The Enjoyment of Walking to Work

9477 Cromarty Court, $584,000 List Price, April 23, 2022

The Enjoyment of Walking to Work

This weekend brought us fabulous weather in Braemar. What gorgeous days to be able to hold open 9477 Cromarty Court. Having been the host of Saturday’s Open House from 1pm-3pm, I enjoyed quite a few visitors and in the few down moments, I took in peaceful views of the pond next door, or sat quietly on the covered front porch.

Driving to the open house was necessary because I needed to place open house directional signs off of Sudley Manor Drive pointing up to Tartan Hills Parkway and at both roundabouts. However, I resolved that when it came time to make sure the home was locked up tight for the night, I would walk. It’s probably only seven blocks from my own Braemar home. I’m so glad that I did.

My favorite time of day is dusk. Walking to Cromarty Court that time of day was so relaxing. There were folks cooking out, kids playing, some were putting the finishing touches on their yard work and there was even a garage band playing on Cromarty. If I am not mistaken I heard the sounds of “Smoke on the Water” and “Layla.” It was a slice of pure Americana.

As a full-service, pet-friendly agent, I am no stranger to making sure that cats are fed. Being a cat mom myself, they get more than food. They also get attention. This beautiful girl was a tad stressed after a full day of showings and had no idea when she would see her family again. It was with pleasure that I took a load off, sat on the patio and spent time with my new feline friend. (She is pleased today that showings are nearly over and mom and dad are home.)

Leaving my listing on Cromarty, I stopped and took a few pictures of the glowing peach and pink sunset ahead of me. It was the only thing that topped the view that home has of the pond.

It is a treat to be able to walk to work, especially now that gas prices are high. Heck, I’ve even been known to bicycle to my Braemar listings in the summer for the exercise. As a Top Producing Agent with little to no free time, I realized long ago that if exercise didn’t come as part of the job, it was not likely to get done. Better yet, it is a blessing to serve the very place I call home. Getting home to my own place last night, I was still happy to have had the experience of taking in the neighborhood and loving every minute of it.

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate

The Views You Get Living in Braemar

This week, one of my Braemar listings will make it to settlement.  No matter how many homes I sell, it never gets old to take a listing to settlement. 

I hope the new home owner enjoys the same views I do as a resident of Braemar.  I got these shots yesterday.  There were a doe and her fawns headed right toward my front lawn…and most likely, my hostas.

I could be angry that the deer are having a buffet in my front mulch bed, but how you can be angry at such beautiful creatures.  Maybe I’ll just relocate my hostas to the common area woodline and plant something more deer resistent in the garden.



Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster REALTORS®



Concern Over Braemar’s Wildlife

The reason that a lot of the residents in Braemar chose this particular community was the preservation of green spaces and tree save areas.  While these areas do bring an aesthetically pleasing quality to our neighborhood, it is also home to wildlife, some of which you may not expect.

We’ve all seen deer, bunnies, raccoons, turtles and the occasional opossum.  What you may not have noticed are snakes, fox and coyotes.  There have been sightings of all of these, particularly in the vicinity of Tartan Hills Parkway.

 Calls to animal control have been made by various residents and the results are the same.  The County and State officials will not come to trap wildlife unless it is thought to be injured or rabid.  And to date, the descriptions of the animals’ activities have not been considered dangerous by our County officials.

Signs of a rabid animal would include excessive drooling, wandering aimlessly or off balance, and eating items like wood that they wouldn’t normally eat.  With the exception of raccoons that can carry rabies and not be infected, rabid animals will generally die of the illness in a matter of days once they become symptomatic.  Rabid animals should be reported to the Animal Warden, who can be reached at Prince William County’s non-emergency dispatch at 703-792-6500. 

Parents of infants and owners of small dogs and cats should be aware of the presence of the coyote in our neighborhood.  It may not live here, as coyotes do travel great distances to hunt, but if it’s making its way through, a baby or small animal could be in danger. 

The fox seems to have taken up residence in the woods west of Tartan Hills Parkway.  And some residents have stumbled on it while out for recreational walks or runs.  It is unlikely to be a threat to anyone, but may startle you.  Just remember, this fox is likely more afraid of you than you are of it.

Snakes are another creature attracted to these wooded areas.  There have been copperhead snake sightings in our neighborhood before, and those can be deadly.  Poisonous snakes have pointed heads, while those that are not have more rounded heads.  Regardless of whether the snake is thought to be poisonous or not, leave them alone.

No matter the wildlife you encounter, it is important to remember to stay calm and to not approach them.  Chances are, no matter what it is you’ve stumbled on, from a snake to a coyote, it is more afraid of you than you are of it.  If you are attacked or bitten, depending on the severity, it is advised to call 9-1-1 or seek medical help as quickly as possible.     

 This article will appear in the July/August edition of the Bagpiper.

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster REALTORS®


Take Time to Smell the Honeysuckle

Take Time to Smell the Honeysuckle

This is my very favorite time of year in Braemar.  Flowers are in bloom, the grass has greened up, and the honeysuckle are giving off their sweet scent.   And the smell was especially refreshing after yesterday evening’s thudnerstorm rolled through. 

This Memorial Day weekend, take time to roll down your windows as you drive home and let the smell of honeysuckle relax you.  Sit on your front porch or back yard deck and breath it in.  I don’t think there’s a more calming scent in nature.

Braemar’s Wildlife Still Includes Fox

In a neighborhood of over twenty-eight hundred homes, it is still surprising to me how much wildlife there is in Braemar.   Earlier this week I had a jolt when I saw a coyote shortcut through my backyard and into the wooded area directly beside it.  Today, with morning coffee in hand, I watched a fox bounce happily up and down as he trotted alongside the wood line with a rodent of some sort in it’s mouth. 

When my husband and I first moved to Braemar in December 2004, we saw a fox on our front lawn and I was mesmerized.  I’d never seen a fox in person, let alone on my front yard.  Within six months, there were no more fox to be seen.  Perhaps the new construction in Merrimont Trace has them scrambling back to the woods of Braemar.

Yesterday’s morning coffee was a different wildlife show.  A group of deer were hopping out of the cul-de-sac and onto my front yard.  I see the deer a lot because they live in the woods beside my home, but seeing them never gets old.

Maybe soon, I’ll sneak a peek at the owl that hoots outside my family room at night.