A Gated Community Loaded with Amenities
Spring Creek is a flourishing new home community at Zion Crossroads in Louisa County, where you can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with convenience, affordability and 24 hour security along with all of the benefits associated with living in a gated community that is loaded with amenities. Spring Creek is conveniently located just 20 minutes from Charlottesville on Interstate 64. The Richmond metro area with its job market, shopping and other amenities is easily accessible, with Short Pump a short 35-minute drive to the east.
Spring Creek is a gated community with an impressive array of amenities including a new clubhouse and a golf course that regularly receives awards as one of the best public courses both nationally and in Virginia. Residents of Spring Creek also enjoy lower home prices than are available closer in and significant savings in property taxes compared to either Albemarle or Charlottesville.
Spring Creek’s Real Estate Market
The real estate market in Spring Creek is doing well, with new construction showing some impressive gains. Even if you aren’t ready to build today, come reserve a lot. You can choose from one of Spring Creek’s quality builders, or bring your own when the time is right for you to move.
According to Susan Stewart, managing broker for Roy Wheeler Realty Co.’s Zion Crossroads office, “new construction is absolutely booming right now.”
Tom Woolfolk with the Crossroads office of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III agreed, saying, “New construction is doing well.” He added that it has also been a good year for resale, although the pace has slowed since August. He believes this is due in part to the fact that many Spring Creek families are move up buyers with children that want to get settled in a new home prior to the start of the school year. Recently several of the agents with listings in Spring Creek held their homes open on the same day. The event was successful bringing in lots of traffic, Woolfolk said.
Charlene Easter, with Spring Creek Realty, has lived in Spring Creek since the very beginning and is active in the community there. She explained that the biggest challenge for resale homes is that some are as much as ten years old, but are competing with new construction at the same price. Nevertheless, she added “if you price it right, it will move.”
The subdivision sales figures support her contention. Woolfolk reported that there were 43 sales between January and September in Spring Creek, and over a third of them were re-sales, a respectable showing in a subdivision with an active new construction market. Of course, new construction got a boost in October when Spring Creek was a featured neighborhood during the annual Parade of Homes.
“The builders are staying busy,” said Dan Girouard, with Spring Creek Realty. About the resale market, he described it as, “stronger than in years past,” adding that they are seeing homes sell more quickly with fewer days on the market compared to previous years.
A big plus for those wanting to live in Spring Creek, but who are not yet ready to move, is that they can purchase a lot and hold it until they are ready to start building. Buyers can choose from Ryan Homes, Stanley Martin Homes or Colony Builders who have model homes in the subdivision. Or they can choose from among the many quality builders in the area, many of who have built homes in Spring Creek and are familiar with all of the requirements.
People are taking advantage of this opportunity. “Prospects are buying and reserving lots,” Easter said, “and if they choose to build right away, in most cases they can be living in their new home in about six months, sooner if the project is not a custom build,” she continued.
A Welcoming Community
With its many amenities, Spring Creek appeals to a wide demographic of buyers—everyone from singles and families, most of whom are moving up, to empty nesters ready to downsize. There are a few re-sales currently available under $300,000, Easter explained, but the majority is between $300,000 and $400,000, with the most expensive new homes selling for just under $600,000.
There are many reasons to move to Spring Creek, but Easter says it is the sense of community that people experience there that makes them happy they chose it. “It truly feels like a community in the best sense,” she said. “They like that they can afford to live in a place that is welcoming and friendly where they can jump into neighborhood events.” She added that this is especially true for the many out of state people who move there who have few, if any, friends in the area. “We work hard at welcoming people, inviting them to functions like cookouts or book discussion groups.”
One focus for community activities is the clubhouse that just opened this year featuring a golf club, a pool, a fitness center and an event center for weddings, banquets and corporate functions. Tennis and basketball courts are available nearby. The golf course is nationally recognized, ranking #55 on Golf Digest’s 10 greatest public courses list for 2015-16.
The clubhouse also features Tavern on the Green, a restaurant open to the public that offers what Girouard calls “great specials,” including prime rib every Friday night, and Sunday brunch. The Tavern is on the lower level of the clubhouse with a view of the lake and the 18th green. The chef is happy to accommodate special dietary preferences such as vegan, gluten-free or kosher (just ask) and is committed to purchasing as many ingredients as possible from local farms
Woolfolk described the new clubhouse as a “nice addition,” adding that if you enjoy a meal at Tavern on the Green “you will not be disappointed.”
The clubhouse also offers many different kinds of activities designed to increase community involvement and interaction. For example, the children enjoyed an afternoon party on Halloween, while many of their parents socialized nearby at Tavern on the Green, Easter said. The party was followed by an outdoor movie that everyone enjoyed together, and, Easter added, one of the best parts of the day’s festivities was that “no one had to get in a car and be on the road to participate.”
Another example of the clubhouse bringing people together is an activity called pickle ball. “It’s the new thing,” Easter said. They 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’s a blast, a lot of fun,” Easter said, adding that there is not as much running around as with tennis so it is less strenuous. It appeals to former tennis players who “take it very seriously,” while others are more relaxed and just have fun. “It’s a great way to get outside and be together,” she continued.
In yet another community activity, last year some of the retirees created a park where they built some picnic tables including smaller tables for kids. “This was a great example of a mixed generation activity,” Easter said.
Spring Creek Has Something for Everyone
The many amenities and housing styles available at Spring Creek make it a top choice for a wide range of buyers with different budgets, interests and tastes. While most are move up buyers or downsizers, there are even a few first timers.
“About 40 percent of the Spring Creek buyers are young professionals with families,” Girouard said, adding that many are new in their careers and want a neighborhood, which is family oriented with amenities like the playground, tennis and basketball courts and walking trails. Most commute into either Richmond or Charlottesville for work.
Fortunately Louisa County has some top rated schools, two of which, the high school and Thomas Jefferson Elementary, were recently rebuilt after they were damaged by the 2011 earthquake. The new high school recently received a Bronze Award based on student achievement, putting it in the top 25 percent of high schools in the country.
Spring Creek also is popular with retirement-aged buyers who come from all over, although a large number come from Northern Virginia, Girouard explained. Often they are returning to an area they fell in love with when they were students at UVA.
Others relocate there because they like the community or want to be near children and grandchildren, Easter said. Still others passed through at one time or another during their earlier lives and decided they would come back to enjoy retirement in this area so full of natural beauty.
Many of the downsizers moving into Spring Creek are people who have enjoyed living in large homes in nearby communities such as Glenmore or Lake Monticello. Girouard explained that often these individuals want a smaller house, but still want to enjoy all of the amenities that come with a gated community on a golf course.
At Spring Creek they can build a brand new one-level home customized to meet their age and health related needs with universal design features that allow them to stay independent for as long as possible. Louisa’s lower property taxes compared to nearby communities are also a draw and “this feature is especially appealing to people on strict budgets,” Girouard added as is the opportunity to purchase a much more energy efficient home than their previous one.
Tee Tucker, with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III, described one such downsizing couple that moved to Spring Creek from where they had been living on 29 North. Not yet retired, they moved in part because of the easier commute to work and activities in town. Many such individuals are transitioning to a one level home, or are a family who needs a two story but choose a floor plan with the master bedroom on the main level.
A Home Away from the Hustle and Bustle
Part of the appeal of Spring Creek is that it is near the amenities of town, but still retains a more rural character in spite of a rapidly growing commercial sector that includes Walmart, Lowes, a variety of restaurants and medical care options from both Martha Jefferson and UVA.
If you are looking for a community with a lot of amenities that is both affordable and close in, ask your agent about Spring Creek. There is a good selection of lots to choose from, as well as a small number of resale properties available for more immediate move in.
By Celeste M. Smucker, PhD
Celeste Smucker is a writer, blogger and author who lives near Charlottesville.