Carriage trade: Claremont offers views near new Martha

Address: 830 Beverley Drive
Neighborhood: Claremont at Carriage Hill, Pantops    
Asking: $209,900   
Assessment: $206,400       
Year Built: 2000    
Size: 1445 fin. sq. ft., 220 unfin.
Land: 0.0 acres
Agent: Inessa Telefus, Sloan Milby Real Estate Partners 434-220-5656
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

Since the current state of the stock market has significantly undermined many opportunities for gains, reevaluating the best asset class to invest in is in order. The volatility of stocks and bonds may be driving some people with liquid assets to consider reaping the benefits of record-low interest rates by investing in real estate. Although the first-time homeowners’ tax credit was not renewed this year, the median sales price in the area has risen nearly 10 percent, according to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors’ (CAAR) Mid-Year Market Report, which also shows condo and townhouse sales in the city increasing slightly over last year.

Don Vogeley of Cathcart Group reports that investors in condos at Claremont at Carriage Hill will find a financially stable investment because, unlike highly leveraged projects forced to sell units below assessment, the original developer here has maintained a significant financial interest in the property since its 2000 inception. Moreover, Claremont also claims to be bolstering property values by upgrading available condos.

The development offers a choice of several styles of attached units on a hillside with scenic views of the mountains from the road, clubhouse, and select condos. This Beverley Drive property is a one-level unit with a one-car garage.

From the garage, it’s a long staircase down to the flat itself, with the entrance opening to a laundry/utility room with the guest entry leading to a shorter run of stairs leading guests directly into the living room. The design of this unit may be taxing for families with small children or for the elderly.

A showcase unit, this one was shown furnished and includes new cherry cabinets, laminate countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Most floors are carpeted, from the open-concept dining/living room area through both bedrooms, each of which contains a walk-in closet large enough to contain a dresser. The bathrooms have standard white cabinets with laminate tops, porcelain sinks, and large soaker tubs.

Natural light abounds in the living areas, and high ceilings are a special feature of this “Hamilton” model.  A wood-burning fireplace provides a focal point from both the living room and a bar that wraps around the kitchen, and a small patio off the living room has just enough room to snuggle in a bistro table for two.

Homeowners have come to expect full amenities in a development like Claremont, and this community doesn’t disappoint. Inside the club house, groups meet to socialize over coffee in a spacious, attractively decorated room divided into a study/dining area with a small kitchen that can also be rented for other functions. The lower level offers a hot tub, sauna, workout space, and game room. A pool, “pitch and putt” area, tennis courts, and a dog park spice up the outside.

Claremont is hidden on a hill just behind the Pantops shopping plaza, minutes from the new Martha Jefferson complex and may prove particularly attractive to health care workers eager to avoid Free Bridge at rush hour. Potential buyers are reportedly assured of long-term maintenance through a 30-year replacement reserve established by the homeowner association's Board of Directors.

CAAR’s statistics show it’s a buyers’ market, and if maintenance-free homeownership is appealing, perhaps some of them will enjoy making an offer at Carriage Hill.
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