9 Harrop Parrish: One owner, many memories- For Sale in Ford’s Colony: FOR SALE

Every home has a story

John Womeldorf knows that every home has a story. As an experienced realtor with a deep love for Williamsburg, John looks beyond the basic features of the homes he sells. In his “Every Home Has a Story” series, John introduces potential buyers to the aspects of a home that they can’t see by viewing it online or attending a showing. By interviewing the sellers and writing about what makes each home so special, John hopes his clients go from trying to see themselves living in an unfamiliar house to envisioning their family moving into their dream home. Find out more specific details on the property here

How we met

Ned and Suzy Cheely moved to Williamsburg from Virginia Beach but have spent most of their adult lives here in Williamsburg. Both the Cheely family and the Womeldorfs have long been active in local recreation and sports, and both families raised sons who were too. Ned says they count John among their close personal friends.

“In addition to being a good friend, John is known for going beyond all expectations to be helpful professionally. He is very thorough, and we appreciate his guidance (and all of the times he’s helped with visits to the Northern Neck).”

Starting a new chapter

Ned is retired from James City County where he served as Director of Parks and Recreation. Suzy is Vice President of Design and Engineering at Busch Gardens where she heads up the team that designs everything from the largest coaster to the smallest gift shop. Though the empty nesters look forward to starting their next chapter in a waterfront home in nearby Matthews, they have mixed emotions about leaving the home that they built from the ground up. 

“It is personal, and it will be hard to leave,” Ned says. “But it has long been a dream of ours to live on the water with a boat in the backyard. And now that our children are grown, we don’t really need a house this large anymore.” 

The Cheelys planned, designed and built this home which has celebrated so many of life’s moments, the holidays, countless cookouts, and – well – just relaxing on the back porch. 

With its view of the golf course, Ned describes the back porch as his favorite room.

“The back porch mirrors the front porch,” he says. “Both are 38 feet long, but the back porch is a couple of feet deeper. I love to sit out there in late afternoon, watch the dog play in the yard, and just relax. Watch the golfers. There’s nothing better.”

The draw of Fords Colony

For over three decades now, Ford’s Colony has set the standard for gracious private community living. The 3,000-acre gated golf community, which has a park vibe has a reputation for excellence and offers a complete range of country club amenities.

“When we chose Ford’s Colony, we were attracted to the natural environment, the trees, the walking paths, the entirety of it,” Ned says. “I bike, so if I can’t get out to the Capital Trail I can bike in the neighborhood. You can get a really get a good workout without leaving home.”

Privacy is also a draw. “We are on a cul-de-sac with 12 houses,” Suzy says. “And yet the homes aren’t right next to one another. We have privacy but a sense of community too.

Spacious and inviting

As you approach this stately transitional colonial, 4,200 square foot home, you’re sure to be impressed by the size of the .62 acre lot with its lush lawn and mature trees.

“It was important to us to be on a cul-de-sac,” Ned says. “And we wanted a large, flat lot. We are very athletic as a family, so we needed outdoor space.”

The Cheely children (now in their 30s) were very involved in basketball so the aggregate driveway that leads to the 3.5-car garage, gives way to a smooth finish.

“We had a full-court basketball court here,” Ned says. “All the kids wanted to ‘go down to the Cheelys and play ball so we got to watch the boys and their friends play, and we got to watch them grow up.”

The Cheelys love that their home was the gathering place.

“I coached Little League,” Ned says. “So, we also had a major league batting cage in the backyard. We were just blessed to be able do to that. We’d have batting practice and then cookouts afterward. When the parents came to pick up their kids, they’d stayed for dinner too.”

Beyond the driveway, an aggregate front sidewalk beckons toward the main entrance. Flanked by sidelights, the front door features a gorgeous elliptical transom. Indeed, architectural details like transom over the front and interior doorways make a stunning statement throughout, while the beautiful hardwood floors and French doors lend an unmistakable warmth. 

Though the Cheelys are an outdoor family at heart, they built their home to be a gathering place indoors as well.

Entering the stunning two-story foyer you’re sure to notice the quality throughout this lovingly built and maintained property. The downstairs rooms are resplendent with custom woodwork including crown molding and wainscoting.

The foyer flows elegantly in three directions.

To the left, French doors lead to a home office which, with its closet and adjoining full bathroom, can be used as a first-floor bedroom. To the right, there’s a formal living room. Both spaces are painted in shades of rich, sumptuous green juxtaposed against crisp white woodwork and wainscoting.

“The green paint we used was from the same color family,” Ned says. “But we chose varying shades as you walk through the rooms.”

There’s a dual fireplace in the living room that also serves the adjacent formal dining room. The dining room boasts more fabulous French doors that lead to the back porch, aka Ned’s favorite room.

Fun fact about the porches: The ceilings are painted in a robin’s egg blue known as Haint blue. Why? In addition to the aesthetics evoking blue skies, the color white tends to draw insects and bugs.

The foyer also features an arched doorway that leads to the home’s kitchen and family room where another gas-burning fireplace makes the space feel simultaneously bright and airy, yet warm and cozy. 

The eat-in kitchen is warm and inviting. Featuring wooden cabinetry, granite surfaces, a gas cooktop, and a double oven, there’s also a dedicated beverage station and built-in wine rack. The kitchen flows into a fabulous two-story family room with vaulted ceilings, built-in cabinetry, and three sets of French doors and windows with sweeping views of the back yard. There are window seats on either side of the fireplace. Ned’s favorite room (the back porch) is also accessible via the family room.

“There’s also a home theatre room, which was the gathering spot for the kids and their friends,” he says.

On the second and third levels, which are carpeted, the Cheely home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a fabulous bonus game room, accessible by the back stairway off the family room. The second level of this gracious home features a primary bedroom with ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet. Elegant ceramic tile in the bathroom makes the space elegantly simple and pleasing to the eye. The primary bedroom also boasts a generous closet with built-in cabinets and storage space. 

There are two other well-appointed bedrooms on this level, with a third located on the home’s third level. 

“Over time, that became our youngest son’s hideaway,” Suzy says. “There’s an ensuite bedroom and bathroom up there too. It was originally intended to be a space dedicated to storage, but we designed another full bed and bath on that level.”

What’s not to love?

It’s hard to find anything that this classic home doesn’t have to offer. Large, versatile rooms, a floor plan that flows nicely, generous spaces for entertaining, oversized private lot, and so much more. 

“You rarely build a house and get it perfect,” Ned says. “But I can honestly say that looking back on the past 24 years, there isn’t much I’d change if I had to do it over again. It was a complete partnership between us, the architect, and the builder. We invested a lot of time getting things just right.”

After moving in, an irrigation system was installed, and the crawlspace has recently been encapsulated. “We’ve installed a dehumidifier system down there with a digital readout control in the garage,” he says. “That wasn’t such a big thing when we built the house, but we’ve done that, nonetheless.”

Floor plans

All this lovely home needs is a new family to move in, add their own creative flourishes, and enjoy all that this spectacular property and community has to offer.  At $574 a quarter, the HOA dues are surprisingly affordable, considering all the amenities they cover.

“It will be hard to leave,” Suzy says. “But we look forward to our new chapter and we hope another family will enjoy the home as much as we all have.”

Explore the interactive 3-D tour here

The property is listed for sale at 897,000.

More details here

As we conclude this insightful interview with longtime residents of Ford’s Colony, I am reminded of the rich tapestry of stories that each home and neighborhood holds. My passion for sharing these narratives stems from my commitment to providing unparalleled depth of information to both home sellers and prospective buyers.

Through my “Every Home Has a Story” series, I aim to offer invaluable insights into life in Williamsburg’s diverse communities. From the historical charm of Ford’s Colony to the vibrant tapestry of amenities and experiences it offers, these stories paint a vivid picture of what it’s truly like to call this area home.

I take great pride in being the only real estate agent in the region, and perhaps the state, who delves into such intense depth of information about properties, neighborhoods, and the surrounding area. My goal is simple: to empower you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your future home.

Whether you’re a homeowner eager to share your own story or a prospective buyer curious about life in Williamsburg, I invite you to reach out and connect. Let’s embark on this journey together, where every home has a story waiting to be told.

I’m John Womeldorf, better known as Mr. Williamsburg, and I’m here to help you find your place in this wonderful community. Let’s make your dreams of calling Williamsburg home a reality.

Warm regards,

John Womeldorf

An agent with Liz Moore and Associates

Offices in Newport News, Williamsburg and Richmond and the Northern Neck of Virginia phone/text 757-254-8136


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