Sometimes, you have to pay attention to idle daydreams.
Marni Rosen and her husband, Eric Rosen, had recently built a home in western Henrico County, and they were happy there. But whenever she drove through the Cross Creek subdivision, she found herself wishing she lived there.
Western Henrico, particularly the Short Pump area, has changed a lot in the last 20 or 30 years, as suburban residential developments replaced farmland. So compared to a lot of the developments around it, Cross Creek, which is located at the intersection of Pouncey Tract Road and Country Creek Way, is mature. Construction on it began in the 1980s. And that’s one of the reasons Rosen was drawn to it.
“I just love the mature landscape and the large trees,” Rosen said.
The lots in Cross Creek were generous, too – 1 to 2 acres – and it would give the Rosens’ young son, Noah, room to play.
Eventually, the Rosens decided to look at houses for sale in Cross Creek. Jeannette Mock, a real estate agent with The Steele Group Sotheby’s International Realty, showed them two houses, and they fell in love with one of them. The back of the 4,200-square-foot, Colonial-style house glowed with sunlight, and the two-acre lot dwarfed the one-third-acre site they had built their house on.
“My husband’s childhood house was similar to this one, and he fell in love with it,” Rosen said.
They bought the Cross Creek house in August 2017. The house wasn’t move-in ready as far the Rosens were concerned, though. There were too many trees on the lot, for example.
“The front yard looked like a forest,” Rosen said.
They had approximately 24 trees cut down in the front yard, along with another dozen in the backyard. Inside, they focused on improving the floor plan’s flow by opening up the space.
“I did a lot of large, eight-foot case openings because I couldn’t take out load-bearing walls,” Rosen said. “We took out three walls on the first floor and one wall on the second floor.”
The couple also added an addition onto the side of the house to extend their son’s playroom.
“We wanted to have room for Noah to run around,” Rosen said.
In all, the work took a year to finish. They moved in last August, and they don’t regret undertaking the hard work.
“When my family came to visit us in this house, they said, ‘This feels so much like a home,’” Rosen said. “We’re here to stay.”
The Cross Creek development has 72 homes, the majority of which were built in the late 1980s and 1990s. Architectural styles in the neighborhood include Colonial, Farmhouse and Transitional.
House sizes range from 2,900 to more than 6,500 square feet. Prices in Cross Creek range from $500,000 to $1.3 million.
Homebuyers looking to move to Cross Creek might have to be patient because the homes there come on the market fairly infrequently.
“Only seven homes on the market in Cross Creek have closed in the last two and a half years,” Mock said. “Three others are pending and should close soon.”
One home also sold in a private sale.
The reasons for the low turnover are straightforward, Mock said.
“The houses are large, and the generous lots are private and often wooded,” she said. “And the neighborhood is in a highly sought-after public school district. Those qualities are rare, so people tend to stay in Cross Creek for a long time.”
The Cross Creek market might be opening up a little, though, in the wake of two recent sales with impressive numbers. A house sold last year for $1.145 million, followed by another that sold for $1.2 million last month.
Even so, sellers are torn.
“They’re very emotional about leaving Cross Creek,” said Sylvia Miller, an associate broker with Joyner Fine Properties and a Cross Creek resident.
Miller, who was the listing agent for the property that sold for $1.2 million, has the neighborhood’s only current active listing.
“I tell sellers we’ll still be neighbors – we’ll just live a little further apart,” Miller said.