Boating buddy: Home shares wall and water

ADDRESS: 235 Buttercup Lane

ASKING: $305,900

SIZE: 3100 fin. sq. ft.; 400 unfin.



CURB APPEAL: 7 of 10

LISTED BY: Stuart Rifkin 295-4663, 466-9515

Let's mention right up front the two features "most-likely-to-be-perceived-as-a-drawbacks" about this house: it's a duplex in a subdivision. That said, however, it's important to note that "duplex" doesn't quite capture the spaciousness and privacy of this particular address, despite the similar set of generously apportioned living quarters just beyond the shared wall.

And while there's no getting around the fact that Lake Reynovia is a planned community, at least the namesake lake is a real focal point and not just wishful thinking on the part of the developers who purchased the former campground in 1988.

Lake Reynovia sits between Mill Creeks South and North atop the ridgeline otherwise known as Avon Street Extended. Buttercup Lane is at lake level at the bottom of the hill past the community swimming pool and tennis courts. And while many of the houses along the way do have a "built-from-matching-models" look, at least the mailboxes here are non-conformists, some painted with colorful morning glories.

Any kind of back-to-nature theme would be appropriate in this neck of the woods, because by the time you've wandered down the gradually sloping yard at 235 to the lakeshore, the original charm of this waterfront setting becomes evident. At mid-summer, the lily pads are a-bloom, various canoes and kayaks are propped about the lake's perimeter, and a deep green ruff of trees envelops most of the houses. The lake is stocked yearly with bass and crappie, and swimming is an option from any part of the boomerang-shaped, seven-acre lake, meaning your morning swim could begin from under the tall cedar standing sentry in this particular backyard.

The original homestead of Lake Reynovia was situated in this same cul-de-sac. (Before it was a 100-site campground, it was a doctor's private fishing hole, according to the agent.) Developers, savvy enough to recognize the value of the views at that spot, put their three-level model manor house here to take full advantage.

"Manor" in this case equals "attached" which in another price bracket might read "duplex," but this house was designed with enough space to feel almost like every other detached house. Residents have a choice of entering from the two-car garage or a front porch into the middle level. A small front room could easily serve as an office, a library, or parlor-like sitting room. Up ahead are the kitchen (featuring a walk-in pantry and island/bar) and the living room (with a gas-fueled fireplace). Lake views and sunlight spill in from windows all along the rear, including in the separate dining room. This level opens onto a wrap-around deck as well.

An open central staircase in the foyer leads up to the four large top-floor bedrooms where the master suite looks out on the lake, and windows in the other rooms provide good views. Oh, and speaking of water: the laundry room is upstairs too.

Take the stairs all the way down to find a family room with access to the backyard. Lots of white and lots of light, plus more views of the water and another fireplace make it easy to imagine spending a lot of time here.

The current (and first and only) owner recalls how local contractors and decorators made a beeline for her many lakeside windows and expounded fondly on their swimming and camping memories as they looked upon the familiar shoreline. Her husband used to joke that the straw-hatted man they saw fishing from a blue canoe on the day they toured the model was planted there as a lure.

But the fisherman was real and, according to the owner, so is the feeling of community among the retirees, young couples, and families who call Lake Reynovia home. It may no longer be a campground, but there's still summer swimming, and she says the homeowners' association keeps the campfires burning by organizing a bonfire for old Christmas trees on the lake's edge each January.