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Old 09-02-2018, 02:22 PM
 
514 posts, read 442,049 times
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Hello,


I am at least 10 yrs. away from retirement but am already looking for areas where I would possibly want to retire and possibly purchase a place a few yrs. from now so that I can use it as my vacation home. I really love Williamsburg and have been doing some research in different areas. A couple of yrs. ago ago I stayed at Kingsmill and met with a real estate agent who showed me some properties at Kingsmill. The area is certainly beautiful, especially the homes with the golf course view and not to mention the river few, but I'm not looking for a million dollar home. I told the real estate agent that I really liked Fords Colony but he told me that's so far away from Colonial Williamsburg and he was raving about how Kingsmill is close to everything. I wasn't sold on Kingsmill because it's a very busy resort area and it took a long time just to get out of the community. Also, I don't need to be close to all the attractions, in fact, I preference will be fairly close to things, but yet away and a bit secluded.



I read a lot about Fords Colony, including the Newsletters, and I love all the clubs that are offered and the sense of community. Given that I am very social person, I think it would suit my personality. I would not be happy in a neighborhood where neighbors don't know each other. Where I live now, NOVA, we have neighborhood get togethers and help out one another. So living in similar neighborhood would be very important to me. For those who live in or are familiar with Fords Colony, can you please provide any information about the things you like or perhaps things you don't like about living there? A few yrs. ago I also stayed at the Marriott in Fords Colony and drove a little bit around the neighborhood, and the area si so beautiful!



The other area that I've been looking into is Governo's Land, it also looks beautiful, although I haven't been there yet, and one of the real estate agent's told me that people there seem more on the snooty side. So that's something I wouldn't like. But I do have a weak spot for beautiful settings. Although I don't golf, I would love to live in a place backing to a golf course or pond/river, as a beautiful view is a must for me.


Any thoughts/feedback, not only on different neighborhoods but life in Williasburg in general, would be greatly appreciated.



Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-02-2018, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,550 posts, read 3,112,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Hello,


I am at least 10 yrs. away from retirement but am already looking for areas where I would possibly want to retire and possibly purchase a place a few yrs. from now so that I can use it as my vacation home. I really love Williamsburg and have been doing some research in different areas. A couple of yrs. ago ago I stayed at Kingsmill and met with a real estate agent who showed me some properties at Kingsmill. The area is certainly beautiful, especially the homes with the golf course view and not to mention the river few, but I'm not looking for a million dollar home. I told the real estate agent that I really liked Fords Colony but he told me that's so far away from Colonial Williamsburg and he was raving about how Kingsmill is close to everything. I wasn't sold on Kingsmill because it's a very busy resort area and it took a long time just to get out of the community. Also, I don't need to be close to all the attractions, in fact, I preference will be fairly close to things, but yet away and a bit secluded.



I read a lot about Fords Colony, including the Newsletters, and I love all the clubs that are offered and the sense of community. Given that I am very social person, I think it would suit my personality. I would not be happy in a neighborhood where neighbors don't know each other. Where I live now, NOVA, we have neighborhood get togethers and help out one another. So living in similar neighborhood would be very important to me. For those who live in or are familiar with Fords Colony, can you please provide any information about the things you like or perhaps things you don't like about living there? A few yrs. ago I also stayed at the Marriott in Fords Colony and drove a little bit around the neighborhood, and the area si so beautiful!



The other area that I've been looking into is Governo's Land, it also looks beautiful, although I haven't been there yet, and one of the real estate agent's told me that people there seem more on the snooty side. So that's something I wouldn't like. But I do have a weak spot for beautiful settings. Although I don't golf, I would love to live in a place backing to a golf course or pond/river, as a beautiful view is a must for me.


Any thoughts/feedback, not only on different neighborhoods but life in Williasburg in general, would be greatly appreciated.



Thank you in advance!

I live in Ford's Colony and don't think CW is far away at all. It's too far to walk, but the drive only takes about ten minutes. I drive over to the library there about 3-4 times a week, it's a really easy drive. I'm surprised someone thinks Kingsmill is closer, but either way you go it's going to take about ten minutes. Unless you get caught up in "rush hour," which takes about 15 minutes from 9-9:15 am.



Ford's Colony is very beautiful and ideal for people who like to hike, bike, and do outdoor activities. If you like clubs, this is the place to be. It's pretty easy to make friends here and be invited to neighborhood events.



I think Kingsmill may be the same way. I'm not really sure, but I do know a few people who live there and enjoy it. You have to be willing to share your community with resort guests and golfers, though. It's just a different feel from Ford's Colony, which feels more like a private paradise rather than a resort community with a lot of visitors. Kingsmill also has a small beach and marina, which are selling points. If you want to spend your retirement watching the sun set over the river, Kingsmill would be perfect for you. Or First Colony, which I think is a hidden gem. The residents there gather at their community beach every night to have cocktails and watch the sunset. That's one thing I do wish we had here in FC.


I'll post more in a few minutes
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,550 posts, read 3,112,174 times
Reputation: 10433
OK, I'm back from flipping burgers. Time to write a little more.


Governor's Land didn't impress me all that much, although some people love it. It's a pretty place but far from stores and the "downtown" areas. You are required to join the country club there, which makes it pricey and difficult to resell. You do get nice river views, however.


First Colony was built in the 1970s and IMO has a lot of charm, although some people think it's dated. They have some fun amenities in their, and the price is right. Ford's Colony is a little more upscale, which is one reason a lot of people choose it, but if that's not a big issue for you First Colony is a neat community that I think is worth checking out. It's not for everyone, however.


Piney Creek. LOL, love the name! This is a hidden gem. Really well built houses, and a tight knit community with a good number of social activities. No amenities, but it's easy to get a pool membership at nearby HOAs or simply go to the community pool or Water Country. Close to everything yet hidden away. It doesn't have Ford's Colony's lush landscaping, but it's a pretty neighborhood and definitely worth checking out. Don't let the Motel 6 at the entrance road scare you. First of all, it's actually a good distance from this neighborhood, and second of all it's an unusual Motel 6 in that most of the people staying there are pet owners. People want to bring their dogs to DOG street, and this is one of the few places they can stay.



Greensprings, Greensprings West, and Villages of Westminster are all really nice communities where you will find lots and lots of families with kids. I wasn't sure how you felt about that, but if you enjoy the family neighborhood scene, these are good choices. Ford's Colony and Kingsmill have some kids, but not lots and lots. For example, there are no families on my street with kids, and that's not unusual.



If you want to live walking distance to CW, Port Anne is a nice community.



There are so many others and I have to go flip burgers again, LOL


There's a good book that gives detailed info on all the communities. I'll try to find it and give you the name. Even though it's a few years old now, it's still packed with lots of handy info.
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,550 posts, read 3,112,174 times
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Since you specifically asked about things we like and don't like about Ford's Colony:


Like:


People are pretty down to earth. There's a lot of money here, and there are a few snooty types, but not many.



It's very easy to make friends, and if you like activities and clubs there are lots of them.



The walking trails are wide, well maintained, and pretty. The ponds are attractive, and you can go fishing here.



Close to shopping and all the businesses in New Town. Very close William & Mary, CW and "downtown" area of Williamsburg. to JCCRC (I highly recommend joining, this is "a thing to do" around here.) About 10 minutes to.



Gated community means crime is very low. I feel safe walking home from things at night.



All homes are custom built, and are required to be made from Hardiplank or brick. This means they are not only attractive but also much safer in the event of fire. I'm a former fire fighter so I notice things like that.



Don't Like:


HOA fees are fairly high. And there are some seriously wealthy people who live here, so if the HOA asks for extra money for some cause the wealthy residents vote for it without stopping to consider that it might be difficult for those with tighter budgets.

People drive slowly in here, and even though residential traffic is light you can sometimes can stuck behind gardeners, etc. Actually, I don't mind this but I thought the "Don't Like" column needed a few more things, LOL.


They have a huge number of HOA rules here. It really isn't as bad as some of the places I've lived. Ashburn probably has the same amount. Ford's Colony maybe has slightly less than Reston (or maybe about the same). The size of the community means they don't really come by to check on if you're in compliance unless you're selling the place, or someone complains. They've relaxed some of the rule over the years. They used to have rules about Christmas lights, for example, which have now been tossed out. But, if you don;t like HOA rules this is not a good place for you.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:10 AM
 
514 posts, read 442,049 times
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Thank you for all the info. Piney Creek! You confirmed that Ford's Colony would be the best place for me! From the little that I have seen, I loved the lush landscape at Ford's Colony. I think I fell in love with Ford's Colony the first time I stayed there at the Marriott and saw the most beautiful magnolia tree.



Good to know about Governor's Land that you have to join the country club, I'll cross that one from my list.



I did look look at First Colony online, and the homes did seem a bit dated for me.



Currently I live in Reston and yes, Reston HOA are very strict but I've learned to deal with it over the yrs. as it keeps Reston beautiful (for the most part) so I will be ok. with the HOA rules. Can you tell me how much the HOA fees are at Ford's Colony?


And it's good to hear about the walking paths because that's what I really like about Reston. There are aprox. 50 miles of walking paths and they plow them in the winter (whenever we get snow) so people can use them. I just actually came back from a walk and I never get tired of the walking paths as they're so beautiful.



Do you miss NOVA at all. Did it take some time for you to get used to the slower pace of life in Williamsburg?


Thank you again for all the information!
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,550 posts, read 3,112,174 times
Reputation: 10433
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Thank you for all the info. Piney Creek! You confirmed that Ford's Colony would be the best place for me! From the little that I have seen, I loved the lush landscape at Ford's Colony. I think I fell in love with Ford's Colony the first time I stayed there at the Marriott and saw the most beautiful magnolia tree.

If you like beautiful trees and ponds, you definitely want Ford's Colony. They really do a good job with it. I can feel the difference every time I go through the gates. Even though the rest of Williamsburg is also green and lush, there's just a special feeling when you drive into FC.



Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Good to know about Governor's Land that you have to join the country club, I'll cross that one from my list.

I totally agree, I'm not at all a country club person. FC has more of a we-happen-to-be-rich-but-we're-down-to-earth vibe. People take pride in mowing their own lawns, that sort of thing. Of course, FC does have a country club, for those who want things like that. If you don't want to join but just want to get a burger at the club restaurant, it's open to the public. And they throw events for the various clubs from time to time, so you can get a taste of it without having to join.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
I did look look at First Colony online, and the homes did seem a bit dated for me.

Lots of people feel that way. The nice thing is you can still drive down there from time to time if you want to go to the beach and watch the sunset. The residents there are pretty mellow, as long as you're a pleasant person they won't mind if you're there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Currently I live in Reston and yes, Reston HOA are very strict but I've learned to deal with it over the yrs. as it keeps Reston beautiful (for the most part) so I will be ok. with the HOA rules. Can you tell me how much the HOA fees are at Ford's Colony?

$144 Monthly (covers HOA clubhouse--which you'll find you use a lot--pools, tennis, clubhouse, walking trails, gated security, road maintenance)


Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
And it's good to hear about the walking paths because that's what I really like about Reston. There are aprox. 50 miles of walking paths and they plow them in the winter (whenever we get snow) so people can use them. I just actually came back from a walk and I never get tired of the walking paths as they're so beautiful.

They clear them here when it snows. One advantage of having so many seniors who are out walking every day is they put a strong emphasis on keep those walking paths well maintained. I do wish we could walk to stores here, though, like you can in Reston. That's the one down side, for us. There's a shopping plaza with Target (and next month, a Publix is opening there) that's only 1 mile, but there's no walkway along News Road so you can't realistically walk there.




Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Do you miss NOVA at all. Did it take some time for you to get used to the slower pace of life in Williamsburg?

I miss having a Costco nearby. The one here is about 30 minutes away.

I miss Dulles Airport. Richmond is ok but it's not quite the same (on the other hand, parking there is a breeze). I miss some of the Smithsonian museums, although the museums here are pretty nice.

I miss a few specific events I worked at as a volunteer when I was living up there. However, I do love all the free entertainment and how social everyone is here. In fact I think it's fair to say WBurg definitely outweighs Nova in this area. There is something going one almost every day and it's easy to find friends to go to concerts with, etc.

I miss Dulles Town Center when the weather is bad (I used to walk there quite a bit). The outlet mall here means we have plenty of shops, but it's not the same as an indoor mall.

Other than that, I don't really miss Nova as much as I thought I would. I still see a lot of my friends from up there because they come to WBurg to visit or when they are passing through on their way to the beach. In fact, I see some of them more since I've moved than I did when I was living there.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,550 posts, read 3,112,174 times
Reputation: 10433
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Did it take some time for you to get used to the slower pace of life in Williamsburg?

Forgot to answer this one, LOL. My pace isn't THAT much slower, so it didn't take any time at all. My day starts with a walking group that does the Edinburgh loop every day (unless it's raining). Then I do water aerobics at the pool 3 times a week. Other days I work out at the gym for about an hour. And, of course, I see people I know at the gym so I end up chatting with them. Then I do a variety of things during the day, run errands, and usually spend some time out on my porch reading (which means I also stop by the FC library, and that also usually involves stopping to chat with someone). Going to the store generally takes longer here because you're bound to see someone you know. In the afternoon I have various group activities (pickle ball, yoga, line dancing, trivia game group, etc.), at night I go to concerts or book club or BYOB events. If I get tired of FC groups, there are several meet up groups with things going on, too.

So I'm probably more or less as busy as I was when I was working, I'm just doing different things. And driving a lot less.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,550 posts, read 3,112,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
Forgot to answer this one, LOL. My pace isn't THAT much slower, so it didn't take any time at all. My day starts with a walking group that does the Edinburgh loop every day (unless it's raining). Then I do water aerobics at the pool 3 times a week. Other days I work out at the gym for about an hour. And, of course, I see people I know at the gym so I end up chatting with them. Then I do a variety of things during the day, run errands, and usually spend some time out on my porch reading (which means I also stop by the FC library, and that also usually involves stopping to chat with someone). Going to the store generally takes longer here because you're bound to see someone you know. In the afternoon I have various group activities (pickle ball, yoga, line dancing, trivia game group, etc.), at night I go to concerts or book club or BYOB events. If I get tired of FC groups, there are several meet up groups with things going on, too.

So I'm probably more or less as busy as I was when I was working, I'm just doing different things. And driving a lot less.

Having said this, I should note that even though I love all the things there are to do here, not everyone does. I have a neighbor who is quite homesick for Nova. She says things like "where is music?" I ask her to come to concerts with me, but they aren't her taste, I guess. The clubs don't appeal to her and she seems bored. So it's not for everyone.
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:28 PM
 
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Thank you for all the information. I also think I would miss the music scene and all the culture events that DC area has to offer. And I do hear quire often of individuals who move away from NOVA do actually miss it when they move away, and many end up moving back. But the good thing is that Wiliamsburg is only 2 hrs. away so one can always do a weekend trip.



For day to day life, Williamsburg does seem to offer a comfortable lifestyle, without all the hustle and bustle of the DC Metro area. When my neighbor retired last year, he moved to Leesburg. Although he likes the area he barely knows his neighbors and rarely sees them because most of them work and have long commutes; and by the time they get home they don't have the time or the energy to socialize. Even on the weekends, he rarely sees his neighbors. For someone who's very social, I don't think that's a good fit. When one retires, I think it's better to live in an area where there are other retirees so one has others to socialize with. Sound like have a very active life and are really enjoying your retirement. Did you look at any other areas, prior on settling on Williamsburg?
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,550 posts, read 3,112,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Did you look at any other areas, prior on settling on Williamsburg?

Yes, it took us a little more than ten years to check out all the various places we were considering. It was a quest! We were able to move just about anywhere, so we visited lots and lots of places and considered the pros and cons of each. For a long time we thought we might move to southern California, but eventually decided against it. There were maybe 11-12 other towns that we seriously considered before eventually choosing Williamsburg. We had spreadsheets, and Williamsburg consistently had the most checkmarks. I was surprised about this at first, I had no idea Williamsburg would end up being one of the finalists, much less the winner. Like many people, I thought there wasn't much here outside of the Colonial area.


The other Virginia town that made our finalist list was Winchester. Even though we didn;t end up choosing it, I highly recommend it.
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