Studio 4925 has opened in the same building as my office (4925 Centerville Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188). It is a new store with art and gifts from local artists. It is located in a small space but it is packed with local art, signs, wood work and gifts of all type, and it changes daily. Next time you are on Centerville Road stop in and see what is new at Studio 4925.
Hertzler Appraisals is constantly working on ways to
speed up the appraisal process and lessen turn around times. Our newest innovation is a Leica Disto 7500i
laser measurer. Although I have had
several laser devices in the past (a Lowe's special), which I rarely used
because of reliability, this new Disto is extremely accurate and can be used
indoors and outdoors.
This device should decrease the amount of time needed
on-site and reduce the number of shrubs I need to climb through. I have
been using an IPad for several years, which increased the accuracy of building
sketches because they are closed out on the job site as opposed to coming back
to the office and making sure my numbers add up properly.
Each year we try to add something new to the efficiency
of the appraisal process. Using mobile
sketching, going paperless in the office, accepting credit cards, and now the
new laser measuring device. Hertzler Appraisals is trying to stay innovative
and continue learning. These devices
help speed up the appraisals process but cannot replace the knowledge we have in the
Williamsburg housing market and our expertise in the art of appraising.
When New Town was first being developed there was a rush of local businesses to the area. Some of the older retail spaces became vacant despite their great locations and good exposure from passing traffic.
New Town is a great development and has a lot of good
businesses, but it appears the rents are too high in some sections. I love
walking around in New Town and enjoy the theater, restaurants and stores there.
I was happy to see Retro Daddio reopen in the shopping
center across from Williamsburg Shopping Center. I am reminded of them almost daily as I drive
down Monticello Avenue. Although they
are in an older retail space, they are visible from passing traffic. This building seems more fitting of
"Retro" Daddio. I remember
this area being the center of shopping for the Williamsburg area. In high
school we would go back and forth between Sal's restaurant and Milton's Pizza,
and the Carmike Movie Theater which was in the same shopping center as Retro Daddio currently resides.
Now there are discussions of government getting involved
in redoing the Williamsburg Shopping Center. Why not let it naturally evolve
and remodel instead of tearing down and starting over. Use the existing structure and character of
the current building. It appears that
Food Lion, Sal's, And Ace Hardware are all doing well there.
I was sad to see the Williamsburg Outlet Mall razed. I know the prior owners tried to make it
work, but did the new owners have to start fresh again? Couldn't they have worked with the County to
use at least a portion of the building and existing parking lot? It seems wasteful
I own the building that Aladdin Consignment occupies on
Merrimac Trail and I have slowly been pumping money back into it to remodel the
exterior and interior. In addition, Aladdin has made their store look
I would love to see some of these older shopping centers
fill up again with local businesses, and also national chains. I think Trader Joes could have retrofitted
any existing building in town and people would still flock to it. Let's follow the lead of Retro Daddio and go
retro, filling up some of these older shopping centers with good local businesses.
I recently appraised a vacant lot in James City County. Over the past seven years it has been difficult to find lot sales outside of planned subdivisions. However, I was surprised to find eight fairly comparable lot sales that I could use in the appraisal.
These lot sales, for the most part, were outside of planned subdivisions and ranged in size from 0.33 to 0.914 acres. They ranged in price from $15,000 (needed an alternative septic system) to $85,000 (included a garage on the site).
When I drove by the lots I was even more surprised because most of them already had a house under construction. I counted four different builders constructing houses with living areas somewhere between 1,400 and 2,200 square feet.
I observed the same trend in the New Kent County market. Most of the homes, upon completion, would have a sales price of less than $300,000. The confidence the local builders have to build speculative homes gives me encouragement for real estate in 2014.
I have seen increased activity within Queens Lake recently. The median sales price for the most recent quarter ($339,000) was up 4.0% from the same quarter one year prior ($326,000). The quarter February 2013 to April 2013 was 3.1% higher than May to July 2013.
Inventory appears in balance with a 3.9 month supply, based on 13 active listings and 3.33 sales per month.
Hopefully, this is a good sign for the rest of upper York County.
I attended the a la mode, inc. Mobile Appraiser Workshop this weekend (August 16th and 17th) in Baltimore, MD. Since January 2012 I have been using the IPad for all of my on-site inspections, and have gotten rid of a clip board and pencil. A harness holds my IPad around my neck so I can be hands free to measure the house. My wife calls this my "Man Purse". Building Sketches are made directly onto the IPad, information is gathered and entered, and photographs are also taken with the tablet. This saves time on drawing and entering information back at the office.
Although I have been using this for about 1.5 years, the course gave many great ideas on speeding up my turnaround time on reports, and to insure accurate, quality reports in the Williamsburg area (James City, Upper York County, and New Kent).
We, at Hertzler Appraisals, strive to make our reports better, and our turn times faster with new technology and continuing education. Our goal is to have a paper free office.
Research using Williamsburg Multiple Listing Service was conducted for homes sold over the past year (May 2011 to May 2012) within James City County and the City of Williamsburg with Laminate counter tops, Corian counter tops, and Stone Counter tops.
Type of Counter Number Sold Range Median Sales price
Laminate Counter tops 191 $41,000 to $555,000 $259,000
Corian Counter tops 71 $187,500 to $1,285,000 $400,000
Granite Counter tops 216 $200,500 to $1,285,000 $408,375
If the searched was narrowed for homes built since 2003, the numbers are as follows:
Type of Counter Number Sold Range Median Sales Price
Laminate Counter tops 58 $110,500 to $396,805 $261,500
Corian Counter tops 21 $255,000 to $1,010,000 $367,000
Granite Counter tops 94 $200,500 to $1,275,000 $408,375
This shows that new construction higher end homes are typically Corian or Granite. Houses with granite counter tops have a higher median sales price by approximately $41,000 than Corian counter tops. The median sales price for granite homes is $146,875 higher than that of homes with laminate counter tops. The highest sales price over the past year of a house built since 2003 with laminate counter tops is $396,805. It was located in the Marywood subdivision.
This information listed above does not indicate an adjustment for granite versus Corian versus Laminate; however, it does suggest what price ranges are expected to have upgraded counter tops.
Here are the sales over the past two years in Ford's Colony:
Nov-Apr May-Jul Aug-Oct
1.5% up 4.0% up 16.9% up
November 2010 to October 2011 showed a decline in the median values from $463,000 to $415,000. However, each period in the most recent year is higher than the same period one year earlier.
November 2011 to April 2012 was $470,000, and this remained almost the same for May 2012 to July 2012 ($467,000). August to October 2012 saw an increase of 3.9% ($485,000) from the prior quarter.
There were 23 sales from August to October 2012, which calculates to 7.67 units per month. There are currently 99 active listings. This calculates to a 12.91 month (99 divided by 7.67 units) supply of inventory in Ford's Colony.
Although it appears that the market is improving in Ford's Colony, it is still inconsistent (downward trend in median sales price last year and slight upward trend this year).