REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Dignified restraint: In Scottsville, everything in moderation
ADDRESS: 2230 Secretary's Road
ASSESSMENT: $240,000 land/new construction
YEAR BUILT: 2008
SIZE: 1,800 fin. sq. ft.
LAND: 2.0 acres
CURB APPEAL: 7.75 out of 10
LISTED BY: Harrison Grubbs, Summit Realty Company, 434-817-4040
Q: When is a house like a president?
A: When it acts like Calvin Coolidge, who one Sunday after church, when his wife asked what the preacher had preached on, replied "sin," and, asked what the preacher had said, replied, "He was against it."
Just as "Silent Cal" avoided unnecessary words, this week's house has no unnecessary space. Hallways and bathrooms are condensed to make the kitchen and living room bigger. Downstairs, what could have been just a hallway connecting kitchen and bedroom has become a small bathroom. Upstairs, a hallway barely 12 feet long serves two bedrooms, a bathroom, a linen closet, and the stairs to the first floor.
Beyond saving space, the house also tries to save energy. The tile floor on the ground level has underlying radiant heat, and the southern exposure uses passive solar heat to reduce energy bills. Wooden Pella Energystar windows and the home's thicker-than-usual frame— made with 2"x 6" boards— make for better insulation, and the gas-powered, tankless water heater ("hot water on demand") uses less energy than a traditional model.
Most of these details aren't immediately visible. Instead, visitors first see the kitchen to the right behind a half wall and a bright open space to the left lighted by five windows spaced across two walls. The house has no foyer and no closet near the front door, but buyers may be able to get creative with an umbrella stand and some coathooks.
The kitchen has new stainless steel appliances and cabinets with a variety of storage options, including some with glass fronts for display, and some with shelves on sliding tracks for easy access. Both the stove and the water heater use gas heat provided by a buried 500-gallon propane tank.
The heated tile floor spanning the kitchen, front room, and rear living room comes to a stop at the downstairs bedroom, which instead features bamboo floors. The bedroom also has two closets, and access to the storage space under the stairs with well equipment and its pressure tank. While the downstairs bedroom isn't especially large, it could be used as a master suite thanks to the adjoining bathroom.
The downstairs bathroom, connecting the bedroom to the kitchen, makes the most of a small space with a shower stall instead of a full tub and is spiced up by a small built-in seat across one corner. The bathroom also has a frosted glass window— possibly to keep it from feeling too cozy— in an interior wall of the house that still manages to synch up with natural light entering through a window in the side door.
The upstairs bathroom is larger and brighter, with a full Jacuzzi tub and accompanying shower surrounded by handsome tile work in an enclosed grotto illuminated with natural light from a row of glass bricks. Neither bathroom has a linen closet, but they both have storage areas under the sinks.
The two bedrooms upstairs feature more of the environmentally friendly bamboo floors, and have been boxed and pre-wired for ceiling fans if the new owners feel like replacing existing light fixtures. Although the front bedroom has a better view from its row of windows, the back bedroom has more innovative storage space: rails along three walls of the closet can be used for hanging clothes and an extra cabinet for storage in space that juts out over the stairs.
Even though it's in move-in condition right now, the house also has room for expansion. The seller is open to discussing the addition of a deck or patio off the rear entrance. Buyers who want to take things to the next level on their own could also add a fireplace to the downstairs living room, or build a garage next to the house with an overhead room connecting to the upstairs hallway.
The house sits on a two-acre plot that's a mixture of trees and lawn, in an area of Scottsville that's mostly quiet farms. If it weren't for the muddy color of the painted Hardieplank exterior, it would have earned a higher curb appeal.
And that's all we have to say about it.
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PHOTOS BY PETER M. J. GROSS