By Celeste M. Smucker –
Louisa County’s gated community, Spring Creek at Zion Crossroads, is a popular neighborhood that draws enthusiastic buyers from all around the Charlottesville area as well as Northern Virginia and DC, the Northeast and even Florida.
Golf is a big highlight and Spring Creek residents and their guests can play at a course that regularly receives awards for being one of the best both nationally and in Virginia. They can also browse for what they need at the pro-shop, and enjoy lunch or dinner at Tavern on the Green, a full service restaurant with a great view.
Spring Creek is conveniently located a short distance from Interstate 64 and is just 20 minutes from Charlottesville and 35 minutes from Short Pump. In addition, home buyers love the lower prices and the significant savings in property taxes compared to either Albemarle or Charlottesville.
The real estate market is active at Spring Creek and REALTORS® are pleased with sales of both new and resale homes. In addition, lots are available and buyers who know they want to take advantage of all that Spring Creek has to offer can reserve one today and build when they are ready.
The community has wide appeal attracting retirees, singles, avid golfers, and growing families who need more space. All of them can enjoy Spring Creek’s relaxed lifestyle, convenience, affordability and 24-hour security, but it is when they move in that they learn it is also a place where they can easily meet new people, make friends and enjoy a genuine sense of community.
Spring Creek Lifestyle
A relaxed lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of city life is a big part of the attraction of Spring Creek, which has walking trails, an award-winning golf course, a pool, tennis courts and much more.
“I spend a lot of time walking through the neighborhood, and I love its natural beauty, the hills and old trees. I also love the beauty and lushness of the golf course,” said one Spring Creek resident.
If you value solitude and a quiet life, but also want to participate in community activities, you’ll find both at Spring Creek. “We love how friendly the community is. And if you want to get involved, there are ample avenues available. But quiet time is always nearby, especially to enjoy the wide variety of birds,” another home owner said.
If you work in Charlottesville, or even Richmond, Spring Creek is a great close-in choice where you can enjoy both the conveniences of city life and the advantages of country living.
“I work in Charlottesville but quickly realized I did not want to live there. Spring Creek is perfect as we are between Charlottesville and Richmond (great for shopping), and also have some conveniences right outside our gates (Walmart, Sheets, Lowes). Still we feel we are out of the hustle and bustle of ‘the City,’ and honestly feel we have the best of both worlds—Country life but with the conveniences.”
Charlene Easter, with Spring Creek Realty has lived in Spring Creek for years and says the sense of community that people experience there is what makes them happy they moved in. “It truly feels like a community in the best sense,” she said, adding that buyers appreciate being able to afford a home in a community that is welcoming and friendly and where they can “jump into neighborhood events.”
“Spring Creek appealed to us because it was in a golf course community and I thought it would be a good way to meet people in an area where I knew no one. Turns out, because it is a new community, there are numerous others looking to make connections and we have not lacked for activities or people to enjoy them with,” explained one of Easter’s neighbors.
And another one added: “Spring Creek truly has a sense of community! Neighbors looking out for neighbors, everyone wanting to help with whatever it is they are good at, and just really trying every day to better our community with activities like neighborhood clean up events that most participate in and community meetings where people actually listen and speak up.”
One amenity Spring Creek residents particularly appreciate is the clubhouse that plays a big role in promoting the community feel. It features Tavern on the Green, a full service restaurant and bar with WIFI that overlooks the lake and the 18th green. Diners should be sure to ask their server about special dietary preferences such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or kosher as special accommodations are available.
Special events are popular at the Tavern such as Party on the Patio—Friday nights from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. during summer months—that features live music. The Tavern is also a year-round gathering place with happy hour every Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. However, it is much more than that.
The clubhouse is also a place for community activities like a fishing day for kids, and 4th of July fireworks, says Club General Manager Corky Bishop, who believes that an important part of his job is promoting community by getting residents involved in events.
Business people like the Tavern finding it to be a great place to take clients to lunch. Maggie Gunnells, with the Lake Monticello office of Long and Foster Real Estate, enjoys taking buyers there because “the nice atmosphere” helps people appreciate the Spring Creek quality of life and encourages them to feel comfortable about moving into the community.
One Spring Creek resident called it “an incredible restaurant and tavern that has acquired somewhat of a ‘Cheers’ atmosphere (where everyone knows your name).”
A big reason people choose Spring Creek is its nationally recognized golf course, which
has received numerous accolades over the years. Most recently, Golf Digest named it #55 in the country under the category of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses for 2015-2016. And Golf Week called it the Top-Ranked Residential Public Golf Course in Virginia in 2016.
The course adds value in another way. Bishop estimates a golf course lot is worth twice that of a similar lot elsewhere in the community.
Still another popular Spring Creek activity is pickleball played on a tennis court but with a whiffle ball and ping pong paddles making play closer to the net than when playing tennis. Former tennis players, many of whom “take it very seriously,” are especially enamored of this game but it also appeals to many others who are more relaxed and just have fun, Easter said.
Spring Creek’s Real Estate Market
“The market in Spring creek is heating up after a slow summer,” said David Boisvert, Sales Manager for Atlantic Builders, one of Spring Creek’s featured builders. He is excited to say that: “In the 15 months Atlantic Builders has been building there, we have written 33 new contracts, and our villa homes have sold out.
“We anticipate 2018 will be an even better year with more buyers moving to the area as they get priced out of Crozet and Charlottesville. Atlantic Builders will also be introducing new town homes in 2018 with a goal of attracting first time home buyers,” Boisvert said.
“Spring Creek is having a wonderful year with new home sales up almost 10 percent over last year. At the same time, resales are selling more quickly with DOM (Days On the Market) down from 141 to 121 meaning they are selling faster,” said Dan Girouard, Broker with Spring Creek Realty.
Evidence of quicker sales in Spring Creek’s resale market is definitely good news.
Easter explained 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 prices at a time when an active real estate market is sure to start pushing them higher soon. Buyers can choose from the subdivision’s featured builders, or they can bring their own.
“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.”
Spring Creek Buyers
The many amenities and housing styles available at Spring Creek appeal to a wide range of individuals and families from move-up buyers to downsizers and even an occasional first timer.
Amenities like the playground and basketball courts may be especially attractive to families, while everyone can take advantage of golf, tennis, walking trails and the pool. Girouard explained that young families make up about 40 percent of Spring Creek buyers, most of whom commute into either Richmond or Charlottesville for work.
Retirees and pre-retirees 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,” Girouard said.
He is looking forward to something new at Spring Creek: “Stanley Martin’s new ‘villa’ home section with individual garden plots for those who have a green thumb along with a community fire pit to sit around and enjoy the company of neighbors.”
Another real benefit of Spring Creek for many residents is the cross section of home owners representing different ages and life stages that live there. This is an experience that would not be available, for example, to retirees who move into a 55+ community.
One resident explained: “What an incredible community of individuals coming together to create an energetic, joyful environment. The combination of young families raising children and retired folks together volunteering to create a friendly and welcoming neighborhood is very special. In addition, children playing at the park and playground, laughter at the bus stops, planned family events to celebrate holidays, all provide the community with across the lifespan experiences.”
If what you want is a community that is both affordable and close-in, a place where people of all ages come together to enjoy life, talk to your agent about Spring Creek. Chances are you’ll find the perfect lot or home along with lots of activities and a host of new friends.
Celeste Smucker is a writer and blogger who lives near Charlottesville.