• 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

Hampton Roads Property tax rates 2012-2013

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

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



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


What’s the property tax rate history in James City County.

One question I get asked repeatedly from out of town folks thinking of a move to Williamsburg/James City County. “What are you property taxes ? Are they increasing” ?

At .77 per $100 of home value we enjoy one of the lowest tax rates around. Add to that the fact that rates have not increased ( as opposed to other localities) since 2007.

( As of 2014, a home valued at $300k would have an annual property tax rate of $2310 in James City County)


What is the difference between assessed and appraised value ?

Most of the home buyers I work with in the Williamsburg Area will typically use the James City County, Williamsburg or York County Va assessed value as a basis when determining an offer price on a home. They erroneously believe that is what the property is worth.There may be some areas that are close in their tax assessment to the value of the property, but markets fluctuate and market value has nothing to do with the Tax Assessment. Home buyers and sellers should know that the fair market value of how much your home may sell for is generally based on comps of properties sold in the area, usually within the past 3 months or so.

Many consumers confuse assessments and appraisals. An assessment is the value placed on a property by the county or city’s assessor’s office for the purpose of determining the property tax due. The county or city assessor determines your assessed value and an appraiser determines your appraised value.

An appraisal is a report done by an appraiser to determine value. typically for a mortgage or refinancing.   The appraiser will use recently sold prices ( going back a maximum of six months or less in some cases) of similar properties making adjustments for differences between the subject property and the comparable.

Below is a segment report for home sales in Ford’s Colony , Williamsburg VA. ( Jan 2011-Dec 2011) It shows both the sold price and the James City County Assessed Value. You can see from the chart that only two of the homes sold for more than assessed value ( +10% and + 3%) the remaining homes sold for an average of 17.27% below James City County assessed value.

We are do for a change in assessments for 2012 so the numbers will be closer after correction. Remember that this is a report for a very narrow market segment and it varies widely from neighborhood to neighborhood.

assessed values versus appraised values williamsburg va

One other thing to consider, the  assessor has most likely NEVER been inside the home. A home in the upper price range could have drastic differences in trim, finish levels and upgrades. In many instances homes were sold with unfinished bonus rooms or basements. If homeowners finished then off later without permits the county or city assessor will not factor that in to it’s assessed value. Its very common to see square footage errors in tax records as well.

How often are properties in Williamsburg, VA re-assessed for tax purposes?

This is a question that is frequently asked, the answer depends on whether or not you live in the "City of Williamsburg", James City County (those home always also have a Williamsburg address) or York County (could be a "Williamsburg"  mailing address or a "Yorktown" mailing address).

If you live in James City County, property tax assessments are done every two years  on even numbered years. Our  tax rate has remained  at .77 cents per $100 of tax assessed value since 2006 it was .87 from 1996-2002.

For specific information on James City County tax assessments, please click here.

james city county historical tax rates

Example: $300,000 home  x .0077 [tax rate] = $2310.00 property tax per year .

York County residents are also assessed every two years on even numbered years. The tax rate for York County residents is .66 cents per $100 of assessed value. Click here to see the process for York County tax assessments. To look up a specific property’s tax assessment in York County please go here.

Example: $300,000 home  x .0066 [tax rate] = $1980.00 property tax per year .

If you are a resident of the City of Williamsburg, your assessments are done every year. At the end of October of every year, the city has completed their review of assessments and posts them. Click here to see the exact process for the City of Williamsburg’s tax assessment process.  The tax assessments for 2012 are certainly available at the City of Williamsburg’s website. You can go here for current tax evaluations for the city. The tax rate for the City of Williamsburg is .54 cents per $100 of tax assessed value.

Example: $300,000 home  x .0054 [tax rate] = $1620.00 property tax per year .

How do these rates compare to the rest of Hampton Roads VA ?

hampton roads property tax rates Property tax rates can play a large role in the affordability of a new home purchase. While the property tax rates in Hampton Roads are low, relative to other parts of the country, there can be quite a large difference from city to city or county For example, a simple move a few miles down the road from Williamsburg to Newport News will more than double your property taxes, on a home of equal assessment. As you can see, it’s extremely important that you keep property tax rates in mind when contemplating the purchase of a new home.  A table of the tax rates for the region, as well as city contact numbers, is below.

How can a property be assessed for more than its purchase price?

Another question I get asked , if I get a heck of a deal on a home in James City County, Williamsburg or Yorktown VA will the taxable value be reduced to what I paid ?

Real Estate may be assessed for more than the sales price because the assessment reflects "fair market value." Fair market value is not necessarily the price paid for a piece of real estate, but rather, what it is worth on the real estate market. A sale may be below fair market value, for example, if the owners are in financial distress and need to sell quickly, lowering the price beyond what they might otherwise accept. Selling a property at an amount simply sufficient to cover the mortgage would be another example of a distress sale not at fair market value.

Appealing your tax assessment

You can appeal if you are not happy with your assessed value but the assessors office is using an average of sale prices in the immediate area. You may have gotten a home for $200k less than assessed value but if all the other homes around are selling for close to assessed value that’s where your value will be pegged.

Continue reading

Changes made to real estate tax exemption for elderly and disabled homeowners in James City County VA

At its August 9, 2011 meeting, the James City County Board of Supervisors amended the County Code pertaining to the income qualifications for the real estate exemption for elderly and disabled homeowners.

Qualifying household income remains at $45,000. Non-taxable sources of income, such as some disability pensions and workman’s compensation, are no longer counted as part of the household income. The amendments also require that all income from household members, both related to and unrelated to the homeowner, be counted in full.

Because the amendments could affect current year applications, the Board has also provided a special application period from September 1 through September 30, 2011 for filing applications for the program.

The current qualifications are as follows:

  • At least one owner/resident must be over 65 years of age, or permanently and totally disabled as of July 1, 2011
  • Total household income from all sources of considered income under the provisions of the IRS Code must be less than $45,000 and
  • Total assets, not including the home and up to 10 acres of land, of owners must be less than $200,000.

Applications are available online; at the County Government Center, 101-B Mounts Bay Road; or by calling 757-253-6695. Completed applications should be mailed to the Commissioner of the Revenue, P O Box 283, Williamsburg, VA  23187 or filed directly to the Commissioner at 101-B Mounts Bay Rd, Williamsburg VA by September 30, 2011 in order to qualify for this year’s exemption program.

For more information, call 757-253-6695.

Time is running out

First of all I am not going to tell you that now is the best time to buy a home. For some it is for others it isn’t but  that’s a much longer discussion.

highlandinsidepages If you are on the fence about buying a home in Williamsburg or Hampton Roads Va realize that the clock is running down on the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. There is  less than four months to go before the Nov. 30 deadline.

Even though December 1 is still months away, when you add in possible delays to an already lengthy process, those few months start to look like barely enough time to settle a Real Estate transaction. With inspections, negotiations, and new Truth in Lending laws, delays are looking more inevitable than ever.

As a First-time buyer you should also anticipate tighter lending standards that generally don’t allow 100% financing, making you responsible for coming up with enough money prior to closing to meet your required down-payment and closing costs.

What is the Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers?

Here are two links to the IRS website that asks and then answers all the relevant questions about the tax credit.



The tax credit is for first time home buyers, if you have not owned a home in over 3 years you are a first time home buyer. You can claim up to 10% of the sales price or $8,000 whichever is the lesser.

Can I Use the $8,000 as my Down Payment?

The State of Virginia has a program available through the Virginia Housing Development  Authority ( VHDA) , that will monetize a portion of the $8,000 tax credit. The VHDA. Click here for more information on that program. NOte this is an income restricted program

Home buyers who may need additional information can find answers to frequently asked questions about the tax credit at www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com or