REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Garden oasis: 1910 farmhouse beckons in Crozet
Address: 5964 St. George Avenue
Year Built: 1910
Size: 2,432 fin sq. ft. / 400 unfin.
Land: 1.23 acres
Agent: Jim McVay 434-962-3420
Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10
Conveniently situated off I-64, with family-friendly features (Mint Springs, anyone?) and a cozy town center, it's no surprise that Crozet is the up-and-coming community for young families. While new properties abound, prospective homeowners should also check out this 1910 farmhouse on a small side street within walking distance of the Mudhouse and Crozet Pizza.
The entrance— bracketed by white pillars and framed by a wide front porch— leads into a quiet and comfortable interior with shuttered windows facing the street. There's no foyer, though— it was destroyed years ago.
Over the nearly 100 years of its existence, the house has been renovated many times and bears the stamp of former owners: a wall was knocked down and the living room enlarged; a porch off the kitchen was enclosed to serve as an informal dining or family room.
Other renovations were less inspired. In the actual dining room, the original wallpaper was painted over, creating a streaky, bumpy appearance, and the plaster ceiling is cracked. Another odd feature is an old window AC unit kept in the study after central air was installed— apparently prying it out would have left a hole in the wall.
By and large, however, the downstairs is comfortable and expansive. The country kitchen was recently renovated, and has lots of natural light, a gas range, and plenty of cabinets for storage (although we'd wish for more counter space and would nix the Formica). In addition to updating the kitchen and bathrooms, the owners also installed a new heat pump and oil furnace, so the house will stay cozy in winter.
There's no need to turn a guest bedroom into a study because, aside from the formal and informal dining rooms and living room, there's also a small room off the kitchen with built-in bookshelves. Because there's so much space downstairs, future owners may want to turn the study and the adjoining bathroom into a guest bedroom suite.
This would be an attractive option for older guests, because the three bedrooms are upstairs. A large 14' x 10' landing (big enough to serve as a sitting room) leads to the bedrooms as well as to the large bathroom, which is the only one on the top floor. The master bedroom adjoins an enclosed porch (used as an office by the current owners) that could be remodeled into a bathroom. A second bedroom is also large, but the third would be cramped with anything larger than a twin bed.
Outside, a rustic one-car garage has an attached storage shed. The house is situated close to the street, which works well as the street is quiet. This means more space for the backyard, which is so spacious that we had to peer to see the neighbors. A flagstone patio adjoins the kitchen, which looks out onto the tree-lined yard and with raised garden beds. The lot cannot be subdivided, but if a buyer is dreaming of rental propery, construction is allowed.
This place could use several improvements— chiefly the dining room walls and the creation of a third bathroom— but nevertheless offers move-in condition. Homey and comfortable, it's easy to imagine kids riding their bikes in the neighborhood and grown folks walking to the coffeehouse for their morning lattes.
It's reminiscent of older Charlottesville homes near UVA but at half the cost. While the asking price for this property is reasonable, it should be noted that the current owners purchased the place for $227,500 just six years ago and are now adding $100,000 to the price tag. The price increase doesn't seem quite matched by the minor renovations, but appears more a testament to the owners' belief in the increasing value of Crozet real estate, as reflected in the assessment (the land alone is worth $114,200).
As Crozet expands, it offers convenient features (a new Harris Teeter) as well as old favorites (pick-your-own at Chiles Peach Orchard). If that sounds appealing, put this place on your list.
PHOTOS BY KRISTINA GARCÍA
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