Fredericksburg First Fridays!

Fredericksburg First Fridays!

Come for the History, Stay for the Art

Everybody knows about Fredericksburg’s historical significance, but we’re also home to a burgeoning art scene with a myriad of art galleries, workshops and independent artists! We celebrate our vibrant artistic community on the first Friday of every month: galleries, restaurants, cafes, shops and even workout studios open their doors to showcase local artists. In the warmer months, it’s not uncommon to see musicians on the street and a friendly crowd enjoying refreshments as they traipse from business to business downtown. There’s even a free First Friday trolley from 6-9pm with stops near many of the galleries and convenient free parking lots! If you’re visiting Fredericksburg, the trolley runs through some of our City’s charming residential neighborhoods so you can get a feel for what it’s like to live here! 

Home is an Art Form

We’re especially excited about this First Friday because we’re hosting “Home is an Art Form,” a showcase of many local artists from LibertyTown Arts Workshop in our Downtown office at 520 William Street! We’ll also have renderings of the gorgeous to-be-built condos at 600 Amelia St on display, a specialty thyme-based cocktail courtesy of Sedona Taphouse and plenty of refreshments! It’s shaping up to a be a beautiful night out and we’re so happy to be participating in the First Friday tradition!

Some of the other notable First Friday exhibits are the terrarium workshop at Ponshop, the Route 66-themed photography exhibit at Brush Strokes Gallery, and the UMW Invitational Student Art Show across the street from us at LibertyTown Arts!

We’d love to see everyone out this Friday at our Home is an Art Form exhibit! We’re right next to Stop F on the trolley, so grab a free cocktail and some snacks while you peruse the art!

Coldwell Banker Elite Wins Business of the Year!

Coldwell Banker Elite Wins Business of the Year!

business of the year

We are so honored to receive the Large Business of the Year Award this past Saturday from the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce! The Chamber of Commerce awards this honor to the “company that balances business success with a dedication to improving the community’s quality of life.” We’ve been proud to be actively involved in the Fredericksburg community since 1977 when our founder, Kevin Breen, started his real estate business. In 1982, he opened the first Coldwell Banker franchise in Virginia and we’ve been the area’s premier real estate company ever since! With our acquisition of the Coldwell Banker Carriage House office in Downtown Fredericksburg this January, we’ll continue to be the Fredericksburg area’s best source for real estate knowledge.businessoftheyear

At Coldwell Banker Elite, we know that people make a community – not land or buildings or leases or franchises. We’re committed to giving back to our wonderful community by supporting multiple local charities. We raise $20,000 annually for the Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity, host fundraisers and sponsor adoptions for the Fredericksburg Regional SPCA, support the Rappahannock Big Brothers and Big Sisters program as well as sponsoring a lecture in the UMW Great Lives Series. For over 20 years, we’ve sponsored the Coldwell Banker Elite Grand Prix, a series of ten sporting events in which more than 4,000 athletes compete each year to raise cash for various charities. Aside from fundraising and sponsorships, we also have plenty of agents, staff, and brokers who are personally volunteer for each of these charitable causes. We’re here to stay, and that means helping make life a little better for our neighbors.kevin breen

Thank you to the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce for recognizing us as the Large Business of the Year! We truly  appreciate all of our wonderful clients, friends, business partners and agents who make it easy to love our jobs!

Lake of the Woods: Neighborhood Guide

Lake of the Woods: Neighborhood Guide

lake of the woods

Imagine the leaves crunching under your feet, a family of swans swimming past your living room window, and access to tons of amenities like a gorgeous clubhouse and golf course…now imagine this community was full of affordable and well-kept houses. At the Lake of the Woods, this isn’t an unrealistic dream—it’s everyday life for the families loving the picturesque lake lifestyle only a few miles from Central Park and I-95.

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The Lake of the Woods is a gated, secured community with two lakes, a golf course, clubhouse with a restaurant, an equestrian center, their own fire and rescue department, and walking trails all within the gates. Whether your family is into boating, water sports, golfing, horseback riding or simply soaking in the natural splendor—it’s all there at Lake of the Woods. The best part of living in the Lake of the Woods isn’t even the great location or the luxurious amenities, it’s the wonderful people and sense of community. Aside from being able to meet friendly people out walking dogs and exploring the fitness trails, there are over 60 clubs and organizations to get involved with!

golf

My favorite part of the community is the equestrian center! All the horses are happy and healthy, and I had a lovely time just hanging out and giving all of them some pats and neck scratches! It was such a perfect way to de-stress on a fall day! The stable offers riding lessons for kids and adults as well as boarding, if you are looking for a convenient place to keep your horse!

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The clubhouse is really elegant, large enough to host meetings and has a nice restaurant inside! If you’re a fitness buff, there are plenty of walking trails, parks and a fitness center that is available to all residents. The golf course is especially picturesque and there are plenty of foursomes out on weekends, if you’re looking for a golfing partner! It’s especially easy to get out on your boat if your home is waterfront, but there are also plenty of launch sites and beaches for boating enthusiasts.

clubhouse

Lake of the Woods also has some really interesting history if you’re interested! There’s a Civil War Study Group formed by Lake of the Woods residents, and an excerpt about the area from “Germanna Road: Three Hundred Year History of Lower Orange County, Virginia,” by Peter Rainey notes:

“The community was developed in 1968 by Virginia Wildlife Clubs as a seasonal, weekend, or vacation spot. It borders the Germanna Highway, originally the path made by the inhabitants of Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood’s Germanna colony in 1714. Seventy years later, his grandson, Capt. John Spotswood, inherited all the land that includes Lake of the Woods and built his home “Orange Grove.” John served in the 10th Virginia Regiment, was wounded and captured in 1779, and paroled at the request of General Washington. Across Germanna Road lie the relics of the Vaucluse Gold Mine, which is the best known of the mines in the county’s largest gold producing area until 1848. Part of the area of Lake of the Woods was owned before the Civil War by mining companies, including the Orange Grove Mining Company.”

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If you’re curious about living in the Lake of the Woods, stop by our Locust Grove office directly across from the front entrance of the Lake of the Woods for a map of the community or our beautiful website to see the latest listings!

2016 Parade of Homes: Behind the Scenes

2016 Parade of Homes: Behind the Scenes

parade of homes

Congratulations to the Fredericksburg Area Builders’ Association Parade of Homes Winners for 2016! This year, I was lucky enough to be one of the judges for the Single Family Home $275,000–$325,000 division. Realtors from all different brokerages from around the Fredericksburg area volunteered to be judges and spend the day driving around to newly-built homes to decide which home offered the best value for the money, based on their aesthetic and structural aspects.

Spear Griffin

The Griffin at Ladysmith Village

Each group of Realtors toured 4-5 homes, using an exhaustive rubric to judge every room and aspect of the home. Among the categories for adjudication were the floor plan, the utility/support spaces and outdoor living spaces as well as each individual room in the home and exterior curb appeal. Each category had its own subset of criteria for which the home could win points. Just to give you an idea of how thorough these criteria were, the exterior of each home was judged on not only the general curb appeal, but also the overall architectural design, aesthetic use of material, craftsmanship, landscaping and character/style.

reese foundation

The Reese at Lake Land ‘Or

For each home, the team of Realtors from all different brokerages had to reach a consensus on an overall score. Thankfully, my group was almost always in agreement for each of the homes. There were aspects of each home that pleasantly surprised us, as well as drawbacks to every home! We were really impressed with the quality and craftsmanship we saw in all of the homes we judged and it was actually really difficult to choose a winner!

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The Griffin at Ladysmith Village

At the end of the day, we chose the Griffin at Ladysmith Village built by Spear Builders, which was priced at $320k. This home really blew us away. From the unique Craftsman-style exterior to the custom lighting, every detail of the home was beautiful. The home was painted in coordinating on-trend colors, and the kitchen featured a nice built-in desk area beneath a wine rack. The fireplace mantel was made of 100-year-old salvaged wood, giving it a truly unique look. The upstairs floor plan was my only drawback for this home, as I found it slightly cramped. This home really set the bar for style and character for our group as well as value for the money.

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The Griffin at Ladysmith Village

If you’d like to see all the homes and judge for yourself, you can visit the Parade of Homes website or see them in person this weekend, Oct 8-9!

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The Halifax at Maury Heights

Here’s the list of all the winners of each division:

▪Townhome $220,000–$290,000: Ryan Homes “The Mendelssohn at Governors Row”

▪Tiny Homes: Tiny House Building Model “The Alpine”

▪Single Family $275,000–$325,000: Spear Builders of Virginia, Inc “The Griffin at Ladysmith Village”

▪Single Family $340,000–$375,000: Thompson Building Corporation “The Halifax at Maury Heights”

▪Single Family $390,000–$430,000: Ryan Homes “The Corsica at Chancellorsville Crossing”

▪Single Family $480,000–$540,000: Lennar “The McClellan at Embrey Mill”

▪Single Family $575,000–$610,000: Bryton Homes “The Greenbrier at Bell Valley”

▪Single Family $625,000–$700,000: J. Hall Homes, Inc. “The Edinburgh at River Glen”

▪Single Family $1,000,000 and Up: Mendleson Development Company, LLC “The Winnifred at Fawn Lake”

▪Realtors Choice Award Townhome Best Overall Home for the Value: Lennar “The Westover in Rappahanock Landing”

▪Realtors Choice Award Single Family Best Overall Home for the Value: J. Hall Homes Inc. “River Glen”