Larry Crenshaw’s description of his Embrey Mill neighborhood in North Stafford, Va., might seem a bit exaggerated to some, but it perfectly captures his feelings about the community, he said.

“Living here is like being at Disney World, man,” said the Air Force retiree.

Crenshaw, who lives in a three-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse with his wife, Melody, said there’s good reason to equate living in Embrey Mill to being at the Magic Kingdom.

Because Embrey Mill is a master-planned community, the neighborhood has enough attractions to keep residents entertained without them having to travel far from their front door, he said.

“During the summer there are always events featuring music and live bands, and movies in the park,” Crenshaw said. “You don’t have to leave because it’s all right in your back yard.”

Alexandra Allen, a real estate agent with Century 21 Redwood in Fredericksburg, said that Embrey Mill’s focus is on encouraging residents to get more involved with one another.

“That community planning is what makes this neighborhood so unique. They’ve built things to attract you outside and to get you mingling with your neighbors,” she said.


Something for everyone: The community is nearly 13 miles from Marine Corps Base Quantico, and many of Embrey Mill’s eight builders offer incentives for members of the military, Allen said.

Consisting of about 2,000 townhouses and single-family houses built in the hills of historic North Stafford, Embrey Mill gives its residents access to 10 miles of trails, 285 acres of open space, doggy stations throughout the community, a racetrack park for tricycles and scooters, and a full-service bistro and cafe. The amenities are one reason Embrey Mill is among the area’s fastest-growing communities, said Fred Garnes, director of marketing for Embrey Mill’s developer, Newland Communities.

“Interest in the community has really picked up because we’ve reached a point where people can see what the community and amenities will look like,” Garnes said. “Buyers really like that they can pick and choose their style of home and that they don’t have to be stuck with just one type.”

Kristen Loescher, who lives in a five-bedroom, four-bathroom, 3,200-square-foot traditional house, said that in addition to doubling her living space, her husband, who works in Springfield, cut his commute time in half after the family moved to Embrey Mill from a smaller house in Caroline County, Va.

She said that she wasn’t deterred by the fact that they would have to build their new home. “We’d never had a home built before and we were a little apprehensive at first,” she said. “You hear so many horror stories, but everything worked out beautifully.”

Loescher said that she and her husband enjoy running and were particularly excited to have access to mulch trails for running, walking and biking.

“It’s not like we’re 18 anymore,” said Loescher, who noted that mulch trails are easier on her joints.


Embrey Mill residents have access to 10 miles of trails, 285 acres of open space, dog stations throughout the community, a racetrack park for tricycles and scooters, and a full-service bistro and cafe. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)

Facebook page: Sean Roane, who moved to Embrey Mill in 2003 from nearby Woodbridge, said the neighborhood’s wooded areas and affordability attracted him. “I was hoping they’d keep it that way,” said Roane, with a chuckle, as he recalled being one of a handful of early residents on his block.

“I really like the location, and it’s such a friendly community,” said Roane, who lives in a 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bathroom traditional home.

Loescher, who moved to Embrey Mill in November, said that residents operate an active Facebook page where neighbors trade recipes and invite people to join them at the dog park — attributes that contribute to a family-friendly environment, she said.

“It’s incredibly convenient to have everything in your neighborhood that you need.”

Living there: The neighborhood is bounded by Austin Ridge Road to the north and east, Courthouse Road to the south and Mine Road to the west.

In the past 12 months, 36 properties have sold in Embrey Mill, ranging from a 1,909-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse for $299,990 to a 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom traditional house for $524,990, said Allen, the Century 21 Redwood agent.

There are 34 houses for sale in Embrey Mill, ranging from a 2,116-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse for $314,990 to a 5,338-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-bathroom traditional house for $619,990, Allen said.

Schools: Winding Creek Elementary, H.H. Poole Middle and Colonial Forge High.

Transit: Embrey Mill is about a 10-minute car ride from the Virginia Railway Express’s Brooke Station. Residents also use nearby slugging lines to carpool into Northern Virginia and the District.