In less than 24 hours, we had a contract on 137 Seton Hill, a beautiful Colonial-style home in Windsor Forest. Laura and Matt Newton came to me well in advance to let me know that they were interested in putting their home on the market. After making some recommendations and assisting them in getting the home ready for sale, the house hit the market and was scooped up right away.
There’s a lot to be said for starting early and making a small investment in things like a pre-inspection, home staging and yard clean-up. Even though 137 Seton Hill is pending sale, I still wanted to share this story since it paints such a nice picture of what it is like to live in Windsor Forest.
A change of scenery
When the Newton’s first moved to Williamsburg from the plains of Northern Illinois, they fell in love with the wooded feel of Windsor Forest. They were used to windy, barren, cold terrain so it felt very welcoming and comforting for them to be amongst the trees.
When moving to Williamsburg, the Newton’s knew they wanted a home that had a colonial feel to it. Laura felt like her home, and the surrounding homes in Windsor Forest, were built with the town’s architectural history in mind and all reflect a very colonial look, and no two homes are the same.
Windsor Forest was a huge draw for the Newtons. It is small(ish), but has amenities like a pool, clubhouse, playground and soccer field. Laura remembers looking at the kitchen and thinking about how warm it felt and that she could picture her family working together around the peninsula and doing homework at the kitchen table.
The biggest selling point for Laura was the gas fireplace in the living room. “When touring the house, I could picture our family having Christmas there by the fire and Christmas tree,” she says.
The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home features a finished space on the third floor that the Newton’s have transitioned through the years depending on what season of life their family was in. It has gone from being a playroom when the children were little, to an office and even a music room where they can play their electric piano and guitar while being away from the rest of the house. “It’s a tucked-away space at the top of the house that we really enjoy,” she says. “It has served a lot of purposes.”
The perfect location
When Laura and Matt Newton first moved to 137 Seton Hill in 2006, their children – who are now adults and setting off on their own – were in first grade and pre-school. The Newton’s loved Windsor Forest’s close proximity to the Williamsburg Montessori School where their children attended. The school is less than two miles from their home, and they say the education their children received there and later at the branch in downtown Williamsburg was unparalleled. Laura is also a teacher at the school.
While the Newton’s loved the educational experience their children got at Williamsburg Montessori, the neighborhood is also in very close proximity to the public elementary, middle and high schools where the neighborhood is districted. The elementary school and middle school, J.B. Blayton and Lois Hornsby, are about three miles away and the high school, Lafayette, is a little over a mile from the neighborhood.
The Windsor Forest neighborhood features a non-mandatory home owner’s association. Members have the ability to enjoy fabulous amenities including the pool, swim team, tennis courts, soccer field, clubhouse, activities and social events throughout the year.
Laura has always loved living on Seton Hill because of the mix of people she has gotten to have as neighbors. “They are half retirees and half people with kids, and it has stayed that way through the years, even as people move,” she says. Laura says her neighbors have always been around the lend a helping hand, like when her dog got out and a neighbor graciously took care of it until Laura was able to get there.
Updates & Upgrades
Built in 1989, the house was still in great shape when the Newton’s purchased it in 2006, though there were several improvements – both large and small – that they have chosen to make through the years.
- Upgrades to the kitchen, including new appliances like a gas stove, dishwasher, microwave, tile backsplash, and quartz countertops.
- French doors installed, opening to the back deck. Deck boards replaced with composite decking.
- New roof and garage doors.
- Air handler in attic, furnace, and hot water heater replaced with energy efficient models.
- Entire exterior painted.
- Air conditioner unit and heat pump replaced.
- Crawl space access panel replaced with metal door and moisture barrier replaced.
The owner’s favorite things
Laura says her favorite room in the house is the second-floor family room over the garage. “It’s big with bright windows looking out into the trees and we spend a lot of family time in there,” she says. “It’s a comfortable space to relax, especially when the kids were little and they were just down the hall instead of us being downstairs and them upstairs.”
Laura was also drawn to the wooded area out back. “The woods extend the feel of the property, especially in the summer when you can’t see other houses,” she says. “Even in the winter it’s still very private since we planted evergreen trees back there.”
Laura also enjoys lounging on her back deck, which was recently redone with composite decking so it is built to last. “The deck is shaded in the morning and then it gets sunny midday and goes back to being shaded in the afternoon, so it’s great for getting a little sun if you want but also having relief from the sun as well depending on the time of day,” Laura says.
Laura describes the floorplan of the house as good for intimate gatherings. Since Matt was in the Navy, the Newton’s have moved around a lot and don’t have family in the area, so they don’t typically host large family gatherings or holidays. For them, it has always felt like the perfect size for their family of four.
A new chapter
While the Newton’s have loved raising their family in Williamsburg (and their daughter will be staying to start her education at William & Mary), Matt is retiring and they are preparing for a new season of life. With their kids grown and moving out of the house, the Newton’s are preparing to move to Matt’s hometown of Roanoke, VA. For Laura, leaving the house they have called home for so long will be difficult, but not as difficult as leaving her job as a teacher at the Williamsburg Montessori School. Nevertheless, the Newton’s are excited to head west and start their next chapter, and they’re hopeful that a new family will enjoy life at 137 Seton Hill as much as they have.
About Mr Williamsburg
Psssst! I wanted to let you in on a little secret. While I am a real estate agent…I am a different kind of real estate agent. I am creating a revolution in realty by combining everything you love about this area all into one place. Known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, I combine my extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg, Richmond, and Hampton Roads areas with my expertise in helping buyers and sellers navigate the ever-changing local real estate market to create a top-notch experience that checks all of your boxes.
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Your real estate journey is just that…yours. I get that it’ll be unique. It needs a marketing plan and a committed real estate professional to guide you every step of the way. To talk further, you can reach me via phone or text at 757-254-8136 or through email at John@MrWilliamsburg.com.
I look forward to serving your real estate needs and welcoming you to this place that I’m lucky enough to call home!
John Womeldorf, Mr. Williamsburg