Upgraded Western: A sparkling neighbor to Old Trail

Address: 1614 Grayrock Court         
Neighborhood: Grayrock in Western Albemarle
Asking: $359,000
Assessment: $308,100
Year Built: 2006
Size: 2,605 fin. sq. ft, 590 unfin.
Land: 0.25 acres
Agent: Agent: Roger Voisinet, RE/MAX Realty 434 974-1500
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

In 2005, at the peak of the housing market, the average selling price of a home in the Grayrock subdivision was $356,616 according to a detailed study posted in The Nest Report. The blog states that by the end of 2007, the average price of homes in the Crozet development had dropped from $157/sf a year earlier to $140/sf. Despite a continued decline in the market, Grayrock listings are hovering at slightly less than that average value four years ago. That may be little consolation to a seller focused on the days when houses appreciated at the rate of inflation, but it seems noteworthy considering the soft market and the competition in Crozet.

Established in 2000, Grayrock was constructed by a handful of well-known builders like R.D. Wade, who completed this two-story Colonial in 2006. Located due west of Crozet, the area is undergoing notable improvements.

An active grass-roots organization, the “Crozet Trails Crew” has been clearing pathways within the subdivision so residents can fish or picnic at nearby ponds. A wider stretch of Jarman’s Gap Road with additional sidewalks and bike lanes now leads to Grayrock. Better links from the development directly to downtown Crozet may keep an artery flowing to local downtown businesses, who would like less migration to the nearby planned community at Old Trail. It is hard to compete with amenities like Old Trail's golfing, swimming, and walking trails located near new stores and physician’s offices.

New homes of similar size in Old Trail now routinely include what used to be referred to as upgraded finishes, as buyers once impressed by hardwood floors, crown molding, and ceramic tile may no longer regard these as  upgrades. Fortunately, the owners of this Grayrock home invested in an updated kitchen with flashy glass and marble-tiled walls, stainless steel appliances, and modern light fixtures. However, they stopped short of replacing the laminate countertops—which might be worth the investment with an unusual finish like stainless or concrete. A contemporary dinette with chrome and molded birch chairs fits perfectly in the kitchen.

A chocolate shag carpet makes the family room feel cozy, while floor-to-ceiling windows and a gas fireplace with black marble surround make it chic. Glossy hardwood floors continue from the dining to the living room and up a handsome stairway ending at the second floor. The dining room wainscoting is accented with picture frame molding and it is set off from the living room by a columned doorway.

The powder room is also trendy, with a ceramic vessel sink that sits on a grey, marble-topped cabinet. A large laundry room with a pet door allows Fido into the fenced back yard and contains him when he returns. There’s also access to the two-car garage, which could provide storage space in the absence of a basement.

Palladian windows and glass transoms add interest and allow light to filter in above curtained windows. Owners have personalized the four bedrooms with bright colors and some stylish wallpaper. Both bathrooms on this level have ceramic tiled floors, cultured marbled sinks, and white vanity cabinets, with a Jacuzzi tub in the master. The bonus room serves nicely as a mini office and playroom. The exterior of the house is also attractive, with room for comfortable seating on the front porch and an outdoor dining set on backyard stone patio.

With views to the Blue Ridge Mountains and a lower price tag than the Old Trail development, this house may be all a family needs this side of the Gap.
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