected by drywall issues.

Once signed into law, the bill will:
• Express a Sense of Congress that the Chinese manufacturers need to make restitution to the victims.
• Institute a labeling requirement so that defective drywall can be traced to the manufacturer.
• Set chemical standards to limit the amount of sulfur that can be present in domestic and imported drywall, allowing the Consumer Product Safety Commission two years to promulgate a rule pertaining to sulfur content.
• Require Consumer Product Safety Commission to update their remediation guidelines to prevent contaminated drywall from being reused or recycled.
Background on contaminated drywall:

Background on contaminated drywall:

  • Contaminated Chinese-manufactured drywall was imported and used in home construction from approximately 2001-2009.  Some of that material was used in Hampton Roads construction.
  • Scientific studies have shown this drywall to cause a corrosive environment for fire alarm systems, electrical distribution systems, gas piping, and refrigeration coils.
  • The CPSC has received reports of contaminated Chinese drywall in more than 3,991 homes in 43 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico.
  • The Chinese manufacturers, some of which are state owned, have refused to submit to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.
  • Reports from homeowners indicate that some contaminated drywall may be entering the recycling stream for use in new home construction or renovation.

Read other stories about Chines Drywall in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads here

Hampton Roads contractor keeps Chinese Drywall suit alive.

A local contractor won a minor victory in an appeal of its claim for damages against its insurance carriers, which refused to cover the costs of replacing tainted Chinese drywall.

imageA Norfolk federal judge had dismissed a $5 million suit brought by Dragas Management Corp., ruling that because Dragas voluntarily did the work, the insurance companies had no obligation to pay for it under federal law.

But the appeals court in Richmond on Monday ruled that federal courts lack jurisdiction over the matter and sent the case back to the Norfolk federal judge with instructions to dismiss it.

The appeals court ruled that because the parties exist in Virginia, the case belongs in state court.

That essentially keeps Dragas’ claim alive, although either side can try to appeal further to the U.S. Supreme Court.

More of the story here

Read more about Chinese Drywall issues in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads here

Hampton Roads real estate market continues it’s recovery

November 2012

Promising real estate trends in Hampton Roads continued through October 2012, with double digit percentage increases in sales and homes under contract compared to October 2011

October 2012 saw a 13.8% year-over-year increase in closed sales. This marks the eighth time this year that settled sales have increased year-over-year. Suffolk and Portsmouth experienced the largest gains of 42.3% and 25.6% respectively. Of the seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) Norfolk and Newport News were the only two not to experience year-over-year increases and saw declines of 9.9% and 5.9%.

The number of homes under contract  was up 26.1% in October 2012 when compared to the same time last year. This is the highest year-over-year increase the market has experienced since January 2012 when the number of pending sales grew 32.9%. Suffolk and Virginia Beach experienced the largest year-over-year increases at 100% and 29.8% respectively. Hampton and Newport News were the only major cities not to experience an increase, with declines of 12.3% and 1.4% year-over-year.

The number of homes listed for sale continue to decline and were down 12.1% overall when compared to October 2011.

This drop in the number of active listings in the market has led to a significant drop in month’s supply of inventory – now at 6.79 months as compared to 8.44 months in October 2011. A six months supply is considered a balanced market. In the supply and demand equation, this lowering of inventory bodes well for the median sales price, which was $199,000 in October 2012, up 5.4% from $188,780 in October 2011.

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Banked owned homes or short sales continue to have an impact on the region. Although the number of distressed active listings has dropped , they still account for 26.8% of all residential active listings in October 2012, vs. 24.3% in October 2011. This may suggest that buyers are purchasing more non-distressed listings. Distressed home sales accounted for  28.3% of all residential sales in October 2012. Though this is up 2.9% from September this year, distressed  sales are down 4.8% from October 2011.

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These statistics are from the real estate information network (REIN) the MLS for the Hampton Roads region covering the areas of Virginia from Williamsburg east to Virginia Beach and south to the North Carolina border. This includes homes, condos, townhomes or land for sale in Carrolton,  Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth  Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry,  Va Beach, Yorktown  and York County Virginia and James City County/ Williamsburg

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