REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Adding on: New wings help JPA parcel soar


Address: 2309 Highland Ave.

Neighborhood: Fry's Spring

Asking: $400,000

Assessment: $367,700

Year Built: 1929

Size: 2,098 fin. sq. ft. / 192 unfin. 

Land: 0.17 acres

Agent: Jim McVay, Roy Wheeler Realty Co. 434-962-3420

Curb Appeal:  7.5 out of 10

Two streets off Jefferson Park Avenue, tucked into the rabbit warren of Fry's Spring, sits this recently renovated charmer. Shielded by shade trees and a white picket fence, the house is hard to see from the street; but stepping onto the lawn, visitors can glimpse the sharply pitched roof and a pleasantly large enclosed porch stretching across the front. 

A long veranda addition leads into another long rectangle (this one perpendicular to the porch). Here a living room, family room, and dining room flow into each other, providing a straight view from the entrance to French doors leading to a back patio. 

The dining room area is a new addition by the current owners, as are the master bedroom and bath. In spite of its newness, the addition isn't obvious: the owners matched the trim and hardwood well. Another perk is the delayed tax on this renovated space. As an incentive to homeowners, the city instituted a 10-year tax abatement on additions to older houses. The $140,000 abatement— which will continue through 2013— saved the owners $1,330 this year alone! 

The kitchen was also recently redone in white with bamboo countertops and a gas range, and there's a spacious half bath with a large closet. Across from the bathroom (which abuts the garden) stairs lead to a small, musty unfinished basement (perfect for snow tires, but find another home for out-of-season clothing or sleeping bags). 

There's also one bedroom on the first floor. In the front of the house and to the left of the staircase, it's currently missing a door and seems to be more suited as a study or playroom. 

The other three bedrooms are upstairs, with the master bed and bath in the rear, overlooking the garden. The roof in the master addition is steeply sloped, and the bathroom is long and narrow against the flat of the house, with the toilet tucked in an alcove behind the shower. 

The kids will fight over the other two bedrooms. One is spacious, with sea-green walls and a built-in bench with storage cubbies. The other, in dark blue, is less than half that size, but the rooms share a nice sitting area to the side and a full bath with a daisy pattern in the tiled floor. 

The house has nice touches like high ceilings, two small stained glass windows, and a brick fireplace in the living room. And it's easy to picture kids running from the veranda into the back yard without breaking their stride.

The back is prettily planted with masses of zinnias and marigolds around a flagstone patio and a one-car garage currently in use as a shed. (Folks who don't want to park on the street, will have to break up a lovely arbor to the right of the house.) Behind the shed is a chicken coop, which the owners promise to dismantle upon departure. 

In fact, those hens are the reason they're moving out to Free Union: to give the gals more space to roam. The property they have under contract, on Wesley Chapel Road, was listed at $450,000, which may explain the inflated listing price of this parcel. 

The owners have certainly done significant work on the property since purchasing it for $136,900 in 2002. If the renovation— including the expansion, the addition of central air, a gas furnace, new plumbing, a new roof, and upgraded wiring— doesn't quite add up to the $400,000 they're asking, Fry's Spring is an up-and-coming neighborhood of choice for young families. With or without Rhode Island Reds.



Each week, a brave local seller invites the Hook to provide an impartial, warts-and-all look at their real estate listing. E-mail yours today!