Blue views: Distant mountains compensate for isolation

Address: 2325 Rocky Top Road
Neighborhood: Rocky Hollow near Pantops
Asking: $339,000
Assessment: $337,200
Year Built: 1992
Size: 2,000 fin. sq. ft., 144 unfin.
Land: 8.025 acres
Agent: Roger Voisinet, ReMax Realty Specialists, 434-974-1500
Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10

For folks longing for a respite from the hectic day-to-day rat race, relief is nearby: on a hilltop haven just six miles from town. Aspiring writers and contemplative nature-lovers often dream about owning a cabin in the woods for inspiration and flight, but it's difficult to find an affordable, fully equipped property so close.

This 1990 contemporary was built as a year-round residence, but its secluded location offers more privacy than many buyers might expect. People who value tranquility over community will not be deterred by the long narrow gravel road leading to the front door. But folks raising a family might find that the daily commute to after-school activities requires an all-wheel drive and a lot of determination.

The house is well situated in the middle of an eight-acre parcel of open woods with limited undergrowth, making outdoor exploration a breeze. Adjacent to the parking area are a small stable (it once housed a llama or two) and a second shed for tools. The wood-framed house is nestled into rows of open terraces, ready to be filled with greenery.

In the vaulted-ceiling living room, the handsome two-story stone fireplace is an immediate eye-catcher. Beyond, a wall of stationary glass and French doors provides stunning views of the Blue Ridge. And the view from the deck settles all questions about whether the commute is worth it. Other Central Virginia houses may have equally splendid views and more accessibility, but they cost more and may share vistas with neighbors.

At this sylvan refuge, the buyer will either feel with its rustic, lived-in look or will begin making a list of upgrades. The kitchen is cozy, with terra cotta floors and wood cabinets that appear to be custom made. A pass-through window to the dining area is inconveniently located over the stovetop, but it does provide the cook with a great view. Upgrading the laminate countertops with soapstone or granite would complement the surrounding natural materials.

Sunlight streams from an expansive wall of glass in the living/dining area, making this area the most appealing in the house. With the Blue Ridge backdrop, embellishing these rooms with color or fancy furnishings would be criminal. Nature provides the only decorations necessary.

A small bedroom and standard-grade bathroom sit behind the kitchen on the first floor. Upstairs, a loft with adjacent walk-in closet appears to be designed as the master suite. It shares the serene views of the mountains as well as the fireplace with the living room below. A bathroom with a green tile-enclosed tub provides yet another place to soak up the view.

A roomy, carpeted family room on the walk-out garden level shares the view through more glass doors and windows. A thimble in a tiled wall makes the room ready for a wood-burning stove to trim winter electric bills. Built-in cabinets and open shelves provide storage for study or play.

The third bedroom and bath are also down here. Buyers planning to make this a primary residence instead of a weekend getaway might consider upgrades in all the bathrooms. In lieu of a garage, this level has a storage closet and utility room (in need of some finish work).

The exterior cedar siding has aged gracefully and blends the house into the surrounding woods. The deck could use some revitalization, and the many planters are, sadly, empty. This provides great potential, however, for people who love to garden and won't mind sharing the goods with the local wildlife. 

Back up on the deck, we could almost hear John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” echoing in the background. It’s not Colorado, but “the shadow from the starlight” out here would undoubtedly be “softer than a lullaby.”
Each week, a brave local seller invites the Hook in for a warts-and-all view. Call to nominate yours today.