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January 26th, 2014 11:37 AM
Typically, Realtors are real good at valuing a home for sales purposes. However, if you don't have a sketch that lists your living area size from a prior appraisal than it is well worth your money to have your home measured by an Appraiser. Having an accurate square footage will help you price your home correctly, and also helps Realtors and Appraisers after the property has closed. Properties that sell are then used as comparable sales in future appraisals. Knowing the actual square footage, and separating above grade and below grade living areas is very helpful in pricing homes. For basics in home measuring see an archived blog of mine from December 8, 2008. Get your home measured and maybe you will find some additional square footage you didn't know you had.

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Posted by David Hertzler, II on January 26th, 2014 11:37 AMLeave a Comment

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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.

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Posted by David Hertzler, II on January 14th, 2014 4:54 PMView Comments (1)

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I have been asked many times does school district dictate value? Here is the information I found concerning the three high schools in James City County and the City of Williamsburg. For the quarter ending December 7, 2013 Jamestown High School had the highest median sales price of $420,000, followed closely by Lafayette High School with $411,000. Warhill High School was considerably lower with a median sales price of $285,000, which is due primarily to the more rural location in the County. Jamestown High School has some of the higher priced subdivisions, including Kingsmill, and Governor's Land, and to a lessor extent Greensprings West and Monticello Woods. Lafayette High School has subdivisions such as Ford's Colony and Holly Hills. Warhill High School has a higher end subdivision in Stonehouse. Although Jamestown High School has a higher median price, it has a 9.8 month supply of inventory with a median days on market of 71. Lafayette has 8.8 months of inventory, with a lower days on market of 63. Warhill High School had the fewest median days on market of 53, and 8.9 months of inventory. Basically, Lafayette High School and Jamestown High School have very similar values, and although the median sales price of Warhill High School is the lowest, the homes tend to sell faster.

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Posted by David Hertzler, II on December 8th, 2013 4:17 PMLeave a Comment

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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.


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Posted by David Hertzler, II on September 8th, 2013 4:53 PMLeave a Comment

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August 18th, 2013 9:49 PM

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.

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Posted by David Hertzler, II on August 18th, 2013 9:49 PMLeave a Comment

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November 19th, 2012 7:50 PM

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.

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Posted by David Hertzler, II on November 19th, 2012 7:50 PMLeave a Comment

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November 4th, 2012 6:06 PM

Here are the sales over the past two years in Ford's Colony:

                Nov-Apr       May-Jul       Aug-Oct

Previous     $463,000      $449,000      $415,000
Current      $470,000      $467,000      $485,000

              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). 


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Posted by David Hertzler, II on November 4th, 2012 6:06 PMLeave a Comment

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February 23rd, 2012 9:52 AM

I did a quick search in the Williamsburg Multiple Listing Service to see how the James City County real estate market was doing. The median sales price for detached homes from November 2011 through January 2012 was $317,000.  This is down only 0.9% from the same period one year prior ($320,000).  However, it was up 3.9% from February to July 2011 ($305,000), and up 2.6% from the quarter August to October 2011 ($309,000).

There were 124 closed sales in the most recent quarter, and the same period one year prior had 123 closed sales.  There are 573 detached homes on the market in James City County, and therefore, based on an absorption of 41.33 units per month, there appears to be a 13.86 month supply of inventory.  This is down from 15.15 month supply in the same quarter in the prior year.

Although these numbers are encouraging, there is no clear cut sign that we have reached the bottom of the market. There has been a slight bump in values since February 2011, but we are still below the values of November 2010 to January 2011.


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Posted by David Hertzler, II on February 23rd, 2012 9:52 AMLeave a Comment

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August 11th, 2010 9:08 PM

Yes, I am getting more ideas from a book I am reading.  Okay...I am not reading.  I am listening to it in my car while taking photos of comparable sales in Stonehouse.  The CD is What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis.  It states, "Free is a business model", and "Give the people control, we will use it". 

So, What Would Google Do with timeshare information?  They would probably make it available to everyone for free.  My goal for tracking resales of timeshare units was to educate buyers and sellers, and make the market work with open information.  The timeshare market is difficult to track and there is not reliable information available.  Most of the "free" timeshare reports on the internet are put there by companies wanting to sell, or buy your timeshare. 

Therefore, I am putting the information I have on my site for free.  Use it to negotiate a purchase, or link to it to show your timeshare is priced right.

What else would Google do?  They would probably put ads on the site to offset some of the cost of the research.  So don't be surprised if you see a couple of ads on the "free" information page. You have control, now use it!

Free Timeshare Reports


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Posted by David Hertzler, II on August 11th, 2010 9:08 PMView Comments (1)

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Is the Williamsburg real estate market giving you a headache?  Here are several suggestions from Beth Hertzler, Certified Transfigura Regeneration Therapist and Instructor, on ways you can help your headache naturally.

Learning to listen to the signals you are receiving allows you more control in releasing pain.  The reason your body is experiencing the headache is because it is trying to tell you something.  Stress and tight muscles in the neck and shoulders are often a contributing factor.  Giving your body the opportunity to release the stress and loosen the muscles will help the body know that you have heard its message.  A warm bath, a relaxing walk in nature, a neck and shoulder rub are just a few ways that can help.  Your body also has energy lines that run from your feet up to your head.  These lines are called MERIDIAN lines.  By pressing different points on the meridian lines you can release built up energy, stress or tension and therefore help begin the healing process.  

Here are a few points to press in the case of a headache.  If you place both hands on the back of your neck, fingertips touching the upper spine, you will feel where the spine meets your skull.  Simultaneously, move your fingers from the indented ridge of the skull just about 2 fingertip widths along the bottom edge of the skull.  You might feel that these points are VERY sensitive and that is your signal that you have found the points to press.  You might ask, "Why would I press on an area that is painful and sensitive?", my response is, "Because it is a way to release the build up in the energy line (meridian)."  By pressing on the points until the pain or sensitivity is less, you are giving your body the message that you do not need the headache anymore to let you know that an area is blocked.  

Another area to try is at the inside edges of each eyebrow.  Place a fingertip on each inside edge of each eyebrow, pressing and massaging the points.  Just a reminder that these points might be painful, but by pressing and massaging them, the body moves the blockage and opens up the flow in the energy line. 

Remembering to listen to your body's messages will help you learn what it is trying to tell you.       

Find out more about Beth Hertzler and Transfigura Regeneration at


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Posted by David Hertzler, II on June 27th, 2010 5:16 PMView Comments (1)

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