He said a collection of waterfront houses in Fairfax County’s Hallowing Point River Estates near the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge regularly caught his eye. The moment he was ready to move, he said, there was no question where he’d look first.
“This is just a beautiful neighborhood that has a little bit of everything, from bike trails to wildlife,” said Lahr, who five years ago built an 8,250-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom Colonial with a 120-foot dock. “The deer are so comfortable that they’ll eat the grass right alongside the road as you’re driving, and they’re not skittish at all.”
Water activities: A relatively unknown community that sits about 20 miles south of Washington, Hallowing Point River Estates consists of nearly 200 homes that are surrounded by an abundance of wildlife, thanks to their proximity to the wildlife refuge, said Kathleen Kennedy, principal broker and owner of Kennedy and Co., a real estate firm.
“The community is great for water sports like skiing and wakeboarding and there’s a beach area for families to hang out. People like the quiet but still enjoy being so close” to downtown Washington, Kennedy said.
The community is also home to a number of families that have been there for generations — a testament, Kennedy said, to the neighborhood’s staying power. “Many of the families that have lived there for generations grew up crab fishing on the Potomac.”
Chris Eppard, also a broker with Kennedy and Co., said he grew up in the community and carried with him fond memories of enjoying the natural surroundings and proximity to the river.
About 10 years ago, when his children were toddlers, he and his wife, Julia, by his own account, were stressing about where they wanted to raise their family. At the time, they were living in Old Town Alexandria, and while they liked their neighborhood, Eppard said, he couldn’t stop dreaming about the waterfront Colonial where he spent his childhood.
“Hallowing Point essentially has the benefit of being a waterfront enclave within Northern Virginia. Families here probably have an easier time doing outside activities than people who live in other parts of Northern Virginia,” said Eppard, 50, who lives in a 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom rambler. “Hiking, mountain biking, water-skiing, tubing, fishing, paddleboarding, sailing and camping are literally just outside your front door.”
Scenic drive: Jim York, the self-described “mayor” of Hallowing Point River Estates and president of the community’s citizens association, said that for most neighbors, the seven-mile drive along Gunston Road, a scenic stretch that takes residents from busy Route 1 to the heart of the community, serves as “a decompression chamber” for residents.
“In a county with more than a million people we’re blessed with an abundance of public lands and opportunities to enjoy the nature around us. It’s really uncharacteristic for Northern Virginia,” said York, who lives in a 2,600-square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bathroom ranch-style house.
That’s a sentiment echoed by Lahr, the retired Army lieutenant colonel.
“Who would think that in Fairfax County, so close to Washington, D.C., you could sit on your back deck and watch a fox running across your yard with goose eggs in its mouth.”
Living there: Hallowing Point River Estates, which is in Fairfax County about 20 miles south of Washington, is bordered by Hallowing Drive and the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge to the north, the Potomac River and River Drive to the south and east, and the wildlife refuge and River Drive to the west.
In the past 12 months, five properties have sold in Hallowing Point River Estates, ranging from a 2,642-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary house for $682,500 to an 8,350-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom custom-built waterfront house for $2,500,000, said Kennedy, the real estate broker.
There are five homes for sale in Hallowing Point River Estates, ranging from a 3,720-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom rancher for $839,000 to a 15,213-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom Georgian-style home for $4,949,000.
Schools: Gunston and Lorton Station elementary, South County middle and South County high.
Transit: The community is about 14 miles from the Franconia-Springfield Station on Metro’s Blue Line.
Crime: In the past six months, there have been no violent crimes, thefts or burglaries reported in Hallowing Point River Estates, according to Fairfax County police.