Every home has a story
John Womeldorf knows that every home has a story. As an experienced realtor with a deep love for Williamsburg, John looks beyond the basic features of the homes he sells. In his “Every home has a story” series, John introduces potential buyers to the aspects of a home that they can’t see by viewing it online or attending a showing. By interviewing the sellers and writing about what makes each home so special, John hopes his clients go from trying to see themselves living in an unfamiliar house to envisioning their family moving into their dream home.
How we met
Britney Mortenson and her husband, Kenny Baese, moved to Williamsburg from Bozeman, Montana in April 2017. They first found John Womeldorf (aka “Mr. Williamsburg” for a reason!) online.
“We started our research online,” Britney says. “And then, when we met in person, we were very impressed!”
The young couple, weary of Montana’s bitter cold winters, were ready to make a dramatic change. In a nutshell, they moved to Williamsburg “for fun.”
“I was talking with John on the phone in February of that year,” Britney says. “I told him I was sick of the snow and that I hadn’t seen asphalt since Thanksgiving! He told me he was sitting in his sunroom, and it was 65 degrees outside here.”
Britney and Kenny had narrowed the search for a new hometown to Virginia and Massachusetts. In the end, they chose Williamsburg for its more temperate climes.
“When we flew here to house-hunt, John had several properties already lined up to show us. He was so great throughout the whole process.”
When the couple first visited Burlington Woods, they were impressed with the community’s location.
“Burlington Woods is a very cute and quiet little neighborhood,” Britney says. “There are only 26 houses here. There’s a small park and a cul-de-sac at the bottom, and a retention pond. We’re dog lovers and there are sidewalks throughout the community which are great for dog-walking.”
The size of this house was a strong factor too. Britney and Kenny don’t have children, but they needed ample space for their hobbies – they are very dedicated to their hobbies. Britney is an historical costumer and has been fortunate to find in Williamsburg a place where her hobby and career intersect. She works part-time at Burnley and Trowbridge, a fabric company that sells fabric primarily to reenactors and historical costumers in town.
“My hobby and probably the main reason why we moved here. My husband is an IT guy working for the James City County Service Authority. Outside of work, he’s an avid collector and self-described Lego nerd.”
This property checked all the boxes.
Open and inviting
At 2384 square feet, the two-level home flows beautifully. Decorated in muted neutral colors amidst a backdrop of hardwood oak-flooring throughout the first floor, it’s truly an open and airy living space. There are interesting architectural details as well, including tall ceilings, interesting lines and crown molding. When the couple moved in, they had the interior entirely painted, including the ceilings.
Britney has thrown herself into decorating the house she has made a home and says that decorating comes easily to her.
“I’m just a big homebody,” Britney says. “Decorating is in my genes and it’s what I’ve learned from my family. My father was an architect and commercial developer, my mother is a fantastic decorator, and my birth mother is a gardener. I love to decorate.”
At the heart of this transitional-style home is its kitchen, which opens to a family room on one side and dining area on the other. Boasting five windows, the dining space is bathed in light.
“When we moved in, we redid the kitchen, replacing the granite with quartz and adding a nice backsplash. Then, just before the pandemic, we upgraded the appliances. The appliances were stainless, and so are the ones we replaced them with, but the new appliances have a darker grey finish that does not show fingerprints with every touch.”
Cabinetry was painted and molding added for extra texture and beauty. Under-cabinet lighting was incorporated.
“It’s actually funny,” Britney says. “We have a beautiful kitchen, but we never cook.”
A small mudroom leads from the kitchen into the two-car garage where a new top-of-the-line water heater is located.
Upstairs, the primary bedroom is ample in size and offers a fabulous walk-in closet.
“The ceiling in this bedroom is painted the same color as the walls, Pottery Barn porcelain blue. It’s like being in a cloud.”
Ikea cabinetry and storage have been installed in the closet and the primary bathroom is resplendent with custom tile work, separate shower and soaking tub.
In addition to the primary bedroom, there are three other spacious bedrooms, one being an elegantly appointed guest bedroom and the other two are dedicated to the couple’s hobbies.
The second-largest bedroom is dedicated to Britney’s hobby. “This is my sewing room,” she says. “I create mostly Renaissance and Colonial-era costumes, and the light in this space is just perfect!”
Another bedroom serves as Kenny’s retreat. With room for a sofa and television, Kenny has also used the room to house and display his collection of model cars and trucks, made entirely from Legos.
There is also a spacious laundry room upstairs in which shelves have been replaced with dedicated cabinetry for added storage.
The property’s exterior features extensive landscaping with custom paved walkways that lead to a patio that features a medallion fire pit. The oversized deck is perfect for grilling and entertaining.
Williamsburg for the win
Britney and Kenny have decided to remain in Williamsburg, but in a home that is more contemporary in style. “My husband is more into modern architecture,” Britney says. “And that has grown on me too.”
Several months ago, they added a new addition to their family – a rapidly-growing Labradoodle puppy named Hildy so Britney wanted to find a slightly larger yard as Hildy grows into adulthood.
As they prepare to move away from Burlington Woods, the couple takes with them fond memories of their perfect-in-location home in Burlington Woods.
“We have some great neighbors and it’s such a friendly neighborhood,” Britney says. “Plus, we both have an eight-minute commute from here, so hard to beat.”
Come home to Burlington Woods
Burlington Woods is nestled within a wooded area that provides a pastoral backdrop for residents. The community is but a few miles from the Historic Area Williamsburg, and with its close access to Route 199 and I-64 there’s easy access to Richmond and Hampton Roads – and a painless commute to military bases such as Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Camp Peary, and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.
While Virginia, in general, has much to offer, Williamsburg, in particular, is without rival. From its historical and cultural significance to the vast variety of shopping and dining opportunities, there is truly something for everyone.
“There’s a nice variety of people here age-wise,” Britney says. “But I’d say most of the residents are families. There are some retirees too.”
The HOA dues are $50/month which covers upkeep of the park and the common areas.
J. Blaine Blayton Elementary School
Hornsby Middle School
Lafayette High School
For additional call/ text 757 254 8136 for an appointment to view or to arrange a video call from the property.
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Your real estate journey is just that…yours. I get that it’ll be unique. It needs a marketing plan and a committed real estate professional to guide you every step of the way. To talk further, you can reach me via phone or text at 757-254-8136 or through email at [email protected].
I look forward to serving your real estate needs and welcoming you to this place that I’m lucky enough to call home!
John Womeldorf, Mr. Williamsburg