Coming Home

LAWn at uva

Anyone who knows me at all can tell you that I loved my time at UVa more than any person should. I jumped at as many opportunities as I could joining a sorority, internships, being an Orientation Leader, working in labs, studying abroad, volunteering with Madison House, you name it. Though I moved to Charlottesville in high school, it was in my time at UVa that my love for this town really grew and I have appreciated it even more since I graduated.

Since it was just Homecomings Weekend I thought it only appropriate to have some of my fellow ‘Hoos at our firm share how they came to love Charlottesville. Here is what they had to say.

Sally Neill ’85
When I was at UVA I had a VW convertible.  No matter the weather, my friends and I always had the top down, even if we had to have the heat on.  I remember some of the most spectacular views on our “country drives”, and that is really what made me fall in love with Charlottesville.  I got to know every inch of Albemarle County all the way up to Skyline Drive, and to this day, one of my favorite things to do is take a “country drive” and enjoy the beauty of the area.  My husband, Peter and I, feel blessed to have had the opportunity to move back here and raise our children.


Loring Woodriff ’93
My father and brother preceded me as hometown Wahoos and I really had thought I was going to break the mold but after being away from the area and homesick during boarding school, no other college or University really had a chance. I REALLY fell for  the UVA/Charlottesville dynamic 2nd year, when I lived in a house on Lewis Mountain Road with 8 friends that I made 1st year. What could be better than walking to class, walking to football games, walking to boyfriend’s houses down the street… and making lifelong girlfriends all the while?


Helen Ascoli ’00
Having grown up in the Charlottesville area, going to UVA was a dream that many children around here do not get to enjoy as reality. As a student of UVA, I learned a whole new facet of Charlottesville. Meeting people from all walks of life, making lifelong friendships, and learning at a top notch school made the UVA experience one that I will be eternally grateful for. Since graduating, life has presented multiple opportunities to leave but my heart and soul are in this town. My hopes are that one day my children may also be able to call themselves UVA graduates, enjoying the dynamic this university offers to the great City of Charlottesville.


Elizabeth Matthews ’03
It is easy to fall in love with Charlottesville as a student- beautiful grounds, life long friends, and world-class professors.  My roots of seven generations in cville make it easy to call home. This beautiful part of Virginia enriched my love of all things outdoors, but in particular my love of skiing, which took me all over the world. Upon my return to Cville, I never imagined that I would be working side by side with one of the top Realtors in the community for over thirty years Punkie Feil, my Mom (who happens to be a double Hoo). We enjoy the rare privilege of being mother daughter business team.

My husband, also an alum, is thrilled that our daughter, 2 years old, has mastered ‘The Good Ole Song’ just in time for football season…Wahoo Wa!

Lindsay Milby ’85
Originally from Baltimore, my father fell in love with Charlottesville while playing lacrosse and studying at UVA in the early 60’s.  He was determined to make Charlottesville his home.  I was lucky enough to grow up here, attend UVA and raise my children in such a wonderful community.

1800 jefferson park

Tommy Brannock ’79
I remained in Charlottesville after graduating from UVA due to its incredible sense of community and philanthropy – folks like to give back here.  This is truly a wonderful locality in which to raise a family, and we are blessed to be grounded by The University and its offerings.  Central Virginia enables us to enjoy four seasons, natural beauty and history, sporting events, cultural diversity, and we are within three hours of just about everything.  Friends return to visit, and often comment about how fortunate I am to be a native and to be able to call Charlottesville home. I agree – I would not consider living anywhere else.

Bunny French ’89
My love of riding horses began at a very early age in Long Island New York. It was riding that brought me to the more open spaces of Virginia more than 30 years ago.  The University of Virginia was the perfect environment for me to pursue my studies while successfully competing on the A show circuit between Florida and New York. The ability to go between a culturally rich city and beautiful open countryside, make Charlottesville and “The University” a unbeatable combination!


Lisa Lyons ’00
I came from Colorado to play basketball for and attend school at UVA.  I had spent very little time on the east coast and was very excited for a new adventure.  I was touched by the welcoming sense of community both at the university and in Charlottesville.  I met so many fantastic professors and life-long friends as a student athlete, including my now husband.  After we had children we decided that Charlottesville would be a great place to call home and raise our family.  We moved back several years ago and have fallen in love with Charlottesville all over again.  While we remain avid UVA sports fans, we have also enjoyed branching outside the university and experiencing all things Charlottesville from the great wineries and breweries, the many great restaurants, the beauty of the outdoors, and of course the wonderful people.

Each person’s story is different but what we all have in common is a love of everything Charlottesville has to offer and an inability to find anywhere better to live. If you want your own piece of Charlottesville, you know who to contact.

Go Hoo’s!

sydney for blogSydney Tenhundfeld ’12

How to Be a Good Neighbor

These days it is much too easy to disconnect and disengage. We’ve all heard the adage that good fences make good neighbors but what if a tree falls on your property while you are out of town or your dog gets out while you are at work? There are many reasons why it is helpful to have a good relationship with your neighbors but cultivating those relationships is a dying art form.

Here are a few suggestions on how to be a good neighbor.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 1

1. Be Observant of Your Neighbors’ Lifestyles
Are they up all night with friends over on weekends or do they wake early every morning and go for a jog? Being cognizant of the routine of those around you can help you keep from infringing on the rhythm of their everyday.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 2

2. Minimize and Inform
If you know your neighbor values their quiet Sundays maybe consider having that garage sale on Saturday or at least let them know when you’ll be having it so they can plan to be out of the house if they choose.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 3

3. Include your Neighbors When Appropriate
Speaking of a garage sale, why not ask if they want to combine efforts and garner more interest?! You could split the cost of shared improvements like a fence or a fire hydrant. If you want to have your yard sprayed to prevent insects it would be good to see if your neighbors want to get in on it too because you might get a cheaper rate and it means more bug free enjoyment of your yard too.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 4

4. Look Out for Each Other
If you give your neighbor a call to let them know they left the light on in their car they will be much more willing to return the favor. Similarly if they ask you to bring the mail in or cat sit while they are out of town then you have a convenient backup for when you plan your next trip. Neighbors are the first to know when something happens in your neighborhood so it is good to keep in touch so you stay in the loop.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 5

5. Don’t Be THAT Neighbor
Pick up after your pet, bring your trashcans in off the road, and keep your yard mowed. No one wants to be the eye sore in the community.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 6

6. Bring Back Letter Writing
Dropping off a nice card around the holidays or an introduction letter when you are new to the area can be a great ice breaker.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 7

7. Enhance your Community the Old Fashioned Way
Neighborhood events used to be common place but now it takes greater effort to coordinate schedules and make things happen. If you are feeling ambitious get some neighbors together and organize a block party. In a college town like Charlottesville a tailgate is the perfect way to get to know neighbors. Get creative and think of what works for your community.

Blog Photos - Neighbor 8

While it can be easy to quietly keep to yourself it may be worth while to get to know the people living next door. You never know when it might come in handy.


sydney for blogBy Sydney Tenhundfeld, REALTOR ®