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Old 05-19-2008, 06:39 PM
8 posts, read 51,395 times
Reputation: 14


Hubby and I are PCSing to HR this summer for his job at NMC Portsmouth. We are looking to buy a home in Chesapeake. We really like planned communities with a pool for the kids, etc and are looking at Riverwalk and Sawyer's Mill. We like Riverwalk better, but I'm concerned about the school - Grassfield is rated better than Oscar Smith. Our kids are too little to be in high school while we live here, but I'm thinking of resale value. Any opinions on that? If Riverwalk is as in demand as our real estate agent says it is, we should be fine, but I'd rather hear it from someone other than her!

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Old 05-19-2008, 09:03 PM
239 posts, read 554,351 times
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My wife and I are in the same boat, looking to buy in Chesapeake and have looked at Sawyer's Mill and Riverwalk and some other areas in Great Bridge. I also like Riverwalk better, it is more of a true planned community rather than the little developments they seem to throw up here and there. However, the schools are a definite downside. From what I hear, Oscar Smtih leaves a lot to be desired, but the middle school, Crestwood I think the name is, is even worse (they have a barbed wire fence around the school). It is a shame cause Riverwalk is really nice. Sawyer's Mill was a little too cookie cutter for my tastes, but Grassfield, in addition to Great Bridge and Hickory, is probably one of the best schools in Chesapeake.

How long do you plan to be in the area? Have you thought of renting? The market here is not what it used to be, and in my opinion has a good deal to drop. If you are concerned about resale value, then I would plan on staying 5-6 years in whatever place you buy if you want to break even. As you probably know buying/selling a house is expensive and you may face the possibility that your house may be worth less than what you paid for it in 2-3 years. That scares me and makes me think twice about buying, but if you plan to stay long term than you will probably not lose money.

Have you looked at any other neighborhoods? Las Gaviotas is decent and has more of that planned community type feel. I am curious as well to see if there are any others you like that I may have missed.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:29 AM
833 posts, read 4,369,988 times
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We are also looking at the Grassfield area. We actually lived in Deep Creek for five years, just moved away to Chicago, and are moving back next month. Can't stand the Chicago weather. We lived in a little subdivision off Moses Grandy Trail called Ships Crossing. This feeds into Deep Creek Central Elementary, Hugo Owens Middle School, and Grassfield HS.
We are tempted by Riverwalk because of the planned community, pool, and access to the interstates. But we know we want certain schools for our kids, and unfortunately, Riverwalk does not provide that for us. We definitely want a house that is zoned for Grassfield HS. It provides more diversity in the student body than Hickory or Great Bridge.
There are beautiful houses in the Etheridge Lakes area, newer houses and some with pools, but that feeds into Hickory and for the most part, there is jet noise over there. Something we DEFINITELY don't want. I stayed two nights with my friend who lives in that area of Hickory and the jet noise at 9:00pm was unbelievable. The Grassfield area is much quieter and more peaceful, in my opinion.
So basically, we're willing to give up convenience (Riverwalk) for better schools and resale value. It's proven difficult to find a house in the Grassfield area that suits us. A lot of Las Gaviotos housing needs a lot of work! And we are unsure of brand new, half-built subdivisions. We want neighbors right away and don't want to wait three or more years for the neighborhood to form. It's frustrating.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:57 PM
239 posts, read 554,351 times
Reputation: 72
I definitely feel your frustration. Seems like most of the new developments aren't planned communities, but a collection of 20-30 houses built on old farm land. There are usually no trees, no ammenities, no character at all. And like you said it could take years before they are full and you have any real neighbors. The established neighborhoods are a little nicer but most of the homes need major updating. Despite the large number of houses on the market, it is hard to find one that is modern, yet still has a decent yard/trees/character. Plus the thought of shelling out $350-$400K for a cookie cutter house is a little depressing. That is probably nothing to most of the people in this area but it is a lot for a first time home buyer like me .

That's interesting about the Etheridge Lakes area, I had no idea the planes were that bad. We had looked at a few places over there and am glad we know what we would have to deal with.

Good luck with your search! Let me know if you find any good neighborhoods.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:44 PM
26 posts, read 136,290 times
Reputation: 19
Try Cheshire Forest in Great Bridge. People seem to love it there. They have a pool, swim team, neighborhood park, clubhouse, etc.. Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:31 PM
Location: Central Florida
1 posts, read 2,744 times
Reputation: 10
Smile I lived in HR for almost 20 years

Our first duty station was in Chesapeake ( NSGA) and my children grew up in Chesapeake schools. I would highly recommend great bridge schools - they have had and still have the highest rating and environments. ( no barbed wire lol) GB Primary (on cedar road) was very also good as was the elementary.

IF your children are smaller or need before and after school care, I would recommend Kids Kollege in Great Bridge. Jane Ashley is the owner and its located on battlefield bvd. Here is a link for info on the daycare - my children went there for many years here is the link if you want to check it out. [url=http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3722820011]Kids Kollege - Chesapeake, VA 23322 - Reviews: Day Care, Kindergartens, Nursery Schools & PreSchools[/url]
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