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Deelyn Robinson

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So what is going on in the Williamsburg Real Estate Market?? Is it a good time to be selling your home?

Interest rates took a dive last week and today's rates can be had anywhere from 4.25 on a 15 year fixed to 4.75 on a 30 year fixed. Of course, these are incredible rates and should entice buyers even further. I firmly believe that there is an 'age sensitivity' to recognizing the relevance of a decline in interest rates. Those first time home buyers have been hearing about lower interest rates for a awhile now and are more inclined to be having a ho-hum attitude towards the historically low rates.  More experienced buyers who have been around for awhile and have seen rates all over the board truly recognize and seem to jump on and lock on the lower rates. They recognize that not only are there tax advantages to having a mortgage but more importantly that they stand a good chance of locking the loan low and then putting their money to work for them and earning a much higher return on investments than they would by just paying cash for a home.

The home sales market in Colonial Heritage in Williamsburg, VA. is a prime example of 'age sensitivity' to interest rates or for lack of a better term- experience! This "55+ Active Adult Community" struggled as did every community in Williamsburg after the stock market plummeted in October of 2009. Lennar continued production of their homes and, as the market declined, they were faced with a glut of new construction not to mention the re-sales that added to market saturation. Values declined significantly as Lennar actively cut prices on their standing inventory.  Last spring we saw interest rates plummet to all-time lows and as this happened the inventory sharply declined in Colonial Heritage and values increased. This market came close to being 'balanced' and Lennar actually had no standing inventory and buyers sought the re-sale market. The demographics of the 55+ community is obvious- these folks are no strangers to high mortgage rates and knew the value of 'cheap money'.

So is it a good time to sell? If you have a home that appeals to the more experienced buyer in Williamsburg (i.e. a rancher or a smaller home with a first floor master bedroom), my crystal ball would say that absolutley it is a great time to be selling. Position the home properly (i.e. PRICE it RIGHT!) and you should be able to move forward onto your next residence and lock your own low rate.

Please join me on

Thursday May 27th from 2:00-3:30

 Verena at the Reserve 

 121 Reserve Way, Williamsburg, VA.

We will be discussing  the current market trends in Williamsburg and what you need to do to accomplish a closed sale. Special Guest Tara Smith with Design Alternatives will also be present to give advice on down-sizing options and complete home setup as well as advice on transitioning into a senior community.

WJCC School Board Finalizes Redistricting maps

by Deelyn Neilson

After nine long, frustrating and painful months, the School Board voted and approved a plan that will redistrict the  elementary and middle schools in the Williamsburg James City County Public School system. Change is hard and pleasing everyone is impossible. With the growth that we have seen over the last few years the schools have been redistricted many times and every time it has not been clear cut or easy.

The million dollar question has been whether to bus children for socio-economic reasons to keep the schools balanced on the free lunch programs or to have all kids go to the schools that are closest to their homes. Also included in the criteria was each school's student capacity with the goal of keeping all of the schools at 85-88% of capacity.

The School Board held a special meeting yesterday and  the difficult  decisions have been made. Hopefully, they will prove to be the best for all of our kiddos. 

Click here to go to the WJCC School division website to see the maps.

The new  districting will go into effect next fall for the 2010-2011 school year.

 

Market Trends April 2010

by Deelyn Neilson

Williamsburg, VA. Market Updates

Interested in market data for your neighborhood or city? Please contact me and I will provide you with the real estate information that you need.

Wow! The numbers are in for March and, please take a cautionary deep breath, they look good or at least a lot better. Comparing March 2009 to March 2010 does provoke some thought. Could we be turning the corner? Certainly a crystal ball would help right now, however, I will take the good news as it comes.

 

The graph above indicates "Market Absorption" which basically compares the new and residual listings with what is under contract. Comparing March of 2009 with March of 2010, we are up 33% for properties UNDER CONTRACT  and our residual listings are down 4%.  Good news! (Please click on graph for larger PDF version.)

The graph above indicates that our supply of inventory has declined from March  2009 where we had 16 months of standing inventory versus March 2010 where we now have 12 months of inventory.(Please click on graph for larger PDF version)

A "balanced" market (neither a buyer's market nor a seller's market) exists when there are roughly 6 months of inventory so while we are not yet there, we are certainly headed in the right direction.

The numbers are looking very positive and do represent a shift in the market. The real question that can only be answered in a rear view mirror is whether or not the trend can be sustained. Let's hope it can.

The one thing that we know for sure is that if you are waiting for the market to hit the bottom before you buy on our vast real estate freeway, we will only know AFTER the bottom has come and gone and by then you may have missed the exit.

77th Annual Williamsburg Garden Club Home and Garden Tour

by Deelyn Neilson

As a part of a tradition in Williamsburg, VA., the Williamsburg Garden Club will host their annual Home and Garden Tour on Tuesday April 20, 2010 from 10:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M.  Six homes that have been selected as Williamsburg's most beautiful historic (and contemporary) properties will be adorned with spring floral arrangements and decked out to their Spring finest and open to folks for a tour.

The Historic Garden Week has been recognized as raising more than $16 MILLION for the maintenance and restoration of more than 50 of Virginia's historic properties and landscapes. This includes Williamsburg's Bruton Parish Churchyard as well as Bacon's Castle in Surry, VA., Christ Church, Monticello, Mount Vernon and Maymont.

In addition to the homes, the tour will also offer discussions for beekeeping, escorted walking tours of Colonial Williamsburg gardens that border the Palace Green, and many other unique discussions and tours that will make for a very full and interesting day.

The ticket price of $30 seems to be a bargain for an entire day of touring magnificent properties and the opportunities presented with the additional featured discussions and tours.  Tickets are available on the day of the tour (April 20)  at each of the properties participating. Head to South Henry Street and East Francis Street in the City of Williamsburg and numerous signs will be at the ready to direct you to the tour.

Many volunteers and sponsors have put in numerous hours and mountains of effort to make this an enjoyable as well as educational (fun!) day.

Enjoy!

New Town News- American Family Fitness!

by Deelyn Neilson

Great news for New Town! American Family Fitness, a Richmond based athletic club chain is making it's way to New Town- next to Opus 9. This is terrific news for the entire New Town area which seems to have had more folks "bowing out" than being able to afford the rent. Times are certainly tough and there certainly seems to be a fair share of unleased spaces throughout Williamsburg so a new and different tenant is very exciting news for everyone.

New Town is already home to Ironbound Fitness (which according to my drive-bybarometer is doing quite well!) as well as B-Defined Personal Training in the Sun Trust building.

There is also talk that another tenant will be accounced to fill the vacancy left by former anchor tenant Old Navy.

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