Life in Keswick

Six miles east of Charlottesville you’ll find the unincorporated community of Keswick, an equestrian dream of green fields and rolling pastures. (Click here to learn more about the origins of the unique name). According to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors’ (CAAR) Neighborhood Report, in February 2017 the median estimated home value in Keswick was $574,000 and the median list price was $590,000. In 2008, Stephen Wells of the New York Times wrote, “It’s this image of upscale rural America that best defines Keswick and its surrounding communities.” And this remains true today.

Here are some other things to know about life in Keswick.


Glenmore is a gated community with luxury homes tucked among mature trees, and paved walking trails that parallel the roads. Formerly a horse farm estate known nationwide, Glenmore gives a nod to its roots via its on-site Equestrian Center. The residential community also features an 18-hole golf course, a fitness/swimming/tennis facility, soccer field, basketball court, and a clubhouse.

Glenmore Golf Club
Glenmore Golf Club

Just on the other side of I-64, you’ll find Keswick Estates, a small luxury residential community consisting of 121 homes and home building sites. Like Glenmore, it is gated, but home sites are larger at two to six acres. Its proximity to the Keswick Hall resort means that residents have easy access to all of the resort’s amenities, such as the golf club and spa.

Keswick Estates
Keswick Estates


There are other recreational opportunities in Keswick beyond the Glenmore Country Club and Keswick Hall.

Keswick Vineyards is a lovely spot to enjoy a glass of wine along with views of the Southwest Mountains. In 2016 the American Wine Society awarded the vineyard the silver award for their 2015 Chardonnay Reserve.

Just a little bit further north is Castle Hill Cider, if you prefer apples to grapes, cider to wine. Another bucolic setting in which to relax, you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds surrounding Castle Hill. Be sure to try the Celestial cider.

A couple miles from Glenmore you can spend an afternoon antiquing at A&W CollecTables. You can read more about their offerings here.

If a private guided tour of the countryside is more your taste, and you enjoy the perspective gained from atop a horse, check out Indian Summer Guide Service. Tour options include guided horseback rides through several wineries and vineyards—including Keswick Vineyards—as well as the orchards of Castle Hill Cider.

Keswick Hall swimming pool
Keswick Hall swimming pool


Keswick Hall & Golf Club offers three dining options: Fossett’s, Villa Crawford, and Treble Wine Cellar. Fossett’s is committed to using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible for their gourmet American menu. Fossett’s also usually participates in Charlottesville Restaurant Week, a benefit for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank held twice a year—in January and in July—that offers three-course meals at reduced rates. (The next Restaurant Week will be July 14-23, 2017.) Villa Crawford serves a lunch buffet as well as a la carte dining that includes comfort foods as well as healthy options. The Treble Wine Cellar is a private dining venue with the option of either ordering from the Fossett’s menu or enjoying the recommended pairings of the executive chef and sommelier.

Shortly before the turn off to Glenmore is the elegant Clifton Inn with award-winning dining. You’ll need to call ahead for reservations. We also recommend keeping a look out for special tastings and dining offerings.

Economist Lawrence Yun Offers Hope for the Housing Market

Last week Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior V. P. of Research at the National Association of Realtors, paid a visit to Charlottesville to offer his economic and real estate outlook at the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) General Membership Meeting. He emphasized that the moderate recovery we’re experiencing in rising home sales is a positive thing because it is much more sustainable than the boom in the early 2000s caused by subprime lending. The challenge we face today, he said, is the lack of supply to meet the demand. Specifically, there are too few available houses that meet the needs of first time home buyers. Yet he is hopeful that steady recovery will continue and that there will be the potential for growth going forward.

In order to create a more detailed picture of what is happening, he presented his analysis of the middle class today. The fact that median household income has not fully recovered to match the levels seen in 2000 and 2007, he says, has upset middle class ideas about the American Dream. He then pointed out that a majority of American families are not directly impacted by positive spikes in the economy because only 10% of them have a meaningful ($100K or more) investment in the stock market, which contributes to the overall viewpoint that the economy is not recovering. Then there is the fact that despite making high profits, businesses are not spending as much as they used to. And even though the employment rate is rising and the unemployment rate appears to be falling, he pointed out that what these statistics fail to show is the unemployed person who is not actively searching for work, as this is a requirement to be included in the unemployment rate. Specifically in Charlottesville, he said, there are 20,000 more people with jobs in the area than there were in 2000, which has contributed to the high housing demand.

By Lawrence Yun
By Lawrence Yun

In addition, rent is at a 7-year high, he said, and will be the driver of inflation in the future. Rising rents encourage home ownership, which offers the benefit of a stable mortgage payment. And a high inflation rate will mean higher mortgage interest rates. But currently the rate of homeownership is at a 50-year low. Younger households are less likely to own, a fact explained by the large wealth gap between young adults (defined by those under 35) and retirees. While wealth has grown for retirees since 1983, it has declined for those under 35. Yun sited contributing factors such as the rise of tuition and student loan debt, as well as medical inflation. This is the reason, Yun said, we’re seeing less foot traffic and lockbox openings.

The National Association of Realtors will make a large effort in the next year, he said, to present to the next President of the United States the benefits of home ownership. These include a lower juvenile delinquency rate, better health, self-esteem, and civic engagement. But since all of these benefits can be counteracted by foreclosure, the National Association of Realtors will emphasize the need for sustainable home ownership. The good news in Virginia is that the mortgage delinquency rate is lower than the rest of the country.

In an article published on Forbes online titled “Are We Entering a New Housing Bubble?” Yun argues that we are not heading toward another bubble as we currently lack the inventory for such a thing to happen. He advocates for more home-building in order to meet the current demand and maintain a gradual recovery of the economy.

Yun - Fed Policy re Mortgage Rate
By Lawrence Yun

He also pointed out at the CAAR meeting that the Federal Reserve always waits until after an election to raise rates because they don’t want to affect the outcome of the election. But Yun predicts that the mortgage rate will be more affected by inflation in 2017 and 2018, rather than by actions of the Federal Reserve. His economic forecast is that the economy will continue to be subpar, but may be affected by whoever is elected for President of the United States. He predicts that growth of the GDP will be 1.6%.

Yun - Economic Forecast
By Lawrence Yun

His housing forecast is as follows.


Yun - Housing Forecast
By Lawrence Yun