Where We Live: European-style villa in Governor’s Land-Williamsburg VA

In 1991, the Wall Street Journal ran an ad for Governor’s Land, which at the time was a brand-new neighborhood being developed in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Grace and Jack Kalberer, who were living around the DC metropolitan area at the time, decided to stop and check it out on their way down south to visit friends in North and South Carolina.

When the Kalberers visited the neighborhood, there was only one house standing and the couple had to be taken around by Jeep. But after being presented with plans for the neighborhood, which included roughly 738 future homes, they were sold.

In the early years of Governor’s Land, according to the Kalberers, it wasn’t the Williamsburg locals flocking to the neighborhood. It attracted people who loved Williamsburg from all over the country and beyond.

“We had a pioneer spirit among all our neighbors,” Grace said. “They came from Connecticut, New Jersey, California, from all over the country, and even some neighbors that we made friends with that lived in Europe.”

Grace said the combination of value and history sealed the deal for many.

“They loved the history,” she said. “They loved what it represented. And people from the North knew the value of the property would be much better than it would be in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York. They could get more house for their money here.”

The Kalberers currently live in the Club Villas, a section of Governor’s Land featuring distinct, villa-style homes. The house plans were a result of a design competition that called for smaller, European-inspired dwellings that would suit the neighborhood.

The winning builder came up with three different models for a total of eight units. Four of them, including the Kalberers, have a separate detached dependency unit, befitting of the European villa concept. The Kalberers were able to customize the home and work with an interior designer during the building process.

The home has two bedrooms in the main house and the dependency unit serves as a third. Grace furnished the efficiency, which has its own bathroom, with a small refrigerator and microwave so guests would be comfortable. When guests aren’t staying over, it is the perfect office space for Jack.

The home’s design was particularly well thought-out because it was built with senior living in mind. In addition to having a first-floor master suite, the front doors and bathroom doors are extra wide and the floor plan is very open to accommodate a wheelchair if needed.

The courtyard, which connects the main home with the efficiency, was a custom upgrade the couple added on when the home was being built. It takes advantage of the Kalberer’s unique lot, which is the only lot with a pond view in the Club Villas section.

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About mrwilliamsburg

I love Williamsburg !
Being “Mr. Williamsburg” and starting my web site in 2004 has been a great way for me to help people looking for homes for sale, communities and an “insider knowledge.” of the area.
Turned out I was onto something. Because I offer in-depth information and up-to-the-minute blogging, even international clients have found me. One couple, moving back to the States from France, told me that a post I wrote blog about grocery shopping in Williamsburg convinced them that Williamsburg was the place to be, and that I was the best source by far that they found on the web.
I’m happy to say that I hear similar comments from many of my clients looking for homes throughout Williamsburg and Hampton Roads.
I grew up in Virginia Beach, Va, After attending college, I worked at a number of positions including manager of a land development and construction company and business manager of a cut flower business that we grew in sales from $300,000 to $15 million (we were supplier to Whole Foods and one of the first cut flower suppliers to Costco).
In 2004, it seemed like a good time to simplify my life. I moved my family from Annapolis to Williamsburg. I went into real estate with Liz Moore and Associates, and was one of the initial agents when Liz opened her Williamsburg branch.
My sons Zach and Josh attend Lafayette High School and Hornsby Middle School and are crazy about sports and the outdoors.
I feel lucky to be living the dream, and saving two to four hours by not driving on the DC beltway every day. So, I can now spend my time with family while concentrating on learning — and sharing — information about living in Williamsburg.
In real estate, no two people or transactions are the same. Everything’s a challenge, and I’m rewarded every time in close a transaction and have the opportunity to see the smiles on clients’ faces.
Please email or call me for assistance with any real estate questions about the area
John@MrWilliamsburg.com or 757 254 8136