REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Vacation at home: Enjoy pool, hot tub, trails in Earlysville
Address: 656 Springforest Lane
Neighborhood: Earlysville in Albemarle
Year Built: 2004
Size: 5,328 fin Sq. ft. / 856 unfin. sq. ft.
Land: 3.01 acres
Agent: Tommy Brannock, Real Estate III 434-981-1486
Curb Appeal: 9 out of 10
Car shopping can be like house shopping. The choices range from a stripped down, compact, economy tin can to a luxurious gas guzzler that's more like a mobile bachelor pad. People looking for the former, should putter right on by 656 Springforest Lane. But folks who like their cars turbo charged should keep reading. With Bose outdoor speakers, a central vac, and a 60-foot lap-length swimming pool with retractable cover, this place is more tricked out than the hot rods in 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Why else would a house on three acres in Earlysville cost $895,000? On a quiet street in the Indian Springs subdivision with only one set of neighbors, the house backs up to a common wooded lot with walking trails and the Indian Springs Lake. It seems designed for outdoor entertaining, with a large wooden deck with doors to the kitchen, dining, and living rooms, creating easy flow for relaxed parties. There's a vegetable garden tucked off to one side, and the fenced-in pool area also boasts a Uruguayan-style outdoor fireplace built by the owner's father from stone found on site.
The owners (who are leaving to work with the eco-friendly personal care product company Burt's Bees) say that this place felt like their vacation home. And with over 5,000 square feet in which to romp, who needs to go anywhere? This place is so big it has his-and-hers closets. And not just walk-ins, but two rooms the size of Manhattan efficiencies.
The master is the only bedroom on the first floor (not including the closets, of course) and the bathroom is also large, done in blues and grays, with a glass-walled shower and a jetted, stand-alone tub beneath windows with wood plantation shutters for privacy. Frosty blue squares of embedded sea glass border the bathroom counters, adding to the vacation-at-home theme.
Aside from a small office, the rest of the first floor is public space overlooking the deck and woods (with waterfront views in the leafless winter). With a gas fireplace as its centerpiece, the living room is artistic and easy, inviting both couch-flopping and admiration of the stained glass windows designed by the late Mimi Tawes, former McGuffey artist.
The kitchen is shiny and gorgeous, with blue pearl granite countertops, cherry cabinets, and stainless steel appliances. The island doubles as a kitchen table, and there's a second breakfast table in a side nook. A half bath for entertaining and a large laundry room leading out to the two-car garage complete the first floor.
Upstairs, three extra bedrooms accommodate kids or guests. Two of the rooms– one with a whimsical tree painted on the walls– connect via a shared bathroom; the third bedroom stands alone with the third bath. All the rooms are carpeted, and a common living room area at the head of the staircase with embedded linen closets makes for easy hosting.
If the first floor is for dinner parties and the second for playing host, then the ground floor is purely for play. Leading out onto a stone patio (and the hot tub), there's lots of natural light, enough for the art studio in the corner. Two of the rooms are dedicated to gym equipment; the main space is designed as a rec room, with a corner nook for TV-watching. Here at Indian Springs, it's like going to summer camp without having to sing "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall." Unless, of course, you want to.
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PHOTOS BY KRISTINA GARCÍA