- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2009

Families often dream of living in a nice, friendly neighborhood where children can play in piles of leaves in the fall, explore the woods in every season and enjoy the community swimming pool in the summer. These families may wish for a four-bedroom home with a yard for tossing a ball or playing with the dog, a two-car garage, and outdoor living space for gatherings with the neighbors.

Of course, such a picturesque lifestyle may seem impossibly expensive in the Washington area, but there are some family-oriented neighborhoods that offer a peaceful existence for a more affordable price. The home at 12910 Mount Royal Lane in Fairfax is priced at $485,000.

This two-level Colonial-style home, which has about 2,000 finished square feet, has a traditional center-hall floor plan. The exterior is brick and siding. It is located at the end of a pipestem drive and backs to woods, part of the Greenbriar community just off Route 50.

The owners of this 40-year-old home added several decks, a screened porch and steps that link the side lawn with a five-mile walking trail. Extensive professional landscaping and mature trees add to the attractiveness of the home.

The property includes a two-car garage with electricity and storage space. The asphalt driveway has room to park five or more cars. Garden beds wrap around the front, sides and back of the house, along with three decks. The backyard is fenced for privacy.

Perhaps the most inviting space is the screened porch, which has a cathedral ceiling with wood beams and wood floors.

Inside, the home has solar heat, updated baths, new flooring, new carpet and new kitchen countertops.

The front door opens into a foyer with hardwood floors. The formal living room extends 22 feet from the front of the house to the back, allowing for a box bay window facing the front garden and a triple window facing the back garden. Two windows are also on the side of this room, flanking a wood-burning fireplace.

The formal dining room has a box-bay window and double doors into the family room. The family room faces the backyard.

The kitchen and breakfast area also overlook the backyard and include a sliding glass door to the screened porch. The kitchen has been updated with new countertops. Adjacent to the kitchen is a laundry room with cabinets. The main level also includes an updated half bath.

Hardwood stairs lead to the upper level and are bordered by white-painted wrought-iron railings, which add an open look to the stairwell. The upper-level landing includes a double-door storage closet and a linen closet. The nearby hall bath has new ceramic tile floors and a whirlpool tub.

The master suite includes a new bath with heated ceramic tile floors and a glass-enclosed shower with ceramic tile walls. This bedroom has two closets with mirrored doors, a double window overlooking the front yard and a side window facing the woods.

This home has natural gas heat and ceiling fans in most of the rooms - along with solar heat panels, which provide extra energy efficiency.

Residents can walk to the local elementary school during the school year and to the community swimming pool in the summer, stroll along the walking trail and even walk to a shopping center with restaurants and stores. This home in a quiet neighborhood is just minutes from Route 50, Interstate 66 and the Beltway, along with Washington Dulles International Airport and the Fairfax County Government Center. Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax Corner and numerous other shopping centers are within minutes of this home.

Address: 12910 Mount Royal Lane, Fairfax, VA 22033

Community: Greenbriar

Age: Built in 1969

Price: $485,000

Home size: About 2,000 finished square feet

Lot size: 0.28 acres

Taxes: $4,242 in 2008

Exterior features: Colonial-style home with a partial brick front and siding; set on quiet pipestem drive; backs to woods and walking trail; professionally landscaped lot with mature trees; fenced backyard; two-car garage with space for storage; asphalt drive with space for five or more cars; screened porch; decks; solar panels

Interior features: Four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths; traditional center-hall floor plan; hardwood floors in the foyer; living room with windows on three sides and a wood-burning fireplace; formal dining room with box-bay window; large family room with sliding glass door to screened porch; kitchen with adjacent breakfast area and new countertops; laundry room next to kitchen; master suite features a new bath with heated tile floors and a glass-enclosed shower with ceramic tile walls; large secondary bedrooms; large linen closets; new hall bath with ceramic tile flooring and whirlpool tub; ceiling fans; natural gas and solar heat; new flooring and carpet

Close by: Walk to community swimming pool, elementary school, shopping center and walking trails; minutes to multiple shopping centers, Fairfax County Government Center, major commuter routes and Washington Dulles International Airport

Schools: Greenbriar West Elementary School, Rocky Run Middle School, Chantilly High School

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Owner Rob Burns at 703/266-8241 or Realtor Bianca De Aguiar of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. at 703/963-8391

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