Paula and Shaun Bilodeau wanted to downsize from a single-family house to a townhouse. That’s not a big deal. There are many townhouse developments in the Washington area, and they visited several in Arlington and Alexandria, Va.
“But I had very specific criteria,” said Paula. “I wanted a two-car garage, a completely open floor plan and a large kitchen.”
That’s a lot to ask for in a townhouse and it took some looking. “But we found these — Saratoga Towns in Springfield, Va., about 20 miles southwest of the District — and absolutely fell in love with them,” she said.
The Bilodeaus moved into the development at the end of January and are among the first homeowners in the new townhouses.
Saratoga Towns is a tiny community of 10 three-and-four-level townhouses on a 1.62 acre lot, adjacent to the existing Saratoga Community. The two communities share a pool and playground.
CarrHomes, an independent, and local builder since 1925, is putting up the townhouses in two buildings. One building will have six units and another across the street will have four. Four are sold, and six are on the market.
“The land became available,” said Phil Ceconi, community sales manager. “CarrHomes bought it, secured the approvals and permits for construction and now we’re developing the property and selling the homes.” The company is also selling in Waterford, Purcellville, Clifton and Great Falls, Va.
Large kitchen counters: CarrHomes offers semi-custom properties. Purchasers can make small changes to the plans, such as modifying the closets or converting the lower level powder room into a full bathroom. The number of floors in the residence, three or four, determines the owner’s bedroom configuration, size and style.
The main living level on the second floor can be configured as an open loft with a great room on one end and kitchen-dining room on the other; or it can be designed more traditionally with a living and dining room seamlessly blending and likewise the kitchen and family room standing side-by-side.
Paula says the kitchen surpassed her wildest dreams. “I have a nine-foot island. Three people can sit there and talk to me while I cook. I have more counter space than I had in my house,” she said. The breakfast nook area easily holds a table with six chairs plus a hutch. “Basically what would go in a dining room fits there.”
A spacious owners suite occupies the third level. The bedroom is on one side of the house, separated from the master bathroom by an alcove, den and double-door linen closet.
Up another flight to the fourth level are two smaller, but still good-sized bedrooms that share a bathroom. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet, and its own entry door into the bathroom. The bedrooms are on opposite sides of the floor, which maximizes privacy and will be a feature that children enjoy.
Back downstairs on street level is the front-loading double garage, rec room and a “bigger than average fenced in back yard,” said Ceconi.
“The other thing I really like is there are only going to be 10 homes,” Paula said. “And we’re not a through street — Carbondale Way, the street address of the townhouses, ends in a cul-de-sac — we’re our own niche community. That appeals to me especially coming from a single-family house. There won’t be people in front or in back of us.”
What’s nearby: Restaurants, coffee shops, bars, movie theaters and retail outlets are plentiful amid shopping venues that include Springfield Town Center, Springfield Plaza Shopping Center and West Springfield Shopping Center.
Fairfax County is bountiful with parks and natural recreation areas. A regional highlight to the northwest of Springfield is the nearly 500-acre Lake Accotink Park, which includes a 55-acre lake. There are wetlands by the water’s edge with marsh vegetation and wildlife. Bikes and boats can be rented. An antique carousel built between 1937 and 1945 still operates to the delight of children who can climb on the colorful hand-carved wood and cast-aluminum horses.
Pohick Creek Stream Valley Park offers walking and biking trails and a new beautifully built wood walking bridge. Burke Station Square Park and Recreation has trails plus tennis courts, playground, pool and swim club. It’s accessible via a walking trail from two nearby residential streets. Springfield Golf and Country Club is a 50-year-old membership club on a sprawling property along Old Keene Mill Road. Besides a golf course, there’s a pool, tennis courts, fitness center and dining room. The venue can be rented for special events like weddings and family reunions.
Schools: Saratoga Elementary, Francis Scott Key Middle, Robert E. Lee High.
Transit: Driving from the District, Springfield, in Fairfax County, is reached via Interstate 395 south, which merges into Interstate 95 south. Drivers should take exit 166B onto Fairfax County Parkway/Va. Route 286 west. Go left on Barta Road, right on Edinburgh Drive and right on Carbondale Way.
Many bus lines — Burke Centre Line, Springfield Circulator, Fairfax Connector and Greyhound — feed Springfield and surrounding neighborhoods and make stops at the Franconia-Springfield Metro station on the Blue Line. There are 48 metered parking spaces, 36 bike racks and 20 bike lockers.
7880 Carbondale Way, Springfield, Va.
There will be 10 townhouses. Four are sold. Six are for sale and priced from $569,900 to $626,400.
Features: All the townhouses have two-car finished garages and rec rooms. Exterior fronts and end unit sides are made of brick. Entry walks, stoop and driveway are made of concrete. There are three multimedia and two phone pre-wire locations, carbon monoxide detectors on all levels and a programmable thermostat on the main level. Hardwood floors run through foyer, kitchen, nook and family room and wall-to-wall carpeting fills the rest of the house. A gas fireplace is outfitted with marble surround and wood mantel. In the kitchen are granite counters, GE stainless-steel appliances, 42-inch cabinets and walk-in pantry.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 to 5 / 4 to 5
Square footage: 2,425 to 3,100
Homeowner association fee: $80 per month
View model: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Contact: Phil Ceconi at 703-598-3095 or https://www.carrhomes.com/saratoga-towns .