REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Shady lady: Woodsy Ednam contempo offers rocks, privacy

Address: 533 Rookwood Place
Neighborhood: Ednam Forest
Asking: $699,000
Assessment: $936,000
Year Built: 1985
Size: 4,200 fin. sq. ft. / 1,000 unfin.
Land: 2.57 acres
Agent: Joan Esposito, Roy Wheeler Realty Co. 434-951-5155
Curb Appeal: 9 out of 10

Ednam Forest is the subdivision surrounding the Boars Head Inn complex on Rt. 250 west. This contemporary house lies deep in the forest on a cul-de-sac at the end of a very long road, a location that provides the privacy that residents value. Most properties are on multiple-acre, densely wooded tracts. Architectural styles vary, but houses are spaced so nothing clashes.

This house has three finished levels with an attached three-car garage and would be ideal for a large active family with teenagers. In the large, open-plan first floor, two fireplaces flank a stone staircase rising to the second floor. Flow is the governing principle here: the kitchen opens to the family room that leads to a sunroom, another room, the dining room, then back to the kitchen.

In the dated kitchen, black appliances match a stone counter and tiled backsplash of light mauve, black, and purple. An island houses a cook-top and grill with surrounding space for eating. The room is big enough for entertaining. Beyond the family room, the sunroom has skylights, and the next area could work as a music room. The formal dining room is also light-filled, with windows on three sides. A deck runs the length of the house across the back.

On the second floor, things get even more interesting. One of the three bedrooms has a washer/dryer hookup and could work as a laundry room for a family willing to sacrifice sleeping space. The hall offers access to a bathroom with double sinks and the master closet, a custom affair with natural light. The master and second bedrooms have cathedral ceilings, private decks, and loft space. In the master, the loft is accessed by a narrow spiral staircase; sleepers in the second bedroom have to climb a ship's ladder for their bird's-eye view. They're cool spaces, just not for anyone with acrophobia.

Light can be scarce in wooded neighborhoods. Here, the architect looked up and installed skylights and porthole windows in a couple of the bathrooms to maximize light.

A previous owner used the basement as a massage studio. Track lighting and a sky blue spa tub and built-in bar make it a good area for health-conscious families who want a workout room or even an art studio or office space. There's also a laundry/workroom and a separate bedroom with its own bath (possible nanny's quarters). This level leads to the backyard patio.

The style has benefits and drawbacks. Contemporary floor plans offer flexibility and room for family interaction and entertaining. But here the style is pretty dated. The bathroom sinks are faux marble with scalloped edges and gold trim. A lot of the wallpaper is early '90s– or is that vintage '80s?

Some of the features might concern parents of young children: the fenced yard slopes sharply, and decorative rocks make it a place where any sort of rough-and-tumble frolicking could be problematic. The spa and lofts also look like liabilities. For $3,500 extra, the spa can be removed as part of the purchase agreement.

At this price, many buyers are going to expect updates and upgrades, but it's far below assessment in a neighborhood of million-dollar houses. Buyers willing to change or ignore the drawbacks will find space, security, and privacy here, not to mention not having to drive to the Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving.


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