119 Falcon Drive — 4 BR, 3 full & 1 half-bath, 5916 sq. ft., 3.28 acres; asking price: $1,100,000; assessment: $924,100; Steve McLean, McLean Faulconer, Inc., 434-981-1863
Location: Colthurst Farm
Price range: $461,500-$1,100,000
Schools: Greer, Jouett, Albemarle
Pros: proximity to town, quality of contruction, solid values
Cons: some homes in need of updating and renovation
Royal beginnings for Colthurst Farm? Apparently so. According to the history recounted on the site maintained by the Colthurst Farm Property Owners Association, the subdivision that sits a short distance west of Charlottesville on Barracks Road was once a portion of a Crown Grant received by Michael Holland in the late 18th century that also included land that's now home to Farmington Country Club, Birdwood, and St. Anne’s-Belfield School.
In the 19th century, the land from the original Crown Grant was divided and sold to several purchasers, one of whom was William B. Colthurst. Though the Colthurst property was established as a working farm, it was surrounded by Inglecress and Ingleside, two horse farms once owned by the Garth family, which are now upscale subdivisions.
In the late 1950s, Colthurst was purchased by developers who began the process of transforming the land into a residential community of 60 homesites ranging in size from one to three-and-a-half acres. Several years later, the developers sold the entire subdivision to a pair of Colthurst Farm property owners, Mary Helen and Jimmie Jessup— whose family founded the local Pepsi bottling plant in 1908— and who completed the development themselves.
The Nest Realty website describes Colthurst Farm as a “desirable spot where residents tend to stay put”— a characterization supported by the fact that there have been just two homes offered for sale in this neighborhood over the past two years, both of which sold within approximately six months of being listed. That makes the current inventory in Colthurst something of a rarity: the six listings include a buildable lot, two to-be-built custom homes, and three existing houses, one of which has been on the market for approximately a year.
So what is it about Colthurst that keeps its residents so happy and minimizes turnover?
Lindsay Milby, realtor with Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates and listing agent for 107 Reynard Drive, feels that the neighborhood’s appeal is obvious.
“Colthurst is a great community. There are large houses on lovely lots with mature landscaping,” says Milby, who was also the selling agent for another home on Reynard Drive. “And it’s literally five minutes to town. It’s hard to find communities of this quality that close to town.”
Current residents are investing in their homes by updating and renovating them, Milby says. “And that helps keep the values solid. Plus, the quality of these homes, which are a little bit older, is unmatched— in my opinion— by comparable new construction.”
Indeed, the homes found in this subdivision, where street names like Reynard and Tally Ho evoke images of the foxhunting that once took place here, are nothing if not stately. Both the Colthurst homes that sold most recently are in excess of 4,000 square feet as are the majority of the current listings.
So, what’s not to like?
The downside is that if buyers want a home with really high ceilings or an open floor plan, they may have to do renovations, because some of the houses lack those modern amenities, Milby says.
While the Colthurst Farm Property Owners site is long on history, it’s skimpy on both details and updates. The CPOA documents, including bylaws and restrictions, are available only to members, and the most recent post dates back to 2010. Though the site describes Colthurst as a “restricted” development, the Homeowners Association dues are less than $100 per year and cover road maintenance and snow removal.
There’s one additional potential drawback to Colthurst Farms, at least for some buyers: the prices. The two most recent sales were in the upper $400,000 and $500,000 range, and the current offerings start at $575,000 — a steep entry fee, even for a great community in a convenient location.