Lovely in Lewis Hills: Big house improved by bounds and LEAPS

Address: 2417 Holkham Drive
Lewis Hills
Year Built:
 2,558 fin. sq. ft., 576 unfin.
5.17 acres
Curb Appeal:
8 out of 10
Listing Agent:
  Kristin Cummings Streed, Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates, 434-409-5619

The first portion of Holkham Drive is a state-maintained road winding among houses set on two-acre lots near Ivy in Western Albemarle. The second portion, branching off a cul-de-sac almost as an afterthought, wends its way among parcels set a little farther back and spaced a little farther apart on five-acre lots.  

The second-to-last house on this final stretch, 2417 Holkham Drive is set on a level lot that includes a playhouse, an in-ground pool, a screened porch, and an expansive deck– testaments to a love of outdoor living.

The current owners were in the process of renovating the house when their progress was halted by a move out of state. Fortunately, the house was in good condition when they undertook the renovations so there’s no obvious demarcation between before and after. And since getting the home LEAP certified was part of the process, some of the improvements aren’t readily apparent.

LEAP (Local Energy Alliance Program) is a resource for area residents and property owners who want to create healthier– and potentially more affordable– houses. Based on recommendations from the LEAP, the homeowners insulated and floored both the attic and the bonus space above the oversized garage, effectively increasing the climate-conditioned square footage.This also helped reduce energy leakage by 45 percent and decreased utility costs dramatically.  

More visible upgrades are in the kitchen: new cabinets, energy-efficient Bosch dishwasher, and tile floors. An eat-in area occupies a sunny spot in front of a large bay window, and French doors lead onto the deck overlooking the backyard.  

Just off the kitchen, the mudroom has a washer, dryer and laundry sink as well as built-in storage cubbies, shelves and a large catch-all closet. A generous two-car garage, newly outfitted with the original kitchen cabinets and counters, could easily accommodate a workshop or craft area. 

But the most dramatic enhancement lies upstairs, where the previously unfinished bonus room has been transformed into a spacious master. Accessed by French doors, the room is airy and well-lit with a large walk-in closet and several knee-wall storage areas (all newly insulated). Three additional bedrooms and two full baths provide plenty of space for family and guests.

Classic finishes such as hardwood floors, crown molding and chair rail in the living room, dining room and den belie the '80s-era construction. HardiePlank siding, a new pool liner, and a recently replaced roof ensure that the next owner will have few major maintenance concerns.

So what’s the downside?

It’s difficult to say. Holkham Drive is a quiet neighborhood of just 60 houses, all subject to homeowner’s association dues. The houses along the privately maintained portion of the street are assessed road maintenance dues, as well. It’s possible that some purchasers would find these fees objectionable, but at a current combined annual cost of $350, they’re hardly exorbitant.   

And maybe the next-door neighbor’s house sits a little closer than one might expect, especially given the size of the lots. But how much does that really matter when the backyard’s big enough to house a soccer goal, and the Blue Ridge Swim Club lies within easy walking distance?
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