By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent
Southeastern Virginia, and specifically the Williamsburg area, is steeped in the history of some of the great land barons of the colonial, revolutionary, and civil war eras. Though the great men and women who once lived in these historic properties are now departed, their estates remain as a legacy to the early American traditions once practiced there. A recent article by VirginiaBusiness.com, revealed a new trend in estate purchasing. Many estate purchasers are relocating from California and the Northeast to Virginia estates so they may live on larger parcels of land with more privacy.
The National Register of Historic Places lists 2,000 state properties in Virginia. Some of these estate properties are in a state of disrepair. A revival in the purchase of Virginia estates may mean that many will be purchased and renovated. Historic Virginia estates and country estates will likely continue to increase in value because of their uniqueness and connection to American history.
Contemporary estate builders and purchasers are also selecting Virginia as a site to showcase their custom built homes, because of its colonial legacy, marriage with American traditions, and ample parcels of land for building modern estates.
Virginia Estate Locations
Farms and estates are plentiful in various places in southeastern and central Virginia including counties that border waterways or are early American landmarks such as: New Kent, Northumberland, Gloucester, Surrey, Isle of Wight, Dinwittie, Sussex, Essex, Richmond, Westmoreland, Caroline, Hanover, Middlesex, Matthews, Orange, King and Queen, and King William. These counties are mostly rural, and remain steeped in old southern lifestyles.
Geographic Locations of Virginia Estates
I am a Realtor in Williamsburg, Virginia and I am a buyer’s agent for estate purchasers. I’m in the perfect location to provide this service because, during colonial times, Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia. Many estates were built within a day’s horse ride of Williamsburg for proximity to the capital. Many traditional Virginia estates are built on the waterfront, because the James, York, Potomac Rivers and their tributaries and Mobjak Bay feed into the Chesapeake Bay with ocean access. Travel and trade in colonial times was mainly by boat and waterways.
Historic Virginia Estates
Some estate properties have fallen into disrepair, and need to be updated and renovated. Other estate properties in Southeastern Virginia have been inhabited for many generations by one family, and are well kept, with mature hardwood forests, formal gardens, equestrian facilities, guest cottages, and more. Some estates, such as the Berkeley Estate outside Richmond, are income producing properties with herds of sheep, actively farmed land, and/or lodging facilities and restaurants.
Land Parcels for Contemporary Luxury Estates in Virginia
For the real estate purchaser who wants to build a contemporary luxury estate in Virginia, West, Southwest and Northwest of Williamsburg are great locations. Here there is ample availability of large parcels of land less than an hour’s drive to Richmond or Williamsburg. Areas outside of Williamsburg are just beginning to develop, and land parcels will not remain plentiful for too long.
Boating, Golfing, Recreation, Culture, Cuisine and Shopping Near Williamsburg
Williamsburg and the Southeastern Virginia area are filled with some of the finest signature golf courses on the East Coast, including Kingsmill and Ford’s Colony in Williamsburg. Marinas, boat launches, and waterfront estates with piers are also available here. For recreation, families love Bush Gardens and Water Country USA, Colonial Williamsburg, and Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown battlefields. Cultural events, excellent cuisine, and premier outlet mall shopping are all available in the Williamsburg and Richmond area.
Estate Purchasers Need Representation
Are you searching for a historic or contemporary estate or farmette in Virginia? If so, you need a buyer’s agent who will represent you in this real estate transaction. Transactions in Virginia are geared towards protecting the seller because the seller pays commission, unless the buyer has a buyer’s agent agreement with a buyer’s representative. When searching for a buyer’s agent, make sure the designation ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) is beside their name. Acquiring an estate property is a high-end purchase. It is therefore critical that you agent is a certified ABR and has years of experience in the Virginia real estate market. A buyer may check how many years experience an agent has by visiting the Virginia Department of Professional Occupational Regulations (DEPOR). DEPOR will provide information about years of experience in the real estate profession and provide complaints filed against the realtor.