Even though she occasionally flirts with the idea of downsizing from her 1978 center-hall Colonial, she says she is unlikely to move anytime soon.
“I’m getting antsy. Twenty years, this is the longest I’ve lived anywhere,” she said. “Where am I going to go? . . . I like my neighbors. I like my street. My husband won’t buy me a new house because he doesn’t want to move.”
Brugnoli’s desire to stay put isn’t unusual in Chartwell, which was developed in the 1960s by Albert and Roger Merritt as a planned, upscale golf course community, according to the CCA website. The name Chartwell comes from Winston Churchill’s English country house. Many of the street names are a nod to Great Britain — London Lane, St. Ives Drive and St. Andrews Road.
Most of Chartwell’s 669 houses were built in the 1960s and 1970s. A few newly built homes have replaced older homes, but the majority of the houses are Colonials, split-levels and ranch-style houses.
Chartwell is a hilly neighborhood with massive, mature oaks that bring “a million acorns and lots of leaves,” says Brugnoli. There are no sidewalks, but that doesn’t deter the many dog walkers and bikers who meander through the quiet neighborhood. Speed bumps prevent vehicles from going too fast.
Nostalgia is what drew Lauren Burke Meyer and her husband, Scott Meyer, to Chartwell after they outgrew their Annapolis townhouse. They bought a 1968 Colonial and moved to Chartwell last November.
Chartwell “closely resembles the childhood that we both had, and what we wanted for our daughters,” 3-year-old Charlotte and 11-month-old Riley, Scott wrote in an email. “It’s a safe neighborhood that they could ride their bikes down the road to meet up with friends or walk to the pool and park some day.”
Lauren grew up in Chartwell, and her parents still live there.
“It’s wonderful watching my girls experience things from my childhood, like Charlotte attending my former nursery school or both girls going to Kinder Farm Park and laughing on the swings,” Lauren wrote. “I’ve had so many beautiful memories flooding back to me since we moved.”
The Meyers aren’t unusual in Chartwell. It’s not uncommon for parents to retire and leave their house to their children, or for the children to buy a house to be near their parents.
“People will sacrifice,” Brugnoli said. “They will move into a 50-year-old fixer-upper because they have that pride of place.”
Helen Sherman moved to Chartwell 19 years ago for many of the same reasons as her friend and neighbor, Brugnoli.
“It was a great place to raise a family,” she said. “There’s a lot of kids. . . . Years later, my husband said this was really the best move we could have made, not only for us, but mostly for our son.”
Chartwell has plenty of family-friendly amenities. Kinder Farm Park, a 288-acre park on Chartwell’s northern border, has playgrounds, sports fields, picnic tables, a petting zoo and 2.8 miles of paved trails and several miles of natural trails. The Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks Department offers a variety of programs at the park, including birding, quilting and 4-H. St. Andrew’s Swim and Tennis Club, which is open to all residents of Chartwell, has a 25-meter pool and four tennis courts. Its swim team is popular among Chartwell residents.
The Chartwell Golf and Country Club, which opened in 1961, is a private club with membership by invitation only. It has an 18-hole, Ed Ault-designed golf course, tennis courts and a swimming pool.
“Our family loves to walk, and we enjoy walking alongside the beautiful golf course, as well as the rest of the neighborhood,” wrote Lauren Burke Meyer, who is not a member of the country club but says several of her neighbors are.
The community association sponsors many activities that are organized and run by volunteers. Unlike a homeowners association, the CCA receives funds from Anne Arundel County that are taken out of property taxes. Those funds are for maintaining the common areas and can’t be used for social activities. The money for those events comes from advertising in the newsletter that is sent to residents.
“It speaks volumes that those who grew up in Chartwell want to move back and raise their own families there,” Lauren wrote. “This is the case for me, as well as many other people I grew up with.”
Living there: Chartwell is bounded by Kinder Farm Park to the north, Jumpers Hole Road to the east, Benfield Road to the south and St. Ives Drive to the west. The neighborhood has no retail businesses, but shops and restaurants are a short drive away.
In the past six months, 22 houses have sold in Chartwell, according to Liz Montaner, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty. The median sold price was $772,450. The least-expensive house sold was a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,240-square-foot house for $535,000. The most-expensive was a four-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,755-square-foot house for $1.5 million.
Houses in Chartwell don’t stay on the market long. The median days on market in the past six months was six days. Three homes are under contract. None are for sale.
“People do stay for a long time in Chartwell,” Montaner said. “It’s a very desirable community.”
She said buyers like that it is a family-friendly neighborhood and that it is centrally located between Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis. Montaner said the one knock against it is the lack of water access, which many buyers want when moving to Anne Arundel County.
Schools: Benfield Elementary, Severna Park Middle and Severna Park High.
Transit: The closest public transportation is the MARC station in Odenton, which is about a 20-minute drive from Chartwell. The main roads nearby are Ritchie Highway and Interstate 97.
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