Page-turner: Can renovations write new neighborhood story?

Address: 708 Page Street
Neighborhood: 10th and Page
Asking: $299,900
Assessment: $182,300
Year Built: 1925
Size:  1716 fin. sq. ft.
Land: 0.17 acres
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10
Listing Agent:  Julie Kuhl, RE/MAX Affinity Group, 434-882-0227

Located at the end of Page Street, #708 shines like the gem that it is. Hardiplank siding and architectural shingles offer the promise of freedom from maintenance woes, and a spacious and gracious front porch allows room for several rocking chairs.

The front entry leads to a dramatic and elegant living room enhanced by columns, gleaming mahogany floors, a raised and tiled hearth, crown molding, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Dual-cased openings lead to a kitchen that includes a small dining area and boasts plenty of counter space, finished either in glossy granite or tile. The layout is spacious yet welcoming, and plenty of windows flood the area with light. Custom backsplashes and lighting fixtures, stainless appliances, a double sink, and a built-in china cabinet with recessed lighting add glamor.

Off the kitchen, a tiled space that does double duty as a laundry and mudroom has a second exterior door leading to a deck. An office area, half-bath and large storage closet finish out the space on the lower level.  

The upper floor is surprisingly spacious given that the home dates to 1925, and the current owners, who handled the renovations themselves, have done a masterful job of ensuring that there is ample closet space throughout.

The master suite houses a generous bedroom and an opulent bathroom, accessed by pocket doors. The tiled shower stall, custom vanity, and unique sinks and accompanying fixtures make a bold and appealing statement. Two additional bedrooms share a second full bath, also finished with tile accents and custom fixtures.

Electrical and plumbing systems have been fully updated, and a heat pump appears to keep the home comfortably climatized. Strategically placed cable hookups allow for the addition of wall-mounted televisions in the living and sleeping areas.

Lots of little touches make this home particularly appealing– striking paint colors, recessed lighting, whole-house sound– and it’s easy to anticipate that the stylish flairs incorporated throughout will appeal to a number of buyers. Cocooned in the newly renovated and artfully finished interior, the new homeowner can enjoy an oasis of comfort, which becomes a key factor when considering some of the detractions.

Take, for instance, the train tracks just across the street. Perhaps some artful plantings could screen the view of the embankment leading to the tracks, but the disruption caused by passing trains is bound to be a factor for some potential buyers. There’s also the parking to consider.  The railroad owns the only off-street spots available to occupants of the house, and while there’s never been an issue with residents using the spaces, who's to say when the permission ends? It’s easily remedied given the layout of the lot, which provides access from the next cross street, but the solution might require a new owner to add a garage.

And then there’s the neighborhood itself. While the house is close to both the medical center and the University, it’s surrounded by modest, aging homes in varying stages of upkeep, and there’s a subsidized housing complex nearby– all factors that have to be taken into consideration when contemplating investing in the nicest house on the block.   

The present owners, who own and plan to renovate the house next door, have been approached by the City of Charlottesville, which, in an effort to bring its own vision of neighborhood revitalization to fruition, is contemplating buying that house along with several others. This would be good news for both the neighborhood and potential buyers.

In the meantime, it’s going to take a purchaser with a healthy measure of faith to share that vision and call this house home.
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1 comment

why would the City buying the house be a good thing for the neighborhood? I would think an owner-occupied dwelling would be much preferable....