A perfect fit
Originally from Phoenix, AZ, Suzie and Andrew Yeats had the desire to move to a place with abundant nature, wildlife and trees. Coming from the desert, they found the large wooded lots in Ford’s Colony to be the perfect fit for their family of five.
“We were living across the country and searching for houses online,” says Suzie. “All of the houses we liked happened to be in Ford’s Colony, and when I finally got out here to see the house in person, I fell in love.”
A big fan of the movie Father of the Bride, Suzie said her reaction when she pulled up to 6 Menife Court was, “Oh my gosh, it’s the Father of the Bride house! That’s honestly why I loved it so much.” Though it needed a little TLC at the time, Suzie just kept coming back to it. “I looked at other houses, but knew this was the one.”
The Yeats’ were drawn to the beautiful colonial style home, private wooded lot, active neighborhood and excellent school district. “Virginia is wonderful about investing into public education, and we really wanted a quality education for our three daughters. We love the Virginia public school system, but Williamsburg in particular is phenomenal.”
A stylish yet family-friendly design
The Yeats’ found their new home in Williamsburg to be a breath of fresh air. “There’s less pollution here and just the backyard alone is like a zoo,” Suzy laughs. “We see deer, bunny rabbits, birds and other wildlife. The backyard is so peaceful, all you can hear are leaves rustling and birds chirping.
Over the past 11 years, there is little that the Yeats’ haven’t upgraded in their 2,840 square foot home. The couple has a flare for architecture and design and has made many improvements, including an all-new roof, windows, flooring, kitchen and more. “We’ve opened it up quite a bit,” says Suzy. This is especially evident in the great room. The Yeats’ transformed their kitchen and living room into one, large space complete with a gorgeous oversized island, enlarged Carrara marble subway tile backsplash, beams, recessed lighting and a limewashed brick fireplace.
When faced with picking a countertop for the island, Suzy opted for a hickory wood top to match the beautiful hickory flooring. “It looks great, but above all I wanted my home to be kid-friendly. The island can be bumped or colored on and still be just fine.”
The home, built in 1986, boasts four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a large bonus room above the garage, perfect for family movie nights. The downstairs library is a favorite room for both Suzy and Andy. Originally intended to be a formal living room, the Yeats family used it as a playroom for years before converting it into a library featuring built-in bookshelves done by Andy himself. Andy, who has worked from home for the entire time that the Yeats’ have lived in Williamsburg, had his office in the bonus room in the early years and then moved it down to the library when the kids got older (and a lot quieter).
“I love that our kids have so many options for quiet places to do their homework,” says Suzie. They can hunker down in the kitchen, bonus room, library, or in the privacy of their own bedrooms. I think it helps them be more successful students.”
One of Suzie’s favorite rooms in the house happens to be smallest bedroom. “There’s some serious mojo in that room,” she laughs. “It’s such a happy, cozy little room. My daughters love it too.”
“We have redone everything with a lot of care and attention to detail,” says Andy. In the upstairs bathroom, Andy did built-in shelving complete with a hidden laundry hamper. The stylish and organized laundry room features cabinets repurposed from the original kitchen and an enclosed hot water heater.
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Quiet cul-de-sac meets active community
Suzy and Andy admit that it was the house that pulled them in rather than the neighborhood, but the entire family has loved living in Ford’s Colony. “There’s always something going on here,” says Suzie.
Nationally recognized as a premier planned community, Ford’s Colony is the top award-winner in the mid-Atlantic region. With more than 60 clubs and activities, 10 miles of walking paths, a nature trail, three championship golf courses, plus pools, tennis, pickleball, playgrounds, fishing ponds, ballfields and more, there’s something for everyone.
Despite all of the neighborhood amenities, the Yeats say their favorite part about living in Ford’s Colony has been their neighbors. “We love our neighbors,” says Suzie. “The house sits on a cul-de-sac of nine houses, five are families and four are retired couples. It’s a nice blend. We are lucky in that the people who have retired here love kids.”
The Yeats’ daughters grew up with friends on their street, and the family has been known to host game nights and even a gingerbread house contest during the holidays. “It’s a great house for hosting,” says Suzie. “We have also hosted Halloween parties, Christmas parties, Memorial Day parties, but we also trade off hosting duties with neighbors.”
The Yeats’ love that the neighborhood boasts scenic trails and two different pools, but they also love that their street is quiet and safe so their kids have always been able to play and ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac.
“When the girls were younger it was nice to have the swim team here,” says Suzie. “All three girls swam on the team, and the house is equidistant between one pool and the other, so they could ride their bikes to practice and ride home.”
Another convenience of this home is that it is less than five minutes away from the main entrance of Ford’s Colony. “If you live in the depths of Ford’s Colony, it can take forever to get out. I love that it’s so easy for us to get in and out of the neighborhood, and that we are less than 10 minutes from all of the schools,” says Suzie.
The couple’s youngest daughter loves to walk and run on the trails in the neighborhood, and the Yeats’ agree that it’s nice to feel that she is safe and secure while she’s out. Their middle daughter, who recently got her driver’s license, likes to take the long way home from school (since it’s only seven minutes away) and will just drive around the neighborhood for a little while to decompress. “She doesn’t get that time to herself if she just comes straight home because we are so close to the school, so it’s cool to live somewhere that she can safely cruise around after a long day,” says Andy.
All three of the Yeats children have gone to Williamsburg-James City County schools. With one daughter away at college, the younger two are still attending Lafayette High School.
The family has very fond memories of D.J. Montague Elementary School. “The atmosphere there is very much like a small family. It’s a very tight knit community,” says Suzie.
All three Yeats girls have excelled at Lafayette High School, with the oldest going on to attend the University of Virginia. All three have played for the LHS tennis team and have loved it, especially since it’s so easy to run home if they forget something in-between school and practice. “The girls can leave 10 minutes before school starts and still get there on time,” says Andy. “The neighborhood tennis courts have also come in handy with three daughters playing competitive tennis.”
“Academically, we think the girls are getting exactly what they need,” says Suzie. “We feel like all of the schools have done an impeccable job at preparing our daughters for the next step.”
A safe haven
Suzie and Andy’s love for architecture and design is evident throughout the entire house, even in the smallest touches. But first and foremost, Suzie wanted the Yeats home to be a haven for her family. “I want people to walk through the front door and see that you can have a very nice dinner party here or you can have a birthday party for a teenager here,” she says. “I love that about this house. It is nice, but it is also homey.”
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This home is listed for sale at $475k contact John Womeldorf for more info or to schedule an appointment to view it.
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This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads/ Richmond VA area and his expertise helping buyers and sellers in the local real estate market.
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