Bragging rights: Fluvanna farm offers greener pastures

Address: 1710 Middle Fork Road
Neighborhood: Cunningham, Fluvanna County
Asking: $995,000
Assessment: $1,357,000
Year Built: 1936
Size: 1,300 fin. sq. ft.
Land: 278.40 acres
Curb Appeal: 2 out of 10
Listing Agents:  Jim Bonner, The Land Office, Roy Wheeler Realty Co., 434-951-5102

Let's cut straight to the chase– there's good news and bad news about the Bragg Farm. The bad news is that power lines run through portions of the property; a shooting club adjoins the backmost parcel; and there's a derelict old farmhouse in such poor condition that financing will be a major issue, meaning that a buyer will almost certainly need to bring cash. Seems like a lot, doesn't it?

But just wait till you hear the good news.

Situated in the Cunnigham area of Fluvanna County, the farm encompasses over 275 acres of gently rolling fields perfect for making hay, grazing cattle, or growing a variety of crops. A strong stream provides ample water for livestock, and there's even a small valley along one side that would make an excellent pond site.  Fifty-plus acres of mixed hardwoods provide potential timber value, and a portion of the land is currently leased to a neighboring cattle farmer, providing built-in revenue. Current and potential income streams become even more attractive when coupled with the fact that the farm is priced $362,000 under assessment.

Though the property sits a good half-hour outside Charlottesville, it’s located just a few miles from the stores and conveniences of Lake Monticello in an area where burgeoning developments advertise homesites for over $200,000, an encouraging indication of value.

Purchasers interested in keeping the house have a jump-start on the restoration process, as work is already under way. The roof has been replaced, two rooms have been sheetrocked, trimmed and painted, and water lines have been run for the bathroom and kitchen.

Folks who don't want to be bothered with a renovation project can simply raze the house and let nature reclaim the land, or they can start anew and rebuild on the same homesite, which is situated under towering oaks and ringed by mature boxwoods.

But here's the best part:

The former owner, who had no heirs, bequeathed this farm to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation upon his death and stipulated that the proceeds of the sale be used to fund scholarships for graduating seniors of Fluvanna County High School. So not only can a prospective purchaser get a working, income-producing farm complete with land-use taxation status, but he or she can contribute to a worthy cause in the process.

What could be better than reaping the benefits of an agrarian lifestyle while simultaneously helping deserving students get an education?

But about that shooting range–

Central Virginia Sporting Clays sits on a tract of nearly 150 acres adjoining the back corner of the Bragg Farm. This range is limited to shotgun use on clay targets, and all shooting areas have been designed to keep shot-fall limited to the interior of the range, away from property lines and roads.

Oh, right, those power lines–

One is located in the topmost section of the farm, close to the road and well-removed from the house and the farm dependencies. As far as power lines go, it's fairly innocuous. The other one– well, it doesn't enhance the property's beauty, but it doesn't diminish the productivity of the land, either.

And finally, the house: It's not habitable, which ultimately means that a cash sale will be required, a condition that will preclude a number of potential purchasers. Restoration– if desired– will take even more cash, but it isn't necessary, and it certainly doesn't affect the utility of the land, which is, after all, the primary selling point.

Is the Bragg Farm for everybody? Obviously not. Most of us don’t have the liquidity in our portfolios to fund such an enterprise. But for those who do, it represents a potential play– where else can can a buyer find an opportunity to explore a green lifestyle, make an expeditious investment, and do the local community a good turn, all at the same time?
Each week some brave local seller invites the Hook to come in for a candid, warts-and-all review of the property. Call to nominate yours now.


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