Buyers looking for a house with privacy to enjoy a laid-back country lifestyle for an affordable price should seriously consider contacting their agent about Fluvanna County. First-time homebuyers are welcome there as are growing families who want more space, horse owners looking for a farm, or active retirees wanting to be free of home maintenance. Buyers who love the water and like the idea of a gated community should also check out Lake Monticello.
Once part of Henrico, Fluvanna County became its own entity in 1777 taking its name from the Fluvanna River, a section of the James named in honor of Queen Anne of England. The county’s rich history is carefully preserved by the local historical society headed by a full time director with the help of an active group of volunteers who manage an impressive archive of documents as well as the Old Stone Jail Museum and the Holland Page Place, a post Civil War log cabin.
Agents are optimistic about the Fluvanna real estate market, which is rebounding nicely from the recent recession. As is true in a lot of our region, inventories are low making this is a good time to be a seller. Buyers will also be happy when they find they can afford a much nicer house for the money than is available elsewhere.
The Fluvanna Real
“The market is doing better than it has in a long time,” said Maggie Gunnels Fornecker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III, adding that it is the best she’s seen in her ten years in the real estate industry. Her biggest concern is lack of inventory, but she sees signs that the new construction market is coming back with a few spec homes underway and, she expects, more to come in the near future.
Pam Dent with Gayle Harvey Real Estate Inc. has lived in Fluvanna County for eleven years having purchased a house that dates back to 1760. She and Bridget Archer, also with Gayle Harvey Real Estate, often co-list homes and are active in the market there. Dent described the Fluvanna market as “steady,” noting that well-priced homes are selling.
Kendra Dunn, Southern Development Homes Sales and Marketing Manager, is excited about the market in Fluvanna as well stating that it has definitely “picked up.” She cited four sales in the last two weeks at her company’s Fluvanna County developments, The Villages at Nahor and Village Oaks attributing this success, in part, to momentum from the recent Parade of Homes.
Why Buyers Love Fluvanna
Part of the reason Fluvanna is popular is its proximity to Charlottesville, explained Vicki Wilson, Principal Broker and Owner of Monticello Country Realtors. “The amenities in central Virginia are truly world class,” she states on her website, where she references the high quality of local medical services, UVA, and the temperate climate with its four seasons.
“You get more bang for your buck than in Albemarle,” Dent explained adding that new construction on larger lots is more affordable in Fluvanna because land costs are less. She explained that buyers also like that they can enjoy a “country feel” but still be convenient to Interstate 64 while shoppers will find it’s almost as fast to get to Short Pump in the Richmond area as it is to reach Fashion Square Mall in Charlottesville.
Often buyers come to the area wanting to locate in Albemarle, but find they can’t afford what they want there Dent said. Many then realize their dream in Fluvanna where their money can buy a nice farm or horse property for less.
Fornecker agreed that Fluvanna draws buyers looking for acreage adding that they like the peace and quiet and slower way of life. They also like the location which is convenient for two career couples with jobs in both Richmond to the east and Charlottesville to the west. Similarly, retirees who relocate to the area to be near their children located in either or both of these cities often choose Fluvanna.
The Fluvanna market’s wide range of prices and home styles attract buyers of all ages and income levels.
For example, it’s still great place for a first-time buyer to find a home. In a recent search of the Multiple Listing Service Wilson found forty-three homes under $200,000 at Lake Monticello and stated that this is “an awesome time for first-time home buyers.” She suggested buyers contact a lender to get pre-approved and to learn about types of loans available, including some zero down options for first timers.
At the other end of the buyer spectrum are the retirees, and while many long for the privacy of acreage, others prefer a close-knit community with no responsibilities for exterior maintenance. For the latter group, the 55+ communities of the Villages at Nahor and Village Oaks may be just right. With prices starting in the mid-$200,000s these communities are what Dunn calls “vibrant neighborhoods” offering a range of activities from bingo to water aerobics and wine tastings for adults who want to continue to be active.
If you are looking for a home in the country, and want to be near the many amenities of Charlottesville and Richmond, ask your agent about relocating to Fluvanna County. You may be surprised at the quality of homes there as well as the amount of acreage and square footage your money can buy.
Celeste Smucker is a writer, blogger and author who lives near Charlottesville.