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


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.