Correction to This Article
· A Nov. 1 Where We Live article about the Amanda Place neighborhood in Fairfax County incorrectly described how Rosetta Brooks and her late husband, Arthur, acquired their land. They bought it from his father, not his great-uncle.
Where We Live

From Family Home to Friendly Neighborhood

Amy Waldron is vice president of the homeowners association and a resident since 2002 of the small neighborhood, which is home mostly to young families.
Amy Waldron is vice president of the homeowners association and a resident since 2002 of the small neighborhood, which is home mostly to young families. (Photos by Susan Straight for The Washington Post)

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By Susan Straight
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's easy to miss Amanda Place. The unassuming Vienna subdivision is a single street, ending in two cul-de-sacs, with about 40 houses.

Residents seem to like that about their six-year-old neighborhood. For one thing, with little through traffic, it's easy for children to play. There may be as many as 60 children in the neighborhood, residents say. "We joke that we are one of the few couples who hasn't had children since moving in," said Claudia Day, whose husband, Carl Prieser, serves on the homeowners association board.

Amy Waldron, the vice president of the homeowners association and a resident since 2002, has two of the older children in the neighborhood, in fourth and eighth grades.

"We walk to the pool. You could not be closer to the bike path. All of the nannies stroller the kids everywhere," Waldron said.

The houses, all built in 2001 and 2002, are brick Colonials, with as many as five bedrooms and four baths on three levels, including the basement. They have two-car garages, Corian counters in the kitchens and decks over the small back yards. They sit on lots of a little more than a tenth of an acre. Finishing options in basements include media rooms, home offices, recreation rooms and additional storage rooms.

Day and her husband bought their 2,400-square-foot house in 2002. "I was amazed they were building something this big this close in," she said. The neighborhood is less than two miles outside the Beltway, near Interstate 66 and about a mile from both the Dunn Loring and Vienna Metro stations. "What appealed to us was that it was very little land" and the interior design had an "openness."

"I like the floor plan a lot," Day said. Their small yard backs up to a large, wooded lot. "We enjoy the benefits of that without having the yard to take care of," she said. "A bonus is that all of the neighbors are very nice, very friendly," she said.

The neighborhood strives for tidiness, with strict association rules about home color and exterior improvements.

"This area has a certain uniformity. The homes are similar styles, but not all the same, so you don't feel like you're living in a cookie-cutter" community, said John Sweet. He and his wife, Mary Vohringer, have lived in Amanda Place for about three years.

"It's a low-key association because it's a group of 41 neighbors who know each other," he said.

The most recent home on the market, a five-bedroom, 3.5-bath model, was originally listed at $899,000 but went for $720,000. In 2006, a five-bedroom, 3.5-bath house sold for $975,000. In 2007, the same model sold for $955,000. The difference between these prices and the current sale is steep.

"Over the course of a one-year spread, it's over $200,000 down. That's bigger than most other communities are experiencing," said John Purvis Sr., an agent with Re/Max Xecutex.


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