An Update on Belvedere

I have been involved with Belvedere since working from a tent on Rio Road prior to the roads being paved or any homes being started.  I’ve been a huge fan of the overall concept from the beginning.  New urbanist concepts and a commitment to green building practices are very interesting to me and relevant to the market. I was impressed immediately in 2008 by the number of people I met who thought the concept was great, but weren’t in a position to move.  I knew all along and have shared many times that I think Belvedere’s success is only matter of time.  Here’s why:

  1. Location. Its in the urban ring. Right now, there are really no new home communities as centrally located to all things  Albemarle and Charlottesville as Belvedere.  The people I am meeting interested in Belvedere now are making a lifestyle decision to give up the larger, rural lot in favor of a location that saves them time and fits their current lifestyle and the quicker pace we all seem to be living these days.
  2. Smaller lots and higher density. Its true, many visit Belvedere and are immediately discouraged by the size of the lots. Its definitely not for everyone. However, many are looking for less maintenance in their lives and maybe, more importantly, community. I’ve learned that the deisgn of a community has a direct impact on the relationships that are  formed among the residents. People are choosing Belvedere because they want to know their neighbors and want to interact with them. I’ve never seen a community of new homeowners come together faster than what I have seen at Belvedere.
  3. Energy Efficiency. The green building trends we hear so much about are more than just trends. Its a shift in building science that is here to stay. Better practices in home building are leading to better indoor air quality, lower utility expenses, and more comfortable homes.  Every home at Belvedere is Earthcraft certified.  Stonehaus Development should be commended for this. 
  4. Home Design. Another side effect of the economic downtown is a shift in consumer demand. Huge houses are out, and smaller, better designed homes are in. Add in zoning that allows homeowners to earn income with legal residences or businesses over their garage, and you have a recipe for success.
  5. Walking Trails. People still want to get outside and exercise. This is an exceptional component, not to mention the future with SOCA and more recreational space.

Watching what has occurred in 2010 at Belvedere, I’m starting to get the feeling the time for Belvedere has arrived. With 31 homes put under contract in 2010, the answer may be obvious. The last 60 days of 2010 saw 12 contracts and the activity hasn’t slowed since. There are now just 33 available detached home sites in Phase 1 remaining.  The new apartment complex (The Reserve at Belvedere) is set to break ground next month. The conversation regarding the town center makes it seem like its time may really be here as well, with unofficial estimates for a late 2011 ground breaking.

There are now 5 builders actively marketing and selling homes in Belvedere:

  1. Piedmont Realty and Construction
  2. Stonehaus Residential
  3. Gibson Homes
  4. Southern Development Homes
  5. Eagle Construction of Virginia

Home prices start in the $200’s and there is a variety of home styles and types available. There are currently 7 detached “spec” homes for sale. Later this spring, Piedmont will be offering 11 newly developed townhome sites on the Village Green. If you are in the market for a towhome in 2011 and appreciate the concept of Belvedere, these may be the best opportunity of the year.

If you are interested in Belvedere and the prospect of building a new home, I would welcome the opportunity to share my experience and insight to your process to determine if Belvedere is right for you, and if so, how to choose the right builder fit for your budget, timeline, and needs.

If you are interested, one of the original residents is a blogger. Check out her blog here.