REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Pantops farmette: Acreage, pond-- but update required


Address: 716 Wolf Trap Road

Neighborhood: Stony Point

Asking: $428,900

Assessment: $332,400

Year Built: 1984

Size: 3,691 fin sq. ft. / 260 unfin. 

Land: 3.08 acres

Agent: Cathy Crosby, Real Estate III   434-962-4147

Curb Appeal:  5 out of 10

With a beautiful, spacious backyard, a stream feeding into a willow-lined pond (stocked with carp and bluegill), and a garden plot in the corner, this place is for someone who enjoys the outdoors. But before breaking out the riding mower, a prospective owner may want to befriend a handyman.

While the house itself has nice bones– the living room is particularly lovely– its staid bathrooms, kitchen, and basement make the place seem older than its 25 years. 

The front door opens to a large foyer with a carpeted staircase (the carpet's a problem in itself) and the living room to the left. This room is large, with gorgeous picture windows looking into the backyard. The current owner– who has lived in this house for 12 years– uses part of the living room as a formal dining room with a view to a brick column housing a three-sided fireplace with a slate base. Windows provide views of the fireplace from the foyer, dining area, and living room. It's an unusual feature, but one that feels a little gimmicky. 

The owner is using a room to the side of the living area as an extra bedroom, but it would make more sense as a study. It, too, has big picture windows, but a new owner might want to consider pruning or removing the large bushes against the house to expand the view. 

The living room flows into a large eat-in kitchen with a sliding glass door opening to a wooden porch. The eat-in area has the same oak hardwood as the living room; the kitchen flooring is linoleum, its countertops Formica. The kitchen cabinets— currently a functional dark-stained oak— nevertheless need to be updated, and all of the appliances must be replaced. The dishwasher and the fridge look like they may be 1984 originals. On the bright side, however, the large walk-in pantry is a definite perk, and a nice small desk area can be used for paying bills while keeping an eye on kiddies in highchairs, if necessary. 

The kitchen wraps around to a second entryway, this one more informal. Facing the carport and an adjoining shed, this area seems more for the convenience of the owners than their guests (who would probably come in via the showier, fireplace-highlighted entrance). There's a small mudroom here, and an even smaller bathroom tucked off in the corner. It's a full bath (shower, no tub), but this study in beige desperately needs a re-do.  

The two bedrooms upstairs have the same dark grey carpeting as the stairs. The upstairs is smaller than downstairs, and, unfortunately, so are the windows. Since the property is so beautiful, a new owner will no doubt want to replace these ho-hum models. Instant art. 

The master bedroom, with a wood-burning fireplace, narrows into a wide corridor with a mirror and countertop with his-and-hers sinks at the end. (There are his-and-hers closets, too.) The bathroom with a jetted tub is in a separate room here. The other side leads into a small laundry room. With doors on either side, the laundry room also adjoins the second, smaller bedroom on this floor.

The remaining 1,591 square feet are in the walk-out basement, which sports an acoustic tile drop ceiling, redolent of mold (we visited on a damp day). So the addition of a dehumidifier— perhaps several— isn't just an option; it's a requirement. 

The main room in the basement is huge, with a full kitchen. There is also a full bath, a large bedroom, a much smaller room, and a screened-in porch. The current owner rents out the basement, but it could benefit from some improvements— like a new carpet, fresh paint, and the aforementioned dehumidifiers. 

The property has been on the market for over a year, according to the agent. While the site is unique— not many three-acre parcels have their own pond— $428,900 seems a little steep for a house that needs a good bit of work to feel at home in the 21st century. 



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