- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2010

McLean, Va., may be one of the most sought-after areas in Northern Virginia, where politicians live alongside journalists, lawyers and lobbyists. While Georgetown has its fans, McLean appeals to families that want to enjoy a spacious home in a quiet suburban community yet reach business and cultural activities in the city within minutes.

In neighborhoods such as Chesterbrook Gardens, McLean has a variety of single-family homes on lots from a quarter-acre to more than an acre, often backing to streams and parks. Mature trees tower over winding lanes that lead to a cluster of small shops, grocery stores and restaurants in the downtown area.

McLean residents are not only within a traffic light or two of downtown Washington via Chain Bridge or Key Bridge, but they also easily can reach offices in neighboring Tysons Corner or shop at Tysons Corner Center or Tysons Galleria. Eventually, the Metrorail system will have stops in Tysons Corner, which will be convenient to McLean residents, although now they can commute from the Dunn Loring or East Falls Church stations.

Most single-family homes in McLean boast price tags hovering around $1,000,000 because of the proximity to downtown Washington matched with a quiet suburban lifestyle.

At 6617 Ivy Hill Drive in the Chesterbrook Gardens community, a traditional split-level home is on the market for $977,000. Built in 1954 and updated in recent years, this home has a welcoming facade with white-painted siding set off with cheerful bright blue shutters and two bright blue garage doors. The home includes additional parking in the driveway.

The grounds offer plenty of level land for gardening, adding a swimming pool or simply enjoying the privacy of a gracious backyard. Fully fenced, the backyard includes professional landscaping, a wide deck with decorative railings and a patio. The front yard also has been professionally landscaped.

Inside, this home has been completely painted and has new carpet in nearly every room. The open, split-level design and oversized windows allow natural light to flow from room to room.

When the owners entertain, guests can gather in several formal and informal spaces. In pleasant weather, the deck, patio and back lawn easily could accommodate a casual crowd or a lovely wedding.

Guests can be welcomed in the foyer, which has a coat closet and opens into the formal living room. The living room includes a stone fireplace, a ceiling fan and a wall with three floor-to-ceiling windows.

A doorway links the living room and formal dining room, providing an easy flow for entertaining. The dining room has a bay window with three floor-to-ceiling windows, an elegant chandelier and extensive moldings, including picture-frame wainscoting, crown molding, chair-rail molding and deep trim on the baseboards and around the windows. Columns flank the entrance from the dining room to the adjacent family room.

In addition to these more formal rooms, this home includes an expansive family room with a ceiling fan, French doors leading to the deck and floor-to-ceiling windows. This room has a vaulted ceiling and a display niche for artwork.

A handful of steps above the family room is a reading nook with a ceiling fan and a tall window overlooking the backyard. This space could be used as a play area for children or as a computer nook or library.

The kitchen has been upgraded with 12-by-12-inch ceramic tile flooring, a four-burner gas cooktop, a ceramic tile backsplash and new granite counters.

The master bedroom, a generously sized room with a mirrored double-door closet, includes crown moldings, tall windows and a ceiling fan. The adjacent private full bath has ceramic tile flooring, an oak vanity and a glass-enclosed tub and shower.

The upper level includes three more bedrooms, each with plenty of natural light, and a large closet. These three bedrooms share a full bath with ceramic tile flooring, a white vanity and a glass-enclosed tub and shower.

The above-ground lower level of this home is almost another home in itself, with a large recreation room with recessed lighting, columns, a ceiling fan and French doors to the patio. Nearby are a casual dining area with ceramic tile flooring and a custom-built desk with bookshelves that creates a cozy home office nook.

The lower level has two more bedrooms and a full bath. In addition, this level has a full white-on-white kitchen with a breakfast counter.

The combination of a living area, bedrooms, a full bath and kitchen make this section of the home perfect as an in-law suite or au pair suite.

Details:

Address: 6617 Ivy Hill Drive, McLean, VA 22101

Community: Chesterbrook Gardens

Age: Built in 1954

Price: $977,000

Size: 3,239 square feet on a lot of .29 acres

Taxes: $6,179 in 2009

Homeowners association fee: None

Exterior features: Split-level single-family home of brick and siding, with a white-painted facade and bright blue shutters, professional landscaping, fully fenced backyard, attached two-car garage with additional parking in driveway

Interior features: Six bedrooms; 3 1/2 baths; foyer entrance; plush carpeting throughout; living room with ceiling fan and stone fireplace; formal dining room with bay window; family room with French doors to deck; kitchen with oak cabinets, ceramic tile flooring and granite counters; reading area overlooking family room; master suite with ceiling fan and adjoining private bath; three more upper-level bedrooms share a full bath; walk-out lower level with entertainment area, eating area, built-in desk and bookshelves, two bedrooms, full bath and kitchenette with breakfast bar

Amenities: Deck and patio, in-law suite in lower level, gas water heater, workshop in garage, new carpet and new paint in every room, location on quiet tree-lined street

Close by: Near shops and restaurants in McLean and Tysons Corner, quick access to downtown Washington and commuter routes

Schools: Kent Gardens Elementary, Longfellow Middle, McLean High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtors Donna Moseley and John McNamara of Prudential Carruthers Realtors at 703/623-5294

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