The market is hot at Louisa County’s popular gated community, Spring Creek at Zion Crossroads, which draws buyers from across town, Northern Virginia, out of state and even overseas. Residents and their guests can play golf at a course that regularly receives awards for being one of the best both nationally and in Virginia, and enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness center, a clubhouse with a pro-shop and a full service restaurant called Tavern on the Green.
Conveniently located a short 20 minutes from all that Charlottesville has to offer, Spring Creek is also just 35 minutes from Richmond. In addition, residents of this community also benefit from lower home prices and significant savings in property taxes compared to either Albemarle or Charlottesville.
Spring Creek’s real estate market is active with brisk sales of both new and resale homes, and if you plan to build but aren’t ready today, you can still reserve a lot. When the time is right to build, you can choose from one of Spring Creek’s quality featured builders, or bring your own.
Whether you are anticipating retirement, need a home for a growing family, or just want to be close to the golf course, come and enjoy Spring Creek’s relaxed lifestyle with its convenience, affordability and 24 hour security plus all of the benefits of living in a community that is loaded with popular amenities.
Spring Creek’s Real Estate Market
The real estate market in Spring Creek is doing well, and both resale and new homes are selling. While buyers looking for attached properties can find some townhomes and villa homes priced below $300,000, for detached homes the mid-$300.000s is more “normal” said Maggie Gunnells with the Crossroads office of Better Homes and Gardens, Real Estate III. Dan Girouard, Broker with Spring Creek Realty, added that “our new home prices range from the mid-$300,000s to the upper $700,000s.”
The neighborhood’s sold stats reflect the brisk market activity. Gunnells reported that 50 homes sold there all of last year. As of November 1 of this year, 45 homes had sold and there were 23 pendings (homes under contract but not closed). While some of the pendings will not close until 2017, many of the others will see new owners moving in before the end of 2016.
“We are experiencing a very good year at Spring Creek with new home sales at an all time record level and resales selling much faster than just a year ago,” Girouard said.
“Spring Creek prices are definitely stabilizing,” Gunnells said. She explained that in the recent past resales were slow reflecting the plight of owners who purchased their homes before the recession and were disappointed when they couldn’t sell for at least what they paid for them. In addition, often the homes were dated and didn’t compete well with new ones. “However,” she continued, “now we’re seeing resale prices come back.”
Charlene Easter with Spring Creek Realty added that “the challenge in selling resale homes is that they are competing with new construction. If a buyer can purchase a new, comparable home at the same price as a resale they most often will go with a new home.” Of course, as with all real estate, “if you price it right, it will move.”
A big plus for people who want to build a home in Spring Creek, but who are not yet ready to move, is that they can purchase a lot today and hold it until they are ready to build thus locking in the price at a time when an active real estate market is sure to start pushing them higher soon. Buyers can choose from Ryan Homes, Stanley Martin Homes, Atlantic Builders, or Colony Builders all of whom are featured builders in the subdivision, Girouard said.
Alternatively, these buyers can choose from among the other quality builders in our area many of whom have built homes at Spring Creek and are familiar with the requirements of the Architectural Review Committee.
“We have people intending to move here but are not ready yet,” Easter said. “This is an opportunity for them to select a lot matching their specifications and purchase it at today’s price. We also offer an opportunity for buyers to ‘reserve’ a lot for 30-45 days. This allows them time to interview builders and see if the house they select will fit on their chosen site. At the end of that period they can either move forward with a purchase or release the lot without penalty. It’s a great way for buyers to carefully choose their builder, house plans, and lot.”
An Active Lifestyle
Spring Creek’s many amenities are appealing to a wide demographic of buyers, from singles and families—many of whom are moving to a bigger or nicer home—to retirees who want to downsize and enjoy one-level living.
Easter, who has lived in Spring Creek from very early on, says it is the sense of community that people experience there that makes them happy they moved in. “It truly feels like a community in the best sense,” she said. Buyers appreciate being able to afford a home in a community that is welcoming and friendly and where they can “jump into neighborhood events.” For example, “our Community Club group has over seventy members. This group plans social events, decorates for the holidays, and creates and implements community projects such as providing benches for the walking trails and planting over twenty trees around our tennis courts and park area,” Easter said.
She added that “our Welcome Committee meets and greets every new homeowner and provides them with a packet of information regarding community and local contacts, events, etc.”
One amenity Spring Creek residents particularly appreciate is the recently opened clubhouse that features a pro-shop and Tavern on the Green, a full service restaurant and bar that overlooks the lake and the 18th green and features locally sourced meat, dairy and produce. If you have special dietary preferences such as vegan, gluten-free or kosher, just ask.
The Tavern offers events such as Party on the Patio every Friday night from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. featuring live music, plus happy hour Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It is also a great place for business. Gunnells enjoys taking buyers to lunch there knowing that “the nice atmosphere” helps people appreciate the Spring Creek quality of life encouraging them to feel comfortable about moving into the community.
Golfers especially appreciate the nationally recognized course that was once again featured by Golf Digest when it was named #55 in the country under the category of American’s 100 Greatest Public Courses for 2015-2016. In 2016 Golf Week called it the Top-Ranked Residential Public Golf Course in Virginia.
Another popular Spring Creek activity is pickle ball, “the latest popular outdoor activity here,” Easter said. Participants play on a tennis court but use a whiffle ball and ping pong paddles so play closer to the net than when playing tennis. It appeals to former tennis players who “take it very seriously,” while others are more relaxed and just have fun. “There are over 30 people on the team,” she said, “and they play two to three times a week.”
In yet another community activity, recently some of the retirees created a park where they built picnic tables including smaller tables for kids. “This was a great example of a mixed generation activity,” Easter said.
A Home for Everyone
The many amenities and housing styles available at Spring Creek are appealing to a wide range of individuals and families from move-up buyers to downsizers and even an occasional first timer.
Gunnells recently worked with a young single woman who wanted a detached, move-in-ready home for $350,000 or less. While she started her search in town, the homes her money would buy there would have required updates and renovations to make them right. Instead, she chose Spring Creek where she loves her brand new home, the nice neighborhood and the deluxe gym, all part of her new lifestyle.
Spring Creek is also popular among young professionals who appreciate the family-oriented amenities like the playground, tennis and basketball courts and walking trails. Girouard explained that this group makes up about 40 percent of Spring Creek buyers, most of whom commute into either Richmond or Charlottesville for work.
Families also like Louisa County’s top rated schools, two of which are brand new, having been rebuilt after they suffered damage in the 2011earthquake. The high school offers both career and technical education as well as advanced courses allowing qualified students to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree saving time and money.
Retirees and pre-retirees, many of whom come from Northern Virginia and the DC area, are also attracted to the lifestyle at Spring Creek, Girouard said, adding that they are “finding the Charlottesville area to be a wonderful place to retire…and much less expensive! This segment of the market is looking to ‘down-size’ and build a home with ‘one-level living’ features, which are offered by each of our featured builders.”
Others relocate there because they want to be near children and grandchildren, Easter said. Still others passed through at one time or another at an earlier phase of their lives and decided they would come back to enjoy retirement in this area so full of natural beauty.
Gunnells recently worked with a couple heading into retirement who moved from Crozet because they liked the kind of new home and the impressive list of amenities their money would buy at Spring Creek. They are especially fond of the security that comes with being in a gated community.
She also worked with a couple from overseas who wanted to find the perfect lot for the new home they wanted to build. Part of the appeal of Spring Creek was that it is already an established community where they can “be part of something right away.”
There is another group of downsizers who often choose Spring Creek. These are people relocating from larger homes in nearby communities such as Glenmore or Lake Monticello. Many of them want to enjoy their retirement years in a smaller house but want to continue to live in a gated community on a golf course, Girouard explained.
At Spring Creek their brand new one-level home that is highly energy efficient can be customized to meet their age and health-related needs with universal design features that allow them to stay independent for as long as possible. Still another plus is Louisa County’s comparatively lower property taxes that are “especially appealing to people on strict budgets,” Girouard said.
If what you are looking for is an amenity-rich community that is both affordable and close-in, talk to your agent about Spring Creek. Chances are you’ll find the perfect lot or home that will meet your needs for many years to come.
Celeste Smucker is a writer, blogger and author who lives near Charlottesville.