Homeowner Spotlight:  Meet Ernest and Sonja Wells

Ernest and Sonja Wells are just weeks away from completing their custom-built lakeside retreat in Bay Creek. The prospect of living in the quaint town of Cape Charles wasn’t something the Washington, DC residents had ever considered. But during a perfectly timed visit to the community in 2021, they found themselves taken with the community’s peaceful lifestyle.

Their new home in Bay Creek isn’t the first home they’ve owned, but it’s certainly the most tranquil.

Earlier in her career, as the regional manager of a boutique with locations all along the Eastern Seaboard, Sonja fled DC’s high cost of living for Baltimore. “This was many moons ago,” Sonja smiles. “I was single at the time, and I bought a historic brownstone in Baltimore. I never envisioned I would end up there as long as I did but, I met a boy, fell in love, got married…and we still have that house!”

Eventually, Sonja transitioned from retail to banking which ultimately brought the couple back to DC. She now serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of City First Bank in Washington, DC. Ernest, a Baltimore native and former Marine, works as a Chief Engineer for the Department of the Navy.

Discovering Something New
Bay Creek wasn’t even on their radar until a co-worker of Sonja’s brought it up.  “One of my co-workers, Marc Batchelor, who has owned at Bay Creek for over 16 years, kept saying to me, ‘you’ve got to go down to Bay Creek!’ He emailed me a link to their discovery visit and I just didn’t really consider it. But when Covid came and Ernest and I had been working remotely at home for so long, I thought, ‘we need to go somewhere and get out of this house!’

So, she suggested to Ernest that they take a discovery visit to Bay Creek. “My husband claims I set him up if you let him tell it,” she laughs.

Sonja remembers the moment they first drove into Bay Creek in July of 2021. “I remember this woman was out walking and she waved and was very friendly. I’m also thinking, this is a golf cart community. So…I could retire here and drive around in a cart and not need a car? I liked that idea!” 

Creating the Perfect Home
During their visit, they explored, went to the Clubhouse, and drove around to get a feel for the neighborhoods.

“In Bayside Village, there were a stretch of homesites that backed up to a lake,” says Sonja. “I love the serenity of water so that area was appealing to me. We chose homesite #8 and settled in October 2021.”

Soon, Ernest and Sonja were ready to build. Bean Stringfellow, their realtor offered a few recommendations for builders. “We had an immediate connection with Terry Industries. I sent an email to Laura Zito, and she called me back that very night. We talked for several hours, and I knew we had found our builder,” says Sonja.

The couple wanted a modern coastal farmhouse style. Zito helped them find a home plan and introduced them to the architect who would customize it to be exactly what they wanted.

“We really took time in designing the home so it would fit how we live,” Sonja explains.

Inside, the home boasts modern elements and unique materials—from a stunning aluminum and wood staircase to a sleek glassed-in home office, elegant wood wall covering and dramatic, contemporary lighting. The modern coastal farmhouse exterior and custom interiors suit Sonja and Ernest’s lifestyle perfectly, by design.  They plan to enjoy their Bay Creek home as their main residence when they retire. But for now, they’ll use it as a retreat and a vacation rental.

Another World
“When we get to our house, and go out back by the lake and it’s just silence,” says Sonja. “When we get there, we can just…breathe. It’s a place where you can completely tune out, and throw all the devices into the lake!” she laughs.

Ernest and Sonja like the calm and relaxation of living along the water. As for other recreational pursuits, they plan on enjoying golf, the beaches, and getting out in the community. “I like to walk, and Ernest is a runner, so we like the ability to get out and walk in the community and explore the nature trails,” she says. They’re also looking forward to the ease of traveling by golf cart.

“Getting a golf cart is probably next on our list!” Sonja says.

Their future ‘hometown’ of Cape Charles is known for heartily welcoming new people as Sonja quickly discovered. “We stayed at the Northampton Hotel during one of our visits. We by chance met the owner, Beth Walker, and it wasn’t long before she was suggesting I join one of the committees in town,” Sonja recalls, laughing.

Though Cape Charles is different from any of the cities Ernest and Sonja have called home, it shares certain characteristics they love: “Our home in Baltimore is a brownstone that’s more than 100 years old,” says Sonja, “so the historic architecture of Cape Charles is appealing to us. We both love ‘historic’ but, technology and modern amenities are a must,” Sonja says.

Their new home in Bay Creek is a sophisticated blend of all these things. With its modern take on the historic farmhouse and gorgeously curated interiors, the Wells’ new home is truly a triumph.

Congratulations Ernest and Sonja, on your spectacular new home in Bayside Village.  We look forward to seeing you at Bay Creek!

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Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or values, if any, of the property. This is not intended to be and does not constitute an offer in any state or jurisdiction where prohibited by law. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Prices renderings and square footages are provided for reference only but are subject to change and not guaranteed. Sales by Bay Creek Realty/Broker.

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