REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Aptly Named: Parkside Village Colonial offers breathing room, neighborhood feel


PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE AGENT

ADDRESS: 3009 Indigo Road, Crozet 

NEIGHBORHOOD: Parkside Village

ASKING: $399,000

ASSESSMENT: $402,400

YEAR BUILT: 2004

SIZE: 3,200 fin. sq. ft. / 750 unfin.

LAND: 0.20 acres

CURB APPEAL: 8.5 out of 10

AGENT: Jim Duncan, Century 21 Manley Associates, 977-7300

Naming subdivisions is like playing Mad Libs. To christen your basic development, just couple an adjective or nature word (like "Hidden" or "Fox") with a terrain feature or housing word (such as "Ridge" or "Estates"). Luxury homes require advanced Mad Libs: employ the words "the" and "at," and for maximum pretentiousness add an "e" to the word at the end of the name, to give it an Olde English feele: a moniker like "The Heights at Meadow Creeke," for example, would have ignited frantic bidding wars in the early 2000s.

We have no doubt Linda Richman, Mike Myers' "Coffee Talk" character from Saturday Night Live, could have kvetched lyrical about most neighborhoods' names. "Talk amongst yourselves... I'll give you a topic... there are neither heights, nor a meadow, nor a creek at Heights at Meadow Creeke. Discuss!"

Crozet's Parkside Village defies this convention. "Parkside" is apt, as there is, in fact, a park nearby. And what a park it is: the 22-acre Claudius Crozet Park boasts a pool, sports fields, and even a lake.

While we appreciate Robert Frost's dictum that good fences make good neighbors, there may be something to the "Village" half of this neighborhood's name, too. White picket fencing surrounds the neighborhood, but does not separate every house, making each yard feel a little bigger and enabling freer interaction with friends and playmates.

The first house one sees upon arriving in this truly parkside village, if you will, is this four-level Colonial with a light salmon exterior. The basement level includes a two-car garage tucked neatly underneath. The neighborhood's planner– Weather Hill Development, which also built the house– scores further design points by placing driveways in back, making them accessible via a shared alley and relieving parents from worrying about much road traffic.

A dining room and a sitting room on either side of the entry foyer welcome guests to the open first floor. Bright walls and light hardwood floors abound throughout the great room and kitchen, which holds everything we'd expect of a place built within the last five years: solid-state countertops, tall maple cabinets, recessed lighting, and even a bar sink off the side. Ironically, this newer house already has one outdated feature: the recessed nook above the fireplace, built for yesterday's cube-ish televisions. Newer, wide-screen HDTVs will have to find another spot.

Upstairs are three bedrooms with hardwood floors and two tiled bathrooms. The master suite has two walk-in closets; its bath features a stand-up shower and garden tub as well as his-and-hers sinks. The attic level includes a carpeted office plus a bedroom and bath, which by default would belong to your self-segregating teenager.

This house's real estate listing is a story in itself. When browsing houses for sale, casual observers can quickly tell a good listing from a bad one. One easy spot check: how many photos are there? 3009 Indigo has 24. Another leading indicator of competence and effort: does the agent regularly re-stock the box of flyers outside? On our visit, the box was teeming.

Call us crazy, but we believe six percent of a house's sale price (three to the seller's agent, three to the buyer's) is too much to pay for two photos and a perpetually empty flyer box. In a cost-conscious society, it amazes us that many buyers and sellers choose their real estate agent based on little more than who has the biggest ad or best glamour shot.

This house's listing agent, Jim Duncan, is an avid blogger with a real estate habit. After almost four years of near-daily posts, his main outlet RealCentralVA.com (which contains nary a flattering portrait) is a treasure trove of information and advice. A recently added house-hunting search tool includes maps, by-neighborhood search, and several other features lacking on the local agents' association site, MyCAAR.com.

Duncan, also a resident of Crozet, tirelessly advocates that buyers and sellers alike should interview multiple agents and ask for references to ensure they get their money's worth.

As for the other 94 percent of the real estate transaction, there is plenty to enjoy about this house, not the least of which are the features that give Parkside Village its name.

 


PHOTOS COURTESY THE AGENT

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