As you know, I (Karen) am a huge fan of the Carriage Homes in South Riding, VA, which happens to be my own hometown. 

We’re lucky to have a few pockets of Carriage Homes here in Loudoun County, but overall they’re pretty rare. South Riding happens to have three small sections: one along the golf course on Creek Run Terrace and Tremaine Terrace, one on the Fortitude Terrace loop off of Riding Center Drive, and a third tucked away on Londontown Terrace. 

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A few months ago, I had another Carriage Home listing that sold in just seven days. We could have ratified a contract even sooner, but we had 40 showings on that property and wanted to wait until all offers came in. We ended up getting seven offers on the property. The point is…homes like this are in demand! 

Why? 

Well, my personal opinion is that Carriage Homes are the perfect blend of a single family home and a townhome. Like a townhome, these attached structures are relatively low-maintenance with just a small yard to take care of. But the layout feels more like a single family home, without the “vertical” feel and narrow rectangular footprint of a townhome. (Note: Photos of rooms with furniture are “virtually staged.”)

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Location, Location, Location…

This Carriage Home happens to be an end unit, which allows for more windows and some nice landscaping along the side. It’s situated on Fortitude Terrace, which is a quiet loop conveniently located off of Riding Center Drive and right near the World Trail exercise path. It’s also within walking distance of Liberty Elementary School and Freedom High School. In the opposite direction is the new Dulles South Recreation Center, complete with two pools, an indoor track, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall, fitness equipment, and group exercise rooms. It’s a county facility that’s open to the public either on a fee-per-visit or membership basis. 

But back to the Carriage Home and what makes it so special…

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This home has been incredibly well maintained. It’s only 13 years old, but none of the systems/appliances are original. Both HVAC systems, the hot water heater, washer and dryer, refrigerator, wall oven and microwave, dishwasher, disposal, and garage door and opener have all been replaced/updated. There are numerous decorative touches, including walls of windows, cathedral ceilings, and Palladian windows. The Gourmet Kitchen has quality hardwood cabinetry, granite countertops, and a beautiful tile backsplash. The Master Bath has a soaking tub, double sinks, and upgraded tile adorning the shower and floor. 

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Upon entering the home, you’re greeted by decorative columns in the two-story Living Room and gorgeous Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors throughout much of the Main Level. There’s also a Formal Dining Room with chair rail and crown molding — along with a beautiful chandelier — on the other side of the Foyer. 

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Another hard-to-find feature of this particular model (a Toll Brothers Granview floor plan) is the Main Level Master Suite/Primary Bedroom. The extension of this Bedroom can be used as a quiet home office with a desk positioned to look out onto the back deck and pretty plantings. 

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Plenty of Areas for Work-from-Home and Distance Learning…

The upstairs is a great domain for kids, with two bedrooms, a spacious bathroom, and a large loft — which is perfect as a home study/distance learning space or for relaxing in front of the TV and playing video games, complete with surround sound. 

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A rec room in the basement is large enough for multiple uses as well, whether it’s home entertainment, exercising, or a quiet work-from-home area. (The TV mounted here, as well as three others mounted in the home, convey.) There’s even space in the basement to carve out a fourth bedroom and add another bathroom (there’s already a bathroom rough-in). 

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One of my favorite things about the house is actually the cute backyard oasis. A well-maintained Trex deck spills out onto landscaped beds of flowers and shrubs. There’s some privacy between neighbors, and the deck offers plenty of space for dining as a family, entertaining, and spreading out to work.

I know this property won’t last long, so give me a call at 703-585-3386 or email me at [email protected] if you’d like to see it.

… 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
703-531-7363
[email protected]