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 helps his clients go from trying to see themselves living in an unfamiliar house to envisioning their family moving into their new home.
Four years ago, Gloria and Craig Baller were living in Greensprings West in a brand-new home. They had moved here from Germany and had purchased the home sight unseen, and while Gloria had worked with her builder to pick out everything and was happy with the home overall, it was lacking the character and craftsmanship that she loves. After three years, the Ballers decided to put their home up for sale and look for something different.
When Gloria first saw 232 William Barksdale in Kingsmill, she knew it was more her taste. The gorgeous 3,200-square-foot Dutch Colonial had the cottage look and feel that she has always wanted. “It had the homey, warm feeling I was looking for,” she says. “It had everything I was missing before. The house is surrounded by older trees and had the more romantic look I was looking for.”
Love at first sight
Upon entering the home for the first time, Gloria was struck by the large windows and natural light. She loved the two wood-burning fireplaces and was a huge fan of the wood floors. “To me, hardwood floors throughout the home equals quality. I am not a fan of carpet, so I loved that.”
The craftsmanship details really spoke to Gloria. Gorgeous white beams adorn the ceiling in the living room, as well as custom crown molding and woodworking around the fireplace. “There’s so much attention to detail in this home,” she says.
While not custom-made for Gloria, she could tell that the original owners had many features of the home custom built just for them. “I could tell immediately that the original owner put lots of love and money into this house,” she says. “I have rented many homes and have lived in several places and I recognize quality right away.”
Gloria’s favorite part of the house is when you first enter through the front door. “The first thing you see when you walk in is straight ahead there’s a massive window overlooking the back yard. You immediately see the trees and nature though that window and I just love it.”
While she hasn’t had the opportunity to host many parties in the four years she has called 232 William Barksdale home, Gloria says the home is perfect for hosting both large and intimate gatherings. “The open floor plan makes it perfect for hosting holidays and events, and the living room and kitchen open up to the back deck for even more space to entertain.”
Classic craftsmanship with modern upgrades
The large, updated kitchen features marble countertops, white cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances. Gloria updated the kitchen flooring to a sleek, dark grey tile that gives the space a polished look. The kitchen opens into the large family room and a staircase that takes you from the family room to the large bonus room upstairs.
Another update Gloria has made since moving in is the addition of plantation shutters to all of the windows as well as an irrigation system. The Ballers also painted the outside of the home a light cream color with black shutters and a black door. The exterior also features some brick as well as a well-cared for classic cedar roof.
The home also boasts ample storage. The large two-car garage provides even more room to park vehicles or to serve as a workshop or more storage, and the driveway is so large it can accommodate three cars side-by-side.
Two separate staircases take you to two separate sections of the upstairs. The staircase off of the family room leads to a large bonus room, and the other staircase leads to four large bedrooms. The two-and-a-half bathrooms all feature marble countertops and white cabinetry.
The half-acre lot is very private, with a protected wooded area behind the home and a large front yard. “When you’re in the home you don’t really see anyone else and they don’t see you because it is so private,” says Gloria. “But you do see lots of wildlife.”
One thing Gloria has loved most about her home is the neighbors. “They are simply amazing,” she says. “When we moved in, some neighbors organized a party to introduce us to everyone else. There are younger families as well as some retirees. It’s a great mix.”
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Gloria says the house is also great for raising a family. “The house came with a basketball hoop when we bought it, and there are lots of young children around,” she says. “All of the neighbors are very down to Earth. I have never encountered anything but nice, warm smiles.”
Living the resort lifestyle
Living in Kingsmill comes with a lot of amenities, like a spa, golf course, restaurants, a marina and several pools to choose from. For Gloria, the aspects of Kingsmill that she loved the most are the mature trees, the nature and the accessibility to the James River. “I also love the feeling of living in a secure environment,” she says. “I have come to learn that pretty much everywhere in Williamsburg is safe, but when I was still new to the town I didn’t know that yet. Living in a gated community was a comfort for me. This house is perfect for people looking to move somewhere peaceful, quiet and surrounded by nature.”
Gloria says she has enjoyed taking advantage of the four-mile loop that runs through Kingsmill, which is perfect for walkers and runners. Multiple pools and a swim team make it a blast for kids to grow up in the active community. The marina is also just a bike ride away from the house.
While the Ballers don’t have any school-aged children living in the home, they say their neighbors have always been very happy with the schools their children have attended. Kingsmill residents go to James River Elementary School, Berkeley Middle School and Jamestown High School.
Gloria says the thing she will miss most about living at 232 William Barksdale is the atmosphere. “It’s nice to feel like you are living on vacation because you live in a resort,” she says. “I feel lucky to have lived in an environment like that. I will miss the nature, wildlife, house, neighbors and the neighborhood.” More info on the home here
Text/ call 757 254 8136 for more info
The home is listed for sale at $455,000
Learn more about Kingsmill.
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John Womeldorf, Mr. Williamsburg