Every home as a story-Mr Williamsburg

In my years as a Williamsburg Va area real estate agent I was always surprised when I looked at brochures from other listings. Quite often I see two sentences describing a 3 BR two bath home. I personally feel if you are paying someone a substantial sum to sell your home they can put a little more effort into it. That was the genesis for these stories.

Having a website that focuses on real estate in the area brings a lot of questions from potential home buyers. Most of these folks have never been to Williamsburg Virginia. So imagine if you’re from outside the area and know nothing about homes their neighborhoods whether some of the questions you would ask?

What’s the neighborhood like? Who lives there? What are the schools like? Do they have any social events? Do they have a pool? Or the lots private? Do they mow your yard? Can you put in a fence? Can you have dogs? How far is it to the store? How far is it to the playground? How far is it to the beach? I think you get the gist.

So, below is a recap of some of the stories my clients have told in the process of me selling their homes.

Hopefully, it gives you a sense of what it’s like to live here, and what it’s like to live in that specific neighborhood.

You can explore other Mr Williamsburg neighborhood spotllight pages here 

Fords Colony

“Grand and comfortable.” This was John and Diana’s guiding vision in designing their gracious brick Colonial that bears resemblance to the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg.

“We wanted a house that was not a replica of the Governor’s Palace, but that made people say ‘Hey, this looks a little like it,’” said John, the CEO of a federal government contractor. “We wanted it to be one of the neighborhood’s showcases, but we also wanted a place where people would feel comfortable, where they could put their feet up and relax. I feel we accomplished that.”

The 6,500 square foot home was built in 2006 by Hallmark Builders. “We went with Hallmark because of the quality of their homes,” John said. “Their homes are very sturdy and we like the creativity of the owner.”

The couple chose to build their home in the country club community of Ford’s Colony because it offered multiple golf courses. “Diana and I play golf several times a week,” said John. “We knew we would get bored if we played the same course so often.” Ford’s Colony includes three Dan Maples championship golf courses; the couple chose to build their home on the 15th hole of the Blue Heron course.

Fords Colony-James City County/ Williamsburg VA

Canterbury Woods-“Home is where the heart is”

If Garrett Fesler was having a bad day at work, he’d just think about being home, in his backyard sunroom. “It extends out into our yard so that you’re looking out at green — like being in the middle of the woods — and it’s a great place to relax,” he says. “I love to open up all the windows and just sit and catch a breeze.”
That all-season sunroom, with a vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling glass doors on three sides, was one of the main reasons Garrett and his wife, Corine, bought their 2,300 square-foot ranch in 2007. The couple, who had ties to the College of William & Mary, wanted a home with a large yard and mature trees in an established neighborhood that was close to the college. Their Canterbury Hills home on a heavily-treed, 2/3 acre lot, located within an easy walk or bike ride to W & M, offers all of that.

Canterbury Hills-James City County/ Williamsburg VA

Mirror Lake Estates

Close to I-64, yet with a relaxing, country feel: that was the allure of Mirror Lake Estates when Liz and John bought a home there in 2007. “We were drawn to it because of its location in a quiet, more rural area of Williamsburg,” says Liz, a supervisor at a utility company. “The neighborhood is away from the ebb and flow of tourism…. but only 15 minutes from downtown Williamsburg.”

Liz and her husband, John, a D.O.D. employee, chose a two-story, transitional-style home with a cozy porch. It overlooks a front yard boasting one of the largest cherry trees in the neighborhood.

Mirror Lakes -James City County/ Williamsburg VA

Burlington Woods

Wendy Carrington can watch her children at the neighborhood playground from a white rocking chair on her front porch. In fact, she picked the neighborhood— Burlington Woods — the lot, and the big, welcoming porch in order to do just that.

We chose this neighborhood because it’s small, close-knit, and family-friendly,” said Wendy, an insurance underwriter with two children, 5 and 8. “Then we picked this lot to build on because it’s across the street from the playground.” The porch was an extra she added to the nearly 3,000 square-foot home that she and her husband, Steve, a Coast Guard retiree, built in 2010.

Burlington Woods-James City County/ Williamsburg VA

White Hall Toano

The hustle and bustle of living in Yorktown were wearing thin for Kim and James Repp.

“We really wanted more space and a more country living feel,” says Kim of the couple’s 2010 decision to move from their townhouse in Yorktown to a single family home in Toano’s White Hall.  “We loved that the White Hall community was part of a huge farm, and we loved the wonderful sense of history there.”  One neighborhood feature the history buffs particularly liked was the 1805 Whitehall Plantation farmhouse, and now serving as the community’s club house.

White Hall-Toano 

Banbury Cross

Linda and John Niedzwick have loved Williamsburg since they first vacationed here in 1988. At that time, the couple resided near Rochester, New York, where Linda was a nurse and John worked for Kodak. They lived in a log cabin that John, a talented carpenter and wood worker, had built.  But the history buffs’ attraction to Williamsburg drew them south.

“We both just love history and the whole Williamsburg area… Yorktown, Jamestown,” said Linda. “We were visiting here several times a year. And the more we came, the more we came back.”

Although the couple first planned to relocate to Williamsburg after retirement, in 2002 they decided to change jobs in order to make the move earlier.

Banbury Cross-York County-Williamsburg VA

The Settlement at Powhatan Creek

Tom and Diane Rhoads:  Building The Perfect “Downsize” House

“This is just the perfect downsize house for a retired couple,” says Tom Rhoads of the custom, 3 bedroom/3 full bath Cape Cod that he and his wife, Diane, built in The Settlement at Powhatan Creek in Williamsburg VA.  Diane agrees, with one proviso: you don’t have to be retired to love their open concept, perfect-for-entertaining house or the Settlement’s friendly, active, and amenities-rich adult community

The Settlement at Powhatan Creek

Bennington Condos in New Town

When Susan Richardson first walked through the door of her 4th floor New Town condo to find a fabulous vista of Sullivan Square Park, she was immediately smitten.

“I could look straight ahead at the sliding doors to the balcony and have a great view of Sullivan Square,” she said. “I just loved that you could see through the condo to the other side.”

Bennington Condos in New Town

Stonehouse-Toano

April Guminsky knew she wanted to build a family home in Stonehouse as soon as she drove in.

“We looked at a lot of places before we found where we wanted to build,” said April, a pediatrician. “Then we drove into Stonehouse and found the most beautiful development we had ever seen. The crepe myrtles were breathtaking. We knew we wanted to live there.”

Beautiful and Welcoming on the Outside.
April and her husband, Michael, who works at NASA, found the perfect lot, and began working with their builder to design a 2-level, 4-bedroom/3.5-bath home. Their first consideration was how the house was sited. “It was important to us that we have plenty of space between our neighbors, and that we have some quiet space,” April noted.

April wanted her new home to have strong curb appeal. “We wanted brick, and we wanted the house not to be shaped like a block, but to have lots of nice shapes and angles.” They designed a brick and frame home with steeply peaked roofs and double dormers in the front, a blend of Ranch and Cape.

The couple also wanted “a nice front porch with a bench,” and since they moved into their home in 2005, that porch has been a well-loved feature. “We are set back a bit from the sidewalk, but there are plenty of friendly neighbors to yell to,” April laughed.

Stonehouse-Toano VA

 

Finding French Country Elegance in Westmoreland: The Cotes’ Custom Home

Carol and Don Cotes moved from Florida to Williamsburg in 2009 to be close to their son, Tim, and his family. And, it didn’t hurt that Tim was a custom builder eager to build his parents the home of their dreams.

“I wanted a French country house,” said Carol, who is retired from sales and has a French family heritage. “So, Tim researched the features of that type of home before he designed our house.” The result is a gracious, 4-bedroom, 3-bath home that combines luxurious amenities with architectural and decorative elements reflecting a French influence

Westmoreland-Williamsburg VA

From their home overlooking the village green, Matt and Sarah Menefee can enjoy a peaceful view of the square’s lush lawn and manicured greenery, get together with neighbors at the gazebo, or simply walk across the street to play there with their 2-year-old daughter. “It’s such an appealing place,” said Sarah. “There are kids and dogs, and yesterday we watched people there playing ball.”

That charming village green is just one of the features that drew the Menefees to the Village at Quarterpath four years ago. The couple had decided to move from their Williamsburg condo in order to shorten the commute for Matt, who works in Hampton Roads. “With 64 East so close, the location at Quarterpath was stellar for Matt,” said Sarah. “And it turned out to be a great commute for me, too.”

Village at Quarterpath Came To Rent; Decided To Buy. Sarah and Matt hadn’t planned on buying a home at Quarterpath, though.

“We actually came to look for a rental, but after we met the builder, we realized it made sense for us to buy instead,” Sarah said. The couple decided on new construction, a 2-story, brick-faced duplex home that would be built across from the green.

Village at Quarterpath-Williamsburg VA

Greensprings West

Gloria Baller took a giant leap of faith when it came to building her home in Thorngate Landing/ Greensprings West two years ago. “My husband was in the military and stationed in Germany,” recalls Gloria, who met her husband, Craig, when he was stationed in Italy 17 years ago. “We knew we wanted to be in Williamsburg, and we knew that / Greensprings West was the type of close-knit, family-oriented community we were looking for. But we were still living outside the U.S. at that time.”

While Gloria and the couple’s two children stayed in Germany, Craig flew to Virginia to work with real estate agent John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf on finding the perfect / Greensprings West building lot. Gloria didn’t get to see the properties in person, but based on her husband’s communications and a little help from Google maps, she got a good feel for what they were like. Eventually, she and Craig found the right lot, a flat, .34-acre property with mature trees, just right for building their new home.

Gloria’s stress level rose a bit when it came time to actually build the house – again, without seeing anything in person. “It was pretty stressful because I’m oriented toward details,” said Gloria, who loves art and design. “I like to see the materials that go into my home.” Craig did visit Greensprings West / Thorngate Landing once during construction of their 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath transitional Colonial. However, most design decisions had to be made long distance, based upon emails, photos, and the help of their agent, John

Greensprings West-James City County/Williamsburg VA

Westport-Fords Colony

Many of you have asked who is building in Fords Colony’s newest community.  We’d like to introduce you to the Weslowskis, who will be moving in within a few months. 

Pat Wesolowski is the finance director of a small city outside Chicago. Her husband, Joe, has a woodworking business there. They both grew up in Chicago, and started dating in high school. When Joe joined the Navy Reserves, Pat went to the University of Illinois, and for more than 30 years — most of their married life — they have lived in the Chicago suburbs. So, deciding to leave the Windy City for a brand new community in Williamsburg was not easy. It was, however, pretty exciting.

“Our home in Westport [part of Ford’s Colony] will be one of the first ones completed, and that’s really exciting,” said Pat. “We’ll get to know the people who come in after us. In fact, we’ve already had dinner with the people who bought the lot next to us.”

Westport-Fords Colony

Stonehouse-Toano

When Edward and Michael decided to build their dream home, they knew it had to be large enough to accommodate their elderly parents and have a layout that offered privacy, luxury, and all the amenities for entertaining. They also knew it had to be in Stonehouse, a Toano VA neighborhood located about 15 miles from Colonial Williamsburg.

“We love this neighborhood. The people are friendly, it’s quiet, and there’s 50% green space here,” said Edward, noting he and Michael had lived in Stonehouse for years before building their home on Mill Pond Run. “When we decided to build a larger home so that our parents could live with us, I walked every lot available in Stonehouse to find the perfect property.” They finally found just the right lot: almost an acre with 3 acres of green space behind it, and a sloping yard to accommodate a walk-out basement.

Stonehouse -James City County/ Toano VA

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.

Lan, 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 sellers, 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.”

In 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.

Kingsmill-James City County/ Williamsburg VA

The “welcoming, charming people of New Town” in Williamsburg VA are among the reasons Ellen and John Morgan moved into the community a year ago. Ellen did online research when John accepted a call to become the senior pastor at Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. They were looking for a walkable, environmentally friendly neighborhood that would offer some restaurants for two foodies to enjoy. Realtor John Womeldorf (Mr Williamsburg) of Liz Moore & Associates led them to New Town. John claims they were “predestined” to live here.

New Town-James City County/ Williamsburg VA 

Governors Land

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.

“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.”

Governors Land-James City County/ Williamsburg VA

Skimino Landing Estates

With yards large enough for family softball games—and he’s had several of them — builder David Campbell knew Skimino Landing Estates, located near the York River and Camp Perry, was the right place to build his own family’s custom home.

“The lots here are all 2 plus acres, and I like that,” said David, co-owner of York County’s Tabb Homes Inc. “I didn’t want to be crammed into my neighbors next door. The yard here is big enough for my two Sheltie sheep dogs to run, and my son-in-law to practice his golf swings.”

David’s vision for his Skimino Landing home was a generously sized ranch with the upscale amenities that are a signature in the Skimino Landing community. “I wanted a really good floor plan, a large family room, a very nice kitchen and baths, and great closets,” said David. “I also wanted a lot of light.”

David included all of those must-haves in his 3,300 square foot home, which includes three bedrooms plus an above-garage “bonus” suite with full bath that is accessed via a hallway near the kitchen. With three additional full baths, and an open concept kitchen/family room, the home has ample space for even a large family. The two-car garage is also generously sized, with enough room for two vehicles plus David’s tools.

David enjoys living in the communities he helps to build. Between 1998 and 2006, he constructed 77 homes in The Greenlands, and lived in one of them for several years. He has also built a half-dozen other custom and semi-custom homes in Skimino Landing, where he has lived with his wife since 2009.

Skimino Landing Estates-York County/ Williamsburg VA

Colonial Heritage

Dick and Mary Sue Metrey’s traditionally-styled, open concept home on a quiet cul-de-sac in Colonial Heritage is up for sale. But that’s not because the couple wants to leave the gated, 55+ active adults community; it’s because they want to stay.

For Dick and Mary Sue, the gracious 3-bedroom, 2-bath home they built on Blakemore Terrace in Colonial Heritage was only a summer place; their primary residence was near Washington, DC. But after less than two years of living there part-time, the couple have decided to make Colonial Heritage their permanent home.

“There is such a sense of community here,” said Mary Sue, who is retired from working with the mentally disabled. “People are friendly and they’re interesting.” However, with a huge immediate family of 19 children and grandchildren who love to visit, the Metreys need more room than their 1,756 square foot “Aldrich” model can provide. The couple regretfully decided to sell their Blakemore Terrace home, but they are building a larger home in Colonial Heritage just down the street.

Colonial Heritage-James City County/ Williamsburg VA

Gloucester VA Life on the Rivah !

There’s a rhythm to the lifestyle that Bill and Anne Tennent enjoy from their Gloucester waterfront retreat on the Ware River. Mornings often start slow and relaxing, with coffee on their deck while watching the river change color as the tide comes in and the sun rises. Bill might head out for a quiet hour with his boat and his fishing pole before returning to take Anne for a more lively spin along the Ware as the day gets warmer. Some days the couple makes the 10-minute drive to old town Gloucester for an art exhibit or a festival along the village’s historic Main Street, perhaps followed by dinner at one of the intimate restaurants there. Then they head back home to their sunroom for panoramic views of a breathtaking sunset across the water, sometimes catching sight of a heron or an egret in the fading light. As Anne puts it, “We have the best of all worlds here.”

Waterfront in Gloucester VA

Williamsburg Bluffs-

In 1997, Ed and Sun Crosby were just coming out of military housing, where they’d known only one or two of their frequently-changing neighbors. They were excited about getting into a more static community, one where they could form long-term friendships with other residents. Their new community also needed to have an “optimum location” that would allow easy access to Hampton, where Ed worked as a network consultant.
The Crosbys found everything they were looking for at Williamsburg Bluffs, then a new development in York County, offering high-quality schools and good accessibility to both Richmond (45-minute drive) and Hampton (30 minutes away). “It’s great that the neighborhood is so close to I-64,” Ed notes. “But it’s not so close that we have road noise.”
More importantly, Williamsburg Bluffs turned out to be the friendly, close-knit type of neighborhood that Ed and Sun had yearned for. “We know all of the neighbors on our block, even their kids’ names,” says Ed. “That’s a great plus for us. You just don’t see this type of closeness in a lot of neighborhoods today.”

More of the story here

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.

Want to tell your home’s story? I would be happy to meet to help you market your home or find your dream home/ neighborhood in the area Contact John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf at (757) 254-8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com  and we’ll get you started.

To schedule a visit to see homes/ neighborhoods  in the Williamsburg or Hampton Roads VA area call/text 757 254 8136 or email John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Explore other Williamsburg VA Neighborhoods here

 

 

 

About mrwilliamsburg

I love Williamsburg !
Being “Mr. Williamsburg” and starting my web site in 2004 has been a great way for me to help people looking for homes for sale, communities and an “insider knowledge.” of the area.
Turned out I was onto something. Because I offer in-depth information and up-to-the-minute blogging, even international clients have found me. One couple, moving back to the States from France, told me that a post I wrote blog about grocery shopping in Williamsburg convinced them that Williamsburg was the place to be, and that I was the best source by far that they found on the web.
I’m happy to say that I hear similar comments from many of my clients looking for homes throughout Williamsburg and Hampton Roads.
I grew up in Virginia Beach, Va, After attending college, I worked at a number of positions including manager of a land development and construction company and business manager of a cut flower business that we grew in sales from $300,000 to $15 million (we were supplier to Whole Foods and one of the first cut flower suppliers to Costco).
In 2004, it seemed like a good time to simplify my life. I moved my family from Annapolis to Williamsburg. I went into real estate with Liz Moore and Associates, and was one of the initial agents when Liz opened her Williamsburg branch.
My sons Zach and Josh attend Lafayette High School and Hornsby Middle School and are crazy about sports and the outdoors.
I feel lucky to be living the dream, and saving two to four hours by not driving on the DC beltway every day. So, I can now spend my time with family while concentrating on learning — and sharing — information about living in Williamsburg.
In real estate, no two people or transactions are the same. Everything’s a challenge, and I’m rewarded every time in close a transaction and have the opportunity to see the smiles on clients’ faces.
Please email or call me for assistance with any real estate questions about the area
John@MrWilliamsburg.com or 757 254 8136