… and there’s no better time to answer

As “Zoom towns” boom in popularity, we are starting a new series intended to help you stay informed and aware of the ever-changing world in these unprecedented times. We hope you enjoy it!

Location, location, location: the motto of the real estate agent. And despite being a trope, it’s not wrong. When you consider where you’re going to set down stakes and live, you should always consider how close you are to everything that matters. Make sure you’re near good schools. That it’s only a quick jaunt to handy shopping and delicious dining. And that your job commute is short and sweet.

Under that criteria, it’s hard to find any sort of ideal location, location, location these days in the DC area. Any native can tell you, no matter where you live, it’ll take you at least 30 minutes to get ANYWHERE. And you’ll be paying for the convenience of a 30-minute commute with a hefty house price, crowds, and a lot less house. On the other hand, not sitting in an hour of beltway traffic on a hot Friday afternoon is worth it, right?

Except. Now you don’t have to.

Everyone says “Covid-19 has changed everything,” and that’s no less true than with real estate. Schools are online. Groceries and dinners are delivered. And most offices are embracing the idea of giving up the expense of brick and mortar real estate to become remote. It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 minutes or three hours from the office—your cute Zoom meeting background won’t change. So why pay the hefty house price for the convenient commute that you’re not making?

And for these reasons, there has been a significant upswing in people migrating to “Zoom towns,” which are noted for offering a casual, more picturesque, and less expensive options—but because school and work are all online, they don’t come with a long commute to where the jobs are.

As Fannie Mae recently noted, “we are seeing some early signs of shifting buyer preference to locate to lower density areas.” And Redfin agrees: “there’s more demand—and less supply—for rural and suburban neighborhoods than cities as the pandemic influences homebuyer preferences.” But that doesn’t mean there are no options.

Over the course of this series, we’ll explore some of the “Zoom towns” around here.

Why Not Get More for Your Money?

Here are six out-there, but not-too-out there, neighborhoods where you can enjoy the gorgeous beauty of landscapes, the quiet peace of nature, and much more house for your money. Each of these communities are a perfect mix of the rural, scenic west, and the vibrant, urban east of Loudoun County.

  • Selma Estates—with quiet streets, sweeping meadows, and a Target and Starbucks a mere six miles away, this lovely neighborhood has the best of both worlds. 250 estates provide a small community feeling but with lots that range from half an acre to ten and views of mountains and sunsets, you won’t feel crowded.
  • Raspberry Falls—built around one of the most acclaimed golf courses in the country, which this community of 200 single family homes run between four and six bedrooms and includes neighborhood swimming and tennis amenities, parks and trails, and you can find both small town charm plus big-name retail and dining a short drive away.
  • Rokeby Farms—this great single-family residential community is just 3 miles down the road from historic Downtown Leesburg VA and features 4-6 bedroom homes, with up to 5300+ square feet of living space. Residents are surrounded by lots of activities and opportunity for adventure.
  • Tavistock Farms—350 single family homes and 213 townhomes makeup this community right in the heart of Northern Virginia – prime horse & wine country. A community farmhouse, a pool, tennis courts and playgrounds make it a perfect place for your family to grow and thrive.
  • Woodlea Manor—nestled between the historic charm of downtown Leesburg and the beauty of the Catoctin Mountains, this community of 467 single-family homes is a hop, skip, and jump away from history, nature, and all of life’s conveniences.
  • Meadowbrook—a brand new community just south of historic downtown Leesburg. With 400 single family homes that reflect the comfort and charm of small-town America, these spacious homes are inspired by the architectural legacy of rural Virginia, with homes offering up to six bedrooms and up to 4,000+ square ft of open floor plans.

Need to Escape?

One of the best parts of living in Northern VA is when you do feel like a commute, the ocean, the mountains, the nation’s capital, parks and lakes, wineries, and more are all about within a few short and easy hours away—as is Dulles International Airport in case you’d like to go just a little further.

In fact, within the immediate area, you can explore acres of natural beauty and real-life history with Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park—offering tours, living history events, trails, and outdoor programs. Other local parks provide waterslide and pool adventures, camping and cabins along the Potomac, and miles of natural trails for walking, hiking, and biking.

And, not so far away is the vibrant and growing Downtown Leesburg area that offers the quaint and quiet charm of your favorite small-town with independently owned shops, bars, and restaurants. Yet within a few miles down Rt. 7 either direction, you can find outdoor plazas boasting Wegmans, movie theaters, commercial retail, bowling alleys, world-class hospitals and schools, and anything else you need now—but that takes you half an hour or more to reach.

Want to learn more? Stay tuned as we continue uncover other hidden gems and “Zoom towns” as well as all the amazing things you can do in this area. If you’d like more details on any of the communities highlighted in this article, please reach out—I live, breathe, and love it here!

Maggie Hatfield
15 West Homes
[email protected]

Although this summer has presented all of us with some abnormal circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still fun to be had. Here are five family activities to try in Loudoun before summer comes to a close.

With quarantine restrictions continuing to lift throughout Northern Virginia, a day of fresh air (and wine) could be the perfect escape from what’s become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luckily, Loudoun County is home to some of the finest wineries in the country. Here are three of our favorite wineries in Northern Virginia and why you should visit them.

Stone Tower Winery

19925 Hogback Mountain Road, Leesburg, VA 20175

Stone Tower Winery is a picturesque destination for weddings, social events, or a laid back weekend with your family and friends. Mike and Kristi Huber chose to sow their vineyard into their roots on Hogback Mountain in Leesburg, Virginia with a very specific mission in mind: to produce world class wines, handcrafted from their estate vines. The choice of location on Hogback Mountain was very intentional because mountain vineyard sites have proven to be resilient to Northern Virginia’s high rainfall and humidity, leading Stone Tower to the creation of numerous award-winning wines. If you’re in the mood for a red, Stone Tower loyalists recommend the Estate Hogback Mountain; and for those looking for a white, try the Wild Boar Sauvignon Blanc. Our favorite is the Wild Boar Brute Rose Sparkling.

Quattro Goombas

22860 James Monroe Highway, Aldie, VA 20105

Italian for “four close friends,” Quattro Goombas’ founders Jay and Jody DeCianno and David and Carole Camden wanted that tradition of friendship to reign true at their beautiful property just off of Route 15 in Aldie. Quattro Goombas is more than just a winery: it’s a place where close friends and family come together to enjoy great wine, great brews, great pizza, and even better company. On these hot summer days, you can kick back with your close friends and enjoy a red wine frappe made with Cabernet Sauvignon and a handmade pizza from the Quattro Goombas Pizza Kitchen. Summer Friday’s have started with live music as well as food and drink specials—what a great way to kick of the weekend!

Fabbioli Cellars

15669 Limestone School Road, Leesburg, VA 20176

In 2001, and a decade’s-long dream, Doug Fabbioli and Colleen Berg planted their first vines in southern Lucketts, sowing the seeds of what would become one of the most awarded wine operations in all of Virginia. Since 2012, Fabbioli Cellars has seen nearly 40 wines receive Virginia Governor’s Cup medals, five of which were gold. Two of those wines—a 2011 Tannat in 2014 and a 2012 Cabernet Franc in 2016—were placed in the Governor’s Case, a placement reserved for the top 12 wines in the state of Virginia each year. While neither the 2011 Tannat or 2012 Cabernet are available any longer, Fabbioli Cellars does have a 2016 Cabernet Franc Reserve, a 2018 Cabernet Franc, and a 2015 tannat available for purchase.

We’d love to explore Loudoun’s majestic wine country with you. What’s your favorite winery in Loudoun County? Let us know in the comments below, then let’s grab a glass or two.