If you’re on the fence about moving to Albemarle Plantation, a few minutes with Janet and Larry Sandeen will help dispel all doubts from your mind. The Sandeens are recent arrivals to the community, but already two of its biggest fans.
“We looked at many other communities, but Albemarle Plantation was the perfect fit for us,” Janet said. “It was the only one that had everything we were looking for.”
In 2012, Janet and Larry began their search for the perfect place to begin a new phase of their lives together. They’d raised three sons and the youngest had just left for college. It was time, they felt, to start planning for a new adventure.
For the next two years, they spent numerous weekends traveling from their home outside Philadelphia down the Atlantic Coast, checking out coastal communities in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and the Carolinas.
Early in the search, Larry, an engineer by profession, prepared a decision matrix that covered every item on their wish list. It was not a short list, to say the least.
To start with, they wanted an established community with a solid core of year-round residents. It had to be on the water, with a wide selection of waterfront homesites. Their dream community also had to have a full complement of amenities, including a first-class golf course, a full-service marina, an elegant clubhouse and a fully equipped fitness center.
Most of all, it had to be a vibrant community with an active social life and lots of resident-sponsored clubs and associations.
One by one, Albemarle Plantation checked off every item on the list. And a few more that they hadn’t realized they wanted.
“Our first visit was in March 2014,” Janet said. “The entire sales team was away at real estate shows, so Nick Calabro, a Board Member and Treasurer, stepped in to show us around. Three hours later, we moved Albemarle Plantation to the top of our list.”
They returned in May and purchased a homesite on Yeopim Creek on the northwest side of the community, where the creek is 300 yards wide. Just as they dreamed, their lot faces west, so they can end every day together watching the sunset over the water from their porch and deck. “Just looking at the water is restful to the soul,” Janet says.
The Sandeens retained one of the members of the Albemarle Plantation Preferred Builders program to build their new home, which should be completed this spring.
“They’ve been great to work with,” Larry said. “Building a custom home is always a complicated venture, involving a multitude of decisions. It’s never easy. But when you work with a quality builder you get a sense of confidence that issues you can’t even foresee are being addressed before they come to mind.
The Sandeens are already taking an active role in the life of the community. Janet, a former teacher, swimming coach and personal trainer, provides expert instruction at the Albemarle Plantation fitness center, including pilates, kickboxing and spinning classes.
Back home in Pennsylvania, they volunteered for more than 20 years with the Family Life organization, which is dedicated to strengthening marriages and families. They plan to continue this work in Albemarle Plantation and Perquimans County in the coming years.
Right now, they’re renting a waterfront home in the community, while waiting to move into their dream home.
“As I sit down in the living room of the home we’re renting, I marvel that I’ve never spent a single night in my life in a location as beautiful as I see each morning and evening from my window or deck. I expect that our new home will be equally amazing,” Larry said.