SOLD - 3953 STONE POINT DRIVE - $925,000

The Essentials

A luxurious bungalow on the edge of a lake just twenty minutes from town and built with the prettiest red brick we’ve ever seen. Set at the end of a winding drive edged by olympian rocks and mature trees. Verdant lawns down to a fire pit and a dock out over the water. Windows a mile high and granite counters just as long. Part of the Rideau system, which means you put in here and you sail to the Caribbean, if that’s your thing.

The Bigger Picture

We listed this house early this morning and yet the sun has set now and I still haven’t hit “publish”. More than twelve hours have passed. That’s not normally the way things work around here. Usually I get up early, before the kids are awake, and I muse quietly a while on whichever new listing it is, and then I send it off to find an audience and, with any luck, the perfect buyer.

But this morning I couldn’t finish. I wanted better words. So I sent a message to the sellers and met them out at the house over the lunch hour. They let me alone for a few minutes, and then we walked together down to the water. We talked and we also didn’t talk. I looked over the lake at the distant shoreline and the small island of rock between here and there. There is farmland at the horizon and there are cottages. The land separates the sky from the water like a firm brushstroke. Behind me there were two scarlet Adirondack chairs like something painted onto the scene. I tipped my head back and took in some of September’s weakening sun. I wondered what it would be like to be out here in the winter, the water replaced with ice and the sound of skates cutting in, a ten-foot spruce being dragged through the patio doors and installed next to the fireplace. I looked up the grassy slope to the house and marvelled for about the hundredth time at the reclaimed brick this place is built from. For crying out loud, I thought, this is really good.

And then I drove back to the office and distractedly took care of some business. Cheri is away for a few days, and so it’s more than a bit busy. I pushed some paper around, looking for a pattern. We usually chat at these hectic times about the good houses we have up on the sales board. What we can do to help them along, and how lucky we are. And sure, we did that about this house before she left. But right then (I imagine her still working, raising her phone to the sky in the Grand Canyon, praying for a signal, while her mother implores her to Put that thing away, Cheri,) I was alone and had to settle for muttering to myself about this spot which has caught my imagination so strongly that I feel somehow like a fish in a net, scales spinning off into the surf.

The long approach to the house that has a lot to do with that. The anticipation builds giddily with every rotation of the tires. The driveway curves like a perfect fractal between mature trees and olympian rocks. There are lavish borders of smooth river stone and the sun is forever glancing through. There was the feeling in me, the first time, that I wasn’t quite mature enough for a property like this, that I was some dishevelled imposter. The way Trump ought to feel approaching Camp David in his motorcade, perhaps.



Off to the left of the house is a storage shed, a studio in waiting. Built of the same glorious brick as the main house, it reminds me of a place I saw once a long time ago in Barbados. A man writing a novel in an open garage every time I walked to the beach. If I lived here I’d punch a window into the back wall and station a desk there, run a plug for the Mac. Six months from now I’d have the first draft of something special, I just know I would. But listen to me. I haven’t even got inside the front door yet and I’ve already penned the next Moby Dick.

There is a space beside the studio for an RV, by the way, a shaded rectangle in deep shade, but to be honest I wonder why you’d ever want to leave.

You open the front door to the house and you are instantly struck by the windows - the towering windows - at the back of the living room. You’ve got the same views up here that you have down at the dock, only framed now with forest. The house is like a viewing station, a set of gracious rooms established by our heritage people at a spot recognized for its extraordinary beauty. They probably have another where Cheri is, I thought, set before the Grand Canyon, and charge people good money to stand at the glass. Well you could do that here too.

The kitchen is off to your left, all white cabinets and a pretty pale granite. You’re not preparing dinner here in a space isolated from the company. A propane fireplace framed with the same brick is off to your right. It is a modern, open plan. The bedrooms are down the hall, the master with a five-piece ensuite and its own deck. I stood out there and watched a cormorant bathing like it owned the place. They tell me there are deer too.

The lower level is very well-finished as well. There’s another fireplace, and the air is cooler when you build just a little into the ground. I’d take a book down there when all that constant beauty up above got a bit much.

The mechanics are top notch, of course. The well is pristine. The sellers didn’t plan to move away and it shows. You can see that written large in the details, and the slightly regretful way they show the place off. But it’s time.

And maybe it’s your time to move in. If you call us we’ll tell you more. The taxes and the heating costs; we’ll give you directions.

You can find much of that in the listing right here. It’s much more succinct than I am. It’s important stuff, I get that. You need the big picture.

And for the fall-fair pyrotechnics of the iGuide virtual tour you’re going to want to poke your head through this door. It contains the floor plans, and even some nifty measuring tool so that you can check whether your favourite chair will fit right there, before the window.

The Gallery:

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