By the time he was halfway up the quarter-mile driveway, Jack Rowley was already sold. “This is it,” he recalls saying. That was 1995, and for Rowley and his wife, Pat, 7 Wallace Farms Lane in Stafford County has been home, sweet home ever since.

It’s easy to understand their fondness for the place, not to mention Rowley’s love-at-first-sight reaction. There’s the picturesque fishing pond to the right of the driveway, and white, three-board fencing outlines pastures across the 9.25-acre property, located off Old Truslow Road.

Then, across a carpet of green grass, the classic Cape Cod home with beaded siding comes into view. It has a full-width country front porch and a row of three dormers across the roof flanked by a pair of brick chimneys rising above the side-facing gables.

Two outbuildings are key to the owners’ enjoyment of the property. There is also a heated, five-bay, 100-foot-by-40-foot garage that houses Rowley’s antique car collection. He can get 20 cars in there—even more if uses a lift to stack them.

Nearby is a three-stall horse barn with tack room, wash stall and hay loft for the horses that Pat Rowley loves.

“She loves four legs and I love four wheels,” is how Rowley puts it.

So what’s not to like? Well, it is a lot of space for just the two of them most of the time now, so the Rowleys have decided to sell their home of nearly 25 years and downsize to a smaller home they’ve built nearby. They’ve listed 7 Wallace Farms Lane with Jo Knight and Lori Bartholomew of Aquia Realty in Stafford. The asking price is $850,000.

The house is listed with four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a half bath. It has 4,652 square feet of living space on the upper two levels. It sits on a stand-up crawl space that could be turned into a full basement, adding thousands of square feet of living space. There is a main-level closet designed to convert into a stairway to the basement.

The home was built by veteran area builder Dick Coleman from a Southern Living design that became the magazine’s Home of the Year in the mid-1990s.

“It is such a good feeling to pull in here, and we’ve loved having it filled with family,” Rowley said.

Visitors arrive at the wide and inviting front porch, then enter the home through a double front door with side lights and fanlight transom. Once inside, the foyer says a lot about the high level of trim and the attention to detail. Much interior door and window trim is left unpainted, and all interior openings are topped with transoms. Hardwood floors extend across the main level.

The living room is to the left of the foyer and the dining room is to the right. Both have brick fireplaces with wood mantels and gas logs. Both rooms have crown molding, and the dining room adds chair rail.

Behind the dining room is the bright and functional kitchen, with Corian counters, white cabinetry and up-to-date appliances. Toward the rear of the kitchen, a bow window expands the space for a breakfast table.

Toward the rear of the kitchen is a short hallway that has the laundry room, with folding counter and sink, and access to the attached three-car garage. The home’s design has a Dutch Colonial, or barn style, roof atop the garage.

A back stairway at the rear of the kitchen provides convenient upstairs access.

Next stop is the large family room. It has the home’s third brick fireplace with gas logs and carved wood mantel. The room features a balcony that looks down from the upper level.

The spacious master suite is on the main level and features a huge walk-in closet. The master bath includes a dual vanity, large soaking tub and separate shower.

There are three secondary bedrooms upstairs. At one end is the ideal guest bedroom with its own bathroom. At the other end are two more bedrooms that share a jack-and-jill bathroom.

Also on this level is the bonus space over the attached garage. Rowley has used it as his home office, but the large room could also serve as an upstairs recreation area.

The corridor to the bonus room, which has large closets on both sides, illustrates how the house was designed to make use of all available space. Another nice feature up here is a laundry chute that drops dirty clothes into the laundry room below.

Out back is the private patio and in-ground pool, which has a separate jetted tub attached. Landscaping and mature trees provide a bucolic backyard setting.

The house has two water heaters, one at each end of the house, to speed the arrival of hot water. The house also has a three-zone HVAC system and whole-house security and intercom systems. There is also an in-ground irrigation system.

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Richard Amrhine: 540/374-5406

ramrhine@freelancestar.com

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