REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Wood and rivers: Waynesboro's world offers viewy perks


Address: 943 Lyndhurst St.

Neighborhood: Waynesboro

Asking: $349,900

Assessment: $280,400

Year Built: 1980

Size: 2,555 fin. sq. ft./ 529 unfin.

Land: 0.29 acres

Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

Agent: Tim Spears, Spears Ross River City Realty, 540-910-9974

Buyers flipping through real estate pages are confronted by an exhausting parade of red brick and white fences, of Cape Cods and colonials. With its wood siding and woodsy setting, the three-story contemporary house at 943 Lyndhurst Road is a refreshing change of page. Set on less than an acre on the steep banks of the South River, it's the perfect property for brown-thumbed nature lovers. Most of the property is wooded, and tastefully understated street-side landscaping needs no pruning, at least according to the owner. 

The owner also set out coffee, pastries, and a "Virginia is for Lovers" mug– as if I didn't already know– which I regretfully could not accept. But this is a seller who aims to please. In fact, she just lowered her asking price by nearly $30,000. 

You'll need that extra dough to plow into renovations. While the house is well maintained and in move-in condition, it unfortunately boasts a 1970's Elk Lodge vibe. There's fake wood linoleum in the entranceway, a hot tub, and even a wet bar in the basement. So if you're looking for a project– or if you're down with getting in touch with your inner Burt Reynolds– this is the place for you. 

The '70s feature that works for me is the big gas dual-sided fireplace set in river rock all the way up to the top of the 20-foot cathedral ceiling. The layout on the main floor is flowing and family-oriented. There's an eat-in kitchen with dark oak cabinetry just off the entranceway, which means guests will be able to smell that fresh-baked pumpkin pie (or one from the Cracker Barrel) just as they walk in. While you take that pie out of the oven (or box) you can keep one eye on the kids in the living room, which boasts a view of the river through foliage. To the left is a spacious and sunny dining room or study, which shares the dual fireplace with the living room. 

Two of the house's three bedrooms are located to the right of the living room, but you're going to have to hike up the stairs every night if you want to use the master bedroom/bathroom suite. There's an interesting alcove at the top of the stairs overlooking the living room, a nook for a small office, dog beds, or your china collection. 

The basement– home of the wet bar– is dark but livable, with plenty of space to set up a bedroom or an entertainment area. The adjoining laundry room is stark, but perfect for storage or for a handyman to set up shop. There's a separate entrance to this room that leads to the outside stairway, making the basement an ideal hangout for truculent teenagers or a maddening mother-in-law. With her moved in, you just may want to keep that wet bar. (There's a bathroom too, just in case you can't make it upstairs.)

By far, the best thing about this property is the riverfront location. The owners suggest extending the staircase to the river and putting in a small dock– a place to come for a leisurely Saturday breakfast or to relax with a glass of Virginia viognier after work. A new owner could also enjoy the outdoors on one of the three (count them, three) balconies– one on each floor. The owner will even throw in the porch swing. 

With the recent "slowdown" in the economy, we're all looking for ways to cut corners. Some renters are moving into smaller apartments; some buyers are looking out in the country. For buyers venturing outside the Charlottesville bubble, look no further than the up-and-coming town of Waynesboro. With three separate on-ramps to I-64, it's a quick and easy commute to Charlottesville. You'll be there before your coffee goes cold. 



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