Jen and Todd’s Ford Colony Home
“We wanted a big house that had a great layout; we wanted our first really great family home.” That was Jen’s main goal when she and her husband, Todd, began their house search in the Williamsburg area after moving there from Cleveland. Of course, that perfect family home had to be located in the perfect neighborhood, one that was “quiet, safe and friendly.” And when they found their 3,200 square-foot home on Red Berkshire in Ford’s Colony, all those boxes were ticked.
“The layout of this home is just fantastic. Every inch of it is space that is used, and we knew it would be great for parties,” says Jen about the 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath house. “We also liked that the home was so updated because it was a newer house.” The two-story Colonial was built in 2008.
Ideal great room and kitchen. The main floor has open living and dining rooms, an eat-in kitchen, a master bedroom suite, and a two-story great room that has become Jen’s favorite space as her family has grown to include three young daughters and a dog. “The great room is flooded with beautiful light. You can look out and see the back yard and the tall trees,” Jen notes. “It also has a gas fireplace that we use often. It’s a great family space.”
The spacious, up-to-date kitchen has granite tile countertops, stainless steel appliances, an island, and dark cabinets. “The kitchen has a clean, contemporary feel,” Jen says. She added a touch of whimsy by painting a chalk board for the kids on one wall.
Jen, who claims she is “not a cook but I try really hard,” especially loves the kitchen’s double ovens. “They are so wonderful for parties. For Easter, we had a big family dinner, and used one oven for a ham and the other for a turkey. It worked out great.”
Master bedroom flexibility. The first floor is also home to the master bedroom suite, which includes a large walk-in closet and a bathroom with double sinks and a jetted whirlpool tub. When their girls were very young, the couple used the main floor master suite as a guest bedroom, and converted a second floor bonus room into their master bedroom. “It worked out just fine because that bonus room is large, big enough to fit a pool table,” Jen says, noting that the room adjoins a bathroom. “When the kids got older we moved into the master bedroom suite on the first floor, and now use the bonus room as a guest bedroom, office, and playroom.”
The second floor also has three bedrooms used by the girls, two of them connected with a Jack and Jill bathroom with two sinks. “The girls just loved running back and forth to each other’s rooms through the bathroom,” Jen says, noting that all of the bedrooms are “a good size.”
The back yard party place. Jen and Todd bought their home with plans to do plenty of entertaining there, and they have done just that. Many of their parties have extended to the large, flat back yard, which Jen describes as “the yard everyone wants to come to.” The fully fenced yard includes swings, a slide, and a climbing wall for the kids. An extended back deck accommodates a grill and three tables.
“We love to grill out, and to have family and friends join us,” Jen notes. “We especially throw really big birthday parties for the girls. We go all out with decorations inside and out, and lots of games. We’ve even rented a bounce house, which the kids loved.”
Close-knit community. “I love our neighborhood,” Jen adds. “It’s quiet, there is little traffic, and it’s flat, so it’s wonderful for walking, running, and riding bikes.”
The Ford’s Colony-Berkshire community stays connected through the Next Door social networking site. “We are an eclectic mix of retires and families, all of us borrowing from each other and watching out for each other,” Jen points out. She and one of her neighbors started a monthly pot luck party tradition, where families gather at a different person’s home each month. “Our neighborhood also does twice a year block parties,” she notes.
There are also planned activities through the Ford’s Colony Country Club, which is within walking distance of Jen’s home. “They have a lot of activities, bands, Pilates, and all kinds of clubs. There’s a newsletter that lets us know about everything, and keeps people involved.” Jen notes that the community also offers “Colony Kids” holiday events such as a July 4 parade and an Easter egg hunt. The pool also offers social activities.
The Ford’s Colony security staff keep families feeling safe. “They will check on your home while you’re on vacation,” Jen says. “If you lose a dog, they’ll help with that. They’re great.”
Amenities and location. Ford’s Colony is known for its amenities, which include award-winning golf courses, a country club, swimming pools, tennis courts, and 12 miles of beautiful walking/biking trails. Jen and Todd are not golfers, but they often use the pools and the trails. “I’m a runner, and I use the trails all the time,” Jen says. “This is just a beautiful place, with everything so well maintained.” Their girls frequently enjoy one of the Ford’s Colony playgrounds.
The location of Ford’s Colony also has been ideal for Jen and Todd. It’s just a quick drive to Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, and the outlet shopping malls.
Although they love their home, Jen and Todd have decided it’s time to move on. To help find a new family for this “great family home” they are working with John Womeldorf, the real estate agent who helped them find their home five years ago. “We first began working with John while we were still in Cleveland,” Jen says, noting she found him after searching online for an agent with “a great marketing presence” in Williamsburg. “We subscribed to his blog, and got a lot of great information about Williamsburg. He was so accommodating to us as out-of-towners, sending us videos and other information … and he was helpful and patient through the process of finding us the right home.” Jen laughs. “You can’t go wrong with a guy named Mr. Williamsburg!”
Why the stories? Because these aren’t just houses, they’re homes.
Mr. Williamsburg knows that when you’re looking for a new place, you’re searching for more than just four walls plus amenities, you’re looking for that welcoming refuge we call home. That’s why we go beyond the standard “4 bedrooms, 3 baths on large lot” statistics, to share how others have lived in this house, to reveal the home’s unique personality, to help you decide whether this is a place where your family could thrive.
Likewise, we realize that you’re seeking not simply a development within a particular zip code, but also an opportunity to become part of a community. That’s why we share our sellers’ experiences as members of that neighborhood.
We trust these stories will assist you in finding your way home.
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