• 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

Aerial Video- For Mr Williamsburg the sky’s the limit.

Look up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a drone taking a video of your house, your neighborhood, the waterfront view.

Although the word drone conjures up images of military spy craft, we are now using a small remote-control four rotor helicopter with a camera  that takes stills and video. With a number of homes the regular photos on the ground are not very impressive, but you get in the air and it looks like you are in the Florida Keys or something.

For that special property we can create the wow factor.” click the photo below for an example of our aerial video photography.

aerial videos of williamsburg va

Home buyers are visual people. Aerial video can be the difference needed to bring a prospect to a home or property. Certain properties cannot be fully appreciated unless you see them by air or water. Take the Uncles Neck neighborhood in Lanexa. If you have never been on the Chickahominy River you don’t know what you are missing.

Take a look and see what you think

I would be happy to discuss a marketing plan for your unique Williamsburg or Hampton Roads Virginia property. email John@MrWilliamsburg.com for further info.

How’s the real estate market in Williamsburg VA–Oct 2014

A brief recap of our overall market here in Williamsburg VA.

Well, we have good news to report on the Williamsburg VA real estate market – We have reached a point of stability.

As we move into the winter market we are starting to see things wind down.  We have a 7.2 month supply of homes which is about the same level as last month.  Obviously, we would like to see more sales as would our sellers but we are maintaining our sales levels, not decreasing which is more good news.  Additional positive news is interest rates remain low and prices are stable so the opportunity for buyers to lock in reasonable monthly payments is available.  From the buyer’s perspective, now is a great time to buy. Sellers are netting approximately 98% of list price at present. A number that has increased steadily in the past few years. ( So a home listed for $300k is selling for $294k on average)

The average selling period for home sellers here in Williamsburg is 57 days. We are expecting mortgage interest rates to rise as we move into 2015 .  Right now we have great rates so take advantage while you can because the Fed still thinks it will be a “considerable time” before it begins to raise interest rates. The Zero Interest Rate Policy remains in full force, as it has been since it began at the end of 2008.  This policy will change because we cannot sustain this type of monetary policy as it just continues to add to our National debt.  Plus, we need a market-driven interest rate environment and a more predictable monetary policy to help foster long term economic growth.  This will definitely impact our housing recovery moving forward.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your housing situation in more detail so please feel free to contact me via email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or give me a call 757.254.8136

Well, we have good news to report on the Williamsburg VA real estate market – We have reached a point of stability.

If you’re a Williamsburg or Coastal Virginia home seller who has been wondering if it might finally be time to sell, email me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com ,  and I can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you – you just may be pleasantly surprised.

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Chasing the real estate market in Williamsburg- What’s the “Magic Price” that will sell my home ?

Many Williamsburg or Hampton Roads VA home owners want to list their property at a higher price than the MLS market data suggests because they feel their home is superior to others on the market, or some say "they just have to get a certain price for it." Often this is a result of their investment in the property and they want to get at least that much out of it when they sell. While this is totally understandable, your home is only worth what a buyer today is willing to pay for it.

In this way the real estate market is similar to the stock market. It doesn’t matter how great the company is or how much you originally paid for a stock, it is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it today. If you try to sell your stocks at a price above the market, buyers will simply ignore them and they won’t sell. The same is true for real estate; buyers will only pay you what your property is worth in today’s market.

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Often times homeowners fall into a common rut while trying to sell their homes — they overlook market trends, which can sabotage results. The sales history above tells the whole story. The home indicated below was on the market for a staggering 1203 days. No that is not a misprint. Over three years on the market. After initially listing the home for $1,085000 was back in December 2007 the seller went through multiple listing periods and reductions. They finally settled at $850k in September of 2014. Seven long years and five months after it was initially listed.  OUCH. Can you imagine having to keep your home ready to show for that long ?

Although ultimately successful in selling their home, the owner of the property was sucked into a classic economic phenomenon called "chasing the market."  Their decisions of where to price their homes was unfortunately not based on viewing trends and anticipating the future. 
We see many homes on the market today that are languishing unsold. They were priced too high to begin with, and then the recession hit. It is common for an owner, rather than repositioning his property to be of value in the declining market, to chose a nominal price reduction, and then another, and another, as the market continues to fall ahead of where the house is priced.

PRICE AHEAD OF THE MARKET!

If a Williamsburg Home Seller starts too high in price, this compounds this effect. Sellers may find themselves reducing and reducing…..never really catching the market! To be successful in a declining market, the seller should be priced lower than the market indicates it should be. Then when normal market times develop, you’ll be priced right to get your offer.


Sellers, you must be priced correctly for your market conditions, or simply stated, you won’t be making your move. It’s not good enough being “on the market”. You must be “in the market” to make your sale and move. What you’ll need is an experienced, market savvy real estate agent who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

 

If you’re a seller who has been wondering if it might finally be time to sell, email me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com ,  and I can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you – you just may be pleasantly surprised.

Top Williamsburg VA Real Estate Brokers June 2013

June 2013-The numbers are in for June 2013 in the Williamsburg VA real estate market. While it was a close race in 2012 for market share with the lead changing between the offices of William E. Wood and Liz Moore and Associates numerous times but as of June 2013  our office (Liz Moore and Associates) has a commanding lead in market share with over 19.29 % of the market. Our office’s listings and sales were greater then the combined listings and  sales of combined listings and  sales of , Kingsmill Realty, Fords Colony Realty, Coldwell Banker Traditions, Twiddy Realty, Century 21 Nachman, ReMax Capital. who were the 4th-10th place finishers in sales in the Williamsburg VA market in May 2013

In second place is William E Wood and Associates, , third place is Long and Foster and in forth place with about 50% of our market share is Prudential Towne Realty.

Two more telling statistics : Of the top four real estate brokerages in town we enjoy one of  the lowest days on market at 98, compared to the 111-324 days of our competitors.

PicMonkey Collage

And lastly , our company with 36 agents selling has the highest productivity per agent in town.!

just sayin !

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Note sales number above are from the Williamsburg Area Assoc of Realtors (WAAR) MLS numbers,  It reflects sales for Residential real estate : (Single Family Detach, Attached/Condo/Townhome, Condo, Townhouse), Lots and Land: within the zip codes of 23188,23185 and 23168.( City of Williamsburg, James City County, Upper York County.

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.

See real time data here for Williamsburg VA home sales statistics

Download a 10 page detailed report for Williamsburg Home Sales Statistics May 2013 here

Click here for real time stats

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 WILLAIMSBURG 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.

How’s the real estate market in Williamsburg ? May 2013

May 2013 Market Observations

The Williamsburg VA  real estate market continued to demonstrate it’s strength in May 2013 with home sales up  32.69% over the previous May.

The closed median home price in May 2013 for the Williamsburg  VA market , which includes the City of Williamsburg, James City County and Upper York County’s housing data, was $303.500, close to holding even with the price from a year ago.

NOTE: these figures will most likely increase as real estate brokerages continue to post sales updates from May sales

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Available home inventory levels continue to shrink , the month’s supply of inventory is currently 8 months compared to 12 months in May of 2012. The month’s supply is also referred to as the absorption rate which indicates that if the current market conditions were to continue; this is how many months it would take to deplete the available inventory.

Williamsburg home sellers this month are experiencing an average 98 percent sales price to list price ratio. This average is a 1.4 percent increase over 2012.. The increase can be attributed to high demand and limited inventory. ( in other words if the home was listed for $100k, it sold it for $98,000)

  • Total inventory for sale is at 870 homes, a 16 percent decrease from the 1042 homes on the market in May of 2012 .The limited amount of inventory continues to inflate pricing and intensify demand for properties.
  • The time on market decreased dramatically this month showing a 32 percent reduction of days on market  to 51 days from 75 days last year.

Note: These statistics are from the Williamsburg VA MLS (WAAR WMLS) and cover the 23185,23188 and 23168 zip code regions. This includes the City of Williamsburg, James City County , Toano, Norge, Lightfoot, Lanexa, and the upper part of York County, (Bruton District)

See real time data here for Williamsburg VA home sales statistics

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 WILLIAMSBURGSBURG 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.

Exceptional home in Governors Land, now on the market.

The classic, elegant exterior of the Georgian Federal home on Ann Johnson Lane in Governor’s Land was what first enticed Caz Wesley when she was house-shopping in 2008.

front2“I could see the house was an architectural gem when I walked up to it,” said Caz, an interior designer. “On the exterior, all four sides are classic, dark red brick with keystones over the windows. The front stoop has four brick steps and gracious, curved black railings with beautiful balustrades going down both sides. There’s a Federal-style portico with four pillars over the Charleston-style front door, which has an arched, webbed glass window above it and sidelights on both sides. There are just so many beautiful architectural features.”

rear viewCaz and her husband, Don, who works in the field service, bought the nearly 5,000 square-foot home after discovering its classically inspired but family–friendly interior was as attractive as its exterior. “I knew the house would be beautiful because it was designed by Scott Cleckley, an architect who lives in Governor’s Land,” Caz noted. “I’m very discerning visually, and he pays a lot of attention to detail.”

family2Caz, Don and their son, Arthur, then 13, moved to Governor’s Land after being stationed overseas, and were excited about living in a Williamsburg-area golf community. “There are three big golf communities in the area, but we chose Governor’s Land because it’s on the water, it has a beautiful club overlooking the convergence [the junction of the James and Chickahominy rivers], and we also like tennis and swimming,” said Caz. “It was the ideal community for us.”

kitchen1The house itself, built in 1999, also proved to be a great fit. “It’s an ideal family home for people with kids or grandkids,” said Caz. “Also, I love entertaining and this house is perfect for that, too.”

foyer diningFrom the dramatic, two-story foyer, a staircase — decked out with gingerbread molding along the side—rises to the second level and a Juliette balcony with arch and keystone at the top. To the left of the foyer is a den and to the right is a formal dining room, both with large, arched openings and detailed trim moldings.

dining2The main level also features a light-filled, two-story great room – overlooked by the Juliette balcony — which leads to a kitchen with a large island that Caz uses for setting up buffets. One side of the kitchen opens to a breakfast nook/sunroom with an unusual octagonal ceiling and a six-person, bay window seat that includes storage cabinets beneath it. The kitchen exits to a large, raised patio/veranda and to a screened backyard porch.

screened porch2“The flow from the kitchen to the porch and the huge veranda is perfect for entertaining,” Caz said. “We have a fire pit, a bar, and two patio tables with umbrellas on the veranda, and three grills set up on the step-down patio we added beside the veranda. We’ve had many get togethers there, including our annual luau.”

veranda1We also love playing games in the huge, flat back yard,” Caz added. “We play touch football, dodge ball, volleyball, and croquet.” She noted that the yard, which has woods across the back, also works for less rigorous activities, such as birding, with benches placed strategically to overlook bird feeders. Caz has sighted Cooper’s hawks, bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, bluebirds, and hummingbirds, among others.

masterThe house is ample for a large family, with five bedrooms, four of them on the second level and a 24’ x 15’ master bedroom suite on the first floor. The master bedroom features a tray ceiling and a wall of windows that are nearly floor-to-ceiling, while the master bath has a double vanity with desk, whirlpool bath tub, and double-headed shower. The master suite connects to a stone-floored, private screened porch with a 6-person hot tub.

A 32’ x 21’ bonus room over the garage (accessed via stairs from the kitchen) has served as an excellent home base for Arthur. “My son fell in love with that room when we first moved in,” Caz said. “He used it for his bedroom until he changed to another bedroom on the second floor, and the bonus room became a family room with a foosball table, pool table, and flat screen TV. Our house was the hang-out place for Arthur and his friends because of that room.”

bonus1Arthur also made good use of the stone driveway in front of the three-car garage. “We have a basketball hoop there, and he has played there many hours with his friends,” Caz noted.

The family made a few changes to the house after moving in, particularly to the great room, where they replaced and redesigned the fireplace to make it better fit the style of the home. “It was a very rustic stone fireplace that was not complementing the rest of the house,” Caz said. “I made it into a traditional Georgian mantel with dentil molding and beading, so now it looks like it has always been there.” She also raised the fireplace and installed a high gloss, black granite hearth and surround that compliments her black baby grand piano that sits in the room.

bedroom1Caz also repurposed a large, rectangular alcove beside the fireplace that the prior owner had used for a hefty entertainment center. “I installed a multi-functional piece, with cabinets on the bottom for storage and a countertop that could be used to set out hors d’oeuvres,” Caz explained. “I installed glass shelving with mirrors behind it and added adjustable lighting. I use the shelves to display my collection of art glass and ceramics.” Caz finished the piece with trim moldings and decorative accents that brought it into unity with the room and the rest of the house.

bench viewCaz also replaced the foyer’s black chandelier with a more traditional, candle-style chandelier, added wainscoting to the den in order to give it symmetry with the formal dining room, and installed crown molding to rooms on the second floor. The family kept the home’s oak hardwood floors, but stained them a rich, dark cherry.

“As an interior designer, I wanted this classic style of architecture,” Caz said. “Also, I had inherited a lot of antiques, and the house is a beautiful place to display them.”

bfast nookThe location of the Wesleys’ house within Governor’s Land has been a plus, Caz said. ‘We’re on a cul-de-sac and near a pool, tennis courts and a playground. This is a big community, and it can take some time to get to the back areas of it. But since we’re near the entrance – but not so close we can see it—it’s easy in and out. That’s a benefit for a commuter.”

beach3The Governor’s Land community has myriad recreational amenities, including the 18-hole, Two Rivers Country Club golf course that was designed by three-time Golf Architect of the Year Tom Fazio; Golf Digest has twice named it one of the Top 10 courses in Virginia. Caz uses the tennis courts, and Arthur uses the nautilus gym next to the tennis courts several times a week. “It has all the latest equipment and is perfect for a teen who likes to work out,” Caz said.

gl poolArthur also has long been a member of the community’s swim team. “Being on the team is a great way to meet other kids,” Caz said. Arthur also enjoys the Governor’s Land’s beach, a swimming area near the community’s marina on the James River. “There have been swim team activities there and we reserved the beach for his graduation party. You can swim, Jet Ski, and there’s a boat slip,” said Caz. “It’s also a beautiful area to just sit and look at the water.”

gl amenitiesAlthough the Wesleys have enjoyed the Governor’s Land clubhouse, which offers fine dining and casual restaurants, occasional live music, and game nights, they often head to nearby New Town, a nearby Williamsburg commercial area with a mix of shops, restaurants and movie theatres. Another regular excursion is driving 10-15 minutes to Colonial Williamsburg to walk their dog along Duke of Gloucester street (known as D.O.G. Street to the locals), check out the weekly farmer’s market, or visit one of their favorite hangouts, Aromas. “It’s an outside café and has live music on Friday nights,” Caz said of the café, which is located on Prince George Street.

“I studied history, art history, and I love the history of Colonial Williamsburg,” Caz added. “I’m glad that Don was willing to do a longer commute in order to have us live so close to Colonial Williamsburg.”

To help sell their home, Caz chose real estate agent John Womeldorf , based largely on the recommendation of a friend who also lives in Governor’s Land. “We originally found this house online, and know that the web is a good way to advertise. We wanted an agent who is tech savvy, and we knew that John was because we’d seen his “Mr. Williamsburg” web site ,” Caz said. “We also were told that John works with a lot of clients from out-of-state and from out-of-the-country.”

Although she is leaving, Caz cherishes the years spent in her exceptional Governor’s Land home. “I love decorating, and I got to decorate my dream home,” Caz said. “People have come into my house and said, ‘Wow!’” It has been like advertising for me as a designer.”

See more photos here

Want to see it ?

For a personal tour contact John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf at (757) 254-8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com .

Why the stories? Because these aren’t just houses, they’re homes. 

Mr. Williamsburg knows that when you’re looking for a new place, you’re searching for more than just four walls plus amenities, you’re looking for that welcoming refuge we call home. That’s why we go beyond the standard “4 bedrooms, 3 baths on large lot” statistics, to share how others have lived in this house, to reveal the home’s unique personality, to help you decide whether this is a place where your family could thrive.

Likewise, we realize that you’re seeking not simply a development within a particular zip code, but also an opportunity to become part of a community. That’s why we share our sellers’ experiences as members of that neighborhood. 

We trust these stories will assist you in finding your way home.

Read more about Governors Land here

Want to tell your home’s story?

Contact John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf at (757) 254-8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com and we’ll get you started.

 

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Who sells more Williamsburg VA Real Estate-May 2013

May 2013-The numbers are almost in for May 2013 in the Williamsburg VA real estate market. While it was a close race in 2012 for market share with the lead changing between the offices of William E. Wood and Liz Moore and Associates. Year to date for 2013  our office (Liz Moore and Associates) has a commanding lead in market share with over 18.47 % of the market. Our office’s listings and sales were greater then the combined listings and  sales of ReMax/Capital, Century 21 Nachman, Twiddy Realty, Coldwell Banker Traditions, Fords Colony Realty and Kingsmill Realty who were the 6th-10th place finishers in sales in the Williamsburg VA real estate market year to date in 2013

In second place is William E Wood and Associates, , third place is Long and Foster imageand in forth place with about 50% of our market share is Prudential Towne Realty.

two more telling statistics : Of the top four real estate brokerages in town we enjoy the lowest days on market at 104, compared to the 118-150 days of our competitors.

Another telling fact, our company with 31 agents selling has the highest productivity per agent in town.!

.

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Note sales number above are from the Williamsburg Area Assoc of Realtors (WAAR) MLS numbers,  It reflects sales for Residential real estate : (Single Family Detach, Attached/Condo/Townhome, Condo, Townhouse), Lots and Land: within the zip codes of 23188,23185 and 23168.

Download a detailed sales report for Williamsburg VA Real Estate April 2013 here

Nosy Neighbor Alerts

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.

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

I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

Best,

John

Grand waterfront home for sale in Kingsmill

Lan Cao wanted a home on the water, one that gave her an open and peaceful feel. She also wanted a community with a lot of amenities. She got all that and more when she bought her 8,500 square-foot Mediterranean-style house on a hill overlooking a pond at the residential resort community of Kingsmill on the James.

frontLan, an author and a professor at the William & Mary Law School, moved into the Kingsmill home in 2004 with her husband, Bill Van Alstyne, also a law professor, and daughter, Harlan, then two-years-old. Kingsmill’s location just three miles from Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William & Mary was a major attraction to the couple.

“The original owners, who had built the house, were Greek,” said Lan. “The entire first floor has no doors, except for one to the study. Instead, the rooms are separated by rows of arches. It makes the house feel very open and airy.”

foyer1In fact, arches are recurring features on both the inside and outside of the 1984 home. Its entrance is covered by an arched, two-story front porch. The 2,700 square feet of gracefully curved decking that wraps around the back of the house includes an arched brick barbeque alcove. Inside, the grand foyer opens to an unusual, double staircase rising to a wide, arched opening on the second floor; on the main level, the foyer has a double archway into the home’s great room. Floor- to- ceiling windows in many of the rooms, including the great room, maximize the gorgeous water views and add to the open feel of the home.

deck viewSurprisingly, the 6-bedroom, 6- bath home had several Asian-style features. “Cabinet handles, shades on the outdoor lighting, and some of the drapes had an Asian style,” said Lan.” Since I’m Asian, that fit for me.”

The home’s main floor includes a 28’ x 33’ great room with a nearly 30-foot-high ceiling and a striking, two-story sculptural white stone fireplace. Lan said she does not often use the huge room, but has hosted her law school’s “Supreme Court Preview” dinner for 80-100 academics and other guests there. “It’s a perfect space for entertaining,” she noted.

dining3The main level includes a dining room and a study with a fireplace and full bath. A main floor game room is equipped with a pool table, a ping pong table, and big screen TV. “My daughter likes playing her Wii there,” Lan noted.

The heart of the home is the eat-in kitchen and family room, which open to each other and share a fireplace. “It’s where we hang out as a family,” Lan said. “It’s my favorite spot in the house.”

kitchen1In the eight years the family has been in the house, they have changed little. “We did take out white flooring in the kitchen to replace it with terra cotta,” Lan said. “The white showed too much dirt.”

living5The couple also switched the kitchen cook top from electric to gas to accommodate Bill’s needs as the family cook. The kitchen is fully equipped with a Sub Zero refrigerator, double ovens, a beverage chiller, and a large, granite-topped center island. A brick accent wall includes an arched alcove that is home to the cook top.

masterAlthough Kingsmill has a beach and full-service marina, the couple added a small boat dock on their 1.44-acre property. The dock allows them to launch their small rowboat and kayak, and provides a convenient place to feed Jim and Ann, the pair of white swans that live on their pond. “The swans come when we call them,’” said Lan, laughing. “And, our standard poodle comes running when we say Jim and Ann are here.”

Kingsmill Pond does get more crowded in the spring, Lan added.”Every year one swan shows up and we worry that something might have happened to the other. Then, the other one reappears with 5 or 6 chicks in tow.”

aerialAs she had hoped when she bought the house, Lan finds living on the water very peaceful, at least most of the time. “There is a large eagle or hawk, a predator bird, that sits on a tall, straight tree in our yard. It sits very still and then dives down to catch a fish in the pond,” Lan said. The pond attracts wildlife that is fun to observe, especially from the deck and its ornate gazebo perched right above the water.

Kingsmill has three swimming pools, which the family often use. The gated community also offers 15 tennis courts, a club house with restaurants and a spa, and several playgrounds. Since Lan and her family are not golfers they don’t use the community’s three championship golf courses that recently led Kingsmill to be named one of the 75 Best Golf Resorts in North America by Golf Digest.

marinarestThe family does enjoy the biking and walking trails that wrap around the community. “The trails are very long, some of them are paved and some not. It could take an hour or two to make the trail’s loop,” Lan said.

bridge trailLan and her family are relocating to southern California. They have put their home on the market through John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf, who was recommended by Lan’s friend after John helped her buy a home.

“Right after the sale, my friend went to Canada,” Lan said. “ She was planning to replace her new home’s very stained carpeting with hardwood floors when she got back, and mentioned to John in a phone call that she couldn’t stand the idea that she’d have to come home and see that stained carpeting. When she returned from Canada, she found that John had gone in on his off hours and taken out all the stained carpeting. This was after the transaction was already done, and John had been paid. It impressed me that John is not only knowledgeable, but also decent and a nice guy.”

poolIt won’t be easy for Lan to leave her Kingsmill Pond home. “We travel a lot and the house is filled with mementos and photos from our trips,” Lan noted. “My daughter grew up in this house and there are memories here of each phase of her life.”

“We’ve enjoyed that this is not a formal house, it’s furnished for daily living,” Lan added. “This is an easy- to-live-in place.”

SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE

Read more about Kingsmill here

Why the stories? Because these aren’t just houses, they’re homes. 

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Mr. Williamsburg knows that when you’re looking for a new place, you’re searching for more than just four walls plus amenities, you’re looking for that welcoming refuge we call home That’s why we go beyond the standard “4 bedrooms, 3 baths on large lot” statistics, to share how others have lived in this house, to reveal the home’s unique personality, to help you decide whether this is a place where your family could thrive.

Likewise, we realize that you’re seeking not simply a development within a particular zip code, but also an opportunity to become part of a community. That’s why we share our sellers’ experiences as members of that neighborhood. 

We trust these stories will assist you in finding your way home.

Want to tell your home’s story? Contact John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf at (757) 254-8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com and we’ll get you started.

Does staging make a difference ? FREE HOME STAGING MAKEOVER CONTEST

Does staging a home for sale  really make a difference?   “We are so convinced that having a listing professionally staged means a quicker sale and higher net proceeds for our sellers,” says Liz Moore, “that we are now going to provide an initial staging consultation to all of our listing clients at our expense.”

Our company  Liz Moore & Associates is excited to announce a new partnership with Trez Robinson of Staged 2 Sell, the region’s premier professional staging company.

According to a recent Home Gain survey, 94% of homes staged by a professional stager sold in 29 days or less, compared to an average of 145 days for non-staged homes.  Even more compelling is the finding that $724 invested in staging (the average cost) netted the seller $2,145 more in price – a 196% return on investment!

A staging consultation with Staged 2 Sell is in addition to our Liz Moore “No Surprises” program:   a pre-listing appraisal and up front home inspection provided to Liz Moore sellers – all at no expense to our clients.  For more information on the Liz Moore No Surprises Program, email me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com

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Want to reinvent your home…for FREE? 

To kickoff the new staging program, Liz Moore and Associates is running an online contest through the month of April.  The winner will receive a FREE home staging makeover, as well as a $250 gift card to Pottery Barn! 

Click here to enter.

Winner will be selected in April…enter today!

What’s the best day of the week to list your house for sale ?

What’s the best day to list a house for-sale? It’s Friday.

In fact, by listing a home on Friday, you may bring in an extra $5,000 to the sales price, according to a study of homes listed for sale last year conducted by the real estate brokerage Redfin.

Homes listed on Fridays tended to sell for 99.1 percent of the seller’s original asking price. That represented the highest percentage of any other day of the week.

“You get four times the traffic on the day of debut than any other time of the week, and you only get one chance,” Glenn Kelman, president and CEO of Redfin, told The Wall Street Journal.

Homes listed on Friday also tend to sell the quickest, within 81 days on average.

Another good day to list a home:

Tuesdays, which generate the most interest for home tours, according to the study. Some experts note that Tuesday is a big planning day for many people, who are already thinking ahead of what homes they’ll want to view on the weekend.

So, what’s the worst day of week to list a home then? Sunday. Homes listed on Sundays sell for 98.4 percent of their initial asking price — still not bad.

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Colors to avoid when selling your home

Emerald may be this year’s color of the year and hot hue, but which colors should you avoid? Color research tells us some colors to avoid. Colors that can be considered, as some researchers note, “eye irritants” and can even cause headaches or mess with your vision.

According to color research, the worst offending color:

Yellow as a “pure bright lemon.”

“More light is reflected by bright colors, resulting in excessive stimulation of the eyes,”researchers note. “Yellow is an eye irritant. Babies cry more in yellow rooms, husbands and wives fight more in yellow kitchens, and opera singers throw more tantrums in yellow dressing rooms.”

That said, yellow is the first color the human eye tends to notice so in small doses it may be effective. It can help you draw attention to an item when used as an accent color. Also, using yellow in softer tints or in small quantities may not be such a turn-off.

A recent article at Homesessive.com (“Paint Color Trends to Avoid”) pinpointed trendy color combos that may have once been a turn-on that are now becoming a turn-off in home interiors. San Francisco color expert Kelly Berg recently weighed in at Homesessive.comabout some trendy color combinations to avoid, such as:

  • “Greige”: The gray and beige combo in a space to create a monochromatic effect. Instead, Berg recommends pulling in some accent colors, likegrassy greens, to make the space more warm and inviting. She also recommends mixing in reflective surfaces, such as glass and metal, to lighten up the room since gray tends to absorb more light than other hues.
  • Chocolate brown and blue: This trendy color combo of a chocolate brown and Tiffany’s blue may be growing tiresome in home interiors. Berg recommends freshening up the look by adding a third color to the mix, such as hot pink, coral, or metallics in silver or gold.
  • Red, Gold and Green: This go-to rustic color pattern also may be beginning to grow stale in interiors. Berg recommends avoiding using all three colors in equal portions when you have a tri-color scheme in a home. She also recommends keeping the saturation levels of the color similar, but not exactly the same to liven up the look.
  • The all white kitchen: A kitchen all in white can look fresh and clean, but the look may be getting overdone and growing dull. Liven it up by pulling in some color from an adjacent space or pull a color from the dishes, Berg says. For example, if the home owner has blue dishes, you might try using deep indigo as an accent color.

Have you found any color combos that are big turn-offs in a space? Weigh in on what you think works–and doesn’t–with color!

Source: Melissa Dittman Realtor.org

What is $521,700.00 ?

Any idea what that number represents? 

It’s the total marketing expenditures for our company ( Liz Moore and Associates)  in 2012.

Pretty big number for a 2 office boutique real estate brokerage.  And a primary reason for our success. (Number one position in the market place for our two offices both here in Williamsburg VA and in Newport News)

So what is your real estate company spending on marketing ?  Maybe its time to ask.

Fords Colony Real Estate Market Turns Around in 2012

fords colony williamsburg vaWhat a difference a year makes for home sales in Fords Colony, Williamsburg VA !

At the beginning of 2012 the unsold home inventory in Fords Colony stood at almost a 17 month supply. As of today it is almost at six months, WOW. ( six months is considered a balanced market. Under six months is a sellers market)

This makes it the number one most improved neighborhood market in the James City County, Williamsburg VA area..

It almost feels like 2005 again with a number of homes selling within a few days and multiple offers coming in on a number of listings.

From a low of 78 sales in 2011,the total number of homes sold soared 56% in 2012 to  118 homes.

In 2012 there were 19 homes in Fords Colony that sold in 10 days or less. 45 homes sold in 45 days or less. Basically if a homes comes on the market in Fords Colony that is realistically priced and is decent condition they are selling in a very short period.

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A few highlights for 2012:

Median days on market has dropped from 345 to 73 days !

The number of homes on the market has dropped from 112 in Jan 2012 to 88 in Jan 2013  (21% drop)

8 home sales have closed in 2013 so far compared to 3 in January 2012 ( 166% increase)

A number of price categories had tremendous jumps in sales activities. Sales for homes priced from 350k to 400k increased 78% from 14 sales in 2011 to 25 sales in 2012. From 450k to 500k the number of homes sold soared 89% from 9 to 17.

500k to 550k jumped 45%. 600k to 700k home sales increased 66% from 6 to 10. The upper end is starting to move again as well . There were 4 sales over $900k in Fords Colony in 2012 versus only 2 in 2011

List prices are increasing in 2013. The median list price has jumped 10% from $454,500 to $500k.. Although median sales prices dipped from $487,500 in 2011 to 479k in 2012. It is steadily increasing in the last 12 months. We will most likely see a 10% increase in median sales prices this year due to the low inventory of home.

Percentage discounts from list price ranged from 84% to 1.03 percent. Yes, that’s correct buyers paid more than list price. The median discount has been 96% from list price . This has risen to 98% in the last 3 months. We are seeing a number of offers coming in at list price. In this price range fewer buyers are asking for closing costs. Most simply pay them own.

So, what does this mean to you as a buyer ? Expect to pay more , make an offer quickly if you want the home, expect competing offers on nice homes that are priced reasonably.

If you are Fords Colony homeowner thinking of selling , maybe now is the time !. I would be happy to chat if you so desire..

Click here to see all detached homes for sale in Fords Colony

Click here to see all townhomes, attached homes and condos for sale in Fords Colony

What to Look For & Look Past While House Hunting

Thought I would share this great post about buying an older dated home from the folks at Young House Love.com.

Here in the Williamsburg VA area there are a number of homes that seem to languish on the market due to their need for updating. Most buyers will simply rule them out right off the bat saying they aren’t up to “fixing-up” a house.

For those that appreciate older homes its an opportunity to capitalize on some very unique homes at great prices.

Q: I have a house-hunting question for you. What do you look for? What do you look past? Help! My main complaint of all the older homes that we’re looking at in our price range is that they all feel dated, but that seems to be what you guys look for. How do you know which dated houses are worth buying and which ones are lost causes? I keep worrying we’ll end up in a money pit! – Aviva (not the one from Housewives of NY).

A: First of all, I’m glad you clarified that you’re not NYC Aviva. Haha. And second of all, we actually get this question a lot. So when it comes to what we “look past” in a house (and what we pay attention to) my general answer is to never be deterred by the following things:

  • baaaad paint on the walls or the trim
  • nasty wallpaper (borders, or entire walls)
  • dated or not-your-style furniture
  • ugly curtains
  • dark brick or paneling
  • not-your-cup-of-tea light fixtures
  • green/blue/pink toilets

imageFor example, here are a few before photos of our first house to further demonstrate how off-putting those dated features can be… but we all know they can be remedied with a little elbow grease if you’re a willing DIYer:

Read the rest of the story here on Young House Love.com

click here to search older homes in the Williamsburg, Yorktown VA area.

Do professional photos make a difference on home listings ?

Do you have your home listed for sale ? Have you checked to see how it looks on the web ? 

How it looks really matters since most home buyers are going to see your home on the internet before they see it in person.  In fact for home buyers and agents alike the internet serves as a screening tool.  We can screen out the really ugly and unappealing homes. 

Just about any home can look amazing on the internet but most do not.  One thing sellers can and should do is ask their agent to send them a link to the information about their home from the agents MLS. Those  same pictures and information will end up on numerous web sites.

If the pictures don’t make your home look amazing consider asking your agent to hire one.   Pictures can and should include entire rooms not just parts of rooms and they should be well lit and never dark and dingy.  

If you are serious about selling your home get involved.  Look at your home on the internet as if you were a home buyer.  Would you buy your home?  Does it look appealing or dark and dingy?

Professional quality photography is the fastest, and easiest way to market a home for sale.

Take a look at the photos below. This is an actual home I have listed. My photos are on the right and the previous photos are on the left. See how angles make a difference ? How using a wide angle lens helps capture the high ceilings in a room or the wider view ? We also made a few minor changes to make the home’s features stand out.

What do you think ? Was it worth paying a pro to shoo the photos ?

great room before and afterhall before and afterhall before and with pro photographykitchen before and after

dining room before and after

 

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.

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

Home-Sellers, Agents Mostly Agree on Top Home Improvement Projects

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Both real estate agents and home sellers see the value in simple home improvement projects, saying they believe small renovations can go a long way in helping a home sell faster and for more money, according to a recent Realtor.com survey.

Home sellers may not need as much convincing as previously thought on the reasons why you should spruce up your property before the for-sale sign goes up, according to a survey of 450 REALTORS® and more than 1,600 home owners.

But as sellers realize the importance of home improvement projects to improve a home sale, are they targeting the right projects to attract home buyers?

Apparently so, according to the survey.

Sellers and agents agree on the top three areas of a home that sellers should focus their most time and budget on with home improvement projects. Those are:

§ Kitchens

§ Bathrooms

§ Exterior of the home.

They also tended to agree on what low-cost projects are most important address prior to resale:

§ Decluttering

§ Painting

§ Landscaping projects

As for what’s not worth the time or money, they agreed again: Spending time on the closets, garage, hardscaping (which is landscaping for driveways or other paved surfaces), and installing new windows.

Real estate agents also had two extra recommendations when prepping a home for sale that sellers didn’t rank top on their lists: Having the carpet steam cleaned and the house professionally cleaned. Also, agents recommend spending most of the landscaping attention on the home’s front yard, whereas sellers favored spending more attention to the home’s backyard than front.

Sellers also apparently are willing to put some money behind these renovations. According to the survey, about 24 percent of sellers plan to budget $2,000 to $5,000 on home improvement projects; 22 percent budget $5,000 to $10,000; and about 17 percent budget $10,000 to $20,000.

Letting go of the family home

Eileen Vernon gave one of the final tours to friends of her parents’ home on Linkhorn Bay in VA Beach, remembering fondly sneaking out on the slate roof from her bedroom window, listening intently to her grandmother’s tales of the Lindsley family farm, and admiring her father’s meticulous upkeep of the two-story, brick Colonial home  where she grew up.

It has been nearly three years since Vernon and her two brothers moved their mother, at first to a retirement community in Virginia Beach, but more recently to an assisted-living home.

They’re also nearing the end of the long, tedious process of taking inventory of all their parents’ possessions and getting the home ready to sell in an unsteady housing market.

For Vernon and her siblings, moving their mother, Eileen Davis, out of the home that she and her husband built 50 years ago was bittersweet.

Every room has a water view, every nook and cranny history. But keeping the home in the family wasn’t an option.

For Vernon, the taxes are more than the mortgage on her Princess Anne Plaza rancher. And paying for Davis’ 24-hour care is expensive.

"I can’t believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for my mom’s house," Vernon said.

As parents of baby boomers become unable to care for themselves, and as Baby Boomers themselves age, more and more are choosing to sell the homes they grew up in and let another family take over the property.

In 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors, 15 percent of home sales in America were of places that had been in the same hands for more than 20 years.

While some have to make the decision after parents have passed, others, like Vernon and her brothers, decide to cut the ties before that happens.

Nick Sell, president of Caring Transitions in Virginia Beach, receives frequent calls from children of elderly parents who need help navigating the waters of downsizing a large house and moving a parent to a smaller community.

Sell started his business to help people through the process – having experienced first-hand losing parents suddenly at age 22, just weeks before he was to deploy to Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy.

More of the story here

 

bannerpsst … 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.

This website was created as a resource for folks who are moving or retiring to Williamsburg, VA and surrounding areas on the Virginia Peninsula and in the Historic Triangle.  You can search  search homes for sale , active adult communities, 55+ communities, condos and townhomes , foreclosures/ REOland, building lots, commercial property  in Williamsburg , Yorktown, New Kent, Gloucester, Poquoson as well as the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads, Virginia

We know where the best buys are for creating a maintenance free lifestyle!
Mr Williamsburg understands the special needs of those who are downsizing, and  has a variety of resources to help you with auctions, estate sales, consignment, de-cluttering and every phase of getting your home ready to sell. 

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

I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

Best,

John

How’s the real estate market in Williamsburg VA ?

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Note: If you want to attend please RSVP to John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Seating space is limited…

How many homes are being shown in the Williamsburg VA market ?

Mr Williamsburg has been requesting a lockbox activity report from  our local MLS for over a year. I guess persistence pays off since they finally came through.

When you list homes ( like I do) a question I am often asked is “How is the market ?. Well, one aspect of the market is how many prospective home buyers are out there looking.

The WAAR/ Williamsburg VA lockbox report – basically tells us how many times area lockboxes were opened – You can see from the report below that  lockbox openings are up 20% in December 2011 over Dec 2010, and 20% in January 2012 versus 2011. Sadly we had a 12% drop in February 2012 versus 2011.

Another stat to notice, in 2011 April was our busiest month from a home showing standpoint and December was the lowest. In 2010 March was our busiest month.

So what does this mean?

More lockbox openings means there are more buyers looking for homes.  More buyers = more demand.  And more demand = a chance that we may start to see some stabilization in our local market.

We’ll definitely keep an eye on trends and report back monthly.

Here is the chart from 3/2010- 2/2012

Download this report below

lockbox opening report williamsburg va 2010-2011

Like what you are reading ? Want to receive updates by email in the future ? Sign up here  banner 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 post was 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 KentPoquoson, 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 @  757-254-8136

Got Orders ? Enter to win and sell your home for FREE !

To show our gratitude for your military service, if you are active duty and have received PCS out orders, we invite you to enter to win a commission-free listing from the Liz Moore Military Team!

One lucky military seller will pay NO LISTING SIDE BROKERAGE FEE when we list and sell your home — that’s 3% of your home’s value back in your pocket! (You’ll save $9,000 on a home that sells for  $300,000!)

Complete Our Seller Interview Here To Enter! or you can call or email for further details 757.254.8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Please indicate that “Mr Williamsburg”/ John Womeldorf  guided you to the contest…..

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Good to know

imageHow many times have you seen this photo when you were looking at homes for sale in Hampton Roads VA

One of our  local MLS ( Multiple Listing Service) REIN ( Real Estate Information Network) is breaking bad. They sent out the notice below to all real estate agents in the Hampton Roads area.

 

If you are selling a home in the Hampton Roads area you should be elated that REIN is demanding / requiring that YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT upload one photo of your home. And it can’t be a photo of a pet ? Is this for real ? Oh, and if you are selling a building lot you still don’t have to upload a photo
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Lazy Agents

One of the simplest and most important things an agent can do is take pictures of the house when they take the listing. In fact, the more pictures the agent takes, the better. Surprisingly, some agents don’t even take one photo of the front of the house to put in the MLS.  REIN allows your real estate agent to upload 16 photos, the Williamsburg MLS (WMLS) allows agents to upload 25. You would be amazed at the number  of homes listed  that only have one or a few.  WHY ?

Believe it or not buyers want to see what a home looks like so they can decide which homes they want to visit in person. I will agree that some homes don’t photograph that well and its hard to come up with 16+ photos that look good. What about the neighborhood ? Street views ? photos of the pool, clubhouse or entrance. ? Again folks want to get a feel for the area. If they are in New Jersey, Alaska or Japan they won’t see anything unless an an agent uploads the photos.

real photos from the MLSThere is nothing more unappealing than a home listing with one photo and only one sentence of information about the house. If the agent doesn’t take the time to do the simplest tasks, imagine how much effort they will put into the rest of the selling process.  .

Are the agents hiding something? Are they trying to get the people to call them so they could handle both sides of the transaction ? Did they just not care about selling the home for their Seller? If a listing isn’t fully ready to be marketed, it shouldn’t be.

As Realtors photos are one of our best marketing tools is photography… I’m always surprised at the bad ones I see in our MLS. I am not a photographer and I know it! For that reason  I hire a professional photographer to market 100% of my listings no matter what the list price is.

real photos from the MLSI’d personally like for the MLS to be able to punish any agent who has a listing with poor photography,  bad lighting or too few images, but that’s too harsh and unrealistic.

What does it say about our industry? Not much, if you ask me.

What is a seller to do?

You shouldn’t even have to ask your agent for this but…

Make sure you see the actual MLS listing. Ask them to show you both the public version and the agent version. Make sure there are plenty of photos that display your home in the best light possible. Descriptive text, room dimensions, all that needs to be included. Ask your agent how they handle inquiries on the property. Find out when they are available to field questions from potential buyers and buyer’s agents. A good agent will likely tell you all this, and more, up front.

What do you do if your home is already listed and you think the listing information isn’t complete?

Talk to your agent. Express your concerns. If they can’t address them, then speak to the agents broker. The broker is the agents “boss” , the broker is legally responsible for the agents actions and is your first step in resolving issues with your agent..

bluepsst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I am a Realtor & real estate consultant and would love to help you find a dream home and community in the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area or assist in selling your Williamsburg or Hampton Roads home.

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 Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and www.MrWilliamsburg.com  , were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, with the hopes of selling a house now and again. You can reach him by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone 757 254 8136

My Stats for the Williamsburg VA Real Estate Market

A recent article in our local newspaper ( The Va Gazette) seemed to get everyone’s feathers ruffled with the headline. With 40+ comments on their website its apparent the headlines are not exactly accurate.

“Housing market returning to normal”

I’m not quite sure how they came to that conclusion but will give you my own take on the market in a series of posts.

The first and  one of the most important stats is “Absorption Rate”

What exactly is an Absorption rate ? Glad you asked. If there were no homes listed starting tomorrow the absorption rate is the length of time it would take to sell all of the homes in our MLS. Currently we are looking at an absorption rate of almost  14 months in the Williamsburg VA area. ( City of Williamsburg, James City County and Upper York County) A balanced market is generally considered to be 6 months worth of inventory. As you can see we are a ways from that…

When will the market return to normal in Williamsburg ? Who knows, you can see by the chart below that the absorption rate has been declining since April 2010 when it approached 20 months of inventory. My guess would be by the end of 2012 we will start to see our local market return to normalcy.

To be continued………………………

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Is a Picture is Worth a Thousand Dollars ?

Attention desperate home sellers. Don’t want to lower the price on your house? Consider better photos. Real-estate listings that use photographs taken by the higher-end SLR cameras favored by professional photographers, tend to do better than those that use photos from cheaper point-and-shoot cameras, according to a new analysis done by Redfin Corp., a Seattle-based brokerage.

Redfin found in an analysis of more than 100,000 listings in the Boston metro area and Long Island, N.Y., that homes with professional photographs sold anywhere between $934 to $116,076 more than those shot from cheaper, point-and-shoot cameras. That’s probably enough to start making you feel a little insecure about your home’s photographs if your real estate agent didn’t use a professional or a high-end camera.

What’s more, homes with professional photographs were found, on average, to be viewed 61 percent more online than others in that price range shot with a lower-end camera. The listings that used digital SLR cameras also commanded a 47 percent higher asking price per square foot, according to the Redfin analysis.

Digital SLR cameras, however, were only found to increase the likelihood of a sale for listings that were priced at $300,000 and above. In other words, buyers don’t seem to judge a house by its photos as much for homes priced under $300,000. hmmmm, I beg to differ and will assume that the Hampton Roads and Williamsburg market does not follow that trend. I get many buyers who say that the homes I list look far better than the competition.

Given this obvious upside, it is shocking that only 15 % of homes in the study were marketed using professional photography.  Let’s not mince words: If you are not using professional photography to market your home, you are not really marketing your home.

So, what does this all mean to someone selling a home?

Be sure that you, or your agent, invest in professional photography. A professional-looking photo dramatically increases the likelihood that a potential buyer will click through to view your home listing, and drives more buyers to tour your home. Ultimately, the more people interested in your house, the better your chance of receiving an attractive offer. A photo really can be worth a thousand dollars.

 

What do you think — does it take a high-end camera or professional photographer to sell a house for higher dollar? Or do you think a point-and-shoot camera can do the job? Some real estate professionals are even using the camera on their phone to capture images of their listings for their marketing, according to the study.

Tell me what you think of the following photos :

Kitchen OLD
kitchen1

 

Mr Williamsburg believes in the power of professional photography. Every house that I list is marketed with professional photos, and I pick up the tab. So, is it worth the dough?

It turns out that in most cases the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

Williamsburg VA Real Estate High Street Update

Williamsburg virginia real estate high street Town Homes

Williamsburg virginia real estate high street Town Homes

WILLIAMSBURG VA From an article in the VA Gazette by Steve Vaughn, Dec, 17 2008

  —High Street has a new real estate agent for the residential properties and a new emphasis as well.

 Dan Aston of Roseland Property Co., the developer of High Street, said market demand has spurred construction of the condos sooner than planned, starting in spring.

 

“The demographics that we’re appealing to tell us that’s what we want, so we’ll be starting them sooner than we originally planned,” he said.

Sixteen townhomes are built and another 16 are planned. William E. Wood had been handling sales of the townhomes.

“The contract was up and we chose to go with Prudential McCardle instead,” Aston said. Roseland itself manages rental of the the King’s Manor apartments, which are already open.

Roseland will also manage the more than 200,000 feet of commercial space in High Street, although Aston said the company uses a nationally known commercial leasing agent based in Michigan to help attract clients.

The first of those commercial clients will open soon. Five Guys Burgers & Fries ( my favorite) is opening Jan. 5. There’s also a firm date for the opening of High Street’s anchor attraction, the Movie Tavern theater. It will open March 20.

High Street’s only other announced commercial tenant, Kilwin’s ice cream parlor, should open prior to the theater, according to Aston.

Other possibilities include coffeehouses, more restaurants and possibly a supermarket

Click here to search all New, Resale, Condos and Town Homes in the High Street community/ PUD in the city of Williamsburg Virginia

John Womeldorf is Mr. Williamsburg, sharing his thoughts, real estate expertise, and “all things Williamsburg” in an effort to spread the word that Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, Virginia is the greatest place on earth to live!

Contact me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Research the area at www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com

Or ask any questions about homes, neighborhoods, schools, amenities, recreation , shopping or anything else about the area.

Search Homes for Sale

Click here to Search all homes, town homes, condos and building lots for sale in Williamsburg, James City, New Kent, York, Gloucester, Charles City Virginia

Click here to search all homes, town homes, condos and building lots for sale in Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth,Franklin, Sussex, Southhampton, Emporia, Greenville, Mathews, Suffolk, Surry, Smithfield, Newport News, Hampton , Poquoson, Gloucester or York County VA

Waiving rights when buying property Hampton Roads Real Estate FAQ

Brian, can a home buyer waive their rights under the

 

Virginia Property Owner’s Association Act?

In a word, no. Va. Code § 55-509.4, which sets forth the Act’s

contract disclosure requirements and rights of cancellation, says:

Read the rest of the answer here lytle law-letter-10-27-08

Lytle Law is a general practice law firm located in Newport News, Virginia. From two office locations on the Virginia Peninsula we serve clients and try cases across the Commonwealth including the Peninsula, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, James City and York County areas. Lytle Law has the experience and ability to satisfy nearly all of a client’s legal needs, and where we believe we need help we will either associate appropriate counsel or provide a referral. www.LytleLaw.com

Brian Lytle is the president of Lytle Title www.LytleTitle.com Lytle Title & Escrow, LLC a Virginia licensed, insured, and bonded real estate settlement company doing business as Lytle Title. With offices in Newport News and WIlliamsburg, Virginia,  primarily serving the Virginia Peninsula (Hampton, Newport News, York County,Poquoson, James City County and Williamsburg), but we also regularly serve surrounding areas, to include New Kent, West Point, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Gloucester and the greater Tidewater and Hampton Roads areas of Virginia.

Brian D. Lytle, Esq., Lytle Law, P.C. www.lytlelaw.com  Reprinted with permission of the author. 

 The law may have changed since this article was written and published so caution is advised.

I have posted this article as a local REALTOR living and working in the Williamsburg Va area. I would be happy to assist you in buying or selling a  home there.  Click this link to search all real estate ,homes, condos town homes ,new and resale  currently for sale in New Town/ James City County Williamsburg VA

Click here to search all other real estate/ homes, condos ,townhomes, land for sale in the Williamsburg, James City, New Kent or York County Virginia

Click here to search for real estate,land,homes,condomiuns, town homes, commercial, in any of the following areas through the REIN MLS Database ( real estate information network) Chesapeake, Gloucester, Emporia, Greenvile, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Mathews,  Newport News, Norfolk, Northampton,  Poquoson, Portsmouth, Smithfield, Southampton, Suffolk, Sussex, Surry, VA Beach, York, Yorktown, Virginia

Click here to search real estate, land, homes, condos, town homes, commercial in the following counties of North Carolina Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Elizabeth City, Gates, Hertford, Moyock, Pasquotank, Perquimans using the REIN MLS Database

contact: John Womeldorf/ REALTOR

Liz Moore & Associates

757 254 8136

John@MrWilliamsburg.com email

www.MrWilliamsburg.com/ website

www.MrBurg.com website

www.MrTidewater.com/ website

www.MrVaBeach.com/ website

 

My other area Real Estate and Information Blogs for Hampton Roads/ Tidewater/ Williamsburg Virignia and surrounding areas

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog II

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog

Williamsburg Happenings/ Events Blog

 

Williamsburg Va real estate search

 Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

  

 

Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg, VA October Specials

We normally don’t spend the night at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg Virginia. Theri prices are a bit steep for our pocketbook. Here is a special they are running for the rest of October 2008 that actually is quite reasonable.  Rates start at $189 a night for a family of four. If you consider that it includes for admissions to the indoor waterpark, it’s really quite reasonable. If you are like us the kids are getting kind of bored right now. It’s a nice diversion to work off their excess energy.

 

If you are unable to see images below, click here.

Williamsburg New Website Williamsburg New Website Williamsburg Contact us
Williamsburg Howl Promo Williamsburg Howloween LP
Williamsburg Howl Promo
Williamsburg Novemburr LP
Williamsburg Novemburr Promo
Williamsburg Wolf Cookery
Williamsburg Snowland LP
YouTube Great Wolf Waterpark Channel
Williamsburg New Website

Williamsburg VA Dewey Decibel Concert Series

If you think of a library as a place where you always have to whisper then you are in for a surprise. At the Williamsburg Regional Library in downtown Williamsburg at 515 Scotland St the Dewey Decibel Concert series is a hidden gem in the local performing arts scene. You can always count on a diverse array of performers, from folk, bluegrass, jazz, classical. There is a concert for all music lovers. Past performers have included, Pete Seeger, Robin and Linda Williams, John McCutcheon, Tommy Emmanuel, Coyote Run and many more.. The local newspaper Daily Press rated it one of the best small venues around. The concert season runs from September to June . The 268 seat theater has one of the best sound systems in the area.

Williamsburg Library Theatre, 515 Scotland St., Williamsburg, Virginia
Phone: 757-259-4070


You can check for current concert information and ticket prices here http://www.wrl.org/programs/concerts.html

 

The concert line up for 2008-2009  Dewey Decibel Concert series is below . Check the website above for last minute additiona and ticket information:
 
 Friday October 17 7:30 p.m. Peter Ostroushko
Now regarded as one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music

Saturday October 25 7:30 p.m. Jae Sinnett Trio

Hampton Roads percussionist Jae Sinnett returns for a concert of straight-ahead jazz guaranteed to make your evening swing

Thursday November 6 7:30 p.m. Battlefield Band

Battlefield Band have been performing on the international scene for more than three decades, inspired by their rich heritage of Celtic music and fired by the strength of the modern Scottish cultural scene. The band, who pioneered the integration of bagpipes with fiddle, keyboards, guitar and voice, mix the old songs and tunes with new self-penned material, playing them on a unique fusion of ancient and modern instruments: bagpipes, synthesizers, fiddles, guitars, cittern, bass, whistles and bouzouki.

 Friday November 7  7:30 p.m.  Stephen Bennett

Harp guitar master Stephen Bennett  born in Oregon, grew up in New York and has lived in Virginia for the last three decades. Since his 1987 first-place win at the National Flatpicking Championship in Winfield, Kansas (The Walnut Valley Festival), he has become known as a versatile guitarist who consistently garners critical praise and audience enthusiasm for his compositions and live performances. With his stellar musicianship, a relaxed stage presence, and quick wit, Stephen has performed throughout the United States and Europe, as well as in Canada, Australia and Japan.

Sunday November 9  7:30 p.m. Bagels and Fraylox Klezmer Band

Monday November 10 7:30 p.m. USAF Langley Winds Free

The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band’s Langley Winds woodwind quintet. The quintet’s repertoire includes a wide variety of chamber works as well as popular and patriotic pieces.

Friday November 21 7:30 p.m. U.S. Army TRADOC Chamber and Solo Ensembles  Free

A free concert by individual performers and small ensembles from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band at Ft. Monroe, performing a variety of music, both classical and modern.

Saturday  November 22  7:30 p.m. Three Jolly Coachmen

If songs such as “Tom Dooley,” “MTA,” “Greenback Dollar,” and “Tijuana Jail” bring the memories of the late 1950s–early 1960s coffeehouse scene flooding back, then you don’t want to miss this! The Three Jolly Coachmen are a Williamsburg-based Kingston Trio tribute group.

 Friday December 5 7:30 p.m. April Verch Band

Rounder Records recording artist, April Verch, is a Canadian fiddle and stepdancing champion and singer.

Friday, December 12  7:30 p.m. Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group

Virginia based Robin and Linda Williams are known for their rich harmonies and original songwriting rooted in the country/bluegrass/gospel tradition.

Sunday January 18 7:30 p.m. Jay Ungar & Molly Mason

If you love American acoustic music, don’t miss Jay Ungar & Molly Mason.

Friday,  February 27 7:30 p.m. The Whitetop Mountain Band

One of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains, this family-based band hails from the highest mountains in Virginia.

 Friday May 1 7:30 p.m. John McCutcheon

The Washington Post called John  “Virginia’s Rustic Renaissance Man,” he is one of our most respected and loved folksingers. Master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer, his 22 recordings have garnered every honor, including four Grammy nominations.

Tuesday May 12 7:30 p.m. FourUm   Free

Formed in 1998 when four members of a Scunthorpe (North Lincolnshire, England) choir met to sing together. Fourum have entertained audiences in the north of England, appeared on television in the UK on several occasions and in the USA. Their performance ranges from old English music hall tunes to Broadway selections and popular favorites. Their performances are full of good humor and great tunes.







 









 

 

 


 

New Town Williamsburg VA

Explore New Town in Williamsburg VA

What is so special about New Town in Williamsburg VA? Theatres. Great restaurants. Gift shops, bookstores, and healthcare facilities all located within walking distance from your home. A bustling town center, retail stores and office space also serve this community of new homes and businesses.

New Town embraces the idea of “new urbanism”, where neighborhoods are designed to be diverse, accessible, safe, and self-sustaining. Careful planning and development integrate residential, commercial and green space, enabling residents to live in a pedestrian setting, and live, work and play right within their own community.

Green parks, trails and open spaces surround the spacious lofts, apartments, and town homes in New Town. Condos are available in New Town both in Bennington and in the newly opened Foundation Square. Prices start in the $200’s and range to over $450k.  Town Homes are still readily available in New Town both new and resale. All have garages either attached or detached. 2, 3, 4 bedroom town homes are available with prices starting in the mid $250’s . Abbey Commons, Chelsea Green and Savannah Square are some of the neighborhoods found within New Town.  Detached homes are soon to be available in New Town . Pricing is yet to be determined. If you would like to be the first to know about these homes email John@MrWilliamsburg.com  or call me at 757 254 8136 .Open acreage and trails provide ample room for walking, biking and other types of outdoor recreation. Commerce thrives in the Discovery Business Park, a setting designed to foster research and development ventures with the nearby College of William and Mary. New retail, dining and service businesses continue to join the bustling business district of New Town.

Sitting on the front porch with a glass of cold lemonade. Strolling along spacious sidewalks and stopping to chat with neighbors. Walking to the ice cream parlor…or even walking to work! These things are what made traditional neighborhoods so endearing and enduring, imparting a lasting sense of community. New Town in Williamsburg VA offers residents the best of both worlds, combining an old-fashioned neighborhood feeling with the latest in amenities, technology, and commerce.

Would you like to explore the real estate possibilities in New Town further ? Click here to search all condos town homes and detached homes for sale in New town, Williamsburg VA

Click here to search housing possibilities in all other communities in the Williamsburg, James City County, York County, New Kent County, areas of Virginia

Holiday Concerts December 2009 Colonial Williamsburg Virginia

One of the first question I get asked by clients who are thinking of moving to Williamsburg VA is “What is there to do in Williamsburg ? Are there any concerts or cultural events ? ”  Here is just a sampling of holiday music programs offered by Colonial Wiliamsburg in the upcoming 2009 Christmas Season.  Note that if you live here and have a ” Good Neighbor Pass” a lot of these concerts are free !

The list includes all of the following holiday musical programs  being offered in Colonial Williamsburg this 2009 Holiday Season:

  • Raise a Ruckus. Carson Hudson and his friends explore American folk music and the instruments that Americans have played over the last 400 years. Presented in conjunction with the “Cross Rhythms” exhibition, various folk instruments will be demonstrated with anecdotes and stories. 1:30 and 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $6.
  • Christmas Hymns You Thought You Knew. Join John Turner and Michael Monaco in a festive beginning to the holiday season, as they take a fresh look at familiar carols and hymns from Christmases past. Sing familiar words and sometimes unfamiliar tunes accompanied by a variety of instruments including the harpsichord. The concert begins at 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $6.
  • Profound Joy. Multi-instrumentalist Timothy Seaman celebrates the great wonder of the holiday season with early American, old European and new compositions from his recording of the same name. Winter, Christmas and Hanukkah themes are heard in the glowing drama of the extended-range hammer dulcimer and the awe-filled sounds of the low whistle, bamboo flute, mountain dulcimer and psaltery. This hour-long program is held at 4 p.m. on Fridays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • A Grand Illumination Celebration. Timothy Seaman’s Virginia Sky joins The Three Jolly Coachmen for a stupendous serving of upbeat seasonal musical fare. Together they blend striking Celtic melodies on harp, whistles and hammered dulcimer with guitar, banjo, bass and singing in the lively tradition of The Kingston Trio. The unprecedented and colorful family event kicks off Grand Illumination at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $10.
  • A String Band Christmas. The Runaway String Band plays a mix of holiday songs and instrumentals from the hills of Appalachia to the sidewalks of New York. String bands in the 1920s-30s played a wide variety of popular songs and tunes. The Runaway String Band continues the tradition of the Virginia string bands, presenting hot instrumentals, three and four-part harmonies and a selection of traditional holiday music and stories from the early 20th century. 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $8.
  • Sticks, Strings and Songs. Join Lee Welch, Lance Pedigo and Wayne Hill for holiday music performed on a variety of percussion and string instruments. Enjoy contemporary and traditional settings of holiday favorites in this unique musical offering. 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • A Baroque Christmas. A student ensemble from the College of William and Mary performs Christmas and chamber works of Bach, Handel, Corelli, Vivaldi and others. The ensemble consists of Nick Fitzgerald on baroque violin, Rachael Blake on baroque flute, Jon Brvenik on cello and Alice Real on harpsichord. This hour-long concert begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $7.
  • A Williamsburg Christmas. Join Trio String Wind—Ardie Boggs, Tim Seaman and Phillip Skeens—for a heartfelt and compelling blend of seasonal music ranging from Celtic through classical with hammered dulcimer, flutes, Celtic harp, guitar, whistles and bodhran. 1:30 and 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 21 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.
  • An Acoustic Christmas. Beautiful instrumental arrangements of your favorite Christmas tunes performed on hammered dulcimer and classical guitar by the Miller Rowe Consort from South Carolina. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 29 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $10.
    Fiddling Away the Holidays. Master fiddler John Turner keeps a Colonial Williamsburg Christmas tradition by singing, playing and reveling in the lighter side of the holiday season. Included is the not-to-be-missed Twelve Days of Christmas as only John and his eclectic collection of whistles and instruments can provide. The hour-long program begins at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Dec. 2, 9 and 16.
  • Seller of Songs. Stephen Christoff explores early American music both seasonal and year-round, telling the story of Americans and their struggle for freedom from the 18th century and beyond. Guests will experience both familiar and unfamiliar instruments: the musical saw, octave mandolin, comb and paper, hand-flute, Jew’s harp, spoons and hand-bone. The hour-long program begins at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17 the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • Here We Come a Wassailing. Join Lee Welch and Barry Trott for traditional tunes and tales that celebrate winter and the spirit of the colonial holiday season. Customs and carols abound in good-humored and high-spirited music, sung and performed on a variety of stringed, wind and percussion instruments. The one-hour program begins at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • Christmas with the Colonial Singers. Enjoy a Christmas concert of songs, legends and the memories of the Christmas traditions in colonial America. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $7.
  • Charting the Holidays. Experience seasonal music from the days of Colonial America. Discover the origins of popular traditions as settlers arrived from the British Isles and Europe, bringing their music and customs to the Colonies. Join Lee Welch, Sarah Glosson and Barry Trott in this engaging holiday show at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $8.
  • Colonial and Traditional Music of the Christmas Season. A lively mixture of carols and old wassailing tunes with colonial songs and dance melodies all performed on appropriate period instruments. Musicians and music historians David and Ginger Hildebrand provide commentary between selections to set the scene and illuminate the cultural context of 18th-century music in America. 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 26 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $8.
  • Christmas Music from the Jefferson Collection. Enjoy sonatas, ballads and songs from the musical collection of Thomas Jefferson sung and performed on violin, cello and guitar and narrated by Thomas Jefferson. Join Bill Barker, Lee Welch and Sarah Glosson for the music that Thomas Jefferson collected, played and enjoyed in his travels here and abroad. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $10.
  • Whoop and Holler. Musical historian and performer Carson Hudson explores the history of the Virginia banjo from the 18th century to today. Hear music played on reproduction banjos. This hour-long program begins at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 2.
    European musical holiday traditions are highlighted in the following Colonial Williamsburg programs:
  • St. Andrew’s Day Museum Social. Scottish fiddling master John Turner teams up with singer-guitarist Cliff Williams and fellow Scottish fiddler David Gardener to create a fitting musical tribute on this day honoring Scotland’s patron saint. After the concert, enjoy Scottish-inspired treats in the museum’s café and music throughout the museum. 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 30 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Tickets are $25 by November 22, $20 for Good Neighbors by Nov. 22 and $30 when purchased Nov 23-30.
  • Celtic Whispers and the Nativity. Join Ardie Boggs on the Celtic Harp, as she travels through the misty space of time, from Ireland to the Holy Land, tracing the Pagan conversion to Christianity. The concert begins at 4 p.m. on Mondays, Dec. 1 and 15 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • Artisan’s Celtic Wonderland. The trio Artisan—Ardie Boggs, Timothy Seaman and Anne Robinson—brings unique Celtic and seasonal music on two magnificent Celtic harps and virtuosic hammered dulcimers, flutes, whistles and psalteries. Delighting guests with the beautiful holiday sounds of joy and peace, this hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.
  • A European Yuletide. The Virginia Sky Trio—Timothy Seaman, Ann Robinson and Peter Budnikas—celebrates the Christmas sounds of the Europeans who settled America. Enjoy charming and vibrant interpretations performed on hammered dulcimers, Celtic harp, guitar, Highland bagpipes and flutes. 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 27 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.
  • Hogmanay: Scottish New Year’s Celebration. Prepare for the beginning of 2009 with John Turner, Cliff Williams and David Gardner, three of Williamsburg’s most talented musicians, as they celebrate Hogmanay with songs and tunes from Scotland. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.
    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, Good Neighbor Card or museums ticket provides access to enjoy these musical programs. A separate ticket is required where indicated.

    Entrance to the museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information and reservations call (757) 220-7724. Programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    For reservations and more information, call 1-800-HISTORY. or www.History.org

  •  
  • It’s Just Being Here ( our thoughts on moving to Williamsburg , Virginia)

    This was a testimonial written by one of my clients. It so edifies Colonial Williamsburg and all it has to offer and in todays times is something positive that I felt it needed to be shared.

     

    It’s Just Being Here….”

    Those are the words my husband and I have used over the years to describe our flood of sensations upon arrival in Williamsburg each time we visit.  Like many, we’ve come countless times over the years. Our children grew up vacationing here. Whether by car or plane, it’s always the same, as we travel the roads leading to Williamsburg. Trying in vain to express what we love; the sight and smells of the York river as we travel the Parkway, the pine-rich wooded areas along the way, the architecture & symmetry of CW, the smell of wood burning fires, the bustle of activity. Giving up, we just glance at each other and sum it up it again- “it’s just being here”. 

    Wanting to capture that feeling when we moved from Maryland to Georgia three years ago, we searched the MLS for any Williamsburg reproduction homes south of Atlanta, without success. Undaunted, we decided to build, and, armed with house plans, we looked for suitable property. Our search came to a screeching halt literally, when we were shocked to see a faithful reproduction of… the George Wythe house!  It wasn’t on the market but we pulled over to admire the perfectly reproduced symmetry and understated elegance of that incomparable house; Flemish bond brick, period appropriate detached garage and a dependency building situated on almost an acre of landscaped property. We knew it well. A piece of Williamsburg. Amazingly, our agent knew the family and these fellow Williamsburg lovers offered the house to us for purchase. 

     The Wythe house balustrade staircase and moldings throughout, 3 fireplaces, wide plank floors and period details provided exactly the right ambiance. We renovated the kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops and added a 4-square herb garden in door yard of the dependency. For three years, it has almost been “being there”.

      Interestingly, after years of vacationing in Williamsburg with our children, it appeared they did not share our passion for the area. (Their interests revolved around the animals and candy shop, can anyone relate?) So, recently when my daughter became engaged, we were surprised to receive an email from her with these words “Mom, what do you think of an outdoor wedding in CW?” The wedding is set for May 2009 in the fountain garden across from the Williamsburg Lodge..

    The next step is for us to really “be there”, and permanently.  So our piece of Williamsburg in Georgia is now on the market. And our story has come full-circle.  We were fortunate enough to discover Mr. Williamsburg (literally! www.mrwilliamsburg.com), John Womeldorf, who has patiently  helped us scout out dozens of neighborhoods, and given us all the “insider knowledge” we needed to make a  selection of which Williamsburg neighborhood we will eventually call home.

     Yes, it really is… just being here. 

     Erin and Art Ruitberg, Griffin Ga soon to be Williamsburg VA…..

    Here is a link to the listing for our current George Wythe Home currently on the market in Georgia

     

     Copyright 2008 Market Wire