The name Magnolia Springs Farm has a welcoming sound to it, and if you like the idea of room to roam both inside your home and out, this property could be calling out to you.
Located at 417 Forest Lane Road in southeastern Stafford County, the property is just two miles off State Route 3. But with 16 mostly flat acres to enjoy, solitude and tranquility are easy to find.
The farmhouse was built in 2004 by current owners Donnie and Cindy Hall. Donnie Hall is the former owner and president of D.R. Hall Homes, and you know when a builder is building a house for himself it will be built to exacting standards. The initial plan was enlarged, doubling the living space, and customized and upgraded throughout. More about that later.
The house has 7,000 square feet of living space on two levels, and includes six bedrooms, four full bathrooms and a half bath. There is no basement, but there is a self-sufficient and privately accessible apartment above the three-car garage that accounts for one of the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms. It has its own living room, kitchen and laundry room.
The Halls are reluctantly looking to downsize and have listed the home with Anne Overington and Catherine Sturtevant of Century21 Redwood in Fredericksburg. The asking price is $899,900.
A gravel drive from Forest Lane Road becomes asphalt as it approaches the house. The view of the house is appealing with its double-gable design, cream-yellow HardiePlank siding, green shutters and green standing-seam metal roof over the wraparound porch.
Fields of green grass surround the house along with areas of mature hardwoods that help buffer the house from the elements. The house itself is surrounded by foundation plants and planting beds that include crape myrtles, hydrangea, nandina, colossal elephant ears and scores of others. Cindy Hall, who happens to be a Master Gardner, has always avoided the use of chemicals.
“We can’t register as certified organic, but these fields had laid fallow for years before we built,” she said. “We use manure or Milorganite to fertilize and I’ve never used herbicides of pesticides.”
The wraparound porch has Trex flooring and solid wood columns that Donnie Hall crafted in his shop. With various porch seating areas, one can choose to sit in sun or shade pretty much any time of day.
THE INSIDE STORY
Upon entering the foyer, the attention to detail is evident here, with lustrous hardwood floors, crown molding and chair rail all around. Decorative columns help define spaces and there’s a wide main staircase that Donnie Hall designed and built in place by hand.
To the left of the two-story foyer is a parlor or small living room, and to the right is the formal dining room. From above hangs a crystal chandelier.
The foyer hallway leads straight back to an open area with the family room and kitchen. As Cindy Hall points out, the location and design of the kitchen indeed make it the heart of this home. The island kitchen exudes warmth with sparkling dark Blue Pearl granite counters, medium cherry solid and glass-front cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances.
A tiered kitchen island holds the cooktop at food prep level, while the raised portion with stools is ready for casual meals. The island’s pull-out basket storage system makes efficient use of space, as does the nearby closet with fold-out shelving. There’s also a breakfast area and pantry nearby, as well as a granite counter butler’s pantry on the way to the dining room. Extending from the butler’s pantry is the laundry room.
The kitchen spills into the spacious family room with its Vermont Custom Stone fireplace with gas stove insert. Adjacent to the family room is a sun room with outdoor access. An enclosed breezeway, which doubles as a sunny plant conservatory, connects the kitchen to the garage.
Inside the garage is a stairway to the in-law suite above. There’s also direct access from outside.
The main-level master suite provides the option of single-level living and the opportunity to age-in-place. Double doors open directly to the porch. The suite has a luxurious master bath with two large walk-in closets, dual vanities, jetted tub and separate shower and water closet.
Upstairs, at either end of the staircase landing, are two pairs of large bedrooms, each with a full bathroom to share. Skylights in one of the rooms make it potential studio space. Pull-down stairs from the hallway ceiling provide access to the attic, which received plywood flooring for storage.
OVERBUILT BY BUILDER
As he custom-built the house, Donnie Hall decided to build it stronger than he needed to. At strategic locations where long unsupported stretches were planned, he used steel beams instead of wood. He upgraded the drywall, increased wall insulation above standard to R-22 and wrapped the whole thing in Tyvek. The house sits on a crawl space.
In doubling the living space of the original 3,400-square-foot plan, rooms became larger and more plentiful. All interior doorways were made 36 inches to allow for wheelchair maneuvering, if ever necessary. A generator keeps all key systems operating in the event of a power outage.
A short distance from the house are two metal buildings, one a three-bay workshop and the other an open-front run-in and equipment shed. The Halls are willing to negotiate the sale of the power equipment they’ve used to mow and otherwise maintain the property.
The wide-open spaces around the house and wooded areas here and there combine for excellent surrounding views. A deck in a shady spot near the house is positioned to take in expansive and soothing vistas.