Retiring in Williamsburg Blog

Lifestyles, Community Information. Helping you find your new home


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About Rolf Kramer – who am ?

You know you are ready to retire. You know you want to live in Williamsburg, and you found this blog. But, why should you hire Rolf Kramer to represent you when you are searching for your home and negotiate a home purchase in Williamsburg?
 Rolf Kramer, Real Estate - licensed agent in Virginia
Rolf Kramer
REALTOR ®
ABR, SRES, e-PRO
Williamsburg Office
rolfkramer@lizmoore.com
(757) 564-4455 Cell
(757) 240-2584 Direct Fax
(757) 645-4106 Office
(800) 825-2707 Toll-free

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I provide my clients with state of the art technology, sophisticated marketing techniques, up-to-the-minute information, and the expertise demanded by today’s rapidly changing market. My services are backed by Liz Moore and Associates, devoted advocates for the consumer! Every home Liz Moore and Associates markets will have a professional and independent property inspection by an NAHI-certified home inspector, a market evaluation by a licensed appraiser, and a complete termite and moisture inspection by a bonded exterminator. Best of all, this is done at our expense. An innovation pioneered by Liz Moore and Associates, this process provides advantages for both buyer and seller. It allows our agents to accurately pinpoint true market value, ensures that you are advised of value and potential repair issues up front, before negotiating price and committing to terms, and avoids eleventh hour discoveries that can derail a sale. Liz Moore and Associates takes the surprise, and a lot of the stress, out of home buying and selling.

When I work for my clients they can always be assured that I will be truthful, do my very best for them and get the job done right. I learned this from building a 30 year professional consulting career. That career was based on a tradition of listening to clients and then delivering expert knowledge, advice, and determined hard work to help my clients fulfill their needs. That is what I do for my real estate clients.

As a Realtor, I have come to realize that I don´t buy and sell real estate. What I really do is help people change their lives. When people move from one home to another, it changes where their kids go to school, where their family worships, and their sphere of friends. It dramatically changes their lives. I have a big part in making that happen and I take that very seriously.

Making this family life change a successful change is what puts a smile on my face and in my heart. I really get a kick out of having my clients come back to me and thank me for the helping them get what they wanted, where they wanted to go, when they wanted to go, and without undue stress.

I am in the business to make money because my most important job every day is to create security, stability, and a future for my family. I build that business by working with people like you and taking excellent care of them and their real estate needs.

As a Buyer’s Agent: I employ detailed interviews to identify a client’s needs and review every available property through extensive resources, including several Multiple Listing Services, online newspaper classifieds, and For Sale by Owner web sites. Clients are immediately notified via email about any new properties that fit their needs. Clients are provided with their own internet portal where they can sort their properties into favorites, possibilities, and rejects. As a real estate professional and long time resident of Williamsburg, I offer my clients an insider’s perspective on the local real estate market.

As a Seller’s Agent: I use a variety of advanced marketing tools. Clients are provided enhanced Internet listings on http://www.realtor.com, http://www.point2nls.com, http://www.craigslist.com, http://www.backpage.com, http://www.rolfkramer.net, http://www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com, http://www.yahoo.com, http://www.googlebase.com, http://www.zillow.com, and http://www.trulia.com, which present their property to millions of online buyers actively looking to purchase. Buyers can directly access the property´s details, multiple pictures, and panoramic and 360° Virtual Tours. Properties are listed in two local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and lock boxes are provided for easy access by more Realtors. I use traditional marketing techniques that still help sell a house in today´s market: For sale sign and a box with flyers on the lawn for drive-bys; open house for the public; broker open house; advertising in newspapers and magazines, and ‘Just Listed’ postcards to neighbors. I maximize the market exposure of my client’s property to include all sources of first contact for home buyers.

rolf kramer, real estate, Williamsburg, VARolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out  www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.


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Choosing a Mortgage Lender, in Williamsburg, Virginia

Since a home may be the largest purchase you will ever make, choosing the right mortgage lender is a very important decision, and one you should make early in the home-buying process, before you begin your house hunting.

  1. A lender can help you narrow down your desired price range, both in terms of what you will qualify for, and also in terms of what’s comfortable.
  2. Having a thorough understanding of how much cash you’ll need for a down payment and closing costs is essential to know before you begin to formulate a negotiating strategy.
  3. Today’s sellers won’t accept an offer until they can review a written pre-approval letter. Many sellers require that pre-approval letter comes from a local, reputable lender.

Rolf Kramer, REALTOR

Which lender and financing program is best for you? The answer depends on:

  •  Your current financial situation
  • How you expect your finances to change over time
  • How long you intend to live in your home
  • Your comfort level with adjustable interest rates

I recommend local lenders in our market that I often work with and have selected based on consistently competitive rates and a variety of financing options. Each of the lenders I work with is committed to the same level of extraordinary service that I am.

I have lots of wonderful information about the Williamsburg area and if you follow this blog, you’ll learn everything you wanted to know about events, discounts, and why you should use me when you are ready to buy. Follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for home-buying inspiration and to learn about hot spots in, and around, Williamsburg. 

rolf kramer, real estate, Williamsburg, VARolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.


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Do You NEED a Buyer’s Agent?

Rolf Kramer, REALTORWell, of course I am going to say an emphatic “Yes!” But, seriously, absolutely! Buying a home is the largest financial investment that most people make, and it’s one of the most complex.

A real estate agent’s job is to help guide you through the labyrinth of decisions you’ll need to make on the road to home ownership: financing, negotiating strategies, repairs, contingencies, inspections and much more. Why a Realtor? We must meet much stricter educational requirements than the law requires of licensees. I am not only bound by the law, but by the higher standard of the REALTOR Code of Ethics. and I will be committed to protecting your interests throughout the entire transaction.

I am full of great information about the Williamsburg area and if you follow this blog, you’ll learn everything you wanted to know about events, discounts, and why you should use me when you are ready to buy. Follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for home-buying inspiration and hot spots in and around Williamsburg. 

rolf kramer, real estate, Williamsburg, VARolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.

 

 

 


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Looking for Home Ownership in Williamsburg? Call me!

Whether you are brand new to the area or an area native, the real estate agent you select in buying your retirement home, may be the most important decision you will make. I take my role, as your Buyer’s Agent, very seriously and look forward to representing you not only in this purchase, but to becoming your family realtor.

Rolf Kramer, Real Estate

Home ownership in Williamsburg has proven to be a very solid long-term financial investment, providing both equity accumulation and tax benefits and this is a wonderful place to call home… rich in history… and offering everything from sandy beaches to recreation to diverse economic and cultural opportunities.

I know Williamsburg and its retirement communities, VERY well and pride myself on helping you select the IDEAL retirement community – community being key. I listen and learn your interests and your passions and figure out the best retirement lifestyle for you, and show you only homes in those communities. I will also do everything that I can do to assist you in your move and want you to have confidence that you are making the right decision to PICK ME!

I am full of great information about the Williamsburg area and if you follow this blog, you’ll learn everything you wanted to know about events, discounts, and why you should use me when you are ready to buy. Follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for home-buying inspiration and hot spots in and around Williamsburg. 

rolf kramer, real estate, Williamsburg, VARolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.

 


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Should I Update My Home Before I Sell?

Should I update my home before I sell?  This is a classic home seller’s dilemma. And, like so many questions, it really depends on your specific situation. There are a number of improvements that are “no brainers”… so let’s take a look at those first. The least expensive investments with the greatest returns are undoubtedly the following:

  • Fresh paint. Choose a neutral color, and give the interior a bright, new look. You may want to consider doing some early packing, and not re-hang all your pictures (less clutter will make rooms look larger, and the new owner will  not have to fill holes).
  • Landscaping. A carefully manicured lawn and weed-free beds are an indication that the property is well cared for. Mulch and some color in the flower beds will go a long way toward creating that important curb appeal.
  • Replace carpet, if necessary. New flooring, in a neutral color, allows the buyer to feel that they are moving into a “new” home.

All three of those improvements tend to encourage a stronger offer on your property, because the prospective buyer isn’t moving in with a laundry list of “to-do’s” which are likely to be estimated at a higher cost than what you’ll pay. By doing them, in advance, you preclude a buyer for reducing his offer price by the amount he feels he’ll need to invest.

Retiring In Williamsburg

Other additions that aid in the marketability are minor kitchen and bathroom remodeling, such as replacing dated counter tops and appliances, and refacing or replacing out-of-style cabinets. Because these improvements can be a bit more pricey than painting and landscaping, be sure to include me in the decision-making process. Not only will I be able to advise you whether or not the project makes sense, I will be able to guide you to affordable and reputable contractors to do the work.

Carefully consider any major renovations, such as room additions, garage conversions, or swimming pools, too. It is very important to make these investments to enjoy while you are living in the home, because chances are that you will not recoup but a fraction of the cost. Garage conversions, for instance, may add a great bonus room or extra bedroom, but when it comes time to sell, you’ll have to subtract the value of the garage that you no longer have. Garages are likely customary – the loss most likely will exceed the gain. 

Bottom line, let’s talk so that I can steer you away from costly changes that you won’t recoup and help direct you toward changes that will help you sell faster. Want to know what your home is worth? Click here.

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rolf kramer, real estate, Williamsburg, VARolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.


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Home Staging to Sell a Home. Does it work?

Does home staging really work? “We are so convinced that having a listing professionally staged means a quicker sale and higher net proceeds for our sellers,” says Liz Moore, “that we are now going to provide an initial staging consultation to our listing clients at our expense.” According to a recent Home Gain survey, 94% of homes staged by a professional stager sold in 29 days or less, compared to an average of 145 days for a non-staged home. Even more compelling is the finding that the $724 invested in staging (the national average cost) netted the seller $2,145 more in price – a 196% return on investment (ROI).

A staging consultation is in addition to the legendary Liz Moore “No Surprises” program: a pre-listing appraisal and up-front home inspection provided to the Liz Moore sellers – all at no cost to the clients. What does a home stager do? One of Trez Robinson’s, at Stage 2 Sell, favorite mantra is that she is a de-decorator. A stager’s role to take away the personality and the style of the current owner so that the prospective purchaser can more easily visualize themselves moving in.

Rolf Kramer, 757-564-4455

There are a number of ways to De-Decorate:

  • Remove personal photos and effects.
  • De-clutter so that buyers focus on the “bones” of a house rather than the distractions of the stuff in the house.
  • Neutralize colors, so that the prospective buyers don’t object to the current owner’s personal taste, or that they will need to invest time and money in repainting before they move in (Need to neutralize? Trez recommends Sherman Williams Believable Buff).
  • Remove any “extra” furniture, so rooms look and feel more spacious.
  • Remove any “extra” things on shelves, mantles and tables – minimalize, so lookers are seeing the room, not your things.
  • Remove window treatments – let the light shine in!

 Rolf Kramer - let the sun light in - 757-564-4455

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rolf kramer, real estate, Williamsburg, VARolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.


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Selling? What Remodeling’s Value is worth the cost?

2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report is out!

Rolf Kramer Cost vs Value report Real Estate Williamsburg

Retiring in Williamsburg is excited to share with you the figures from Remodeling Magazine in cooperation with National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Magazine. All sellers wait with baited breath for this report – and now it is here. This report shows sellers which remodeling projects pay for themselves, insuring that sellers get top dollar for their listing.

Retiring In Williamsburg

All sellers are looking for ways to get top dollar for their listing and making smart choices about any remodeling before moving. As discussed before, thorough cleaning, replacing light bulbs, and staging make a big difference. But for some sellers, remodeling may be the ticket. Especially if you are trying to bring a property up to neighborhood standards before the Open House!

Smaller replacements, particularly enhancing curb appeal, remain the most cost-effective way to improve value

This Cost vs. Value Report provides estimated costs for 36 midrange or upscale home-improvement projects, along with the percentage of cost that owners can expect to recoup when they sell. Projects range from a new garage door to a master suite addition.

Large-scale jobs aren’t likely to return sellers full cost

Improvements worth doing will return near 100% of their cost. The only other improvements necessary are those that improve the market position of the property in relation to the competition (like an updated kitchen).

In general, replacements cost less and provide a bigger payback than remodels or additions

If you are planning on staying in the house for a few more years, consider one of the pricier projects that will recoup a good percentage of the cost while you enjoy the upgrade, yourself.

Good Examples of simpler, lower-cost projects offering a great payback (near 100%):

  • Steel door replacement (in 43 of the 102 markets surveyed, REALTORS® said the new door would recoup MORE than 100%). 101.8%
  • Midrange garage door replacement
  • Upscale garage door replacement
  • Midrange wood window replacement
  • Minor kitchen remodel
  • Manufactured stone veneer siding

Just how much money you get in payback will depend on your neighborhood and the quality of work; use the Cost vs. Value Report as a starting point in discussions as you are getting ready to sell your home. In 2015, when discussing remodeling cost vs. value, the long of the short is Less is More! To learn more and see all 36 projects broken down by our region and market area, visit Remodeling.

Have you liked us on Facebook, yet?

rolf kramer, real estate, Williamsburg, VARolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455

Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188

Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out retiringinwilliamsburg.comfor information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.