2nd Homes in Charlottesville, VA
Second homes, and gardens, grow in Charlottesville, Va.
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It's home to both the University of Virginia and Piedmont Community College, and its eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and architecture has been wooing buyers since Thomas Jefferson built his estate, Monticello, here.
"There is a big second-home market," says Len Mailloux, associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III. "UVA is definitely the biggest appeal, and a lot of owners come regularly for big sporting and cultural events." Accordingly, most second-home buyers are from nearby drive markets: Richmond or Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
"We also get a lot of buyers from Florida who come in the hot months. For a town this size (40,000), we have great restaurants, great health care, a temperate climate and a pedestrian-friendly downtown," Mailloux says. "It's a big golf and retirement community, and we are surrounded with beautiful horse country and one of the nation's most scenic highways (State Route 231). We have 21 wineries within a 45-minute drive."
Architecture has been important here since Jeffersonian times, and another building Jefferson helped design is now part of the clubhouse at Farmington, a longstanding golf community. At the newer end of the spectrum, another top golf community, Keswick Hall, is offering homes designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern. The return-to-downtown movement is happening here, too, and the area around UVA is sprouting new condos and attracting second-home buyers.
A look at three Charlottesville neighborhoods
• Keswick Estate. Keswick is a historic district just east of downtown and close to Monticello. The biggest draw is Keswick Hall, a 600-acre gated community that is home to the Keswick Club with an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, an Orient Express hotel, and the Estates at Keswick Hall, 124 home sites ranging from 2 to 8 acres. The first two phases have been built, and the third and final phase includes 39 sites with Robert A.M. Stern designs available. Lots start at $345,000, with existing residences from $900,000 to nearly $5 million.
• Downtown. Anchored by a large pedestrian mall and walking distance of the University of Virginia, downtown is suddenly hot, with many new condos to choose from. "New condos are attracting a demographic looking to spend under $500,000," Mailloux says. "You could be in a two-bedroom condo, and walk to both downtown and UVA, for $250,000 to $300,000. The Gleason is a new building offering condos from $300,000 to $800,000."
• Ednam. "This is probably the most popular second-home area right now, with everything from condos and townhomes to detached single family homes," says Mailloux. Located just west of downtown, it is a large, non-gated master-planned community that is completely built-out and well-established. One appeal for second-home buyers is that maintenance fees include "everything down to the landscaping and lawn care," with about 150 houses and condos from $500,000 to $1.2 million.
ON THE MARKET
Midrange price: $635,000
High price: $2,795,000
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