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  • 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
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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

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

Suffolk, Loudon, Prince William Make Top 10 List for Job Growth in US

#9. Suffolk, VA job growth (2000-2011): 43.0% While actually a city not a county CNN noted It's smooth sailing for job growth in Suffolk, thanks to the Navy's recent decision to relocate four commands, . The move will add nearly 1,000 jobs -- which is about the total number of new jobs added to the area in all of 2011.  Suffolk is also located close to the Port of Virginia, and like many of the places on the list, quality of life is a big selling point here. Schools, transportation and community are all strong in this city with historic charm.It’s still a tough job market, but these three Virginia localities counties can make it a lot easier to find work and a great place to live.

This week, CNN Money Magazine published their annual list of ““Where the Jobs Are”

Virginia had three localities in the top ten list of U.S. counties with the highest job grown from 200-2011.

Loudoun County was ranked number 1 with the highest job growth rate, at 83.6 percent. Prince William County was eighth with a job growth rate of 48.6 percent, and Suffolk (which actually is a city) was ninth with a job growth rate of 43 percent.

#1. Got data? Loudoun County , VA does. Lots of it. With its expansive fiber networks and a swarm of tech workers, it’s a major traffic hub on the East Coast. The latest boom to hit this area is data centers, which now occupy 4.3 million square feet in the county, earning Loudoun the nickname "Data Center Alley."

Easy access to the nation’s capital and Dulles International Airport also creates opportunities for government and the airline and freight servicing industries.

#8 .Prince William County, VA takes the crown when it comes to offering enticing perks to businesses. Expedited permits for companies in "targeted" industries that promise high-paying jobs and capital investment is just one of the ways it rolls out the red carpet.

Also behind the job boom: proximity to the D.C. Beltway, a smart workforce and competitive tax rates.

#9. Suffolk, VA job growth (2000-2011): 43.0%

While actually a city not a county CNN noted It’s smooth sailing for job growth in Suffolk, thanks to the Navy’s recent decision to relocate four commands, . The move will add nearly 1,000 jobs — which is about the total number of new jobs added to the area in all of 2011.  Suffolk is also located close to the Port of Virginia, and like many of the places on the list, quality of life is a big selling point here. Schools, transportation and community are all strong in this city with historic charm.

Those strengths have lured a variety of businesses. The retail sector is growing, as are manufacturing and warehousing. Planters, now owned by Kraft, was started here a century ago and still operates a major peanut processing center.

CNN Money released twelve lists this year, including “Best Places to Live,” “Where the Jobs Are,” “Top Earning Towns,” “Hotspots for the Rich and Single,” “Where Homes Area Affordable,” as well as lists for commute times and climate.

This type of positive recognition is a boost not only for business people and residents living and working in these Virginia localities , but it draws attention from outside the region. Site selection consultants and recruiters can use these rankings as another tool to help draw attention to the state as a vibrant region with tremendous assets for companies and potential employees.

CNN Money creates their rankings using a variety of community metrics and data sources within financial, quality of life and housing criteria. .

Take these list with a grain of sale as according to their source data they will allow 2 places in a state to qualify. ( well I guess Virginia squeaked by with three on this list)

Source: Census data, Onboard Informatics projection. Only counties where each Best Place within it was also experiencing job and population growth, and where unemployment was below the national average, were considered. No more than 2 places within a state could qualify.

See the full list here.

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 areas of Virginia or to sell your existing home.

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Hampton Roads Population Growth in 2011

imageJames City County led the way in Hampton Roads Population growth percentages in the latest annual population estimates released by The Weldon Cooper Center.

Hampton Roads total population grew by 13,427 in 2011, a rate of 0.81%. James City County growth was 2.78% almost double that of Chesapeake @ 1.66%.

Virginia’s population growth has outpaced the nation’s since the 2010 census.

Demographers at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service say the state’s population grew by 1.2 percent as of July 1, 2011. That puts the state’s total population at 8.1 million, according to the center’s estimates.

During the same period, the nation grew by less than 1 percent.

The region still grows more slowly than the state as a whole however.

Most of the Hampton Roads population growth occurred in the larger cities of the region, including Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, but there was also strong growth in Suffolk and James City County. Portsmouth also grew more quickly than the region, which represents a change from a two decade trend of declining population.

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Attention Hampton Roads Military Commuters !

imageThe Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) is seeking the participation of commuters traveling to/from all military installations in Hampton Roads in a transportation survey.  The HRTPO is collecting information about the commuting experience of military personnel (active-duty, civilians, contractors, reservists and others) traveling to/from the region`s military bases.  The survey was developed by the HRTPO, in concert with the Commands from the region`s military installations and various transportation stakeholders. It is designed to identify and determine the challenges local military personnel and military-related commuters routinely face during their daily commutes. Click here to take the survey.

Hampton Roads Ranked #5 In Best Cities For Working Moms Forbes Report

Three Virginia regions made the top 20 list  for Working mom. Hampton Roads ranks No. 5, Richmond came in at #7 and the Northern VA/ CD MD region was #9  among the nation’s top 50 metropolitan areas for working mothers.

Forbes Woman  examined the nation’s largest metro areas looking at job opportunity, earnings potential for women, and the cost of living, particularly child care.

"But it takes much more than a steady paycheck and healthy employment rate to land a city on our list," Forbes reported. "Safety, health care and education rank high on a working mother’s list of priorities."hamptonroadsmap

So it also looked at the number of physicians, school-district-per-pupil expenditures, and violent crime rates as reported by the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

Job opportunity and high earnings potential were at the top of the list.
They also looked at safety, healthcare and education, because those are priorities every mother considers when taking a job. They did this by looking at the number of practicing physicians, school district per-pupil expenditure, provided by Sperling’s Best Places and the violent crime rates as reported annually by the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Cost of living was considered along with time and the rising cost of childcare. Time commuting to and from work and at work were also factors.

The top 10 best cities for working mothers are:

1 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY

2 Columbus, OH

3 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

4 Pittsburgh, PA

5 Hampton Roads VA ( Hampton Roads MSA  includes Currituck County, Gloucester County, Isle of Wight County, James City County, Mathews County, York County, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Surry County, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg)

6 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

7 Richmond, VA ( which includes the City of Richmond and Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico counties. Richmond-Petersburg MSA includes these localities plus the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell and the counties of Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Goochland, King and Queen, King William, Louisa, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex)

8 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH

9 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

10 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH

See the Forbes report  here

 

Do reports like this help you make choices or do you go where the jobs are? What say you ?

Hampton Roads Real Estate Update Sept 2011

The Hampton Roads real estate market experienced large gains and declines during August 2011. The number of homes that were listed for sale, those homes that went under contract and the number of residential settled sales all had double digit moves when compared to August 2010. The distressed residential market also showed signs of improvement.

imageThe number of residential listings for sale in August 2011 was down 15% when compared to August 2010. This is the largest decline on a year-over-year basis since May 2004 when there was a 16.7% decline. All seven of the major local cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach) saw decreases, with six of those having declines greater than 10%. The sharp drop in active residential listings contributed to the 5.7% fall in the months’ supply of inventory measurement in August as well. Over the past year, the months’ supply of inventory has fluctuated, but not at this magnitude. 

Nearly 1 of every 3 homes sold in August – 29 percent – were in foreclosure or sold for less than what the homeowner owed last month, reported Real Estate Information Network Inc. That’s up from 25 percent a year ago.

The number of residential under contract sales grew by 23.4% in August this year when compared to the same time last year. All seven of the major local cities experienced year-over-year gains. Newport News had the largest gain, 57%, with Norfolk showing the second largest, 49%. The rise in under contract sales provides foreshadowing for future sales, but does not guarantee these sales figures over the next few months.

Rounding out the month’s positive trend, the number of residential settled sales was higher in all seven major local cities and the region as a whole in August 2011 when compared to August 2010. The region showed a 15.8% year-over-year rise in settled residential sales. Chesapeake and Newport News had the highest gains, 39% and 37% respectively. Suffolk had the smallest improvement with 5% growth. The median settled sales price for these homes was down 6.8% when compared to those homes sold in August 2010. For year-to-date 2011, the median residential settled sales price is $195,000, or 9.7% lower than the same time period last year when it was $216,000.

The distressed homes market, those that are bank owned or short sales, grew as a percentage of residential active listings, but fell as a percentage of residential settled sales. Distressed homes grew slightly as a percentage of homes actively listed for sale to 22.6%, the highest percentage since February 2011. However, the percentage of residential settled sales that distressed homes comprised fell to 29.3% which is the lowest percentage since September 2010. Overall, the number of individual distressed homes in the Hampton Roads real estate market is declining, down 12.8% since the beginning of this year. Since the year began the number of active distressed homes listed for sale has dropped each month from 2,897 to 2,526. Should this trend continue, the distressed homes market in Hampton Roads may stabilize and lessen its impact on the non-distressed homes market, namely prices.

 

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