This is the first in an occasional series of articles about interesting homes in the Williamsburg, Yorktown, Gloucester VA area called “ Every Home Has a Story”
There’s a rhythm to the lifestyle that Bill and Anne Tennent enjoy from their Gloucester waterfront retreat on the Ware River. Mornings often start slow and relaxing, with coffee on their deck while watching the river change color as the tide comes in and the sun rises. Bill might head out for a quiet hour with his boat and his fishing pole before returning to take Anne for a more lively spin along the Ware as the day gets warmer. Some days the couple makes the 10-minute drive to old town Gloucester for an art exhibit or a festival along the village’s historic Main Street, perhaps followed by dinner at one of the intimate restaurants there. Then they head back home to their sunroom for panoramic views of a breathtaking sunset across the water, sometimes catching sight of a heron or an egret in the fading light. As Anne puts it, “We have the best of all worlds here.”
Anne and Bill moved from Richmond to their 7148 Wellford Lane home in 2005 for two reasons: the water and one-level living. “Richmond is a city of mostly two-story houses, and we didn’t want stairs, so a one-level rambler was great for us,” said Anne. “We’d also always wanted a house on the water, and a friend with a house in Gloucester kept talking about how great it is here.”
When Anne and Bill first walked into their riverfront rambler seven years ago, they were immediately taken with the dramatic vista looking from the foyer straight through the living room and screened porch to the river. The house was a bit dated then but it had great bones, a nice flow and plenty of room; they saw its potential. They also saw that in addition to a pier and boathouse, the house had a nearly one-acre yard with lawns and beautiful, mature trees.
And then there was the neighborhood. “You feel like you’re in the country when you’re here, but it’s actually a 1960s era neighborhood,” said Anne. “It’s near shopping, a hospital and the village of Gloucester, and it’s about 30-45 minutes from Williamsburg and all the shopping you could ever want.” The couple was sold.
Before they moved in, Bill and Anne completely renovated the house, installing new windows and creating extra space with modern amenities. They added a master bedroom suite to the back of the house; it includes a bathroom with double sink vanity, shower, separate tub, and a large, river-facing window that floods the room with natural light. The couple also converted the screened porch off the living room to an all weather sunroom with scenic water views. “The back of the house faces in a southwest direction, so we get spectacular sunsets every night,” Anne noted. “I can’t even describe how beautiful they are.”
The old kitchen was transformed; it now includes granite countertops, eat-in space beside a large window, and unusual, refinished multi-wood floors. “The wood floors are the prettiest I’ve ever seen,” Anne said, noting that they run through most of the house except the bedrooms, baths and sunroom. “They’re a combination of red oak, hickory, and black oak all mixed together with their different grains, and in varying widths of wood.”
Now the rambler totals 2,675 square feet with four bedrooms and three baths. It includes a dining room, a living room (Anne’s favorite room because of its water views), a family room with fireplace, and the sunroom with a bay window overlooking the river. Anne describes it as “a pretty, livable house.” Outside there are two connected decks, a hot tub, a landscaped yard with lawns in the front and back, and a bird proofed pier leading to a boathouse and boat lift.
Anne and Bill quickly meshed with their Glen Roy neighborhood. “It’s an eclectic neighborhood of young families and older couples,” Anne said. “It’s very friendly and most of the houses have full time residents; they’re not vacation homes.” She and Bill have not only enjoyed attending neighborhood gatherings –such as a recent Italian feast—but also have hosted the neighborhood’s annual Christmas party.
With the village of Gloucester so close, there is always something to do, from the holiday parades and the Daffodil or “Blues and Brews” festivals to the Virginia Symphony concerts, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, or just soaking up the ambiance of historic Main Street, which Anne terms “almost like a fairy tale.” Nearby Beaverdam Park offers hiking, boat rentals, a playground and special events such as bass tournaments. “For such a small place, there’s an awful lot going on,” said Anne. “If you’re bored here you’re just not looking around.”
Yet for all the area has to offer, it’s the times at home that Anne loves most. Although they could navigate the “big water” all the way to the Chesapeake Bay from their place, they prefer to stay closer to home, on the Ware. “I have three grandchildren who love to visit and ride in the boat. We’ve had big family gatherings here. Just recently my little, 2 year-old granddaughter was swinging in the back yard while the boys were on the dock with their fishing poles. I’m so glad to have the house to be able to do this with them.”
“At night it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop,” Anne added. “You look up at the sky and it’s wide open; you see all the stars so clearly, like when you walk the beach at night. This is a wonderful place.”
Anne and Bill have decided to downsize and move to Williamsburg to be closer to their daughter. They have put their home on the market for $400,000 through John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf, a real estate agent with Liz Moore and Associates. For more information about the home contact John at 757-254-8136 or at John@MrWilliamsburg.com
What’s Your Home’s Story ?
Want to explore marketing your home with Mr Williamsburg ?To get an idea of what your home might sell for, and learn about Mr. Williamsburg’s innovative marketing program contact John at 757-254-8136 or at John@MrWilliamsburg.com