People Are Talking About Birchwood, See What Resident Sandy Has To Say!

Clarke Family Birchwood at Brambleton

Birchwood at Brambleton is well beyond what Sandy and Chris envisioned for a 55 and older community when they relocated here from their townhome in Brambleton where they had lived for six years.

“We wanted a neighborhood with residents at similar points in their lives,” says Sandy, noting that their former home was located in an area with young families in a different stage of their lives.

Grandparents to three active young boys, ages 9, 5, and 1, Sandy and Chris are both still leading busy professional lives. Sandy, who commutes to Tysons and works part of the week from home, has been in the finance industry for 30 years. Chris is a teacher and enjoys his profession at a nearby Loudoun County high school.

Now in a Winchester Homes’ single-family-attached home, Sandy and Chris are enjoying being involved in the Resident Ambassador program where they are meeting new and prospective Birchwood residents. Sandy notes that some prospective residents have expressed hesitancy since they are not retired, but she and Chris have been able to talk about their situation and answer questions, putting them at ease.

Their lifestyle shows new residents that there are many facets to enjoying making a new home in Birchwood. “We have met some wonderful people here,” she adds.

Birchwood at Brambleton Residents Sandy and Chris Clarke

A serious runner, Sandy runs marathons and stays very active keeping physically fit and running about 30 miles a week. She has qualified for the Boston Marathon and is looking forward to this challenge.

“We love the community center, the potluck dinners, the gym, the pool and parties,” says Sandy who also enjoys taking their dog for outings on the path around the lake and heading out to the walking trails.

Trails in Birchwood at Brambleton

Besides entertaining her grandchildren with activities outside and at the community center, Sandy adds that her mother likes to visit from Pennsylvania and that she “fits right in” with their lifestyle in Birchwood.

“There’s no pressure here and you can be as involved in community activities as much as you want to be,” says Sandy.

“Birchwood is well beyond our expectations for an active 55 community,” Sandy says, noting that she and Chris moved here because of the house and found it a bonus to have all the amenities that they currently enjoy.


People are talking about Birchwood, read what resident Fred has to say!

Meet Fred S. Van Metre Birchwood Resident If you see Fred at the Birchwood clubhouse, you might ask if he’s seen Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, or Martin Sheen lately.

Fred and his wife, Catherine, live at “The Townes” built by Van Metre in Birchwood, that is when he’s not on a movie or commercial set somewhere between Baltimore and Richmond. As a longtime extra, Fred occasionally rubs elbows with Hollywood’s elite. But he’ll tell you that they are “just people after all.”

Moving to Loudoun County from Springfield after 30 years, Fred and Catherine are now enjoying first floor living after selecting Birchwood and moving in last fall to their two-level townhome. “The Townes” offer residents low maintenance living within close proximity to amenities and retail. Featuring a wide range of floor plans, these models feature three-and-four bedroom options, as well as patios and balconies.

van metre townes collection

“A lot of things led us here,” Fred says, noting that their new home and community in Birchwood met everything on their list including the location, quality of the homes and the neighborhood. Probably tops on that checklist is the fact that their daughter and her family, including grandchildren ages 1, 6 and 8, live in Brambleton. Frequent babysitting is something the couple enjoys when they are not traveling, working on their new home, or when Fred is “on location.”

Birchwood Residents Cookie Decorating with Grandkids

Catherine, a special education teacher, is now partly retired, but still working as a consultant. Working to create positive environments within schools, she can be found traveling to various cities where she trains teachers and administrators. Fred retired 10 years ago after 36 years working at the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Highway Administration, finding the time for his extra roles when he could break away from the office. “Retirement fills up your day,” he says with a laugh. “There are so many things to do and it frees you up to do spur of the moment things…your day is easily filled.”

Fred is used to short notice as a call to take an extras part from the Screen Actors Guild never provides much time to make a decision to accept the role. He has enjoyed the work for years and doesn’t mind the long hours involved. “Sometimes it’s a 16-hour day for two minutes of film time,” he adds.

Shwaery couple Birchwood at Brambleton residents

A new member of the Birchwood Resident Ambassador program, Fred says he won’t have any problems introducing new residents to the community and its focal point community center. “The staff is very helpful and friendly and all the amenities at the center are very high end,” he says, “they have really thought of everything.” As an example, he points to the multiple ports for charging cell phones and the top grade utensils and party ware in the center’s demonstration kitchen.

He’s a frequent visitor to the center, as the grandchildren love the pool, the art room and fishing at the lake. “They think it’s a resort,” he adds with a laugh.

Birchwood 55+ Luxury Clubhouse


6 Considerations for 55-Plus Home Design

One of our builders, Miller & Smith, had a blog that was recently features in Professional Builder Magazine.  Miller & Smith’s VP of Marketing, Kim Ambrose, details 6 considerations for 55+ home design and talks about what makes Birchwood at Brambleton an ideal location for 55+ Living in the mid-atlantic region. Take a look below at and see for yourself what Boomers are looking for in a home design.

6 Considerations for 55-Plus Home Design

By Kim Ambrose| Posted by Professional Builder Magazine | September 13, 2019
Birchwood_club_house_at_ Miller_7_Smith_Brambleton_community

Boomers are redefining aging by trading in early-bird specials for fine dining, cafeterias for locally sourced coffee shops, and “senior housing” for “active lifestyle.” So can redesigning the physical environment for seniors redefine aging itself? Here are six considerations for 55-plus home design:

1. Similarities with Other Life Stages

Boomers value much of the same amenities and features as Generation X, Generation Y, and Millennials, such as open concept floor plans with great rooms and large kitchens, light and natural luxury hardwood or vinyl plank flooring, quartz counters, and other luxury finishes. While first floor owner suites are in high demand for the Baby Boomer buyer, Millennials are also gravitating to ranch-style homes as well.

2. Beyond Four Walls

Although home style, design and layout are important, a life outside the house plays a bigger role in Baby Boomer’s new-home purchase decisions. In a recent survey, the AARP and the New York Times found that, when it comes to aging, respondents 55 and older looked most forward to having free time for family, friends and activities they enjoy. Their biggest fear was losing independence. All of which suggests a desire to stay connected to their current community. As a result, homebuilders and developers are paying equal attention to both physical amenities and the creation of social amenities.

For example, Birchwood at Brambleton, a 55-plus community in Ashburn, Virginia, recently opened the clubhouse which includes both an indoor and outdoor pool, a demonstration and catering kitchen, indoor and outdoor bars, game rooms, a wellness center, several arts & crafts rooms and multiuse space for parties, entertaining and special events. Creating a space to foster social interaction is key as the Boomer buyer craves connection with soft programming essentials such as clubs and activities.

3. Unretirement

According to Pew Research, the majority of Baby Boomers are still in the labor force, and the oldest among them are staying in the labor force at the highest annual rate. However, they blur the lines between traditional work and official retirement. As Boomers think about what they want to do next, many are turning to entrepreneurship. In fact, 25% of all business are started by people 55 to 64 years old. The older entrepreneurs are turning their passion into a business out of their home or a shared workspace. As a result, 55-plus home designs now include thought nooks or craft spaces, built-in desks and office spaces, or access to a clubhouse with a designated multiuse space.

4. Words Matter

Boomers are not motivated by the fear of aging. Instead, they’re attracted to a lifestyle change focused on wellness, health and community. Developers and home builders are taking note and reimagining the aging process by turning away from stigmatic and stereotypical branding, features and home trends. Gone are the days when marketers branded community with terms such as “senior housing” or “retirement living.” Even the term “active adult” is on its way out and considered a bit taboo. We’re now seeing the rise of “resort-style living” and “active lifestyle homes” used across age-restricted communities.

5. Special Degree of Staging

What is the biggest challenge for designing a 55-plus home? 
Coupling the latest design trends with subtle aging-in-place features and marrying modern touches with tried-and-true traditional elements for the nuanced Boomer consumer. While single-level living is popular for 55-plus, builders are taking it a step further by adding elevators to multi-level homes. The aging-in-place feature allows homebuyers to stay put longer when mobility challenges set in. Additional features for 55-plus homes also include: deep toe kicks under cabinets to reduce bending, raised ovens, dishwashers, vanities and toilets, lever handles for faucets and doors vs. traditional knobs, and zero step living for home entrances, showers and garages.

In terms of aesthetic, cool-toned grays and silver accents are on their way out as homebuyers gravitate to warmer neutrals and metallic finishes. Overall, we’re seeing a Boomer preference for modern traditional home design rather than the contemporary style. For example, while the minimalist white and gray palette is still popular among younger demographics, the older generation is shifting preferences to greige and brushed bronze.

6. Sub-Neighborhoods over Snowbirds

In the mid-Atlantic markets, we’re seeing 55-plus homeowners stay local rather than migrating to the major retirement hubs in Florida or Arizona. In the case of Birchwood, which is a sub-neighborhood of the master-planned Brambleton community, many of the homebuyers had family near the Ashburn area or even within the market rate neighborhoods of Brambleton. Providing a strong amenity package, a walkable community with access to nature, shopping, and soft social programming was key for these Boomer buyers.

 


Birchwood at Brambleton Attends The Ideal Living Resort & Retirement Show

We had a wonderful time at the  Ideal Living Resort & Retirement DC Show this past weekend at the The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner!

Take a look at our display below. Did you attend? We loved meeting potential new homebuyers at the show and explaining everything that Birchwood has to offer! One of our home builders, Van Metre homes, was also in attendance and we had a great time hanging out with the Birchwood team.

Birchwood at Brambleton 55+ Living Community in Ashburn, VA

Many of the attendees were our neighbors from nearby counties such as Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax and they were pleasantly surprised to learn that Birchwood at Brambleton was just down the road.  Future residents were glad to learn about our 55+ community that was close to “home” which allows for the ability still live near their adult children and grandchildren. Did you know that Virginia also has some of the lowest tax rates on the East Coast? One of the best parts of choosing to retire in Virginia is that you definitely don’t have to worry about any alligators in your backyard either! #VirginiaIsForLovers

People were impressed with the images on display of our 20,000 sq ft clubhouse (under construction now) and excited to learn that it is projected to open later this Summer. Birchwood’s clubhouse will offer amenities such as an indoor and outdoor pool, game room, indoor golf simulator, meeting area, demonstration kitchen, arts & crafts room, yoga and fitness area and overlooks a lake with a fishing pier and is connected to a large network of walking trails to additional amenities such as Pickle Ball and Bocce courts.

Are YOU old enough? We have Condos, Townhomes and Single Family Detached product available. If you’d like to learn more about your options at Birchwood, please call our information center (open daily 11am – 5pm) at 703-722-2427.


The new clubhouse will be the heart of the Birchwood at Brambleton community

A Picture's Worth 1,000 words at Birchwood

Beautiful stone exteriors and modern interior features and finishes don’t begin to describe the beauty and function of our new 20,000 sq.ft. clubhouse under construction at Birchwood at Brambleton.

Brimming with amenities and awe-inspiring views over the lake, the new clubhouse will feature indoor and outdoor pools, game rooms, a wellness/fitness area, yoga studio, a demonstration/catering kitchen, arts and crafts room, indoor and outdoor bars and social spaces. The new clubhouse will be the heart of the community. Completion is anticipated for late summer of this year.