REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Don't pass by: Nearby park offsets traffic noise


Address: 916 Marshall Street 

Neighborhood: Locust Grove

Asking: $515,000

Assessment: $485,700

Year Built: 1994

Size: 2,802 fin Sq. ft. 

Land: 0.264 acres

Agent: Barbara Frost, RE/MAX Realty Specialists, 434-960-4921

Curb Appeal:  8 out of 10

Well, there ain't no rest for the weary. Or at least not for the successful. Five short months after the popular local eatery Zocalo opened its doors in December 2003, owner/chef Ivan Rekosh purchased this comfortable home off the 29 Bypass. Now with a growing family, Rekosh is looking for more elbow room and has put the four-bedroom colonial on the market.

We're usually wary of Bypass homes — as the convenience factor has to be weighed against the noise— but this place is located on a quiet dead-end just two doors down from a charming bridge to Northeast Park. As the quarter-acre of sloping yard isn't ideal for soccer games, it's nice to have public green space within shouting distance. 

The back views of the house are of the small yard, woods, and stream, and are best surveyed from the double-decker porch, which includes a hot tub. The front entrance is below the street, so at ground level the windows face the landscaping and small fenced front yard, one of Rekosh's many improvements to the house. (Previously it was an extended driveway.) 

The family also installed tile in the bathrooms, kitchen, and entrance and finished the concrete basement to be a carpeted mother-in-law suite complete with a wet bar. The basement's large living area has natural light and sliding glass doors leading to the lower deck of the porch (hot tub level), but the bonus fifth bedroom, while comfortable, lacks windows. 

Two hallways off the entrance make the traffic flow of the main floor a circle around storage areas (the pantry in the kitchen, a storage hutch in the living room). The large open living room has ceiling fans, heart pine floors, and a gas fireplace. This leads into the eat-in kitchen with French doors facing the deck. While the kitchen countertops are Formica and the fridge looks dated, the stainless steel dishwasher is just two years old, and the gas range will make chefs happy. 

There's the ubiquitous half-bath for dinner guests (so they don't peek in your medicine cabinet) and a street-facing bedroom with a bay window. It's a pretty, albeit dark, room, but its location makes it more suitable for an office. 

The other three bedrooms— all carpeted— are upstairs. Like a greedier version of Goldilocks, we found one bedroom somewhat too small and a second bedroom much too small (it's currently serving as a nursery), but the master bedroom is just right.

Twelve-foot ceilings boast a pair of skylights, and there are four additional windows— including a quirky circular one high above the head of the bed. A walk-in closet and a large master bath, with terracotta-colored floor tiles, white walls and cabinets, black countertops (Formica again), and a white bath edged in jet black tile round out the master suite. 

The price of the house was $335,000 just over five years ago. With the extensive remodeling— including the basement, which added over 900 square feet to the living space— they feel justified in expecting a 65% increase over their original cost. City assessors seem to agree, pricing this place at $485,700 without considering the remodeled basement. 

Does this spacious and convenient house deliver bang for the buck? Depends on what you're looking for and how good you are at bargaining. If you want a family-oriented, country-in-the-city refuge, take a second look at Marshall Street.


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