The Ford’s Colony Country Club and it’s recovery

All parties involved in the Ford’s Colony Country Club Bankruptcy proceedings will report back to the Norfolk Bankruptcy Court on November 4, 2010 after a little over a 30 day mediation period. The parties last met at the end of September and the Judge hearing the case requested that parties consider mediation to avoid the process becoming further bogged down in legal processes. Club manager Steve Dreybus stated “we believe that our financial and operational plan is sound, viable, and in the best long-term interest of our membership and the property owners living in Ford’s Colony. It is important that our members stay involved and work through the Creditor’s Committee to ensure that your voices are heard and your interests are protected.” The ultimate goal, of course, is to secure a formal plan of reorganization. Once that has been determined then creditors can vote upon the plan. This has surely been a painful process for the Country Club and it’s members. The good news is that the Club and it’s creditors are working through the mediation process and will hopefully come to a resolution as to the best way to pull the Club out of the quagmire. As far as the neighborhood is concerned, it is surely important to distinguish the Ford’s Colony Home Owner’s Association from the Country Club. Unlike our neighbors in Governor’s Land, there is no mandatory social country club membership. The two groups (FCHOA and FC Country Club) certainly have some duplicate members, but the majority of homeowners in FC do not belong to the Country Club. For prospective residents the distinction is an important one.
The most important point to make is that of the “Big 3” gated and golf course communities in Williamsburg not one has been without an ‘issue’ of some sort over the last 12 months. Kingsmill has dealt with the uncertainties of the In-Bev acquisition of Anheuser-Busch and what will surely be the subsequent sale of the neighborhood. Governor’s Land has faced issues with their mandatory social country club membership and the dues associated with the membership. What to expect? A failure on the part of the Country Club benefits no one. Let’s hope that a prior statement made by Mr. Dreybus will hold true: “As mentioned in past updates, the Club and Prudential were close to an agreement at the outset of this process.” If they were close to an agreement at the outset, then surely an agreement can be reached during this mediation process that will allow for the Club to recover- in the best interests of the Club’s members and its creditors as well as the neighborhood as a whole.

Ford’s Colony Yard Sale Saturday Oct 16

Just a quick confirmation the Ford’s Colony yard sale is a GO and will be held next Saturday October 16 from 8:00- 12:00 at the The Historic Community Service Center at 312 Waller Mill Road. Don’t miss the fun and the ‘deals’!

October 2010 Talk of The Colony

The October 2010 Talk of the Colony is here! Included in the latest issue is an update on the newly renovated Swim and Tennis Club. It was beautifully re-done. The Interior Designer that was chosen to assist in the remodel was Tidewater Interiors– one of my favorite and one of the very best in the ‘Burg.

Don’t miss the article “Still Living in Interesting Times” on page 3 written by Norman Beal, vice president of the Board of Directors of the Ford’s Colony Home Owner’s Association. He provides a positive take on what is certainly ‘interesting’ times for everyone in the country – including Ford’s Colony. We have terrific leadership in the neighborhood which will help us as we emerge from hard times into the easier days that have got be ahead. (Just not sure when!)

Ford’s Colony neighborhood yard sale!

Ever been to a Ford’s Colony yard sale? Even better, have you ever participated in the Ford’s Colony yard sale? I have had the pleasure of doing both and it can be a lot of fun. You can simplify your life a bit by selling some of your treasures( dust collectors?). Yard sales can be fun whether you are on ‘the hunt’ or you are on a mission to de-clutter!

 The Ford’s Colony Yard Sale will be October 16th at the Historic Triangle Community Center on Waller Mill road if there are enough folks interested in participating. If you have an interest, residents are asked to submit  a check for $20 per table/chairs to the John Pott guardhouse in a self-addressed envelope no later than September 15 th. Please make the check payable to Phyllis Eastman.  If there are not enough participants your check will be returned.   As soon as enough residents have committed to participating, then the building will be rented and your check will be non-refundable. The  directions and table assignments will be posted at the Swim and Tennis Club by September 30. Please do email if you have an interest  reastman2003@verizon.net or call 258-1198.

What’s on the Ford’s Colony re-sale market? By the numbers: Ford’s Colony sales

CURRENT RESALE NUMBERS as of Sept. 2, 2010:

There are 119 single family detached homes on the Williamsburg MLS  for sale in Ford’s Colony. Those homes are priced between $359,000 and $2.950,000.

There are 20 attached homes (condos/townhomes) on the market priced between $289,900 and $539,500.

There are 10 homes that are under contract and PENDING. (Should be ready to close with no contingencies) Those that are pending are priced between $285,000 and $925,000.

During the last 30 days 4 properties have closed in Ford’s Colony:

168 Alwoodley: 3 Br 2 1/2 baths, 2420 sq ft.. Sold for $414,900
1 Bonyman Ct: 4 Br 2 1/2 baths, 2400 sq ft. Sold for $415,000
104 Gleneagles: 4 Br 3 1/2 baths 3062 sq ft. Sold for $475,000
105 Dornoch: 4 Br 3 1/2 baths 3654 sq ft. Sold for $550,000
 

Housing numbers from the Talk of the Colony:

Another item that is ALWAYS of interest in the monthly Ford’s Colony September Talk of the Colony is the “New Starts” (i.e. the recently approved new home construction). ECC has identified 2 new starts in the neighborhood. Both of these homes are being  custom-built for homeowners. (As opposed to a builder speculative build).

We currently have 2240 single family homes completed, 80 townhomes completed, 12 condos completed for a total of 2332 dwellings in Ford’s Colony.

There are 31 homes currently under construction and 12 condos currently under construction.

Ford’s Colony HOA Newsletter: “The Talk of the Colony”

The September issue of the Talk of the Colony was delivered in my newspaper box on the first of the month as it is every month. There are some great articles included as well as  notices of meetings of various clubs  throughout the Colony. Of note, the FCHOA Board of Directors will be meeting Sept 20 at 1:00pm and Sept 23 at 2:00 pm. The Agenda and prior meeting minutes can be found on the neighborhood website at FCHOA2.org.

From the Board editorial page Ron Smith, resident and Director-at-Large has again contributed information on the governance of the Fords Colony Home Owner’s Association. Mr. Smith advises of the ‘checks and balances’ that are instrumental in all forms of our National and State levels of government but also in the Home Owner’s Association governance. The bottom line? Our membership (the homeowners) can elect and can remove Board members. The Board acts as one body with a majority rule. Mr. Smith correctly asserts that the ULTIMATE check and balance within the HOA is the continued participation of the home owners (the members) in the ‘affairs of the Association’. 

Ford’s Colony really is fortunate in that so many folks DO participate and Do take advantage of the number of opportunities to stay involved in the management of  the HOA. Certainly these folks ensure proper and fair management and future success of the neighborhood.  Well done Mr. Smith!

For more information on the Talk of the Colony click here:  September issue of the Talk of the Colony .

Classic,Southern architecture at its best in Ford’s Colony- 112 Castel Pines

Southern Architecture at its best in Ford's Colony- 112 Castel Pines
Expect to be impressed! You won't be disappointed!

Experience the true embodiment of gracious Southern Living complete with a large wrap around front porch! This sophisticated and elegant home is inviting and yet comfortable, pristine and energy-efficient; this home may just be perfect.

Guests are greeted with a 2 story foyer with an elegant reverse staircase and beautiful moldings. The spacious great room with a cathedral ceiling offers tons of light, gas fireplace, ceiling fan and French doors with transoms that lead to a private screened porch.

The great room is open to a beautiful kitchen that offers granite countertops, a center island with bar, pantry, stainless appliances, double ovens, and a warming drawer and a generous eat in breakfast area.  Just adjacent is the elegant dining room with tray ceiling as well as crown and chair moldings. The home also offers a formal living room that could also be used as an office or a music room.  The distinctive casework throughout the home was crafted by a former 23 year Colonial Williamsburg carpenter.

The first floor master features a tray ceiling and French doors that lead to a covered deck and screened porch. The tiled master bath offers a neutral palate with dual sinks, jetted tub, and a tiled multi head shower. The entire first floor offers hard wood flooring in living spaces and tile in the bathrooms and utility room.

Upstairs you will find two generous bedrooms that both offer two closets as well as dormered windows. The bedrooms share a tiled full bath. The bonus room (or optional 4th bedroom) is fabulous with 2 ceiling fans, a half bath, surround sound wiring, as well as dormers with arched windows.

There is a huge walk out lower level that offers tons of potential! Constructed with Superior wall technology, . Currently, the spaces are utilized as an exercise room and a hobby room.  This space could also be used as a billiards/ game room. There is  a fabulous workshop/ office area that are perfect for woodworking or just heated and cooled storage space. There is also a full bath downstairs.

Additional features of this spectacular home: Tons of storage, upgraded lighting including Hinckley fixtures, upgraded plumbing fixtures, transom and arched windows throughout, a Williamsburg “holiday” switch, gas generator, irrigation system, water softener, and a hot water recirculation line. The lower level has been plumbed for a bar and is home theatre wired.

112 Castel Pines offers 5247 square feet, 4 bedrooms 3 full and 2 half baths.  3 Car garage! Offered at $725,000.

Please call for more details at 757.503.1999

What is the inventory in Ford’s Colony today?(What’s for sale?)

A beautiful Southern Living design on the 10th Fairway of the Blue Heron

As of today Tuesday, August 10, 2010, there are 122 single family homes for sale in the neighborhood. (This does not include lots, townhomes, or condos.) There is a price range from $349,900-$2,950,000. (Note- There are 2 homes in The Colony at that exact same  price of $2,950,000).

The breakdown on the 122 homes:

Price ranges:

$349,900-$400,000 – 9 homes listed
$401,000-$600,000 – 59 homes listed
$601,000-$800,000 – 31 homes listed
$801,000-$900,000 – 8 homes listed
$901,000-$1,000,000 -3 homes listed
$1,001,000-$2,000,000 -11 homes listed
And finally there are 2 homes priced at exactly $2,950,000

Those under contract? There are currently 9 (nine) homes under contract. Those range in price from $354,900- $584,000. The lower priced home at $354,900 is a foreclosure on Walton Heath.

The Ford’s Colony Newsletter- The Talk of the Colony

Thinking of moving to Ford’s Colony or just want to stay on top of what is going on in the neighborhood? The Talk of the Colony is a monthly newsletter that is distributed to all homeowners at the first of each month. The Newsletter is extraordinarily well done. In it you can find the latest information and news that you need to know.

The latest Talk of the Colony contains information about a ‘trial’ run of Wi-Fi at the pools. If you like the idea of the Wi-Fi at the pools you are encouraged to send your comments to the Board of Directors as well as the Technology committee. The network name is “FCHOA”. This is a great idea. I do hope that the ‘trial’ takes off and the wi-fi at the pools (both of them) continues.

There is also great information about the Swim and Tennis Club refurbishment:

The S&T Club refurbishment – It is underway and much dust has risen as the workers rip out the old ceiling, wallpaper, and lighting fixtures. Not to mention the work being done in the kitchen – new ovens, sink, faucet, counter tops, cabinet doors, and ice storage bin. It was certainly time for the renewal and we are incorporating more frequent funding into the capital reserve budget so that face-lifting may be done every ten years and an overhaul every 20. Seems the current heavy usage dictates a more programmed schedule that anticipates the needed renewals and we will plan that way in the future.

There is much more useful information on all clubs and their activities and meeting dates. Please check out the link below that will send you to a PDF of the August issue of The Talk of The Colony.

August2010ToC

How many homes ARE there in Ford’s Colony?

An example of a beautiful and established home in Ford's Colony
At the latest count at the end of July 2010 the numbers are as follows:

Single family homes: 2238
Townhomes: 80
Eaglescliff condos: 12

This totals 2330 properties currently completed (and hopefully occupied)

There are currently 31 units under construction and an additional 12 townhome units in Eaglescliff under construction.

There were 3 “New Starts” (brand new construction) that applied and were approved to begin building.

So what REALLY is happening in Ford’s Colony Real Estate?

I hosted a seminar recently in Fords’ Colony that covered the most recent sales trends in Ford’s Colony. Home sales and home prices are always interesting and very useful information. Taken with a grain a salt, checking recent sales and comparing properties is as close as you can get to a “quarterly statement” on what could be your largest investment : your home. It is funny as I always hear people saying that they think that they are being “nosy” when they are curious as to what their neighbor’s home sold for, when in truth, you really should know the values around you. While you may not being selling your home right now, knowing the value of your home is just as important as knowing the value of your stocks/bonds or money market funds. The values of all certainly fluctuate but it is always good to know where you stand. 

  In our little corner of the world we have several items to contend with: the general state of the economy and housing, the end of the government tax credits and, finally, more specific to Ford’s Colony is the announcement on April 3, 2010 that the country club had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. I always emphasize that the country club and the home owners association of Ford’s Colony are two VERY DIFFERENT and UNIQUE entities.  The HOA in Ford’s Colony is alive and well and functioning as a very strong and healthy congruent group. 

 I took sales in Ford’s Colony for the prior 12 months (June 2009- June 2010) and studied  what had sold, how much had sold and compared those sales prices to  the assessed values.( I always tell folks that assessed value and market value are two different animals, however, it is useful to see how those two figures compare.) SO for purposes of not getting too long on evaluating numbers, I will divide my findings into a couple of blog posts. There are few folks that enjoy looking at numbers we all just want the bottom line! 

Grits and Grasshoppers:   

So the first question how were sales during the past 12 months and what was the impact on sales from the April 3 country club bankruptcy filing?   

 The months supply of inventory in FC went from 28.8 months of inventory to 24.8 months of inventory in 2010. So- while not a fun number to see 2010 IS better than 2009. Here is the most interesting statistic from the Months Supply of Inventory: during the month of April 2010, the months supply of inventory declined to 11.4 and then in May 2010 it declined to 10.5. In April there were 12 homes that went under contract and in May there were also 12 homes that went under contract. June saw a huge drop to 5 homes under contract. Those are VERY important numbers as the country club announcement of the bankruptcy protection plan was made on April 3! The numbers immediately following that announcement were the best of the entire 12 month time period. We do have to consider the tax credit stimulus during those months also which, in the short-term anyway, certainly gave a jolt of energy to sales. The tax credit ended April 30,2010. Home buyers had to be under contract by the end of April to qualify. We saw a lot of buyers rushing at the end of the month to be under contract which resulted in a ‘trickle around’ effect in May as those month-end April sellers then became our May buyers.

 Bottom line? Sales seem to be more affected by the TAX credit ending versus any perceived issues with the country club. This is good news in and of itself.   

 NEXT BLOG: ASSESSED VALUE TO SALES VALUES in Ford’s Colony    

 For more information here are the charts for you:     

Homes under contract June 2009 to June 2010 The graph is difficult to read: it does show the trend of sales over the 12 month time period. Inventory declined (albeit slightly) year over year.  

  NEXT BLOG:ASSESSED VALUES TO SALES VALUES in Ford’s Colony

For more information on Ford’s Colony and other neighborhoods in Williamsburg, VA., please visit my website at www.PremierWilliamsburgRealEstate.com

Neighborhood info on Ford’s Colony, Williamsburg ,VA.

Ford’s Colony is a beautiful gated and golf community that is centrally located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is a popular community with about 5000 residents and nearly 2,500 homes. By the time the community is completely established there will be more than 7,000 residents living in 3,250 homes, condos and townhouses all encompassed on 3000 acres. The neighborhood  is situated along winding roads that weave in and around three 18 hole championship golf courses all designed by Dan Maples. Other amenities include two Olympic-sized swimming pools (one with a zero depth entry) , a swim and tennis clubhouse,  hard and clay tennis courts, a nature trail, play ground areas, biking and miles of walking paths.

The community is known for its rolling topography and abundance of trees, ponds, and wetlands. There is a strict “Environmental Control Committee” that works to not only maintain the integrity of the homes that are built but also to maintain the trees and green spaces on lots as homes are being built. This ensures that there is no ‘clear cutting’ and the natural beauty of the neighborhood is sustained.                            

Ford’s Colony is known for its very active homeowner’s association that sponsors a multitude of social clubs and activities. (Forty clubs at last count!) There is bound to be a club or interest group for just about everyone. Examples of some of the clubs include: many bridge groups, Colony Wine & Dine, Chess Club, bowling, Colony Kids, Afternoon Artists, Pilates Group, photography, travel club, mah jongg, fly fishing, Tai Chi, Model railroad club, theater club, swim team, and the list goes on! There is a club or group that has been started for just about every hobby/interest.               

The mission statement for the Ford’s Colony Homeowners

The bridge at the Williamsburg West Pond

Association at Williamsburg: “To support the interests of its members; to preserve and enhance residents’ quality of life, property values and the natural environment; and to operate the Association’s services in a cost-effective manner.”

As a 14 year resident of Ford’s Colony, the HOA is very successful in accomplishing their mission.

For information on homes for sale in Ford’s Colony please click here.

Please check my website for more information.