After nearly 20 years living in the Northern Virginia community of Broadlands, Jim Fowler mused recently about whether the neighborhood still fit his needs.

In 1999, when Fowler and his wife moved their four children to Broadlands, a planned community in Ashburn, his 3,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial on idyllically named Cattail Meadows Place was the perfect size for his family.

But with his last child entering college, Fowler couldn’t help but wonder if downsizing might be in order.

“We thought long and hard about whether this place still fits our lifestyle,” Fowler said.

But after careful consideration, Fowler and his wife decided that they loved the community and had become too attached to consider a move.

“We have access to everything you could dream of, and I doubt I’d feel that way about another place,” he said.

Fabrice Guillaume, who’s lived in the community for 11 years, said he’s definitely noticed residents remaining long after their children are grown.

“A lot of people will buy here and not leave until long after they’ve raised their kids,” he said. “It’s an awesome community that’s very safe and provides excellent educational opportunities. That’s really what keeps people in place.”

Open spaces and wildlife: Situated on more than 1,500 acres in eastern Loudoun County, Broadlands offers its nearly 4,000 residents easy access to swimming pools, trails for hiking and biking, tennis and basketball courts, and large open spaces throughout the community that contribute to a feeling of openness and foster a love for nature, said Joe Wagner, a member of the board of the Broadlands Homeowners Association.

As a testament to the community’s commitment to Mother Nature, the association employs a full-time naturalist and was named a Certified Wildlife Habitat Community by the National Wildlife Federation.

“A lot of the homes in the community back up to open spaces. It’s nice to have that as your view rather than the back of your neighbor’s house,” said Wagner, who purchased a 3,800-square-foot, four-bathroom, four-bathroom Colonial in 2004.

Nancy Bossard, an agent with Long & Foster, said that the area around Broadlands continues to grow as buyers become less fearful of living farther out from downtown Washington. A planned extension of Metro’s Silver Line that will serve Ashburn is adding to the sense that commuting from Loudoun County doesn’t have to be a traffic nightmare, she said.

“People keep moving further and further from D.C. in order to access more affordable housing,” Bossard said. “I can put a house for sale on the market in Broadlands on a Wednesday and have it sold by Monday.”

Joe and Nancy Ligos, who purchased their 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial in 2002, said that they were drawn to the neighborhood because of the highly rated public schools. They liked the fact that their daughter, who at the time was approaching school age, would be able to walk to school as the community sprouted up over time.

Joe said that he and his wife plan to remain in Broadlands for at least another decade.

“Then we’ll retire and get a little condo somewhere.”

Situated on more than 1,500 acres in eastern Loudoun County, Broadlands offers its nearly 4,000 residents easy access to swimming pools, trails for hiking and biking, tennis and basketball courts, and large open spaces. (Justin T. Gellerson/For The Washington Post)

Living there: The neighborhood is bordered to the north by Broadlands Boulevard, to the south by Route 645, to the west by Belmont Ridge Road and to the east by the Dulles Greenway.

In the past 12 months, 173 properties have sold in Broadlands, ranging from a 1,400-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse for $350,000 to a 4,887-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bathroom house for $950,000, said Bossard, the agent with Long & Foster.

There are 14 houses for sale in Broadlands, ranging from a 1,742-square-foot three-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse for $385,000 to a 4,191-square-foot six-bedroom, six-bathroom Colonial for $889,000, Bossard said. There are 21 houses under contract in Broadlands.

Schools: Hillside and Mill Run Elementary, Eagle Ridge Middle and Briar Woods High.

Transit: Loudoun County Transit operates a weekday commuter bus service from a park-and-ride lot in Broadlands to nearby Metro stations. Construction is underway on the Ashburn station on Metro’s Silver Line.

Crime: In the past six months, there were 29 assaults, 11 reports of stolen vehicles and one robbery in a wider area that includes Broadlands, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.