Construction continues on Phase II
Location: Wickham Pond
Price range: $216,00-$376,800
Schools: Brownsville, Henley, Western
Pros: visual appeal, amenities, location
Cons: small size of lots, ongoing construction
The green, blue and yellow hues of the townhouses at Wickham Pond stand out amid the more traditional colors of the homes in the subdivisions that flank it. Situated on route 240 heading into Crozet and developed by Weather Hill Homes, Wickham Pond is a planned community of both single family and attached houses. In addition to the colorful exteriors, the designs of the 100% Energy Star Certified homes are reminiscent of the New England-style homes found on Martha’s Vineyard. Front porches and yards surrounded by picket fences add to the distinctive appearance of the subdivision
According to the code of development, the design particulars of the homes in Wickham Pond were meticulously planned and tightly regulated. An emphasis on street design to promote slow speed travel and the preservation of significant amounts of community green space were also part of the plan.
The latter is an amenity that has strong appeal for Blair Hathaway, a Wickham Pond homeowner. “I don’t have a lot of personal green space,” she says, “but that’s balanced by the generous amount of common space available in the neighborhood.”
Hathaway, who previously lived at Forest Lakes, was pleasantly surprised to discover that she didn’t miss the convenience of shopping at the Hollymead Town Center as much as she anticipated after relocating to Crozet. “We have proximity to two grocery stores, the Y, restaurants and schools, and we’re really excited for the new library,” she says. “There aren’t sidewalks leading all the way into downtown Crozet, but it’s within biking distance.”
And if she needs an item from a big box store, Hathaway doesn’t hesitate to take the drive over Afton Mountain into Waynesboro, which she finds an easier route than a trip to her old neighborhood. “I really don’t miss the traffic on 29,” she says.
Other homebuyers obviously share Hathaway’s appreciation for this Crozet community. There’ve been eight sales in Wickham Pond this year, seven of which were newly built homes and one that was a foreclosure. Of the 10 current listings, only two are resales, statistics that appear good for the builders, but may not be as beneficial for private owners. It can be hard for the sellers of a previously lived-in home to present a product that competes with the prospect of owning a brand-new house, customized to a buyer’s tastes and specifications.
According to Kristin Cummings Streed, a realtor with Loring Woodriff Associates and the original marketing agent for the townhouses on Painted Sky Terrace, strong activity is not unusual for the Wickham Pond market.
“Sales were very brisk when these houses were introduced,” she says of the attached homes built by Southern Development. “Most of the properties I handled sold before construction was complete, and the majority of those were sold to investors.”
Which brings up another interesting facet of Wickham Pond— the rental market. The MLS indicates that five homes have rented in the community this year with monthly rates ranging from $1,595-$2,200.
Along with Southern Development, builders in Wickham Pond originally included Weather Hill Builders and Church Hill Homes, as well as a few others— some of whom built spec homes that went into foreclosure, but Ryan Homes is currently the predominant builder in the subdivision. Judging by the number of Craftsman-style homes in various stages of completion, demand for properties in Wickham Pond is as strong as ever.
The continuing construction is another drawback, albeit a temporary one, according to Hathaway, who nonetheless sees a bright side. “I understand that we’re eventually going to get some commercial space in here. Some offices, maybe even a coffee shop,” she says. “Personally, I’d love it if Mudhouse moved in!”