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Williamsburg VA Real Estate “Living in Stonehouse” First person account

The following is excepted from the Stonehouse Gazette a newsletter for Stonehouse residents in Toano, VA I wanted to share it with anyone thinking of moving to the Williamsburg Va area. It gives a great sense of living in the area and relocating from NY.

Playing the role of Adolph Phillipse at the Philipsburg Manor restoration site in Sleepy Hollow, NY, circa 1750, where  he worked on Saturdays as an interpreter is only one of the many facets of Bob Spencer who, with  his wife Carolyn, resides in The Orchard Hill section of Stonehouse in Toano, James City County Virginia Just a few minutes drive from Williamsburg VA.

 This Princeton University and Columbia University Law School graduate’s current activities in the Williambsurg VA area  include Board Member of the Peninsula Agency for the Aging, Board Member of Vibrant Life Ministry, Rotary Club member, Richmond Civil War Roundtable, Christopher Wren lecturer, Williamsburg United Methodist Church, James City County Concerned Citizens, and, of course, the  Stonehouse Board of Directors. This, and more, in addition to a continuing legal practice in Westchester County, New York.

Bob and Carolyn moved to Stonehouse in 2005 after 38 years in Tarrytown, NY. “It took us about 30 minutes to decide to live here,” he said. Having discovered Stonehouse on their own, they were “very impressed” with the look and feel of the community. “We really loved the design of our house and the relatively small lot,  which meant less upkeep.” Compared with Westchester County, the low real estate taxes and the low cost of the golf course were real “bonuses.” ( in the Williamsburg VA area)

What they like best about living in the  Stonehouse community in Toano VA is “the many new friends that we have made, particularly the Orchard Hill group. We also appreciate the country feel of the community and the fact that the developer really did leave many trees.”

In his third year as a member of the Board, Bob says he spends “an average of 10 hours per week” on community business. In his “spare time,” he tries to play golf ( there are 16+ public courses in the Williamsburg Va area)  but says, “My golfing partners have to put up with a lot.” He and Carolyn are looking forward to a family reunion in July, which will be attended by their two biological sons, two adopted Korean daughters, their foster daughter, their Rotary Exchange daughter from Belgium, and their 8 grandchildren.

As Board President of Stonehouse for the past 2 years, Bob’s goal was “to keep residents advised of Board activities as much as possible; to give residents an opportunity to communicate with the Board; and to maintain Stonehouse as a quality place to live.” He is most proud of “guiding the community through the transition from developer control to owner control” and the dedication of so many residents who provide outstanding community service on committees and other volunteer activities.

His long-range goals include “having more resident involvement in community activities of Stonehouse; completing the transition; evaluating resident responses to the Strategic Planning Committee; implementing suggestions that will continue to make Stonehouse a community for all residents, including our children; and working with GS Stonehouse ( The new owner of the undeveloped part of Stonehouse) to develop the overall community.”

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2 Responses

  1. I was so very happy to see a fellow northerner involved at Stonehouse, as my husband and I have decided to purchase a home in Stonehouse .I was on the auxiliary board of St. Agnes hospital for 8 yrs. before it merged with Westchester Medical Center for 1. Since moving to Bowling green ky. I have been on the Humane Society’s Fur Ball committee, I am also involved with big Brothers Big sisters events. I recently have been asked to be on the Rainhill Equine Rescue board but declined due to our move. I am still very much involved and will continue to do as much as I can for their fund raising. After we settle in my hope is to be involved in fund raising for your Humane Society and any other event that might find me useful. We a looking forward to our move to Stonehouse. Andrea and James Austin

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