REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- This and that: Garth Road fixer-upper has possibilities

Address: 3277 Garth Road

Neighborhood: Garth Road

Asking: $769,900

Assessment: $548,600

Year Built: 1920

Size: 2,715 fin. sq. ft. / 412 unfin. 

Land: 7.77 acres

Agent: Tommy Brannock, Real Estate III  434-977-3033

Curb Appeal: 9 out of 10

History has a price. Along with charm and quirk comes work— but also the possibility of great rewards. This Albemarle county property, dubbed Schoolhouse Hill, has both, from rippled original glass windows to weird ‘70s wallpaper.

Garth Road embodies the foxhunt vibe the county is so famous for, and this house fits right in. On 7.7 acres set back from Garth Road by a round gravel drive, the property consists of a paddock, a four-stall stable, a pool, and a shed in addition to the main house, with a tumble-down schoolhouse just beyond the property line. At one point, the schoolhouse was part of the property, and it may be worth it to purchase– if only for preservation.

The front door of the house opens to a spacious grand foyer with a den or study to one side, with built-ins and a fireplace. A south-facing dining room also has beautiful built-in cabinets and a closet for linens. Connected by some old cupboards is the funky kitchen, currently housing the washer and dryer— strangely, a bump-out on the back porch for the fridge. The kitchen definitely needs a full update, but it's big enough to accommodate an eat-in area.  

A ‘60s addition extended the house by a few rooms. On the first floor, it added a sunken family room with wood-burning fireplace and beautiful paneling of old barn doors. While the original house has pine floors, this new room has oak. Under the original house are a crawlspace and an unfinished basement room. A buyer will likely want to ad a washer/dryer hookup here when the kitchen is redone or finish the space to be a family room.

Another part of the addition, the master suite, is an important upgrade a couple of steps off a landing below the second level. A random frosted glass window overlooking the landing might have been an original window, but it's hard to tell. The bedroom is expansive and carpeted (no word whether there's finished wood underneath). The room has a long, narrow closet and a quirky bathroom with bath, sink, toilet, and tile all in a peppy turquoise.

Despite the size of the master, the best spot for the bed isn't quite large enough for a king. But the view of the property on a sunny morning may be worth settling for a queen, and there's ample room for a seating area and computer or exercise equipment. 

Further up the staircase on the second floor are four equal-sized sunny bedrooms, three with standard closets, and one with original cabinets. A door connects each pair of bedrooms. One pair has an attached yellow bathroom also accessed from the hall. Not for claustrophobics, it's narrow and long, with a teeny standup shower. If a new owner can live with three bedrooms, one of these could become an ample bath and laundry room.

In the end, Schoolhouse Hill is a little of this and a little of that. It requires some restoration, some updating, and possibly some new construction. Ideally, the right buyer will maintain the integrity of the place while subtly bringing the house in line with a contemporary family's needs. Although it's not a big "bang for your buck" kind of place, it's a large property that could be a great family home with some imagination and care.   




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