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With Hurricane Sandy past us, and partly cloudy skies forecast for tomorrow, it looks like it's going to be a perfect evening trick-or-treating!  James City County hours for trick-or-treating are between 6pm and 8pm for children 12 and under. Here's a few tips to ensure a safe and fun night!

 

  • Costumes should be easy to walk in and short enough to avoid tripping. They should be made out of non-flammable material and easy to see in the dark. Reflective tape sewn onto the costume works well.

  • Makeup should be worn instead of a mask. Makeup helps trick-or-treaters see and breathe easily. If masks are worn, they should be taken off before crossing a street.

  • Trick-or-treaters should plan their route ahead of time, picking streets that are in familiar neighborhoods and well lit.

  • Young children should never trick-or-treat without an adult or older sibling. Older children who trick-or-treat without an adult should do so in a group with the route and return time approved by the caretaker. A flashlight or glow stick should be carried to light the way and to be more visible to cars. Only go to homes with the porch light on.

  • Trick-or-treaters should cross only at corners, never between parked cars or in the middle of the block. When possible, they should stay on the sidewalk. If there isn’t a sidewalk, they should stay as far left of the roadway as possible and walk facing traffic. When approaching a house, they should watch for candles in Jack-O-Lanterns or other decorations that may catch clothes on fire.

  • Trick-or-treaters should never go into the home of a stranger, even if they are invited in.

  • Candy should not be eaten until after it has been checked out by an adult. Treats not in their original packaging should be thrown away. Any suspicious candy should be reported to the Police Department as soon as possible.

 

Finally, James City County Police would like to remind anyone who will be out driving to watch for children trick-or-treating as they might forget to watch out for you.

 

Superior Craftsmanship in Home Building—A. DeRose and Sons

by Deelyn Neilson
 
Anthony DeRose and Sons have built in Williamsburg for over a decade.  This small, family-run firm specializes in creating truly custom homes. Unlike mass production builders, DeRose and Sons don’t use pre-approved house plans—they work with architects to create the perfect home for you. DeRose is well versed in the building requirements of James City County as well as all of the luxury communities in Williamsburg including Ford's Colony, Governor's Land and Kingsmill.  This makes each and every building project go smoother, faster, and with less frustration for the home owners.  
 
Clients agree that DeRose provides a reliable fixed price quote and completes projects in a timely manner, usually less than one year.  Working one-on-one with clients each step of the way, DeRose addresses possible concerns or changes well in advance. When it comes to choosing aesthetic features of the home, Mary Beth DeRose guides home owners through the maze of finishes, flooring, accents, and all the other special touches that create the ambiance unique to their taste. 
 
 
Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of the DeRose and Sons company is how Mr. DeRose approaches home building projects. One client credits Anthony's professional attitude: "Anthony's composed demeanor, blended with a demand for perfection, kept everyone involved and working together." Combine the building expertise of Anthony with the artistry of Mary Beth, and the result is astounding. 
 
 
 
For more information on DeRose and Sons Builders, please visit their website at http://www.derose-builders.com/
 
If you’ve dreamed of building your own home, now is the time to begin.  View lots for sale in Ford’s Colony and contact me today to make your dream a reality at 757.503.1999 or [email protected]
 

 

 

There are dozens of walking and mountain biking trails in and around Williamsburg! With the gorgeous coastal weather, there's plenty of time to enjoy them!  Here's a list of five great trails to check out, but if you need more, visit the James City County Parks and Recreation site or the York County Parks and Recreation site.

21.      Freedom Park—Also home to Go Ape! Zip lining course, Williamsburg Botanical Gardens, and one of the oldest Free Black settlements of America, Freedom Park has over twenty miles of mountain bike trails and two miles of hiking trails. The 600 acre preserve winds throughout historic sites, open green space, forests, and alongside creeks.  The park also hosts regular events throughout each month, including family friendly activities, mountain biking workshops, and more.

22.       Greensprings Interpretive Trail—Close to Jamestown, the flat 3.5 miles of paved trail for cyclists and pedestrians curves throughout a variety of nature habitats including a farm and wetlands.  Part of the trail is boardwalk. Interpretive signs throughout the trail offer insight into the ecological area and historic events.

23.       Powhatan Creek Trail—Connecting to the Greensprings Interpretive Trail, this 2.05 mile paved path for hikers and bikers boasts some of the best nature views in the county. It crosses an impressive 696 foot long bridge over the Powhatan Creek. 

24.       Virginia Capital Trail—Connecting Jamestown and Williamsburg to Richmond, VA, this 52 mile paved trail is for cyclists and pedestrians.  The incredible scenic path spans gorgeous Virginia land and 400 years of Virginia history. Four phases are currently open to public, with the entire trail scheduled to open in 2014. 

25.       York River State Park—There are over 25 miles of trails in this beautiful park nestled on the banks of the York River.  Two trails are exclusively designed for mountain bikers, two exclusively for equestrians, and three for hikers only. Many other trails are multipurpose, serving cyclists, equestrians, and hikers.

Ice Skating Rink Opening in Williamsburg VA

by Deelyn Neilson

 

What better way to start the Christmas season than with the opening of a brand new ice skating rink? Several New Town businesses have partnered with the county to open an synthetic rink in New Town.  All ages and skill levels are welcome, although children under 12 must be supervised by an adult.

Open daily November 23 2012 through January 13 2013. Closed on Christmas Day.

Hours: 10-11:30 a.m., noon-1:30 p.m., 2-3:30 p.m., 4-5:30 p.m., 6-7:30 p.m. and 8-9:30 p.m.

Admission: $7 with skate rental, $5 if you bring your own skates

Save with season passes! Only $50 per person, including skate rentals.

Watch this video to see how EZ Glide 350 Synthetic Ice is installed.

 

Local Williamsburg VA Bloggers

by Deelyn Neilson

You already know that www.premierwilliamsburgrealestate.com is a fantastic source for market trends,  things to do in Williamsburg, and hot new listings.  Check out these other local Williamsburg bloggers--some of these folks just might be your neighbors!

Dear Lillie: A beautiful blog about home decorating. Jennifer Holmes’ casual, elegant style has been featured in dozens of publications, including Better Homes and Gardens and HGTV Favorite Holiday Ideas. 

Eclectic Mothering: Edited by blogging local Judith Sullivan, the candid, witty posts on this mommy blog will have you laughing in no time.  From the antics of her two little boys, to the search for the perfect double stroller, Eclectic Mothering meets the mothering challenges head on, using whatever methods necessary.

Macaroni Kid Williamsburg: This site has daily postings about family events, parenting, household tips, and giveaways (my assistant won a four pack of tickets to Disney Rocking On Ice last month!) Sign up for the newsletter to get Macaroni Kid emailed directly to you.

Living in Williamsburg, Virginia: A daily photo blog from Darryl and Ruth. Although neither claims to be a professional photographer, the images that populate this sight are striking visual compositions of Colonial Williamsburg.

What You'll Do: This weekly blog is hosted by the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily news site. Events and activities of the upcoming weekend are posted, giving you one simple list of fun things to do.

 

 

 

Top 5 Mistakes for First Time Home Buyers in Williamsburg VA

by Deelyn Neilson

 

Buying a house can be a daunting process. The journey can be full of pitfalls if you don’t have the right Realtor guiding you through the process.  First time home buyers are the most susceptible to mistakes, causing anything from frustrations to financial hardship. That’s why I’ve made this guide to the top five home buyer mistakes—and how to avoid them.

Mistake #5: Listening to friends and family—instead of your agent. 

It’s easy to get caught up in what your family and friends think. Their opinion is very important to you, and that’s absolutely understandable. Even so, the nuances of a real estate transaction are unique to every set of buyers, sellers, and agents. Home values change constantly. Every time a property is listed and sold in a neighborhood, the market values of the homes around them fluctuate. That’s why you need a full time real estate professional who knows and understands market conditions in Williamsburg VA.  

Your Realtor will have real time experience with current market conditions, appraisals, market values, seller concessions, and more. Friends and family, on the other hand, do not have this experience. Although it's natural to be nervous and tempted to rely on friends and family as a first time buyer, it's important that you trust the advice of a Realtor who has an understanding of our local real estate market when you make your final decision.  

Mistake #4: Buying the most expensive house you can.

You've finally got the response from your mortgage lender, telling you just how much money they’re willing to lend--which is the same as your price range, right? Not the case. All too often, first time home buyers take that number and use it as a starting point. The result is frustration and financial struggles. Too many home buyers purchase a house that is too expensive for their budget, believing that the bank would never lend too much money. The sad reality is that many homeowners who have over-bought spend the next decade or more struggling to make the payments. Instead of judging your price range from your pre-qualification letter, look at your monthly budget and determine how much you can afford to pay. A general guideline is that your housing costs should be no greater than 25-30% of your monthly expenses. When you calculate your payment, remember to include taxes, insurance, and a percentage for maintenance. You’ll be much happier in a smaller or older home that you can afford than buying a big, expensive home that causes you financial stress.

Mistake #3. Making offers that are too low.

The Williamsburg real estate market moves quickly- especially for homes in good condition, priced under $300,000.  Military bases provide a constant influx of new people moving to and from the area, so houses are constantly changing hands. Chances are, if you find a home you love, there are other buyers who will love it too. Talk to your Realtor to figure out what’s a fair offer and what is unrealistic.   Don’t try to shop for a half a million dollar house on a $300,000 budget, hoping to haggle down to your price. You’ll just set yourself up for heartbreak.

Mistake #2: Waiting too long to make an offer.

Not only does Hampton Roads have the highest concentration of military bases in the country, it is also an attractive area for retirement, second homes or vacation homes, students, college professors, and professionals. It’s no wonder that real estate in the Williamsburg area moves quickly. Homes under $300,000 that have been updated are especially prone to be snatched up the week—sometimes even the day—they are put on the market. If you’re hesitating to put an offer on a home that you love, it’s probably because you didn’t do your homework.  The best way to prevent buyer’s remorse is decide how much you can afford and what your needs are. That way, when a home comes along that fits your needs, you can make your offer with confidence.

Mistake #1. Skipping lending pre-qualification and the homework required to purchase a home.

The first step in buying a home is talking to a mortgage professional to get you ‘pre-qualified’ for a mortgage. A mortgage lender can explain monthly payments and advise you on applying for a mortgage. You also need to do some research into your credit history and make sure that your credit is good enough to buy a home. Don’t forget that when you make the decision to purchase a home that you need to be aware of all of your expenses- this is not the time to finance a flat screen TV or a new car. Want to know more about your own credit score? Go to My Fico for facts about credit

I'd love to help you find the perfect home for you in Williamsburg. Take a look at what other clients have to say about me and then contact me at 757.503.1999 or [email protected].

 

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