REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Oldie but goodie: Post-war flavor adds charm off JPA


Address: 2603 Jefferson Park Circle 

Neighborhood: Fry's Spring

Asking: $325,000

Assessment: $400,400

Year Built: 1947

Size: 1,972 fin. sq. ft.

Land: 0.27 acres

Agent: Dora Conway, McLean Faulconer, Inc. 434-295-1131

Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

A good fairytale demands an idyllic setting, a long wait, and some drama before the happy ending. Although we haven't yet seen the end of the recession— and may not for some time, recent news reports show that the real estate market may finally be on the mend. So this Jefferson Park Circle fixer-upper could be a happily-ever-after project for the right buyer. 

This Cape Cod in the Fry's Spring neighborhood has not been touched in the 19 years of the current owner's tenure. Folks who love the smell of an old house, creaky floors, and vintage details will swoon. A buyer who wants character and definitely some projects might see the place as a sleeping beauty.

The neighborhood lies just a few turns off JPA (past Wayside Chicken). It's quiet and lush with established trees. The stone walls that line many of the yards and houses are set at a slight angle from the road. Fry's Spring Beach Club is just around the corner.

Because it's priced well below assessment, a potential buyer might be able to justify investing in some necessary upgrades (even in this economy). The original house was built in 1947, a lean time with leaner closets. Since then, it has seen some additions and, walking through, a visitor can guess which parts were added or transformed– say, from a porch to a finished room, or the extension of a wall into the yard, enlarging the kitchen. Those changes give the place a quirky feel but also have created a couple of extra rooms to serve as office/reading nook/studio space.

A long galley kitchen leads to a deck. It's usable with plenty of storage but definitely needs some updates. Old linoleum flooring and countertops with a faux wood look demand a makeover. A complete overhaul could bring the space up to contemporary cooking standards while keeping that 1947 flavor. 

A couple of other features contribute to the feeling of space in the kitchen, from some open shelving to the fridge half recessed in the wall. Depending on configuration, the space could accommodate a small space to eat in to complement the formal dining room just next door. 

The front door opens to the living room, flanked by twin hall closets. It's cozy with a fireplace with gas logs. Another charming feature is a huge bay window. 

Up the stairs, one bedroom is situated a few steps below the rest. More than a bedroom, though, it's a library complete with floor-to-ceiling shelves. A closet does make it possible to use for sleeping, and indeed it could be. But it's really a bibliophile's dream. The rest of the second floor is up a few more steps; there's a bath, a large bedroom with dormer window, and the master, complete with two closets and another, attached, private bath. 

The house does have a few drawbacks. For instance: no central air. (Window units work to keep the house cool.) The two full baths are on the second floor. The convenience of a half bath on the first floor would be worth the construction costs; the pantry/laundry room could be easily converted. 

A renovation, like a good fairytale, relies on the perseverance and vision of the hero or heroine. But it usually has a happy ending, so romantics might give this place a gander.



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