REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Rural retreat: Post-and-beam beauty beckons big family
Address: 3012 Mechum Banks Drive
Year Built: 1977
Size: 4,531 fin. sq. ft. / 500 unfin.
Land: 6.25 acres
Agent: Tommy Brannock, Real Estate III 434)-977-3033
Curb Appeal: 9 out of 10
With forested surroundings, mountain views, and post-and-beam construction, this western Albemarle home is reminiscent of The Sound of Music— so much so that when the current owners first moved into the rural riverside property, their kids opened the windows and started singing "The hills are alive...."
And although it has a just four bedrooms among its 4,500 square feet, it feels large enough to shelter all seven von Trapp children.
Much of this expansion was done by the family, who integrated the original three-car garage into house. The door opens to the largest mudroom we've seen, with five built-in, locker-style cubbies, ample counter space, and a small sink for washing up.
A spacious family room lies to the left, showcasing the exposed beams seen throughout the house and making the renovated space consistent with the rest of the home. Steps lead up to the landing that serves as a laundry room, and a longer flight leads to the kids' wing, where two mirror-image bedrooms– with slanted ceilings and built-in pine desks and shelving– bookend a shared full bath.
The remainder of the home continues downstairs at the other end of the landing. Here, a large stone fireplace is flanked by a split log that curves around the hearth and reaches up to the pine ceiling. The open floor plan leads into a kitchen outfitted with grey soapstone counters with built-in butcher blocks, a Sub-Zero fridge and Viking professional appliances, including a six-burner gas range.
Outside the kitchen lies a long deck, accessible through the formal dining area. To the left of the dining room, a sitting room circles a stack-stone fireplace that reaches to the roof's peak, bolstered throughout by exposed beams.
On the second floor on this side of the house, a wide, four-sided landing hosts sitting areas with bookshelves, and an office with expansive windows facing the mountains. A narrow doorway leads into a bedroom suite where the bathroom has the same impressive mountain views. There's no bath, just a large white tiled shower with more mountain views. (The double-paned windows have fogged up, but the owner plans to replace them before moving.) The bedroom is dark and cozy, with pine throughout and a ladder leading to a loft.
This isn't the master, however. The master suite is downstairs past the sitting room and includes a room the owners are currently using as a home gym—convenient, too, with a sunken tub and separate shower. The bedroom is huge— almost too big— and leads out to the grassy back yard. Towards the garage lie an organic kitchen garden and a shed with a built-in dog door (the property also has an invisible fence to keep Rover home).
The front of the property is heavily shaded with a horseshoe-shaped driveway and a Sport Court currently set up for basketball. Although the backyard is comfortable (and was used as a fairway by the previous owner), on Mechum Banks, most of the 6.25 acres slope steeply down to the river, and for that reason it's best left forested and undeveloped.
The house and the grassy yard in back should be enough space for most families. Modern von Trapps encouraged to apply.
PHOTOS BY KRISTINA GARCÍA WADE
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