Family friendly: Waverly Colonial has room and charm
Address: 3360 Brookside Drive
Year Built: 1984
Size: 3702 fin. sq. ft. / 1000 unfin.
Land: 3.925 acres
Agent: Tommy Brannock, Better Homes and Garden Real Estate III, 434-977-3033
Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10
Built in the 1980s, when two-story cathedral entryways were considered a waste of energy and space, this 3,700-square-foot Colonial is grand in other ways. It's in the wooded Waverly subdivision, where the lots are generous, the houses comfortably spaced, and– a special bonus for growing families– from which Meriwether Lewis or other Western Albemarle schools are only an easy 10-20 minute drive.
In true Early American style, the house has six-over-six windows and two wood-burning fireplaces— including an authentic open hearth with a separate baking oven. In the foyer, stairs and halls converge over a multicolored slate floor; to the left, an expansive formal living room with a stately slate fireplace has more than enough space for a baby grand. To the right, a large family room extends to the rear of the house and the adjacent kitchen. The floors are solid oak throughout, and the doors are classic, six-panel pine.
The disadvantage of this style for today's house-hunter is the lack of an open floor plan. But with the removal of a few walls, a spectacular kitchen/family room with mountain views could be created. Enlarging access to the formal dining room would enhance the flow and appeal to a buyer with contemporary tastes.
Cooks will find the cavernous kitchen crying for a makeover. The owners recently began with a new vinyl floor and warm brown quartz counter tops, but there's more to do: the original dark cabinets and undersized island are out of place in today's world where refrigerator drawers, appliance lifts, and other built-in gadgets are de rigueur.
A new owner not wedded to the Colonial exterior could create grand views of the Blue Ridge by adding windows in the wall between the kitchen and deck. The vista now visible only in winter could be year-round with the removal of some trees.
French doors lead from the eat-in kitchen to the first of three decks, all of which are in impeccable condition, and the private– nearly four-acre– setting cries for a hammock, a good book, and a glass of wine.
On ground level, the finished basement is an ideal place for family gatherings or a game room. Also on this level, a handsome private study has built-in bookcases and room enough for two separate workspaces. With its full bathroom, the area could be converted to a fifth bedroom to serve as an ideal guest suite or in-law apartment.
Among the four sizable bedrooms on the second story, the master suite has “his and her” closets, a newly tiled bathroom in pleasant neutral colors, and double sinks in a marble-top vanity that extends the length of the room. The only remnant of this bathroom’s former incarnation is the original base cabinet; the owners also kept the ones in the other partially renovated bathrooms. Storage areas and closets hide around every corner to accommodate an entire family’s collection of stuff.
Established beds of flowering shrubs and trees surround the house, giving it a homey feeling. Clearing a few more trees would create an additional play area. The two-car garage offers even more storage possibilities. The exterior of the house has been well cared for and updated within the last four years with Hardiplank siding and a new roof. The asking price is in line with the assessment, but the cost to continue updating the kitchen should be factored into financing plans. This is a well-built house that a family can grow into without growing out of for many years.
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