When Meg and Barton Phillips were looking to move their family from western Fairfax County, Va., to a larger house in 2003, they considered the location of the Ridings at Blue Spring to be a plus. The homes with easy access to Route 50 at the eastern edge of Loudoun County would be conveniently located for their commutes.
But what set the Ridings at Blue Spring apart was the value of the new homes there compared with neighboring South Riding, a much larger community to the west.
Village Green at Elysian Heights goes by many names.
Nestled among farms, wineries and breweries in the gentle hills of northeastern Loudoun County, the community is commonly associated with the village of Lucketts, about two miles away. The mailing address is Leesburg. The neighborhood’s entrance signs say Village Green, but real estate listings fall under Elysian Heights. And, according to the community manager, the official name is Potomia.
When Anita Ramos was growing up near Falls Church in the 1960s, her father would occasionally drive into the country to watch the construction of London Towne, a community of 665 townhouses west of Centreville in Fairfax County.
“My relatives would ask, ‘Why are people building rowhouses out in the middle of nowhere?’ ” Ramos said.
When Shirley Barber moved with her young family to Ashburn Farm in 1989, “it was like the village of Oz dropped down into this country area — one road coming in and out, no buildings,” she said. “There was nothing here.”
Barber and her husband, David Tabor, were the original owners of a house in the eastern Loudoun County community of 3,863 homes, most of which were built between 1988 and 1993. A few smaller neighborhoods were annexed into Ashburn Farm during the ensuing decade.
Pat Bour described it as “scary” in 1983 when she and her young family moved from suburban Maryland to CountrySide in eastern Loudoun County.
“There was nothing when we moved out here — no malls, no other HOAs, nothing. But once I got here, I loved it,” Bour said. “We’re retired now. We have no plans to move. I’m going to stay here until I’m taken out feet first.”
In 2009, looking for good schools for their children, Christa and Brian Geno moved from Herndon to Kirkpatrick Farms, a new development in a then-remote corner of southern Loudoun County. Braddock Road, which bisects the community, was gravel in that segment, and shopping and other amenities were miles away.
They are happy with their decision, Christa Geno said.
South Riding has an ambitious vision: to be the most desired place to live and raise a family in Northern Virginia.
A quarter-century after its first homes were built, the picturesque Loudoun County community appears within reach of that vision. Schools, swimming pools and athletic fields are strategically placed among streets lined with flowering trees and color-coordinated homes, many of which have front porches and white picket fences.
Great Falls Chase is a place that might appeal to Goldilocks — not too big and not too small.
A compact community in the eastern corner of Loudoun County, Great Falls Chase is large enough to support such amenities as a swimming pool, tennis courts and a shopping center, but small enough that everything is within easy walking distance and neighbors recognize one another.