The Redfields neighborhood is conveniently located off 5th Street south of Interstate 64, just minutes from the University, the Med Center and the Downtown Mall. While it has always been a popular place to live, it became even more desirable with the recent opening of 5th Street Station and its anchor tenant, the upscale grocery store, Wegmans. No longer do south side dwellers need to drive to Waynesboro or Zion Crossroads to avoid traffic and congestion when they shop. Instead they can buy groceries, enjoy restaurants, a theatre, sporting goods stores and much, much more all in one location just minutes from home.
The quality of life at Redfields is also enhanced by a nice list of amenities like walking trails and a playground that make it attractive to a wide range of buyers from singles and families to downsizers and retirees. In addition, residents enjoy ample green spaces and mountain views. For those who are ready to put away their rakes, their lawn mowers and their snow shovels, there are even areas within the subdivision where home owners can sit back and enjoy a lifestyle that is yard work free.
If you are in the market for a new home and love the sound of these many amenities, talk to your agent about Redfields where you will find affordable prices and a range of housing styles from townhomes, to attached homes, to single family residences in a range of price points that make it affordable for just about everyone.
However, be aware that the south side, including Redfields, is growing in popularity and especially so now that residents have access to 5th Street Station. If you like the rustic beauty and easy accessibility to town that this community offers, don’t wait. The neighborhood has always been a favorite of UVA residents and when March rolls around and they receive confirmation of their upcoming postings, those coming to our area will be out house hunting, increasing competition for the limited listings in this desirable spot.
Why Buyers Love Redfields
There are many reasons for Redfields’ popularity including the convenience of easy access to the interstate, downtown and UVA. The community also has popular amenities and offers green spaces and scenic views. Perhaps most important, it is a place where residents reach out to newcomers helping everyone in this neighborhood of 450 houses feel at home.
“It’s got a rural community feel to it, but it’s close to all the major amenities,” said Robert Russo, with Nest Realty Group, a top producer who has sold over 100 homes in Redfields since it first opened in 2006. He explained that its proximity to UVA and the Med Center is a big draw and he sees lots of professors as well as law and medical students moving there. Of course downtown is minutes away and those commuting elsewhere appreciate being able to quickly get onto the Interstate and head either east or west.
Michael Guthrie, CEO and Managing Broker for Roy Wheeler Realty Co., emphasized the rural nature of the community stating that many of the lots back up to common ground and have nice “rural views.” In addition he added that Redfields has a very strong community-based culture. The neighborhood is big enough to offer a lot of options, but “small enough for community activities” for those who want to participate. In other words, the neighborhood is a place where socially inclined residents can easily get to know each other adding to the fun of living there.
Families with children like Redfields in part because of amenities like a playground and neighborhood pool. For those who want to send their children to private schools, Guthrie explained, there are two that are especially close-by: Tandem Friends School serving children in Grades 5 through 12, and The Covenant School serving children from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.
Jim McVay with Roy Wheeler Realty Co. agrees that Redfields’ proximity to UVA is definitely a plus saying that there is a (sort of secret) back way out of the area that makes the commute even quicker and easier.
He described what he called the community’s “really nice amenities,” such as the lake that is exclusive to the neighborhood and is surrounded by a walking trail. There are also several trails that wind through the neighborhood and maps to help residents find their way are available at the Home Owners Association (HOA) website.
On one visit to the neighborhood, McVay took the occasion to walk one of these trails through the woods and found that the round trip took 45 minutes, a goodly walk that residents can enjoy daily. They can also enjoy the neighborhood’s other amenities such as the pool and large areas of green space.
In the last several years, the amount of green space at Redfields increased significantly when the HOA purchased 58 additional acres making a nice buffer around the community. Initially residents were alerted to this acreage when a developer sought permission to have it rezoned in order to build an additional 126 homes there according to Charlottesville Tomorrow. Instead two-thirds of the Redfields owners voted to purchase the property, paying for it with a modest increase in HOA dues. As a result the area will not be developed and Redfields residents can expect to receive long-term enjoyment from the additional green, an amenity that adds to the value of their property and to the quality of their lives.
5th Street Station
The proximity of the new 5th Street Station is definitely an asset for Redfields and the whole south end of town. Karen Kehoe with RE/MAX Regency, who lives in Redfields, is pleased to take advantage of shopping at Wegmans, the flagship store, but she also lets her clients know they will find restaurants, a tap house, a pet store, a massage spa and very soon a Krispy Kreme store….and that’s just a few of the many stores and services available there.
For example, a recent article at the Daily Progress described Martha Jefferson’s plans to open a new 4,000 square foot facility at 5th Street Station in April. It will house a family practice with extended hours and accept walk-ins. Those that have an urgent need for an X-Ray, can stop there and save a trip to the emergency room.
Redfields residents are “absolutely loving life,” now that 5th Street Station is open, Russo said adding that Wegmans is very popular because it is so close.
Guthrie referenced Wegmans as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods and more restaurants. He explained that the new center definitely makes the south side more desirable removing a big reason that some home buyers had for not wanting to live there.
McVay agreed stating that the center is a real plus for the area. He said there has been a lot of interest ever since Wegmans announced they would open a store there and as long as three years ago, people started asking him about it and expressing excitement about the change. Other agents have said the same indicating that people from out of town started inquiring about and buying homes in that area, in some cases a year or more ago, in anticipation of being able to shop at Wegmans.
The Real Estate Market
If you are now ready to move to Redfields, you will have to be patient. Of the 450 homes there, none is for sale at the moment. Never fear though. Russo, who has sold more homes there than anyone else, described the market as cyclical and expects that by March there will definitely be some homes on the market.
One of the many benefits of Redfields is that it offers an array of housing prices and styles. There are townhomes available starting in the $200,000s McVay said having helped someone from UVA purchase one in the recent past.
Redfields also features attached homes, which Kehoe says are “very popular because they are all on one level (or have first floor master bedrooms) and have garages.” She added that lawn care is taken care of there and that is very popular for retirees and busy people.
In addition, “the Courtyard section is the most popular area of the neighborhood and very sought after by young retirees or busy professionals,” Kehoe said, who owns a home there. “Everything is taken care of from mowing the yard to snow removal from the walk and the drive.” HOA fees for that section also cover exterior maintenance except the roof and trim.
In 2016, 33 homes sold in Redfields ranging in price from $225,000 to a high of just $475,000, Russo said in a recent newsletter. Twenty-six were single family homes, 5 were attached homes, and 2 were homes in the Courtyards section. Underlining the popularity of the latter his newsletter stressed that “we have multiple Courtyard Buyers ready to purchase in 2017,” and urged people to call if they were thinking about selling.
The current lack of homes for sale in Redfields says a lot about its popularity. Another indication is the relatively short number of days a home stays on the market. For example, Russo said that in 2016 the average days on the market was only 23, much less the 36 that was the average for our area towards the end of last year.
Where Redfields residents move when they need a larger house, or determine it is time to downsize, may be another clue about its popularity as are the choices of people moving in from out of town. For example, one of McVay’s clients was a family that sold their house in Redfields and moved to a bigger one. Rather than leave the neighborhood they chose a home just four doors down because they loved the area so much. In another instance a professor living in Redfields hired someone new for his department. The new hire worked with McVay and looked many places for the perfect place to live, but ended up buying a home in Redfields not far from his new boss.
In addition to quality of life, the affordability of Redfields is one of its strong points. Guthrie explained that, in our marketplace, there are lots of choices if you are what he called a “third time buyer” looking in the over $500,000 range. However, if that price point is too high, there are many fewer options to choose from. Redfields is one of them and that is just one of the reasons people move there and stay even when they are ready to move up or downsize.
Contact Your Agent Today
If Redfields sounds like a good bet for you and your family, contact your agent today and be prepared to make your move. When homes start to come on the market it is likely they will not be available long, and the lucky buyers will have sold their previous home and have cash or a strong pre-qualification letter in hand.
Celeste Smucker is a writer, blogger and author who lives near Charlottesville.