Dick and Mary Sue Metrey’s traditionally-styled, open concept home on a quiet cul-de-sac in Colonial Heritage is up for sale. But that’s not because the couple want to leave the gated, 55+ active adults community; it’s because they want to stay.
For Dick and Mary Sue, the gracious 3-bedroom, 2-bath home they built on Blakemore Terrace in Colonial Heritage was only a summer place; their primary residence was near Washington, DC. But after less than two years of living there part-time, the couple have decided to make Colonial Heritage their permanent home.
“There is such a sense of community here,” said Mary Sue, who is retired from working with the mentally disabled. “People are friendly and they’re interesting.” However, with a huge immediate family of 19 children and grandchildren who love to visit, the Metreys need more room than their 1,756 square foot “Aldrich” model can provide. The couple regretfully decided to sell their Blakemore Terrace home, but they are building a larger home in Colonial Heritage just down the street.
Dick and Mary Sue were originally drawn to Colonial Heritage for the community’s sociable character. “About 15 years ago we bought a condo in Williamsburg,” explained Mary Sue. “But eventually we wanted more of a neighborhood experience than we got with the condo, so we started looking for another home in Williamsburg.” During their search, the couple toured Colonial Heritage with a representative of the developer, Lennar Corporation, and saw firsthand the community’s welcoming nature.
“As we were driving through the neighborhood, everyone stopped to talk with the Lennar rep,” said Mary Sue. “And they talked with us, too.”
In 2010-11, the couple built their home at 6808 Blakemore Terrace. “It’s one of the biggest lots,” said Dick, an engineer retired from high-level positions with Naval research institutions. “Most are about 6,000 square feet and ours is 8,000 square feet. It’s also on the nicest cul-de-sac.”
Mary Sue likes the way the home is sited on the property. “There’s no house abutting the back of our home, so no one look into our great room from the back of the property,” she said. “And the front of the house doesn’t face anyone else’s door.” Colonial Heritage’s 170-acre, 18-hole Arthur Hills championship golf course sits only a few houses away.
The Metreys built their single-level home for easy living. It has no steps, and includes user-friendly amenities such as lever handles on interior doors, a seat in the oversized master shower, and comfort height toilets and vanities. The open concept floor plan includes a spacious living/dining great room with a gas fireplace finished with a Colonial style mantel and a granite surround and hearth. Sliding doors lead from the great room’s dining area to the deck. The great room is also open to a chef’s kitchen that features both a breakfast bar and a breakfast nook, furniture grade Timberlake cabinetry with accent glass fronts, Corian countertops, and a gas cook top. Bringing in the groceries is a breeze: the kitchen connects to a convenient mudroom/laundry off the two-car garage.
All rooms have 9 foot ceilings – perfect for Dick, who is 6’2” tall— and several feature crown molding. Most of the home is carpeted, but there is oak hardwood flooring in the kitchen and in the foyer, which receives natural light from glass transom and side lights framing the home’s six-panel entry door. “I love the foyer, the fact that you don’t walk in the house and right into the great room,” Mary Sue noted.
The home’s Lennar-appointed builder, Matt, impressed Mary Sue with his emphasis on solid construction and attention to details. “When we had our walk-through, Matt noticed things even we didn’t see,” she said. “They were very small things, but he fixed them all.” Matt’s desire to ensure everything in the house was just right, led the couple to request him as the builder of their next Colonial Heritage home.
The couple like that Colonial Heritage, which offers tennis and bocce courts, and an 8,500 square foot fitness center, is such an active community. “There are a lot of new retirees here, it seems most residents aren’t elderly,” said Mary Sue. “You see people walking, biking and jogging, and many walk their dogs.”
While Dick bikes and jogs, Mary Sue swims at the community’s indoor and outdoor pools. She also enjoys playing in a social bridge group. “There are so many clubs and activities here, the monthly calendar must be 20 pages long,” she said. In fact, the clubs at Colonial Heritage run the gamut from a William and Mary Sports Teams Support Club to groups focused on bluegrass music, travel, and history. Mary Sue pointed out that the community also has a service oriented organization, the Colonial Heritage Community Foundation, which provides support to residents who are caregivers.
The couple especially loves the 25,000 square-foot Colonial style clubhouse, which includes both a fine dining restaurant and a casual grille. “We’ve been to New Year’s Eve parties at the clubhouse, and we’ve brought our families there for holiday dinners,” Mary Sue said. “Wednesday nights are half-price burgers at the club and everyone loves that.”
The Metreys frequently take advantage of cultural and social activities that Colonial Williamsburg—only five miles from Colonial Heritage—has to offer. “There are so many lectures there, ranging from wine making to barrel making,” noted Mary Sue. She added that some of her neighbors share such interests. “At Colonial Heritage there are people from all over the country, and with different backgrounds. We’ve met a lot of people there who are teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers…who seem to be interested in the same things we are.”
Although they are excited to be moving to Colonial Heritage full-time, the couple will miss their home on Blakemore Way, which Mary Sue described as “so gently used that there are some closet shelves we’ve never even used.”
“We’ve had a neighborhood Christmas gathering there,” Mary Sue noted. “And we have loved having our grandchildren visit us there. One of our grandchildren said he likes this house better than our big house [outside Washington] with the pool!”
“We were charter members of this cul-de-sac,” Mary Sue added. “And even though we were only there part-time, we made a lot of good friends.”
Why the stories? Because these aren’t just houses, they’re homes.
Mr. Williamsburg knows that when you’re looking for a new place, you’re searching for more than just four walls plus amenities, you’re looking for that welcoming refuge we call home That’s why we go beyond the standard “4 bedrooms, 3 baths on large lot” statistics, to share how others have lived in this house, to reveal the home’s unique personality, to help you decide whether this is a place where your family could thrive.
Likewise, we realize that you’re seeking not simply a development within a particular zip code, but also an opportunity to become part of a community. That’s why we share our sellers’ experiences as members of that neighborhood.
We trust these stories will assist you in finding your way home.
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Contact Mr Williamsburg/ John Womeldorf by phone 757 254 8136 or email John@MrWilliamsburg.com