By: Pat Winter
When your Fairfax, Virginia, home goes on the market, sells in three days and you must vacate the house in two and a half weeks…what do you do? (After a little happy dance, that is!)
Luckily, Bob and Vaneeda Bennett had started thinking about retirement about two years before they found themselves facing this real estate dilemma. When Vaneeda started an internet search for places along the east coast, Albemarle Plantation popped up. After contacting our sales department, tickets for the upcoming ideal-LIVING Resort & Retirement Show in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, were delivered to their mailbox. At the show they met Steve Wentz, who convinced them to drive down to take a look around. They frequently had visited the Outer Banks on vacations, so the area was somewhat familiar to them. As long-time boaters, they loved our marina and easy accessibility to the water. Plus, this area seemed close enough to be able to travel home to visit family in Pittsburgh in one day. High on their wish list was a home with a water view and after they decided to move forward with plans to settle here, they initially were undecided if they wanted to buy an existing home or to build a new one.
So with their move-out date rapidly approaching for their Virginia home, the Bennetts rented a condo in the Marina Villas and arranged to have all their belongings put into storage in Kitty Hawk. They lived here for six months while they looked at homes and lots and finally decided on a traditional resale on Cape Fear Drive with “good bones” and an outstanding view. Then they began a complete kitchen renovation, installed new flooring, put in a new fireplace and finalized some needed landscaping. Today they both agree there is “no place with this water view,” a view that includes being able to check on their new powerboat moored on D Dock at the Marina and to watch golfers putt on the sixteenth green of the Sound Golf Links.
Since their arrival, the Bennetts have joined the Osprey Yacht Club and Bob has gotten involved with the bi-weekly bowling league. Vaneeda, who loves to paint, has joined the Perquimans Art League and recently completed a watercolor class at the College of the Albemarle. Some of her paintings have been displayed recently at the Clubhouse along with the art of other Albemarle Plantation artists, and she is pleased to be serving on the PAL’s jury committee. The Bennetts have also enjoyed visits from their two daughters and their families who love to take over the second floor of the Cape Fear home when they come to stay.
Before retiring, both Bob and Vaneeda worked for nonprofit national health organizations in the Washington, D.C., area. Vaneeda was the Chief Revenue Officer of the American Diabetes Association for twenty years, where her duties one day included being interviewed on the “Today Show” about fundraising for research. That was one day at work she will never forget! Bob was in charge of planned giving for nonprofit organizations, including the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and organizational development work for the Alzheimer’s Association where he managed twenty-one chapters in five states. Both continue their work by serving on several boards of health.
When you get a chance to meet the Bennetts, be sure to ask Vaneeda about “Grandma Bob” and Bob about his granddaughter the gymnast and his grandson who rides with the motorcross circuit. And be sure to welcome them “home.”