Prince William County, which not long ago was considered a rural community, has joined the ranks of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States.
A Census Bureau survey of the median household income for each county landed Prince William, with a median household income in 2005 of $81,904, at No. 7 in the country.
As of June 15, 2007, 381,221 persons called Prince William home, an increase of 36 percent since 2000, according to the county's Web site (www.pwcgov.org). The county is projected to grow to 555,012 by 2030.
This 345-square-mile jurisdiction has seen a rapid increase in residential development as home buyers travel farther and farther from Washington to find homes.
Commuters take Interstates 95 and 66 and the Prince William County Parkway to get to their jobs within the county, in Fairfax County or in downtown Washington.
The Virginia Railway Express offers another option, linking Prince William with Union Station and Metro.
Initially, many buyers turned to Prince William County to find more affordable homes. Though some less expensive homes still can be found, many of the new communities feature upscale homes.
Planned communities have developed along the I-66 corridor in areas such as Manassas, Haymarket and Gainesville. Development also has followed the Prince William County Parkway and I-95 from Woodbridge to Quantico.
Among the newer communities under way in Prince William County, Kettler is developing Potomac Club, a gated community of condominiums and town homes off I-95 in Woodbridge.
Recreational amenities at Potomac Club include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sun deck, playgrounds, a pet walking area, a clubhouse, a business center, a social lounge and an athletic club with a rock-climbing wall.
Residents can take advantage of Club Mac, a party lounge including an upscale bar area and game tables available for community events and private parties.
The town homes and condominiums range from the upper $200,000s to the mid-$400,000s.
Call 703/590-0509 for M/I Homes Inc., 703/580-1687 for Pulte Homes Inc. and 703/580-7562 for Ryan Homes or visit www.potomacclub.com.
Nearby at Port Potomac, Kettler is developing a community of town homes and single-family homes bordering Powell's Creek.
The development includes parks and walking trails, and a community center with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an athletic club, a children's center, a business center and a social lounge, along with party spaces, social rooms and a library.
Nearby, the Port Potomac Village Shops include restaurants and shops.
Single-family homes from the upper $300,000s to the mid-$500,000s are available from several builders at Port Potomac along with town homes priced from the $400,000s.
Call 703/580-0537 for Engle Homes, 703/580-7105 for Ryan Homes, 703/580-0972 for Sorensen Homes, 703/580-9314 for Drees Homes Co. or 703/580-0668 for M/I Homes Inc. or visit www.portpotomac.com.
Powell's Landing, a community by GP Development USA, borders Leesylvania State Park and Marina and Powell's Creek.
Fewer than 600 homes will be built in this community, where a third of its land is devoted to open space.
The community has been designed with cul-de-sacs, pocket parks, sidewalks, gazebos, white picket fences and a trail system.
Recreational amenities include a 5,000-square-foot community center with an office, a kitchen and a deck.
A separate pool house has adult and children's facilities, and the community also includes volleyball courts, tennis courts, tot lots and a picnic area.
Single-family homes are available from three builders, priced from the low $500,000s to the mid-$600,000s.
Call 703/897-0682 for GP Development, 703/590-2364 for NVHomes, or 703/583-4043 for Stanley Martin Homebuilding LLC, or visit www.powells landing.com.
Edgemoore Land LLC is developing Stonewall Manor in Triangle, off I-95, a community of single-family homes on half-acre wooded homesites.
The community includes a swimming pool, a bathhouse, tennis courts, soccer fields, a picnic pavilion, tot lots and walking trails along with curving roads, sidewalks and landscaped traffic circles.
The development is a half mile from the Potomac River shoreline.
Craftmark Homes Inc. and Edgemoore Homes are building single-family homes priced from the upper $400,000s and low $500,000s.
Call 703/827-0416 for Craftmark, 703/221-6962 for Edgemoore Homes or visit www.stonewallmanorva.com.
K. Hovnanian Homes is building 1,100 single-family homes at Eagles Pointe near Woodbridge, where homes are available in four series ranging from 1,800 to more than 3,700 finished square feet.
Base prices start in the low $400,000s.
Powell's Creek runs through the community, which features walking trails, open spaces, tot lots and a recreation center with a fitness center and a swimming pool.
Call 866/407-3830 or visit www.khov.com.
At Occoquan Reach, a new development by WCI Communities Inc. less than one mile from historic Occoquan, residents can stroll along the riverfront or visit the shops and restaurants in this charming town.
WCI Communities is building town homes with stone-and-siding exteriors, a two-car garage and a rooftop loft.
The community association provides snow and leaf removal along with gutter clean-up and other maintenance.
Home prices range from the upper $400,000s to the mid-$500,000s.
Call 703/491-2727 or visit www.wcicommunities.com.
In Gainesville, near I-66 and Linton Hall Road, Brookfield Homes Corp. is building Morris Farm. Half of the community will be devoted to meadows, and there will be multiple parks and walking trails with observation decks, along with Peacock Park, which includes a tot lot and treehouse.
Morris Farm includes a community center with a swimming pool and tennis courts and is located near major shopping areas and commuter routes. A wide variety of homes are available from Brookfield, Craftmark and Ryan Homes.
Prices for single-family homes range from the mid-$300,000s to the upper $600,000s. The town homes are priced from the upper $300,000s.
Call 703/753-6650 for Brookfield, 703/361-5815 for Craftmark or 703/530-7032 for Ryan or visit www.morrisfarmva.com.
Brookfield is building Saranac in Gainesville, a gated enclave with lake access for the community and lake views for many of the homes, which are to be built on one-half acre sites.
The Cabin Collection of homes, priced from the upper $700,000s, features Adirondack-style architecture with simple lines and colors that blend with nature.
These four- and five-bedroom homes have hardwood flooring and 3½ baths. Homes in the Bungalow Collection, priced from the upper $600,000s, are clustered around a courtyard, also with Adirondack-style architecture.
Call 571-248-6494 or visit www.brookfieldhomes.com.
Centex Homes and Beazer Homes Corp. are building single-family homes in New Bristow Village, a planned community in Bristow near I-66, Virginia 28 and Virginia Railway Express.
The development has been designed around the 127-acre Heritage Park, and includes a swimming pool, tot lots, a community center, a tennis court, walking trails and a planned village town center with shops and restaurants. Beazer and Centex are building four-bedroom homes with 2½ baths, priced from the $400,000s to the $500,000s.
Call 703/257-2496 for Beazer or visit www.beazer.com, or call 866/255-8618 for Centex or visit www.centexhomes.com.
Miller and Smith LLC is developing Victory Lakes, a 580-acre planned community off I-66 near U.S. 29. The development includes a clubhouse, a pavilion, walking trails, swimming pools, tennis courts, fishing lakes, a dog park, volleyball and basketball courts, an in-line skating and hockey court and an activities director.
Two collections of homes from Miller and Smith are selling now, and others will be available soon. The Grand Regents town homes have more than 2,600 finished square feet and a detached two-car garage. The town homes are base-priced from the mid-$400,000s.
For the Chevy Chase Collection of single-family homes, priced from the low $500,000s, call 703/369-9599. Visit www.victorylakesvirginia.com.
Miller and Smith also is developing Madison Crescent, a cluster of town-home-style condominiums at U.S. 15 and U.S. 29 in Gainesville.
Madison Crescent is within walking distance of shops, including a new supermarket, as well as restaurants and offices.
Priced from the upper $200,000s, these homes have three bedrooms on two levels with a balcony and an attached one-car garage.
Call 703/753-2694 or visit www.millerandsmith.com.