Retiring in Williamsburg Blog

Lifestyles, Community Information. Helping you find your new home


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Colonial Heritage – an Active Adult Community, in Williamsburg

Colonial Heritage is an active adult community ideally located minutes from Colonial Williamsburg. This gated community has much to offer. Amenities include an elegant clubhouse featuring a grand ballroom, fine and casual dining, grille room, card room, and billiard room. The well-appointed library with computer stations, woodworking shop, and arts and crafts room make the clubhouse a great gathering place. Other amenities are an athletic club with fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, aerobics room, pro shop, tennis, and miles of walking and biking trails.  If golf is your passion, the Arthur Hills designed 18-hole championship golf course is both challenging and a delight for players of all abilities. Whether you are looking to make a lifestyle change or continue living the active life you currently live, Colonial Heritage is an excellent choice.  Choose from the Executive Collection, the Garden Collection, the Carriage Homes, or The Villas.  The base price of the Aspen model starts in the mid $200’s and the Tigerlilly II in the mid $400’s.

Line Dancing Class - Rolf Kramer Real Estate

Colonial Heritage Activities – Line Dancing – Williamsburg, Virginia

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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Ready to Buy? Let Rolf Kramer Real Estate Agent Specializing in Retiring in Williamsburg HELP!

You probably have experience buying and selling real estate.  However, if it has been a long time since the last real estate transaction, you may need to learn about some of the things that have changed since your last transaction.  For example, disclosure laws, buyer representation, and reverse mortgage financing are all relatively new for buyers and sellers.  For those of you that may need a refresher, we can provide you with complete information about today’s home buying process.  Here is a great home buying guide to help you understand the current home buying process: “The Perfect Fit, Home Buying Guide“. You can also check out our Buyer ReportsFrequently Asked Questions, and Real Estate Glossary. Buyers no longer need to represent themselves during the home search and purchase, while all agents represent the seller. Smart home buyers today can receive undivided confidential representation by choosing a “Buyer’s Agent.”  Find out more about Buyer’s Agents and how we can represent you and protect your interests during your home purchasing process.

Rolf Kramer, Real Estate

Financing Your Home

The first step has not changed much.  You need to know how much you want to spend. Will you get the money from the resale of your current home? How much can you afford or qualify for?  In today’s financing process it is critical to check your credit report to know your credit worthiness.  Clear up problems, if any, before going to a lender.  A good credit rating will result in you receiving lower interest rates.  Your credit rating will also affect the rates for the property insurance on your new home.  Read more about the New Reality of Property Insurance.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage from a mortgage broker or lender, with a commitment to fund your mortgage in writing.  Ask about the various types of mortgages to find the one that may be right for you.  There are many more options than there were even five years ago.  Once pre-approved for a loan, you will know your price range to begin shopping for real estate.

Finding the Right Lifestyle, Neighborhood and Home

Check out the various lifestyles that Williamsburg has to offer.  Whether you choose an active adult community, a golf course or country club community, waterfront living, urban condominium, suburban single family, or if continuing care is needed, you will find them here.

Determine the type of neighborhood you are looking for.  Do you prefer a neighborhood with lots of trees, one in the middle of town or out in the country?  Would you like to have easy access to a highway?  Do you prefer a community with a Home Owners Association or one without?

Make a wish list of all the specifications you want in your home.  Prioritize the list based on your wants and needs.  Next, mark out those aspects that you are willing to compromise on, in case you need to.  Then start searching for your home. You can search the Williamsburg MLS right from our website, or you can have us do it for you.
Review the property listings that meet your needs.  Select properties to see in person and then tour them with us, your Buyer’s Agent.  Once you have selected the property that best meets your needs, we will generate a Comparative Market Analysis to determine the market value of the property.  We will then write and negotiate an offer to purchase the property.

Closing the Deal

Once the contract is ratified we will continue to represent you and assist you throughout the post-contract procedures.  This will include participating in a professional home inspection, selecting your settlement attorney, obtaining property insurance, contacting utility companies, conducting the pre-settlement walk-through, and the Settlement at your attorney’s office.

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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Why Hire Rolf Kramer?- Testimonials

This is my biggest accomplishment, as a real estate agent in Williamsburg – hearing the Happily-Ever-After Stories of clients that have used me as their buyer’s agent, when purchasing their retirement home, in Williamsburg. Enjoy reading them, as I did.

it's the perfect time to rewrite your story

Al and Gloria “It is truly a pleasure to recommend Rolf Kramer to anyone who is buying or selling a home in the Williamsburg area.  Over the past 18 months we have been dealing with Rolf and have continually been impressed with his knowledge, professionalism, patience, thoroughness and follow through in helping us to acquire our ideal home.  Rolf was really a partner in our search and deliberations.  He provided expert counsel in all aspects of our purchase and was with us at every critical step of the way.  He provided us with comprehensive research and in depth analysis during our deliberations.  He got to know our needs and desires and helped keep those things in focus for us.  Rolf’s attention to detail helped us avoid potential problems on more than one occasion. Rolf is by far the best Realtor from our point of view that we have encountered in over forty years during which time we bought and sold six homes.  He truly made us feel that he was “walking in our shoes.”  He invariably went the extra mile in seeing that we were satisfied and continued to provide help and guidance even after we had settled into our new home”

Terry and Pat “Now that we are in our home in Williamsburg we want to thank you so much for your help and guidance in making this dream a reality!  The dream was to have a home that was located in an area that was convenient to shopping, Colonial Williamsburg, restaurants, grocery stores, and all the activities that the city has to offer.  A tall order but, with your real estate knowledge, you found it for us.  We love our home in New Town and we appreciate your persistence in finding just the right place for our needs.
Through this process, you always answered our calls promptly and went out of your way to fine-tune the building process.  You helped us through the inspection phase as well, and for that, we are truly grateful!  As our Realtor, you went way beyond the call of duty.
In closing, your knowledge of the Williamsburg area, your helpful list of business referrals, and your attention to our needs helped our move tremendously.  After buying and selling homes in the past, you stand out as the most competent realtor who has ever worked with us.  Thanks for your professional expertise and for making the search for our perfect Williamsburg haven a very pleasant and fulfilling experience.”

Paul and Darla “Rolf is the Realtor of choice.  He provided the absolute best service possible — a perfect combination of personal and professional skills.  This was a very difficult move for my family and he was instrumental in minimizing stress and pain.  He is the epitome of a great employee.  I will return for all future real estate transactions.”

Joe and Andrea “I highly recommend that anyone searching for a house in the Williamsburg area to contact Rolf Kramer.  It’s perhaps the best decision I have made in years (besides the purchase of my home in Williamsburg).  Rolf really cared that I find the best house for me and my wife.  Rolf helped me formulate a game plan and to narrow my interests into a workable formula.  For months, he sent me emails with pictures and descriptions of homes.  We visited 25 homes or more during several trips to Williamsburg.  I got a good grasp of my alternatives, before finally deciding to buy a house in Colonial Heritage.  Since I bought the house, Rolf has pitched in and helped us a number of times.  My wife and I look forward to maintaining a relationship with him even though his “job” is done.  Rarely have I found someone with such capability, insight, dedication, dependability, and integrity.  You can´t go wrong if Rolf Kramer is your agent.”

Mary and Paul “Thank you so much for helping us find our dream home.  Your personal service made the search enjoyable and educational for us.  You really took the time to get to know what we were looking for, and were able to identify possible properties for us to explore our options.  Your thorough knowledge of the Williamsburg/York County area saved us a lot of time searching and helped us get settled in after closing.  We definitely recommend you as our “go-to” real estate agent.  It was our pleasure doing business with you and we wish you much success in the future.”

Carol and Bill “Mary Lou, We are indebted to you for finding us a home at the Villages of Westminster and handling so many details (as well as my irracibility) via long distance and e-mail.  You are a credit to your agency and a real “Pro”, as well as a charming person who obviously truly cares about her clients.  Our hats (if we wore them) are off to you!
Many thanks, again, and we’ll stay in touch.”

Andy “Truly outstanding – Rolf brings only the highest professionalism and integrity to being a real estate agent.  Your advocate and champion, he uses his vast knowledge, infinite patience, and wealth of experience and contacts to make the often-troublesome process of finding and buying a home both pleasant and uneventful.  I would recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone, without hesitation or reservation.”

Kit and John “Rolf is one of the greatest Real Estate Agents we could have possibly asked for.  We really knew little of the Williamsburg area and instead of jumping from one community to another; he showed us properties in such a manor that we knew where we were at all times.  He also stayed within the price range that we told him in the beginning, which is rare in agents today.  After our first day with him, we decided that evening that he had been honest with us throughout the process and we knew that he was the agent for us.  We were very lucky to find him.”

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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Liberty’s Ice Pavilion now open for skating in Colonial Williamsburg

Liberty’s Ice Pavilion is is open through February 15, 2016, including holidays! The ice rink is lit up and fills the square with Christmas music. It is the perfect backdrop for a stroll, at Christmastime. It is also a wonderful activity for the grandchildren.

The rink is located on Duke of Gloucester Street between Nassau and Henry Streets. If you have Colonial Williamsburg admission, park at the Visitor Center and catch a ride in one of the heated buses that will drop you off just down the street.

Refreshments including hot cider, hot cocoa, coffee, and more will be available for purchase only steps away from the ice.

Liberty's Skating Pavilion open for ice skating in Colonial Williamsburg, Rolf Kramer Real Estate

Monday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–11 p.m.
Sunday: Noon–8 p.m.

Skate rentals ($3) are not included with your ticket ($$8/$10) and may be purchased separately. Skate sharpening is also available at the pavilion for $5 a pair.


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Retiring. Golfing. The Good Life in Williamsburg

Braemar Creek at Greensprings Plantation is a condominium community in a beautiful lake and golf course setting.  A number of the buildings line holes on Williamsburg National’s newest course, the Yorktown.  The course is a traditional design by Tom Clark with no gimmicks.  The Jamestown course is an award winning Jack Nicklaus group design.  It was named “One of the 10 best courses you can play in Virginia” by Golf Digest Magazine.  Prices start in the low $200’s and amenities include a clubhouse featuring a workout room, kitchen, lounge, huge porch overlooking the pool.  They also offer tennis courts and playground.

A bad day of golf - Rolf Kramer Real Estate Agent

Brickshire may just be the perfect blend of relaxing countryside living, exciting recreational and cultural opportunities all in one location.  Located midway between Richmond and Williamsburg, the Curtis Strange signature golf course is “player friendly” and contains replicas of some of his favorite holes from around the world.  The community covers 1,135 acres of rolling hills and woodlands.  Amenities include an owner’s clubhouse, swimming complex, tennis courts, fitness center, two nature trails, and walking trails.  Developer’s lots have sold out.  However, resale home sites are available and start around $100,000.  The Sanctuary offers builder spec homes starting in the mid $300’s.  The Preserve and Kings Pond neighborhoods feature custom homes starting in the $500’s.  Luxury patio homes featured in the BelGreen section start in the $300’s.

Ford’s Colony was voted the Number One Master Plan in Continental U.S. by the American Resort Development Association.  A golf and country club lifestyle awaits you within its gates.  Three Dan Maples designed golf courses were built with an appreciation for all levels of play.  You will find homes rich in architectural tradition.  Styles include Colonial, Greek Revival, Georgian, and Federal providing every modern convenience and amenity you desire.  If your preference is low maintenance living, the courtyard homes located on the golf course start at $499,000. Luxury town homes begin at $300,000. Or, if you prefer, select a homesite and build the home of your dreams. Choose from homesites on the golf course, next to the wildlife preserve, overlooking a lake or nestled in a wooded setting. Homesites range from 1/4-acre to over an acre in size and are priced from $125,000 to $1,250,000.  Resale homes start at $345,000 for a single family attached home to spectacular homes over $2 million.

Colonial Heritage is “THE” destination for active adults 55+ years of age and better.  Enjoy life to the fullest in an ideally located community with great amenities combined with small town charm and city conveniences all creating an unsurpassed lifestyle.  At Colonial Heritage, you will enjoy the comfortable pace of small town living enhanced with a wealth of recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities.  This 695-acre, 1500 homesite, 24-hour manned gated community with miles of walking and biking paths, world class amenities and affordable living for an active adult lifestyle is a place you will call home. Amenities include a 25,000 square foot Heritage Club featuring casual dining, ballroom with stage, cards and billiards, woodworking, arts & crafts, and library with computer stations.  The 8,500 square feet Athletic Club features a  heated indoor pool with a spa, an outdoor pool with expansive terrace, state of the art fitness center, golf pro shop, and snack bar.  For the tennis enthusiast there are outdoor tennis courts. Colonial Heritage is home to an Arthur Hills designed 18-hole Championship Golf Course with a putting green and driving range.  Golfers are invited to hone their skills at the sprawling practice range and short game facility. The driving range offers golfers the luxury of natural grass tee boxes to enrich your learning and practice experience. Sharpen your short game proficiency at the large arched chipping green which features two bunkers and putting green.

Governor’s Land At Two Rivers is described as, a warm and welcoming community where interesting people of all ages, professions and backgrounds come together to enjoy a unique lifestyle.  Located along a pristine stretch of unspoiled waterfront along the shores of the James and Chickahominy Rivers.  Governor’s Land is a luxury residential community offering all of the advantages of country club living.  The Tom Fazio designed, Two Rivers Golf Course is the only private community golf club in Williamsburg.  The community boasts a premier marina nestled in a protected private harbor providing a safe haven or boats up to 50-feet in length.  Easy boat ramp access to the beautiful James River will lead you to adventures on the Chickahominy River and the Chesapeake Bay.  Homes start in the high $500’s up to well over $2 million.  Land is available starting in the high $160’s going as high as $1.5 million.  Once you experienced a sunset from the terrace of the clubhouse, you won’t settle for anything less.

Greensprings Plantation is a wooded subdivision of 175 homes on lots that are larger than the average size found in subdivisions around Williamsburg.  Some of the properties back to Williamsburg National’s Jamestown golf course.  The community amenities include a clubhouse, pool, playground and tennis courts.  Home prices start in the mid $400’s.
Greensprings West is a 365 home master planned community wrapped around Williamsburg National’s Yorktown golf course.  The Tom Clark design is a 7,000 yard championship course of traditional design with no gimmicks.  The subdivision has an active HOA (home owners association) and offers a clubhouse, pool, tennis, lakes and community events.  Resale home prices start in the high $300’s.  Homesites are available starting in the mid $130’s to the mid $230’s with 14 builders to choose from.
Kingsmill on the James is a gated community located on the banks of the James River near historic Williamsburg.  Golf until your heart is content on a trio of 18-hole golf courses and a 9-hole par 3 course.  The community’s crown jewel is The River Course the site of the Michelob Ultra Open, an LPGA Tour event.  While it is exciting to play these prestigious golf courses, having one right outside your back door is priceless.  The community offers a variety of exclusive neighborhoods including resale resort condominiums ($170,000-$500,000), resale single family homes ($350,000-$3.5 million), resale patio homes adjacent to golf course ($400,000-$550,000), new homes (starting at $600,000), luxury riverfront townhomes ($775,000-$1.5 million), and River Bluffs luxury condominiums ($775,000-$1.5 million).  If boating is your passion, check out the marina.

Stonehouse/Stonehouse Glen is located just minutes west of Williamsburg.  It’s close proximity to I-64 gives it easy access to Richmond and Newport News.  This planned community is surrounded by the prestegious Tradition Golf Club at Stonehouse winding over 6,962 yards of steep forested hills, wide plateaus, and abrupt ravines.  Gentle rolling hills and wooded lots showcase beautiful homes.  The Orchard Hill neighborhood features smaller lots with single family homes ranging from the mid to upper $300’s.  Other neighborhoods feature mid-level and custom homes from the high $300’s to near $1 million.  Neighborhood amenitites include a clubhouse, tennis, playground, pool, RV parking and neighborhood garden.  Stonehouse Glen is a new phase being developed featuring new home construction with base prices from the high $300’s to the mid $520’s.  Future plans include a clubhouse and pool.

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 to be SCARED this Halloween, in Williamsburg???

Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream isn’t the only scary, spooky haunt in Williamsburg, this Halloween! And, if you haven’t checked out “Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge,” this new themed maze made connection with the producer of “The Blair Witch Project.” Also look for mazes “Lumberhack” and “Cornered.” Closes Sunday at 10pm. Tickets $77 for a one-day pass. Contact 800-343-7946 or buschgardens.com for more information.

Haunting on DoG Street: Blackbeard’s Revenge. Oct. 30-31 in the Historic Area at Colonial Williamsburg. Free Halloween trick-or-treat festival for children 12 and under takes place from 5-7:30 p.m. each night. Event features pirate shanties, a costume contest and free M&M Mars treats at the historic buildings and homes along Duke of Gloucester Street. Candy for those with allergies will also be available at select stops.  Participating children must be preregistered and registration is now closed for this event.  At 8 p.m., the undead crew members of the pirate Blackbeard, who were tried and hanged on Williamsburg’s streets in 1719, will return to seek their revenge. The ticketed program includes a trial of the undead in the Capitol, an encounter with Blackbeard and a ghostly walk through the tombstones, jail and the gallows. Recommended for guests ages 13 and up. Procession of the undead led by pirate zombies to Chowning’s Tavern takes place at 10 p.m.

Family Frights at Jamestown Settlement. 6:30-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Elementary school-aged children can trick-or-treat aboard a haunted Susan Constant,Godspeedand Discovery, as well as through the re-created early 1600 fort, listen to ghost stories, play games and walk through a spooky straw maze. $7 per child ages 4-12 and $3 per adult. Tickets available at historyisfun.org.

Creepy, Crawly, Create! 2:45-4:15 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31, Art Museum of Colonial Williamsburg. Make Halloween art inspired by the creatures on display in “Birds, Bugs, and Blooms: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century.” Visitors admitted with Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket.

Kimball Theatre presents “Nosferatu” at 7:30 p.m. and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 11 p.m. Oct. 31. The theater is also showing “Alien” Oct. 25-31. 428 West Duke of Gloucester. For tickets and complete showtimes, visit kimballtheatre.com.

Colonial Ghost Tours. Tours leave at 8, 9 and 11 p.m. most nights. Extended tours available. One-hour historic ghost walk tour through Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary. Tours groups meet in front of the Kimball Theater. Tickets: $13, $10 (child). Extended tours: $18, $15 (child), and $19.99 for 11 p.m. tours (may vary by demand and season). Check calendar online for availability at colonialghosts.com.

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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Howl-O-Scream 2015 at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg

Fall is here! And…this crisp, fall weather complements the frights found at Busch Gardens® Howl-O-Scream®. With five Terror-tories™ and seven haunted houses (the most in the event’s history), there are more frights than ever lurking around every corner waiting for brave souls to explore the Williamsburg park’s shadowy depths.

As always, Busch Gardens adds a theme and this year “fear” is an immersive experience. Come face-to-face with the fearsome Scarlett and her evil minions at Unearthed™ – Scarlett’s Revenge. Join the search party for missing townspeople at the McCobb farm, but don’t get Cornered™ in this maze of maize. At Lumberhack™, explore a logging camp that was abandoned more than 50 years ago and discover the secret the woods have been hiding.

Dates:  Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from September 25 – November 1
Time:  The park opens at 10 a.m. and the frights begin at 6 p.m.

 

NOTE: This is not for the younger grandkids, by the way; Busch Gardens even states it on the website to consider the park’s elevated scare factor when deciding to visit Busch Gardens with young children during Howl-O-Scream.

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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.