REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Price is right: Not much flair, but it's a start
Address: 935 Monticello Avenue
Year Built: 1925
Size: 1,251 fin. sq. ft. / 200 unfin.
Land: 0.21 acres
Agent: Kay Sands, Roy Wheeler Realty Co. 434-825-6129
Curb Appeal: 5 out of 10
Given the inflation of some neighborhood real estate, we're suckers for a cute yellow three-bedroom Belmont farmhouse priced at $212,500. Although this property's appeal (front porch, big backyard) decreases when you step into the vanilla interior, it's still $84,500 below the assessment, and for that alone it's worth a second look.
Currently owned (and formerly rented out) by a London developer, the house has been expanded and remodeled since it was built in 1925, leading to a few quirks. For starters, the front door opens into a living space divided by a wall that stops a few feet from the entrance.
We inquired about the possibility of knocking it down, but the room on the left has a boarded-up fireplace in the dividing wall, which means it can't be demolished. But the fireplace could possibly be restored, according to the "best guess" of the agent. The living room on the right side has a storage closet with an accordion door beneath the staircase. The floors here are covered with a light beige carpet.
This room leads to a large laundry/mud room, the door to the back yard (note: the doorjamb is splitting), and a bathroom, both of which have received recent updates. Although the bathroom is ample, it's the only bathroom in the house— and next to the laundry room and the kitchen, at that– and the three bedrooms are upstairs. A new owner would be well advised to invest in a bathrobe.
The kitchen has been updated, and renovations are in line with the price of the house, according to the agent. Since the price is low, there's nothing fancy here. All appliances are Tappan, which probably didn't top off your Christmas wish list, but they're shiny and new (except for the refrigerator, which has some rust on the racks. It wasn't replaced during the upgrade). The cabinets are oak and the countertops a tasteful faux green granite Formica. The flooring here (and in the bathroom and laundry room) is linoleum styled to look like stone tile. There's space for a table and chairs as well, but there's no formal dining room.
Windows in the kitchen face the large back yard, one of the advantages of the place. The home is a little too close to busy Monticello Avenue in our view (things probably looked different in 1925), but there's plenty of space out back. The yard has a few old trees and is bordered on the left by an alley and a partial privacy fence, which we'd either expand to enclose the entire yard or tear down. The lot is big enough that a new owner could erect a rental or guest cottage back there, providing two benefits: income and protection from the alley.
There's an unfinished cellar/workroom at the rear of the house, but there's no inside access— it's accessible only from the yard. It might have been an original root cellar, although now the workroom area, with a tap for water, is lined with plywood.
Moving back inside, there's not much to say about the top floor of the house. It has low seven-foot ceilings, typical of an old farmhouse. The three bedrooms are small but adequate, with windows facing Monticello Avenue and overlooking the back yard.
The bedrooms are very plain, as is the rest of the interior, and need a pick-me-up. A color, just a little color somewhere! But people looking for a small, reasonably priced starter house, should grab a crayon box and start perusing the paint swatches.
PHOTOS BY KRISTINA GARCIA WADE
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!