Price range: $150,000-$399,000
Schools: Greenbrier, Walker, Buford, CHS
Pros: location, value
Cons: age of some of the homes
Mention the name Greenbrier and you might think first of the highly-rated city elementary school or the popular park that features a spray garden, playground and walking trails. The neighborhood that shares their name is worth a look as well. Consisting of nearly 650 acres in the northern section of Charlottesville, it was originally part of Albemarle County, but was annexed by the city in 1964. Bordered by the 250 Bypass, Brandywine Drive, Rio Road, and the Albemarle County border, Greenbrier is a neighborhood of primarily single-family homes on lots ranging in size from one-tenth to three-quarters of an acre. Not a place for those seeking sprawling square footage, it nonetheless has plenty of perks to keep values high and residents happy.
Greenbrier Park, an undeveloped tract of 28.3 acres featuring walking and biking trails along Meadow Creek, was deeded to the city of Charlottesville by the Greenbrier Corporation in 1965. Home to what is believed to be one of only two natural marshes in Virginia’s Piedmont region, Greenbrier Park is currently affected by both the Meadowcreek Restoration Project and the Meadowcreek Sewer Interceptor Replacement project, though its trails are slated to be improved and restored during these processes.
Information on these issues and pictures of the progress, as well as the latest in neighborhood news can be found on the website maintained by the Greenbrier Neighborhood Association (http://gnaweb.org). Unlike a homeowners assocation which has the legal authority to enforce rules and regulations regarding restrictions and building and safety issues, a neighborhood association is a group of neighbors who work together for changes and improvement in neighborhood safety, beautification and, sometimes, social activities. Both membership in, and dues paid to, a neighborhood association, are voluntary.
Over the past two years, there have been 26 sales reported for the Greenbrier area in the MLS, the majority of which sold within six months or less, and some of which were on the market for less than two weeks. Currently, there are three homes available, ranging in price from $190,000 to $335,000 and in size from 1,300-2,500 sq. ft.
Lindsay Milby, a realtor with Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates, has sold several homes in Greenbrier and says she expects strong sales to continue. “I don’t see any cons," she says. "It’s a fantastic neighborhood with solid homes and big yards, it feeds into great schools, and it’s convenient to just about everything– Stonefield, Whole Foods, and now downtown with the back way out to the Meadowcreek Parkway.”
In terms of value, Milby says, “You can get more bang for your buck in Greenbrier than you can in other city neighborhoods.”
If there is a con, she notes, “it’s that some of the homes are kind of dated, but even that can be a positive because it means you can get a solidly built house at a good price and redo it to your own tastes.”
Indeed, many of the homes in Greenbrier are ranch-style houses built in the late 1950’s or 60’s, with a few colonials and split-levels of a similar era tossed in. A number of the homes in the area are within easy walking distance of both the elementary school and the park, offering residents the possibility of experiencing a lifestyle more in keeping with the vintage of their homes than the present day.
As Milby points out, Greenbrier homes may not appeal to buyers seeking either a modern subdivision or newly constructed homes, but those houses typically come at a higher price and are often accompanied by HOA dues and regulations. Those who appreciate a convenient location, a solid value, and the stability of an established neighborhood may find Greenbrier worthy of consideration.