Glenmore: A Community with Something for Everyone

Glenmore is an elegant, planned and gated community off Route 250 in Keswick east of Charlottesville. When its founder, Frank Kessler, designed the community, his mission was to “provide the finest family Country Club Community of its size and time in the United States,” relayed Jeff Gaffney, Chairman and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III. To accomplish that, Kessler included what he considered to be the best elements of communities around the country including the equestrian center, the Country Club, and the security gate house.

Glenmore’s website at features beautiful scenery as the backdrop for its many amenities. For example, golfers can enjoy an 18-hole professional course designed by acclaimed golf course architect, John LaFoy, as well as the services of golf pro Kandi Comer. Tennis enthusiasts can choose from a variety of different courts and take lessons from their new tennis pro, Jon Reeves. Members who want a state of the art gym for their work outs will find the equipment they need at the Glenmore Country Club as well as a personal trainer. Of course, one of the most sought after features at Glenmore is the privately owned Equestrian Center where boarding and riding lessons are popular choices for horse lovers.

For those residents who want to take an early morning run or who have children who want to ride their bikes to visit a friend down the street, Glenmore offers the safety and security of a gated community. For others who just want to sit on their porch or deck after a long day at work, it offers beautiful views of the mountains at sunset. All in all Glenmore is more than just a place to live. It is a comfortable lifestyle that welcomes people of all ages and interests; people who can enjoy its many amenities and still want to live close enough to Charlottesville to arrive there for work, shopping or other activities in 20 minutes or less.

What makes Glenmore 
Real Estate Special?
From a real estate perspective, Glenmore has much to offer. It was built on the site of Glenmore Plantation and Horse Farm on rolling hills reminiscent of Scotland. The original plantation home, built in 1724 has a view of Jefferson’s Monticello and is, at this writing, on the market for $2.2 million. This connection to history is one of many features, which makes the Glenmore subdivision a special place.

Glenmore is a planned community, which means it has a homeowners’ association with an architectural committee that maintains strict standards throughout the subdivision. When you visit you will see a variety of home styles and sizes on beautifully landscaped lots; everything from large estate homes to spacious one story cottages. While many subdivisions group like-priced homes together, an unusual aspect of Glenmore is that homes of differing price ranges may be found on the same street.

Angie Holly Decker, a Realtor® with the Glenmore office of Better Homes and Gardens, Real Estate III, described how you can walk down a Glenmore street and find a $2 million home near a $600K home. Decker explained this is a nice feature since many people who can afford a bigger, more expensive home, often choose to buy a smaller one instead. The coexistence of homes in different price ranges on the same street allows families who bought smaller homes to live side by side with their peers who own the larger ones.

“They [the homes] all belong,” Decker said, “because of the architectural guidelines.” The guidelines, which are overseen by the Architectural Review Committee, describe what is acceptable in the way of such issues as the appearance of the home’s exterior and its landscaping. For example, amongst other things, a Glenmore landscape must have a variety of evergreen and flowering plants so that it looks its best year round.

Throughout Glenmore, residents and visitors can enjoy lovely mountain and golf course views. They also have access to 500 acres of common area landscaped to enhance the adjoining home sites. These include wooded and non-wooded sites, some of which overlook a pond or Carroll Creek, and others which are right on the golf course. Some home sites even include lawn maintenance for owners who prefer to spend their leisure time swimming, golfing or riding a horse rather than pushing a mower.

Marina Ringstrom, a REALTOR® with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III and former Marketing Director for Glenmore, lives in the neighborhood, as do her parents. She describes it as “a unique place that is vibrant and appealing and always full of life with something for all ages.” Perhaps this explains the consistency of home resale values in Glenmore. Ringstrom said that in the winter the number of homes on the market is typically about 25, while other times of the year numbers vary from 40 to 50. In recent years as the pace slowed, what changed is an increase in the number of days on the market.

Today there is something new in Glenmore. Called Glenmore Preserve, it is built on the subdivision’s highest point and will offer larger home sites from 5 to 21 acres. These new sites will be available this month. Jeff Gaffney described them as “a place for people who want more elbow room. They can have a horse on their own property or create a nice play area for their children,” he said. Glenmore Preserve offers all of the benefits of living in this special subdivision plus the privacy afforded by owning and being surrounded by these much larger lots.

Who Lives in Glenmore?
Glenmore attracts a wide range of people. Angie Holly Decker describes them as friendly positive people who are a “cosmopolitan blend…from all over, a good representation of what Charlottesville is.”

Tom Pace, a Glenmore resident and Realtor® with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III, emphasized that all ages of people live at Glenmore. There are young families as well as people who are totally retired. “The retirees like having children out and about because it helps them feel younger,” he said. He also explained that having a mix of ages helps the community maintain a more even demand for activities like golf and tennis. Retirees often prefer to golf during the week, which leaves more space on Saturdays and Sundays when working people are ready to relax after a long week.

In many respects Glenmore is its own world. When people come through the gate they can leave work-related stress behind and enjoy the resort atmosphere. They can even give their cars a rest since, according to Pace, many people prefer golf carts for motoring around the subdivision.

Glenmore’s Many Amenities
The safety that comes from being a gated community is one of Glenmore’s more popular features. There is only one way in and out of the subdivision and a guard is there 24 hours a day to welcome homeowners and their expected guests. This means early morning or late evening walkers and joggers can feel safe in the dark, while people leaving for extended vacations or business trips can enjoy the comfort of knowing their home is secure during their absence.

Patti Rowe, a Glenmore resident and Realtor® with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III, added that because the community is gated “there is not a lot of traffic. There is also independence for kids who can ride their bikes to the pool, to tennis or golf lessons, and to the playground.”

The Glenmore Country Club offers many activities to residents who chose to join. Membership and Communications Coordinator, Misty Critzer named a variety of programs such as a swim team, tennis clinics and an active golf program for children, all of which are popular with the many young families in Glenmore. Tom Pace added that over the years 25 Glenmore children have received college golf scholarships, reflecting the quality of their training. The Club also sponsors a Glenmore summer day camp where children can swim, hike, play golf and tennis, learn new crafts and make friends. The summer camp program is open to both members and non-members of the Club.

In addition to golf, tennis and fitness activities, the Club is a center for social events of all kinds including parties, cookouts, and special interest activities such as bridge, gardening, book clubs and bird watching. In addition, adds Rowe, “the food is fantastic.”

While many of Glenmore’s social activities happen at the club, there are plenty of other ways to be active and meet people. Gayle Harvey of Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. stressed the importance of the trails where people meet and enjoy outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, biking, bird watching, or trail riding.

The privately owned Equestrian Center at Glenmore is another big draw. Manager Colleen Vann described the eight mile loop trail through woods and meadows and along the Rivanna River. “Very few farms can boast that kind of trail,” she said which is a three hour ride on a horse. Vann is excited about the activities and services offered at the Center and added that “the common bond of horses crosses all boundaries and brings kids together.”

The Equestrian Center offers boarding, as well as private and group lessons for all levels of experience. Although they feature hunter/jumper they are open to all styles of riding.

Community at Glenmore
Who calls Glenmore home? Certainly it is a place that welcomes people of all ages. Professionals such as physicians, administrators and academics enjoy the Glenmore lifestyle, as do the many residents who work out of their homes. Of course Glenmore is also a popular choice for retirees.

In a tough real estate market, Glenmore continues to be sought after as a place to live and, according to Ringstrom, it is not uncommon for someone to buy a home there and stay for several more moves. For example, a young couple may move up to a larger home when they start a family, purchasing a home from some empty nesters who decide to move into one of the low maintenance cottages when they retire.

What makes Glenmore so popular? Jeff Gaffney referenced the importance of the different amenities such as the Club which offer gathering points for neighbors to come together over common interests. “However,” he said, “at the end of the day it is the people who live in Glenmore who make it a terrific community.”

Celeste Smucker is a writer, editor and author of Sold on Me, Daily Inspiration for Real Estate Agents. She lives near Charlottesville. 

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