Real Estate: A Newcomer's Home 

The residence: Tuscan Villas, circa 1928 Mediterranean condominium complex at Boulevard and Park Avenue in the Fan District.

The owner: Jeff Ore.

Previous home: Luxury apartment in Palm Beach with views of Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.

What he wanted: Ore is a project manager for Motorola who moved here last summer for a long-term, statewide radio system contract. He had embraced the Palm Beach lifestyle and wanted a similar residence in Richmond. He and real estate agent Leigh Hulcher of Napier Realtors ERA looked at about 10 other condo projects and 20 townhouses in the Fan. "Most in my price range needed a lot of renovations," Ore says, "and with my work schedule, I needed less maintenance. Tuscan Villas have the Spanish-style look and the location is great." He says Hulcher's professionalism and concierge-style service allowed him to feel comfortable learning about Richmond and choosing a property that would fit his expectations.

What he got for the money: Ore had seen another Tuscan Villas unit sell quickly, and he entered into a small bidding war to get his unit last July. The listing price was $192,000, and he offered $194,500, which was accepted by the sellers the same day as their first open house. The condo has two bedrooms, two baths, living room and dining room with plaster walls and arched openings, a remodeled kitchen and sunny courtyard views. Condo fees, running under $400 a month, pay for heat, water, sewer, trash, landscaping and exterior maintenance. Resident parties and events, and an owners' association that Ore describes as tremendous and well-organized, help keep neighbors on good terms.

How he's making it his own: Working with interior decorator Susan Hicklin of In House Design, Ore is moving in stages through a plan to bring Palm Beach flavor to his surroundings. First he tackled an overhaul of the fixtures and finishes in the master bathroom and decorated the master bedroom. He added a closet storage system, installed French doors to the second bedroom to increase light and openness, and used new and existing furniture to create a casual environment. Because he loves water sports, he has purchased with a co-owner a 26-foot sailboat docked near Urbanna, which he enjoys on weekend getaways from the city.

What Richmond feels like to a corporate newcomer: "The people here are very warm and receptive," he says, "and the city is fun and eclectic — and the art community is great." Ore jumped into Richmond's after-work HS


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