Alan and Christina Starr are among about a dozen families that recently moved into a new community for the 55-plus set called Vistas at Lansdowne.
Winchester Homes bought the property, which is close to the sprawling retirement community Lansdowne Woods of Virginia, and is building a neighborhood of 120 spacious, three-level townhouses. Most of the land is involved in the construction, and it will be about three years until all the units are finished.
In the meantime, the first wave of residents is getting acclimated.
“The setting is very nice,” Alan Starr said. “More than half the lots have views toward the woods as we do. In the summer, you can’t see through all the leaves, and it’s like looking at a forest in the back of our house.” From the deck off the living room he pointed to a green swath beyond the trees, the private Golf Club at Lansdowne. Below the deck, a maintenance crew staffer mowed a lawn that was still green in December.
Ground maintenance and landscaping are among the community’s attractions. The first-level master bedroom and the location were draws for Don and Nancy Milburn, who took up residence two weeks before Christmas.
“It’s truly a convenient location,” Nancy Milburn said. “We enjoy walking, biking and golf. Everything we like to do is right around here. And we didn’t have to change our doctors.” Inova Loudoun Hospital on Riverside Parkway is across the street from the community, and many physicians and health-related offices are close.
“There are also woods and animals. Recently we came home around 8 p.m. and saw two deer. The other day I saw a fox. You never know what creatures are running around,” Nancy Milburn said.
Activities galore: Another draw is the automatic connection to recreational amenities at Lansdowne Woods, established for the benefit of Vistas residents. The Starrs took their 4-year-old granddaughter, Iris, to the indoor pool at the Lansdowne Woods clubhouse. “She had a wonderful time,” said Christina Starr. “We’ll go there more often once our house is set up and everything is rolling.”
Vistas residents can use the clubhouse and associated facilities at Lansdowne Woods because that’s an ongoing benefit of the homeowner fee. “The clubhouse is really quite phenomenal,” said Shelly Perry, new-home adviser for the community. “It has everything you can imagine.” Features include activity rooms and studios for art, ceramics and exercise; daily classes in a number of topics such as tap dance, yoga and woodworking; an assortment of clubs, from books to gourmet cooking; a library; beauty salon and barber shop; a sauna; and a bank.
Open living: The townhouses are built in blocks of four to seven units. Two models are offered. One is the Landon, which is the layout for the larger end-units; the other is the Pierce, the layout for interior units. Two-car garages are standard for all.
Entrances are covered with a small portico over red-brick steps and flooring and lead to the main level. Units are designed around the open-living concept. Kitchens open to a great room with gas fireplace and a living room with a double-height ceiling. The pantry has a double-glass-paned door. A washer and dryer are on the main level, as are master bedroom and bathroom suites. A deck is an option selected by most owners.
The Starrs added a small wall to the left of the entry hall to create a separate dining room. They also enclosed the right side of the hallway with double-glass-paned doors to make an office.
A second-level loft overlooks the living room and can be outfitted as a lounge or media room or left open for a gallery space with walls decorated with paintings.
A finished basement is optional.
Age restrictions: The community is designed for adults 55 and above. Prospective buyers must provide a drivers license to verify age when a contract is signed.
But 20 percent of the community — or 24 units — can be owned by an individual who is younger than 55 but older than 19. The key rule is that anyone 18 and younger isn’t allowed to live in the homes “ever,” said Perry. “They can stay with the owners a maximum of 90 days per year.”
Shopping: Lansdowne Town Center offers more than a dozen restaurants, plus a bank, pharmacy, beauty and barber shops, animal hospital, dentist, nail salon, pet store and a Harris Teeter supermarket. Seven grocery stores, including Whole Foods Market and Wegmans, are within a two-mile radius. Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets are minutes away.
Transit: An easy route to downtown Washington is via Virginia Route 7 East to Route 28 South and onto the Dulles Access Road/267 East and then Interstate 66. There is no midday traffic, and the trip takes about 50 minutes.
A private local bus associated with Lansdowne Woods of Virginia picks up riders from the clubhouse and takes them along routes to shopping, dining, entertainment venues and to destinations such as area airports, by personal reservation. Special bus outings, to places such as the Kennedy Center, are arranged by a concierge at the clubhouse .
44231 Mimosa Grove Sq., Leesburg, Va.
This 55-plus adult community will have 120 newly built townhouses. Twenty-six are sold. Ninety-four are available, with prices ranging from $498,900 to $659,990.
Builder: Winchester Homes
Features: Exterior facades are a blend of brick and stone with HardiePlank siding. Interior ceiling heights are 9 feet. A natural gas fireplace has a wood mantel and slate surround. Kitchens have Reico 42-inch birch cabinets, level one granite counters, Whirlpool stainless steel appliances and Blanco stainless steel under-mounted sinks.
Square-footage: 2,681 to 2,870
Homeowner association fee: $332 per month.
View model: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Sales: Shelly Perry, 571-291-2098 or www.WinchesterHomes.com.