Tree house: Offers river access, room for expansion

Address: 27 River Ridge Drive
Lake Monticello in Fluvanna County
Year Built:
 1,724 finished sq. ft., 840 unfinished
1.015 acres
Curb Appeal:
7 out of 10
Listing Agent:
  Shannon Harrington, RE/MAX Commonwealth, 804-484-0367

It’s hard to say what a prospective buyer will notice first about 27 River Ridge Drive – the hush of the surroundings or the significant slope of the lot. 

Situated well off the main road at the end of a cul-de-sac and flanked by a neighboring home on one side and a vacant lot on the other, the two-story house sits on just over an acre. Though the front yard is open, the house is mostly surrounded by woods, and the quiet is absolute. 

As for the slope, it’s obvious. It’s also not all that unusual, even if the topography of Lake Monticello is rather flatter than, say, that of Whitehall. But the owners have installed a drainage system to handle heavy rains, and the cul-de-sac offers a convenient parking alternative in the event that ice slickens the paved drive.

The home is wonderfully maintained, and bold paint choices help enliven and personalize the living spaces. Wood floors, ceiling fans, and a gas-burning fireplace lend a cozy air to the commodious living room. A cased opening leads to a large eat-in area, separated from the rest of the kitchen by a high counter, and large windows flood the room with natural light. The kitchen, comfortable and adequate if perhaps a bit too tight to satisfy avid culinary enthusiasts, is well situated for entertaining. A framed opening over the sink allows for a full view of the living room with a sunroom just a few steps away.

This sunroom, which currently doubles as a playroom, is the most striking and inviting spot in the house. Fully climatized and ringed by multiple windows that afford fantastic views of the woods, this room feels like an upscale version of the Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse. It’s easy to imagine easing into your day with a mug of coffee and a bit of birdwatching here or perhaps curling up on the couch to catch a late-afternoon snooze in the sunshine.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is spacious and bright and features an attached bath and walk-in closet. Two additional bedrooms and a second bath round out the sleeping quarters, though there’s plenty of room to add a guest room, a home office, or a family room in the full basement, which is already roughed-in to accommodate another bathroom. Sliding doors afford some natural light and give access to a small deck that’s nicely screened from the house next door and enjoys views of the woods beyond. 

Though the home is ideally located for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts with access to the Rivanna River mere steps from the back door, the house itself is shy on outdoor living space. The addition of a deck off the dining area could easily remedy this situation, providing a great venue for grilling out in the summer while continuing the tree-house theme.

Lake Monticello with its beach, clubhouse, and tennis courts lies nearby. Charlottesville, however, is a good 20-minute drive away, and the prospect of such a daily commute could deter some buyers. A greater concern, however, may be the current state of the Fluvanna County real estate market, which– like many others– has seen increasing inventory and decreasing sales activity over the past few months. Prospective purchasers would do well to weigh the importance of access to community amenities against market performance when considering an investment of such magnitude.
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asking: $189,000....... tax assessment: $274,900

What's wrong with this picture?

When is this problem going to be fixed?

The bigger problem is what is not shown...a house next door that is full of partying teens every weekend

No house in Lake Monticello is worth more than $200K if you compute schools, taxes, lack of consistant safe drinking water and the simple fact that as River Ridge Drive Local states, there are parents who have children there that have nothing to do but party all weekend. In the summer, probably all week while parents are not at home. Though I know one resident (still there) whose teens were allowed to have parties in the basement and other locals walked right in with cases of beer and Lord knows what else.

Yeah - that is some of the element that lives not worth even $50K in my book.

Read the article. This is a beautiful home in a great location for a very fair price.

The buyers can check out the neighborhood and neighbors themselves. Your perception is not the gospel. And why would you want to say bad things to lower values in your own neighborhood anyway? Makes me wonder if you really even live there to know what you are talking about. I doubt it.

Hook commenters, scandalizing everything. Yawn.

As a former resident of Lake Monticello (and still a resident of Fluvanna Co.), I find the remarks concerning some of the “element” that lives at Lake Monticello to be thoughtless and derogatory. Counted among Lake residents are University faculty and staff, Charlottesville/Albemarle County police and Fire and Rescue personnel as well as teachers from most surrounding counties… not to mention thousands of other decent, hardworking people. If we are judging an entire neighborhood by a select handful of its residents, do you really think some of the more elite communities in the area would fare much better?? I doubt it.

While you are holding on to your $50k, please do us a favor and keep your two cents as well.

Relax people, life is too short to develop ulcers from participation in an online forum. While I am in the market to buy my daughter a home, probably not this one though, I would want to know if a house full of drunken party type people lives next door to this house. If this claim is in fact true, I will give the seller $139,000 tomorrow.


We moved our family from Albemarle to the Lake 4 years ago. It turned out to be a wonderful decision. So our commute takes 25 minutes? Big deal. Our "quality of life" is worth it.

@Gasbag: Wow, nice dad! Buying your daughter a home?

To Voice of Reason: who are you, the realtor? The party animal house is not a perception, it is what I see every weekend on my street. College kids cars parked up and down the street on the easements, tearing up the grass and leaving muddy tire ruts, which is an HOA violation, and I called the LMOA police dept. on it, have yet to see any enforcement. Yeah I live there all right, and I know what I am talking about, you do not.

BTW another big handicap to home values here is the Aqua Virginia water bills, it costs us about $2000 per year for water, more than the electric bill. Every home owner in LM knows about this.

River Ridge Drive local...Why are you still living in the neighborhood? When you do go to sell your house, you are making it difficult for you to sell and you are ruining the opportunity for others to think about selling do not seem too sound like you have a vendetta against everyone in your neighborhood. I don't think the so called party kids are the problem..but having a neighbor such as yourself who has now alienated everyone around you..and NO..I am not a realtor..I don't live at the Lake either...just feel sorry for your neighbors and I glad your not mine!

Frank your post makes no sense. Are you saying that everyone who lives at Lake Monticello who complained about their water bills to the state and to Rep. Bell should have kept their mouths shut and not let the public know about the problem, lest they lower their property values? By the same token should people not speak up about crime in their neighborhoods for the same reason? Are you suggesting people should just sell their homes, move away, and let someone else deal with the problems, instead of staying put and trying to get problems solved?

It seems to me that The Hook is presenting a real estate ad as a news article. Isn't that some kind of breach of ethical journalism? Be that as it may, if they are going to present this as "news" and invite comments, then they have to accept that someone might say something like "This neighborhood has certain problems." Otherwise the realtor should just pay for an ad. Everyone agrees that the right to free speech is important, but anytime someone doesn't like what someone else has posted, they feel the need to reply with "shut up and keep your opinion to yourself." That never ceases to amaze me.