- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2008

The Fredericksburg area, straddling Stafford and Spotsylvania counties in Northern Virginia, has experienced rapid residential growth in recent years.

Residents are attracted to the area’s historic downtown Fredericksburg, along with the variety of shops and restaurants in the region. Mary Washington University provides a focal point for academic and cultural activities in Fredericksburg.

Recreational amenities can be found in abundance, too, including golf courses and boating on the Rappahannock River and nearby lakes. The region is convenient to both Richmond and Washington, which can be appealing to residents of the many active adult communities in the area who want to be near family and friends.

Many such communities, designed for households with members age 55 and older, are under development near Fredericksburg.

While each active adult community has its own style, all of them provide either a condominium, town home or villa or single-family home designed on one level or with a first-floor master suite.

These communities offer a low-maintenance lifestyle that allows residents to leave behind caring for a home and to fill their leisure time with recreational activities such as swimming, walking, golf or learning new skills through classes and group activities.

Active adult community residents are not always retired, with many commuting to work daily or part-time and participating in other community activities through volunteer work.

While some active adult communities are self-contained developments, others are separate neighborhoods within a larger planned community.

At Belle Air Village at Leeland Station, Ridan Builders is creating an active adult neighborhood within a planned community. The active adult neighborhood of single-family homes has its own clubhouse and recreational amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool, a patio and veranda, a clubroom, a fitness room, an arts and crafts room, tennis courts, a horseshoe pit, a volleyball court, a basketball court and hiking trails.

The development is within walking distance of a Virginia Railway Express station. Each of the homes has a first-floor master suite and a maintenance-free exterior, and all yardwork is covered by the homeowner association.

Three models are available, each with two to four bedrooms, two or three baths and a two-car garage. The homes are priced from the mid- to upper $300,000s, with a monthly homeowner association fee of $142.

The Balestier model has a front porch, an office with two walls of windows off the foyer, an open living and dining room with a wall of windows and a center-island kitchen with a bay window in the breakfast area and a built-in desk. The first floor master suite has a walk-in closet and a private full bath. A second bedroom has an adjacent full bath. This level also has a laundry room. Upstairs is an open loft with dormer windows. The basement can be finished with a bedroom, media room, office and bath.

Call 540/372-4555 or visit www.ridanbuilders.com.

Del Webb Corp. and Pulte Homes Inc. are developing Celebrate in Stafford County, which will eventually have,1,200 homes. Celebrate, within walking distance of the Rappahannock River, redeveloped its site plan to protect conservation areas and to incorporate “low-impact development” into the community design, a system of rain gardens of native Virginia plants and low-lying trees. The development will include a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse, an indoor walking/running track, a ballroom, arts and crafts rooms, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, boccie ball courts, tennis courts and a putting green.

A full-time “lifestyle director” will be on staff to facilitate activities.

Hiking trails lead to the Rappahannock River, and there are preserved historic sites within the community. Old Town Fredericksburg is nearby and plans call for an aerial gondola to be erected over the river to connect Celebrate with a planned eco-resort and to Central Park, a retail and entertainment complex that will eventually expand into a 3,000,000-square-foot commercial and retail development.

Two VRE stops are located in Fredericksburg.

Sales have not started yet at Celebrate, where the homes are anticipated to be priced from the mid-$200,000s. The sales office is expected to open in late spring or early summer. In the meantime, interested buyers can place their name on a waiting list. Call 866/478-5832 or visit www.delwebb.com.

Tricord Homes is developing two active adult communities in the Fredericksburg area.

At Mill Creek, 38 low-maintenance villas with first-floor master suites are under construction along with a community clubhouse. The homes will include year-round yard maintenance.

The Belmont model features a guest bedroom with two closets off the foyer with an adjacent full bath. The first-floor master suite includes a walk-in closet and two standard closets, along with a bath with a tub and separate shower. The main level also has a laundry room off the garage, a storage closet and an open center-island kitchen and casual dining area.

A formal dining room with columns and a “hearth room” or family room complete this level. Buyers can add a finished loft with an extra bedroom or open loft.

The first-floor guest bedroom can be converted to use as a study or living room if desired.

All four models at Mill Creek are priced from $239,900 and up. Homeowners association fees are $180 per month.

Call 888/55-ACTIVE or visit www.tricordhomes.com.

The Retreat at Chancellorsville, a development with a clubhouse, fitness center and swimming pool, borders the Chancellorsville battlefield. Walking and biking trails provide scenic places for exploring the community.

The single-family homes, from Tricord’s “Battlefield Collection,” have two-car garages and two to four bedrooms, each with a first-floor master suite and the option of adding a walk-out basement, a finished loft, a rear porch, screened porch or a sunroom.

The Fitzhugh model has a front porch, a great room with columns and an optional fireplace and an open center-island kitchen with a casual dining area. The master bedroom has two walk-in closets and a bath with a corner tub and a separate shower.

The second bedroom has private access to a full bath, which is also accessible from the hall. Nearby is a laundry room.

Additional bedrooms, baths and living areas can be added with the finished basement and loft levels. The homes are priced from $314,900 and up, with homeowner association fees of $200 per month.

Call 540/785-7799 or visit www.tricordhomes.com.

Hazel Homes is building one-level villas priced from $299,900 and higher at Turnberry East, an active adult community within the Lee’s Hill golf community.

Turnberry East residents can enjoy the 18-hole Lee’s Hill golf course, swimming pools, tennis courts, a clubhouse, nature trails, tot lots and a location near shopping areas.

The new Spotsylvania Hospital, now under construction, is less than one mile from the development. The low-maintenance homes have brick fronts, 6-inch vinyl siding, sodded and professionally landscaped yards and a one-car garage.

Inside, the homes have oak flooring in the foyer, 9-foot ceilings, crown moldings, decorative columns, gas heat, gas hot water and a kitchen with 42-inch oak cabinets, a pantry and recessed lighting.

Each home comes with a sunroom, and buyers can add fireplaces and other upgrades. Call 540/710-9450 or visit www.hazelhomesva.com.

Ryan Homes, Lennar Corp. and Caruso Homes have teamed to develop Virginia Heritage at Lee’s Parke, adjacent to, but separated from the planned community of Lee’s Parke in Fredericksburg.

Plans for Virginia Heritage call for a 416-acre enclave with approximately 800 detached single-family homes from Caruso Homes, Ryan Homes and Lennar set into two neighborhoods.

Virginia Heritage has a gated entrance and a clubhouse with a grand ballroom, a lounge, a billiards room, a card room, a fitness center and activities rooms. Other planned amenities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and a full-time activities director.

The homes will all offer one-level living and a two-car garage with the option of completing a second level.

Lennar’s homes, in their patio, garden and executive collections, are base-priced from the low $300,000s to the mid-$400,000s. The Marjoram garden model, priced from $384,990, has three bedrooms, three baths and a two-car garage. This home has hardwood flooring in the foyer, kitchen and breakfast area, along with ceramic tile baths.

The plan includes a first-floor master suite with two walk-in closets, granite counters in the center-island kitchen, a gas fireplace, a finished loft and a sunroom.

Ryan’s Legacy community is offering homes priced from the mid-$200,000s to the mid-$300,000s. Ryan’s Springbrook model includes a formal dining room or home office with columns off the foyer and a great room with a breakfast bar open to the kitchen and breakfast area.

The first-floor master suite has two walk-in closets and a private full bath. The main level has two additional bedrooms with a connecting full bath. This third bedroom can be converted to use as a study.

A laundry room is next to the garage. A morning room can be added to the main level, and buyers may finish the lower level.

Caruso is building homes from its Composers Collection, priced from the upper $300,000s to the low $400,000s. Each has a large two-car garage and an optional “sky basement” for garage storage. The homes have two or three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 9-foot ceilings on the main level, a gas fireplace, moldings, hardwood flooring in the foyer, tile flooring in the baths and a kitchen with 42-inch oak raised panel cabinets, recessed lighting and granite counters.

The Vivaldi model has a front porch leading into the foyer, which has French doors into the den, which has a walk-in closet. Just past the foyer is an open home office space with a built-in computer desk. A low wall separates the foyer and office from the open living and dining room, which in turn open into the family room, which has a wall of windows at one end. Next to the family room is the kitchen.

The first-floor master suite has two walk-in closets and a bath. The second bedroom has a standard closet and is adjacent to a second full bath. Upstairs are a third bedroom, a full bath and a loft.

Homeowner association fees for the development are $160 per month.

Call 540/834-5570 for Ryan Homes, 888/866-8172 for Lennar and 540/898-5680 for Caruso Homes or visit www.virginia-heritage.com.

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