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Old 05-04-2007, 06:06 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,669 times
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Hi All,

We currently live in IL, and are looking to move closer to my wives family in Spotsylvania.

My wife is a dog groomer and I am a network administrator.

We are looking at a home in Wilderness Shores in Locust Grove. Anyone have any feedback on Locust Grove and/or Wilderness Shores?
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Chesterfield, VA
1,218 posts, read 4,564,790 times
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Hi. I recently helped someone purchase a home in Lake of the Woods in Locust Grove. I found it to be a very different community. From what I understand, LOW started quite a while back as a second home community, however then people started moving in full-time. What is odd in the community is that you have an older home, obviously built as one of the previously mentioned vacation homes (on stilts, or maybe an A-frame) that looks like a "lake" home, and then you have a $400-500K new construction home right beside it. It is definitely quite, and many homes front the lake or golf course. The other thing on LOW is that it is basically it's own little town, with it's own fire department and police force. They are having problems with their dam however. From what I have read in the local paper (The Free Lance-Star) the state is trying to have them upgrade it and the HOA does not have enough in their reserves, so they are fighting it. Of course Wilderness Shores and Locust Grove is located in Orange County, so you have a lower tax rate than Spotsylvania. And in all honesty, it is not too far pass the county line, so if you are going to commute to the DC area, it does not add that much time to your commute. I do know that Wilderness Shores is a Tricord community, but have not heard much from anyone that lives there. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 01-11-2008, 06:18 AM
 
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was weondernig if you moved there or not. any more info on there. we are too looking in that area and have to visit. how are schools??people?? anything else would be greatly appreiciated!
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,565,691 times
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Well, most of what onevthoki said only has to do with Lake of the Woods, which is totally different than Wilderness Shores. (Other than being within a few miles of eachother)

My wife and I were looking in that area when we were looking for our home. You do get a lot of home for your money, but we didn't like the feel the community gives you as you drive around. There's no side walks, no trees.... just houses, and that's about it. The trail to the park was nice, but we gave up half way because it was so long, and we didn't have time to go all the way to the end. We also didn't like the water tower near the front, and how the entrence isn't where you can turn left when leaving, so you have to turn right, then swing a U turn. (Unless they've changed it)

The homes are so low priced, we were also worried about them turning into rental properties... But I'm not sure if that ever happened. Wilderness Shores is far from the highway, which makes it a bad choice if you're looking to commute to Northern VA. You'd be looking at over 30 minutes just to get to the highway. (in good traffic)

From the people I know, the schools are getting better, but there's still only 1 highschool accross the county, and I have not heard any good things about the highschool. The area is growing, but since the housing market has been declining, I don't think there will be as much demand for housing in that area. During the boom people were willing to move all the way to Orange to get housing they could afford. Now that housing prices have gone down, why would they move out there, when they can now afford to live in Spotsylvania or Stafford?

Personally we chose to move to Ladysmith in Caroline County. As far as counties go, they're about the same size, and about the same distance from Fredericksburg. What sold us was that Ladysmith is half way to Richmond, which opened up a whole different job market. Because of that, both my wife and I ended up finding better jobs in Richmond, than we had in Fredericksburg... but the option is still there to look for a job to the North if we ever need it. Also Ladysmith is going to be more of a planned town.

But anyways, there's my opinion on the whole topic.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:22 AM
 
5 posts, read 22,268 times
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Have you purchased a home yet? If not, I wouldn't recommend Wilderness Shores at all. As described, it's just a bunch of homes without character. It has recently had a horrible decline in value. At lease $125,000K. Most people couldn't sell or refinance their homes if they wanted to. The inconvenience of the not being able to turn directly into the community off of Rt 3 is a pain. There are too many other options around than to invest in a community full of foreclosures and short sales.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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I moved to Wilderness Shores last year, and I disagree with the previous posters. My neighbors have been nothing short of nice. The neighborhood has been safe and problem free. I never understood how to best apply the "character" conversation when talking about homes or neighborhoods, it is a somewhat ambiguous term. It is also hard to personify objects.

In regards to the decline in value, that is a national issue. To point it out in Wilderness Shores is like pointing out that gas is expensive on I-95 or mosquitoes bite at Lake Pokahata. I have family in CA, TX, FL, and IL - they all have suffered a decline in their home values, and most have declined more than mine has in Wilderness Shores.

We too looked at Ladysmith in Caroline County. We took a look at the Pendeleton subdivision and Ladysmith Village. Both were nice looking subdivsions with affordable housing. Our stopping point was the school system. The Caroline County schools are ancient and falling apart (mold issues included). They also have been a source of discontent in the community. Ladysmith Village was building an elementary school, but non-residents were bitter that their kids were left out. In fact, one of the salesman almost swallowed his tongue when I asked about the schools. The positive is that it is close to Richmond.

Locust (Wilderness Shores) has new and excellent elementary and middle schools. As an earlier poster pointed out, the high school (Orange) is subpar on several levels.

My advice is you would do well to buy in the LOW, Wilderness Shores, Edgewood, or Somerset subdivision. Just steer clear of the A&K townhome tragedy at the entrance of the previously listed subdivisions. The town homes built by A&K have nothing for the residents (parks, pools, etc.) and the residents are a bit ghetto.

Good Luck.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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Smile I actually live in Wilderness Shores

I've lived here for several years, and absolutely love it! The people are nice, the school has been awesome - highly recommend it! I was very weary of the schools (my daughter is going into 2nd grade next year), and am very happy with Locust Grove Elementary! I disagree about the homes having no "character", but it is a personal opinion I suppose. I think if you are happy and comfortable with your home and neighborhood.. there's your character =)

The area is quaint, yet not too far out for great shopping (Fredericksburg Central Park is only about 20 minutes). You can also take a short drive (15 minutes) to Culpeper, and there a lot of great, unique restaurants (family owned, although there are soem chains there now). My husband works in Culpeper, and I stay home, and we love it here. It's very "homey", and for the price, even better. Obviously, if you get into the higher price ranges (500K+), you'll get perfectly landscaped neighborhoods with oodles of amneties, but in this price range, you can't beat it. They're nice, newer homes, and it's a very child-friendly neighborhood.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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PS - I do NOT advocate a move to Caroline County if you have school-aged children! Two of my sister-in-laws live there, with each of their children (high school age), and it's literally awful. There are an enormous amount of racial-related fights, and the whole school is racially divided. The education has also been very poor, and my neice was learning her senior year what she'd learned in 8th grade (when she moved from Stafford county). She went from being a C-D student to getting straight A's, only because the standards were so low!
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:00 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,878,713 times
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Wilderness Shores has good schools, good library and a very slow traffic speed to protect children. With just a short walk in the woods, there is a good view of the river. If the house prices are down, I would say that is a plus. Shopping is not far away and you take your own trash to Lake of the Woods. Those two developments seem to be mixed somehow. There are lots of restrictions even to the point of what size tree you can cut down without permission. I have been to Lake of the Woods Church and found the people to be very friendly. I personally would prefer Wilderness Shores to Lake of the Woods. It is more of an everyday community where Lake of the Woods has a lot of weekenders.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,565,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickdeckard View Post
I never understood how to best apply the "character" conversation when talking about homes or neighborhoods, it is a somewhat ambiguous term. It is also hard to personify objects.
It's like if you look at an older house... it will generally have a lot more details to it, than a newer home would. Large porches, different sized/shaped windows... things like that. A lot of the homes in Wilderness Shores are just plain boxes. Nice boxes, but still kind of boring for my tasts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickdeckard View Post
In regards to the decline in value, that is a national issue.
You are right, but when I was looking at homes in there, the price of their lowest priced model of home dropped from $325k to $249k in 3 months! I'm sure it's dropped more since then, and now has probably more leveled out. But I'm sure you could understand that a price drop of $75k+ within 3 months would put you off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickdeckard View Post
Ladysmith Village was building an elementary school, but non-residents were bitter that their kids were left out.
All of the kids from Lake Caroline and Lake Land'Or, and other surrounding communities all go to the new school. The only people not going to the new school are down near exit 104... but they are slated to get a new school themselves anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmd519 View Post
Obviously, if you get into the higher price ranges (500K+), you'll get perfectly landscaped neighborhoods with oodles of amneties, but in this price range, you can't beat it. They're nice, newer homes, and it's a very child-friendly neighborhood.
Ladysmith Village Welcome

Single family homes starting at $200k (For a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house). There are 8-10 different models which sell in the $200k's, with 5 being under $250k.

Already built is an amphitheater (with concerts and festivals held throughout the year), dog park, large playground, 2 small 'pocket' parks, a $6 million club house and pool (fitness room, catering kitchen, 150 person ballroom, gathering room, 2 meeting rooms, 3 offices, 2 kids 'craft rooms', and locker rooms/showers), new county library within the community, a new $20 million state-of-the-art elementary school, and a 150 acre nature preserve with miles of walking trails (being worked on now). Due to open next spring is a large county park inside the community, which will include all kinds of ball fields. Soon to be started is also a YMCA within the community. Once the area grows a little more, there will be shopping within walking distance of your home.

Also, every street has street lights and sidewalks. This makes for a very safe environment. I haven't heard of a single crime occuring here in the over year and a half we've lived here.

So... I'd have to disagree with your statement about amenities. Also, every yard is required to be full sod, and be landscaped to certain standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmd519 View Post
Two of my sister-in-laws live there, with each of their children (high school age), and it's literally awful. There are an enormous amount of racial-related fights, and the whole school is racially divided.
I've heard the exact same things about Orange High School, from parents with kids who went there. Lots of racial tention, and poor quality of education. About the education though... I'm fairly sure you get to pick the deficulty of classes yourself in high school. If you want to take 'advanced' or 'AP' classes, you just have to sign up for them.

Ladysmith has the brand-new elementary school,a nd I have heard nothing but good things about the teachers. The middle school is getting a little old, but it still looks good, and I have heard that the teachers and staff there are great too.

I personally think that High Schools are the last to improve, when an area improves it's education system. The kids in high school are the ones who grew up in the poorer quality system of the past. Also, whenever you have an entire county's worth of kids going to the same school, there will be trouble. I believe within 10 years both Orange and Caroline will have a second high school closer to where the growth is.
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