REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Just do it: An exerciser's paradise beckons


ADDRESS: 10878 West Jack Jouett Road

NEIGHBORHOOD: Gordonsville, Green Springs

ASKING: $689,000

ASSESSMENT: $321,400


SIZE: 2340 fin. sq. ft., 480 unfin.

LAND: 14.88 acres

CURB APPEAL: 8 out of 10 

LISTED BY: Loring Woodriff Real Estate  295-1131

Canned Heat sang "going up the country, don't you want to go?" and who among us wouldn't want to go– especially up to some of the beautiful country in Louisa County's Green Springs neighborhood? And what would we go for? For respite from the maddening n0-parking hassle of the city, to be able to look out a window at green trees and grass instead of black asphalt and nine-story condos, to kick back in a hammock or snuggle beside a roaring fire with a good book?

Sez you.

The family who went up to this country farmhouse in Louisa County had none of that sissy stuff on their minds: they went to keep themselves as fit as Canned Heat's fiddles. While many people go up country to escape gym regimens and jogging routines, they went to indulge their fitness mania.

So on the parcel's nearly 15 acres, the next buyer can enjoy an indoor basketball court, a regulation lap pool, a four-acre lake, a mile-long driveway for training runs– even a fancy wood jungle gym to keep the kiddies svelt.

The house retains many of the features that seem to have been original in 1860: a large 12-pane front door surrounded by four-pane sidelights opens to a strange entry area with an odd waist-high divider (use/purpose unclear); exposed beams in all first-level rooms; large, almost floor-to-ceiling windows with single panes below which admit lots of light– and we were visiting on a cloudy day. 

Wide-plank heart-pine floors are original upstairs and down, those on the first-floor having been refinished to a beautiful ruby glow in a recent remodel, the scruffy ones upstairs looking as though they could tell some intriguing stories. A large living/dining room addition has smaller-width pine floors and contains the house's one chimney and a small fireplace currently sheltering a wood stove that serves as a back-up heat source to the propane gas hot-air system. Built-in bookshelves and cabinets in this large room are rustic like the rest of the place. Everything seems to be in character– except on the walls.

In the kitchen just off this large room, pretty decorative casement windows fill the wall over the sink with views to fields and the big barn housing the basketball court in the back, glass-front cabinets provide lots of storage, and new quartz counters top a center island and surround a beautiful deep soapstone double sink. All innocuous enough until you hear that here (and everywhere else in the house), the paint scheme seems to have been chosen by someone in the giddy euphoria of the endorphins released by all that exercise.

Quartz counters in electric blue, walls in jack-o-lantern orange, and cabinets in eye-popping lime green totally overpower the natural beauty of the sink. To describe the blue in the living/dining room as "periwinkle" fails to convey its finger-in-a-socket effect. 

Upstairs– reached by a wide staircase between the entry and kitchen (with no railing; people who live here are clearly adept at stair climbing)– many of the same colors jazz up the one smallish and three large bedrooms, while the tachycardia seems to have subsided long enough for tranquility to prevail in the design and decorating of the two full baths, where tame white beadboard sets off nice tile work and pretty fixtures. In the bedrooms, built-in closets support bunk beds for kids, a clever touch and one that makes the place ideal for weekend getaways for a large family or couples who get along well enough to vacation together.

A good-sized dry cement-floor basement accessed by a cool trapdoor in what looks like a utility closet off the kitchen and a pull-down attic with windows both provide good storage. The new copper roof isn't original, but it's nice, and big walnuts and elms (yes, elms!) cover the house with shade in summer.

Not quite halfway to Richmond, the place is probably not best used as a primary residence unless for a writer or artist seeking solitude (and an occasional lap in the pool). A family with children would do better to consider this a weekend or summer place since isolation would be a definite drawback for moms with kids, even kids training for the Olympics who, although they'd be outside running, hopping, skipping, and jumping most of the time, would still have to come in at some point to whine for their Gatorade and Power Bars. 


Each week, a brave local seller invites the Hook to provide an impartial, warts-and-all look at their real estate listing. E-mail yours today!