Tuesday, July 25, 2017  

West Bay
A New Community Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay

Realtors showing exclusive waterfront homes in Virginia’s Northern Neck have all heard the sound before. The sound is “uh oh”, and it comes from prospective buyers who’ve just seen some of the most marvelous properties the area has to offer. Some buyers can feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities that go along with the marvelous views, spectacular sunsets and the inspiring panoramas. The responsibilities can include huge swaths of manicured lawns, dramatic landscaping and potential high maintenance shoreline. Until recent times buyers who wanted the waterfront home of their dreams had to be ready to roll up their shirt sleeves to take care of the many things that go along with owning this type of home.

Until now that is. Now folks looking for incredible waterfront property can leave some of their worries behind with a visit to WestBay©, “Where the only thing overlooked is the Chesapeake Bay”. Five years ago, developer Charles Chase of Chase Properties, Inc. had a vision of a gated community with everything. He wanted to build a community where owners could have a “lock and go lifestyle”, which would include a maintenance free environment, a clubhouse and pool, deepwater slips, terraced walkways, a protected shoreline, all linked by an attractive winding drive through the community of18 town homes.

Located four miles southeast of the newly revitalized downtown of Kilmarnock, Virginia, WestBay© occupies its own glorious peninsula on several beautifully landscaped acres where Indian Creek meets the Chesapeake Bay. Not every owner gets out on the water, but the boat owners at WestBay© agree that the deep water slips and immediate access to the Chesapeake Bay is one of the best things about living there. WestBay© is such a unique place that many owners have the thrilling experience of seeing both sunrises and sunsets from the very same property!

And while everyone is treated to the same beautiful vistas at WestBay©, each owner enjoys a unique opportunity to design their living space to reflect their own personal style. Living at WestBay© provides owners with a welcome flexibility to choose their interior layout to a remarkable degree. Some owners have chosen to simplify their lives with two bedrooms that open up the space. Others have opted for three and four bedrooms to share this experience with family and friends.

Owners Mike and Barbara Keilhauer from Canada arrived at WestBay© with a very distinctive plan for their life in the Northern Neck. As the parents of two active teenagers each with many friends the Keilhauer’s knew they would have to design their town home to accommodate some important considerations. Chief among them: they needed a downstairs family room, along with four bedrooms and a deck upstairs. However they knew that their family room could one day be someone else’s master bedroom, so they designed and built a master bath and closet for the convenience of a future owner.

Across WestBay© Drive, on the Chesapeake Bay side, are Walt and Laurel Zaremba. The Zarembas chose WestBay© as an ideal” getaway” home from their hectic business life in Williamsburg. As original owners at WestBay©, the Zaremba’s took advantage of the opportunity to start with a blank design slate. And with very specific ideas, they took three years to complete a remarkable interior transformation. Working from plans crafted by Project Architect George Thomasson, The Zaremba’s first saw their dream home take shape thanks to the fine work of Builder Clark Jones of Jones Construction Company of Richmond. “As we toured the other town homes under construction in West Bay as they neared completion, we were struck by the varied “sense of arrival” each presented to the visitor”, says Laurel Zaremba.

“We were determined to distinguish our home from the other seventeen by initially focusing attention to the architectural opportunity offered by the foyer. First, we had the graceful curve of a Palladian window installed above the front entranceway, followed by a view of the uniquely created barreled ceiling above that entrance”, continues Laurel.

Next came the challenge of finding and installing the winding staircase with just the right balance of curve to complement the Palladian window and barreled ceiling. To further emphasize our intended “sense of arrival,” faux marble columns were place on either side of the main entrance. These columns are repeated throughout the home to accent the various living areas and to continue this flair throughout the townhouse.

The original WestBay© plan called for upper and first floor waterside porches. In the Zaremba home, they were eliminated to make way for a larger great room and upstairs bedroom. However Walt and Laurel regretted the loss of the upper porch, so they added an upstairs porch to the design.

The couple incorporated the features of brownstone such as those seen in historic sections of Annapolis. Transoms over doorways help to allow in more sunlight. Floor to ceiling windows and French doors were added leading to the expansive outdoor patio and to maximize views of both the Bay and Indian Creek.

Also added to the home: “soundproofing” between the first and second floors; a water filtration system throughout the home; and a gas forced air heating system as backup to the heat pump system (when weather conditions marginalize the efficiency of the two zoned heat pumps). Additionally, the home is wired with all the latest gadgets including media surround sound; full house audio and all the ‘smart’ house features. As the final touch, the couple doubled the size of their patio.

Also on the Bay side, owners Bill and Marilyn Creager are happy to call WestBay© their home year round. However, the Creagers are a globe trotting couple who love the fact that someone else cuts the grass and maintains the landscape while they’re gone. The Creagers came to WestBay© from just across the water. From their 15 year residence on Bells Creek, they saw WestBay© as an opportunity to have the perfect Northern Neck experience without all the maintenance issues when they were away. They and the other residents appreciate that the community is professionally managed and maintained. All agree that WestBay© offers carefree ownership and lock and leave living whether it’s their primary home or weekend escape.

About the author:
Ann Meekins, CEO Ann Meekins Realtors combines high energy with high tech resources to bring you the remarkable buying or selling experience you are looking for in Virginia’s Northern Neck. You can preview properties from the comfort of Ann’s upscale village office, and then visit those meeting your criteria. She personally photographs her most exclusive listings from the air, so buyers can easily visualize shorelines and proximity to the river, creeks, and the bay. Stop by Ann Meekins Realtors in the historic port towns of Irvington and Urbanna, Virginia and you’ll see. Call Ann today 8048150436.