REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Good bones: Canterbury Hills matron needs work done
Address: 312 Westminster Road
Neighborhood: Canterbury Hills
Year Built: 1972
Size: 3,800 fin. sq. ft. / 580 unfin.
Land: 0.76 acres
Agent: Donna Goings, Charlotte Ramsey, Inc. 434-981-9367
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10
Today's real estate scene remains a buyers' market. They want a steal, and they expect upgrades. They want a pretty face for a bargain price. But price and value aren't the same thing, and buyers won't find both in this Canterbury Hills house. What they will find is space, convenience, and more than a few projects. A lipstick job probably isn't one of them.
Canterbury Hills is just off Barracks Road, convenient to Routes 250 and 29. In this neighborhood, folks buy and stick around. It's a close-knit community with a homeowners' association (yet no required fees) and picnics and socials. Buyers who are okay with a walk can access the bus route and hoof it to the nearby shopping centers.
The living space and four bedrooms are on the first level, a boon for folks about to retire and stay put: a single step separates the driveway from the front door. The house is a time capsule from 1972: one bath has an avocado green tub and tile; the master bath is sky blue. But the bathrooms have ample counter space and are actually pretty roomy. Although it's saddled with dated wallpaper, fixtures, and paneling, the house appears built well and has one feature that can't be disparaged: square footage.
The kitchen stove is harvest gold, and the counters are backed by ho-hum brown tile backsplash. By contemporary standards, the breakfast nook with bay window overlooking the yard is amply sized. The large formal dining room off the kitchen has a closet for china and linen and could also accommodate a corner cupboard and sideboard.
A family room has a fireplace, wood paneling, and built-in shelving, all in keeping with 1972, but then there's some parquet flooring that doesn't quite square with the linoleum and hardwood in the rest of the house. A large closet provides storage for games or a sound system, and a door leads to a deck, which needs some TLC.
In the basement, more wood paneling and orange carpet fight to cover surfaces. A kitchen area, indicated by green patterned linoleum, would be functional with a fridge and oven (currently lacking), and it's large enough for eating in. A full bath and separate entrance are convenient. Association rules forbid rentals, but the space could accommodate in-laws and an au pair or other caregiver. A separate utility room has a washer/dryer hookup and a sizable walk-in cedar closet.
In the backyard, the low rumble of the 250 by-pass is audible, and the road itself is visible from the deck in the winter, but tall trees block the view when they're in leaf. The yard slopes down more at the edge, but near the house it's large and flat enough for kids to play. The driveway wraps around the house to the entrance to the basement. It's a huge space big enough to park two SUVs and still have plenty of room for a workshop.
Buyers won't find a pretty face here; what they will find is a house with potential. Serious renovations are needed, but a buyer with the money and taste to bring out the best in the good bones may reap some rewards.
PHOTOS BY SARAH JACOBSON
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