REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Zen koan: What happens when Alps meet Asia?

Address: 49 East Point Road

Neighborhood: Lake Monticello, Fluvanna County

Asking: $199,000

Assessment: $219,700

Year Built: 1981

Size: 1,811 fin. sq. ft., 586 unfin. 

Land: 0.63 acres

Agent: Julie V. Holbrook, Charlotte Ramsey Inc. Realtors 434-990-1777

Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

Out at Lake Monticello, buyers find lower prices, mostly newish construction, and the pleasure of being out of town and yet not too far from others. This house is a 30-minute commute that many folks make daily. Buyers get more square footage for their buck, and the wooded setting is also a big plus. 

The house is a chalet, but the current owners have played up Asian stylings inside and out that go beyond the Alps. To start, a stone-lined gravel walkway meanders toward the house, one of multiple paths through trees ending at the house tucked away from the street. Close to the end of a cul-de-sac, it makes for a quiet retreat.

Chalets typically have open floor plans with an emphasis on space to congregate. It's also a common vacation home style. Between the design, the setting, and the distance from town, a new buyer might believe he has escaped the hurly-burly to find some tranquility and peace.

An exterior walkway (sort of a skinny deck) runs the length of the façade from which open the front door and then French doors to a dining nook. At the front of the house, the sellers are calling a small seating area a terrace.

The kitchen right inside the front door has plenty of counter space and plain shelves with an Asian contemporary look. There are no upper cabinets, which contributes to the open feel but limits storage options. The kitchen opens to the living and dining areas. A gas-log fireplace with sandstone hearth can make the place cozy with the flip of a switch. Probably the most significant point here is the omnipresence of the outdoors. Huge stretches of glass bring it in from all angles.

The master suite is on the first level, just off the living room. Although not huge, it does fit a king. An en-suite bath continues the Asian theme from the glass bowl sink, freestanding tub and knotty-pine walls to the Shoji door. 

A cathedral ceiling and rustic beams above the loft-like second floor create drama in the living room. An open space at the top of the stairs can be a home office or den.  Because it feels like it's up in the trees, it would seem to be an ideal private space for creative pursuits like writing or art. Two modest bedrooms with angled ceilings on the second floor share a bath. Skylights make the whole second story bright.

Down below, a basement is open and could have any number of uses. Although it's unfinished, the current owners use it as a workshop and office space, but it has a full bath with standup shower. A wood-burning stove down here radiates heat upstairs.

The house not only seems to bring the outdoors in, it provides space outdoors for living: a deck off the living room overlooks a wooded tract that dips down then rises in the distance. The woods and terrain must make residents feel they're practically living in the trees.

This house has a contemporary feel thanks to the open floor plan and Zen-like design touches. The layout means it may be better suited for empty nesters or folks with older kids who don't need to be on the same level as parents. It could also be an ideal spot for a creative professional looking for a private retreat in the woods.



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