Heading off Interstate 66 at Exit 43A in Prince William County, Va., the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park are an undulating wave in the distance. They set the stage for the rural feel of Turtle Point at Lake Manassas, a new townhouse community in Gainesville, Va., 40 miles west of Washington.
Set on 12 acres adjacent to the older, roughly 200-acre Lake Manassas community of 500 single-family houses and 20 townhouses, Turtle Point at Lake Manassas is a refuge from the nearby commercial U.S. Route 29 corridor.
Beth and Robert Garay moved into the first cluster of townhouses in September 2016. "We back up to woods, and it's like living in a park," she said. They looked for a townhouse because "we didn't want a lot of yard to take care of."
"We designed the homes to be zero maintenance, turnkey, lock and leave," said Melanie Green-Karol, director of sales and marketing for Basheer & Edgemoore, the builder.
Twenty-five of the 70 units are sold. "They are stick-built, not panelized," she said, explaining that one piece of wood is put up at a time rather than a pre-made factory wall.
Pointing to a structure under construction, Green-Karol said: "Each of those walls went up one two-by-four at a time."
Southern design: Exteriors are varying shades of brick; window frames are desert sand colored. "Color packages were developed strictly for this community," Green-Karol said.
"The style looks a little like the architecture in Charleston," said Sue Barusefski, a resident since September. "They tried to bring in that Southern influence in the design."
The residences are three levels. Entrance doors are on the ground floor or lower level adjacent to the garage and lead to a clubroom that can be converted to a guest bedroom. A door opens to a brick-paved outdoor terrace and fenced back yard.
Barusefski turned the lower level "into the office I always dreamed of," she said. "There's room for deep shelves, a big desk and a credenza. I put in a dry bar where I put my Keurig and a beverage fridge. This has definitely made it a place you can stay till you're finished with what you're doing."
The Garays, who have six grandchildren, use the lower level as a rec room. Only one has visited so far, Beth Garay said, but "I can assure you they'll have lots of space to run around when they come."
Four floor plans — Jamison, Norbury, Granville and Somerville — are offered. The main differences are an option of an elevator and a transitional or contemporary kitchen. All plans offer at least one veranda, which is a covered porch with DuraDeck flooring.
In the Jamison model, the kitchen and family room are on one end of the house and dining and living rooms are on the other end. In the Norbury model, the kitchen is centered between the family and breakfast rooms and the dining and living rooms. A 10-foot-long island dominates that kitchen.
Three bedrooms, each with a bathroom, occupy the top floor. The owner's suite walk-in closet is reached through the bathroom. The Norbury has a stand-alone tub.
Community amenities: It is a gated community with 24-hour monitoring. Lake Manassas is a 770-acre public reservoir. "It's a beautiful setting for the homes, and you can take an uplifting walk around the lake, though you can't swim in the water," said Barusefski. Residents can use a clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, multipurpose fields, playground and miles of trails. Robert Trent Jones Golf Club is a private membership club; Stonewall Golf Club is public.
Shopping: The Shops at Stonewall offer Wegmans and Bed Bath & Beyond; Virginia Gateway offers Giant Food, Target and Best Buy; Haymarket Village Center houses Walmart and Kohl's.
Schools: Buckland Elementary, Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle, Patriot High.
Transit: Turtle Point is a drive-in-and-out community, but residents can walk to Wegmans. "It makes me feel sometimes like we have a personal chef there," said Barusefski. Amtrak and Virginia Rail Express (VRE) stop at Old Town Manassas, a 15-minute drive. Park & Ride service to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station on the Orange line is available from Centreville, 12 miles away. Dulles International Airport is 22 miles away.
8024 Turtle Creek Cir., Gainesville, Va.
There will be 70 townhouses ranging from $524,900 to $564,900. Twenty-five are sold.
Builder: Basheer & Edgemoore.
Features: All townhouses have a two-car garage with concrete driveway, brick walkway leading to the front door and covered entry. There's gas heating and electric air-conditioning, a 65-gallon gas water heater and rough in for washer and dryer. The kitchen is outfitted with stainless-steel GE appliances, 42-inch maple cabinets, granite counters and a stainless-steel double bowl sink. All bathrooms feature ceramic tile floors. The master bathroom has a large shower. Wood shelving is hung in the master closet and kitchen pantry.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 to 4 / 3 to 4.
Square footage: About 3,000.
Homeowners association fee: $283 per month.
View model: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Tuesday.