Where We Live

Where We Live: Ashburn Manor in Virginia's Loudoun County

By Amy Reinink
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ashburn Manor is a neighborhood best defined by what it is not.

In a county with developments the size of small cities, it consists of a mere 64 homes.

Amid neighborhoods with swimming pools, ballrooms and amphitheaters, Ashburn Manor offers amenities such as access to a 45-mile bike trail and a nearby public park.

Although nearby subdivisions sponsor swim teams and organize concert series, Ashburn Manor residents gather at such events as the pancake breakfast at the Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

"Other neighborhoods we looked at all seems so big and so busy," said Paula Yocom, 48, a stay-at-home mother who moved to Ashburn Manor with her husband, John, a member of Ashburn Manor's Homeowners Association board, about 10 years ago.

"This felt a little more down-to-earth, and we really liked that. When you say you live in Ashburn Manor, it means you're one of 64 homes, and that gives you a sense of belonging," she said.

For those reasons and a host of others, residents who move to Ashburn Manor, located between Route 7 and the Dulles Greenway in eastern Loudoun County, rarely leave. The last time a house sold in the neighborhood was a foreclosure in June 2009, with the most recent sale before that in 2007, according to Lisa Picciolo, a real estate agent with Weichert's Gierer-Picciolo Team.

Ashburn Manor's 52 houses and 12 townhouses sit between Ashburn Village and Ashburn Farm off Ashburn Road. Though Ashburn Manor itself doesn't offer large clubhouses or exercise rooms, residents say they're satisfied with the entertainment options outside the neighborhood's borders. Many families pay a fee to use pools in neighboring communities, for example.

"Some people may miss the amenities, but you know coming in that you're not going to have a pool," said Jeanmarie Kuntce, 44, who works in information technology and has lived in Ashburn Manor about 10 years. "We actually like that, because it's one less thing have to pay for each month in homeowners' fees."

Ashburn Park, with a network of trails as well as playgrounds and picnic pavilions, is a short walk from Ashburn Manor, as is a connection to the 45-mile Washington & Old Dominion Trail. "We don't have a pool here, but we do have the parks, the trails and lots of other natural beauty," Yocom said.

That natural beauty extends to the lots and common areas in Ashburn Manor, said Krista Lepp, 38, who owns a Smoothie King with her husband, Brad.

"Our back yard backs up to woods, which is rare in Ashburn," said Lepp, whose family was among the first to move into Ashburn Manor 11 years ago. "The wooded lots create a sense of privacy that other neighborhoods in this area don't seem to have."

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