REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Elevated offerings: Upgrades will appeal to independent seniors



Address: 612 Rainier Road

Neighborhood: Cherry Hill in the city

Asking: $649,000

Assessment: $434,000

Year Built: 2007

Size: 3,506 finished, 500 unfinished square

Land: 0.128 acres

Agent: Joan Esposito, Roy Wheeler Realty Co., 434-951-5137

Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10

This colonial in the nearly new Cherry Hill development by Johnson Village may be an elder person's dream. Despite three finished floors, it is outfitted so that residents don't ever have to use the stairs; and as built-in elevators don't come cheap, it's priced accordingly.

That isn't the last of the pricy upgrades. While most of the windows in the house have wooden plantation blinds, the seller wants any buyer to know that these combined with the "Silhouette" blinds on three windows cost  $9,000. A walk-in hydrotherapeutic tub with a seat that rises and lowers was a $25,000 investment in the master bath.

Height is emphasized as soon as the door opens to the two-story foyer, and throughout the first level, ceilings are nine feet. The paint colors are anything but standard  with one bedroom is blue, another almost butter, and the master a paler shade of yellow. 

The dining area– with recessed lighting and hardwood floors like the rest of the house– is a little separated from the open kitchen area and living space. A "morning room" with vaulted ceiling works for more casual dining. Oak cabinets, white appliances, and gold-flecked granite make the kitchen warm; but gold- and brass-toned fixtures in the bathrooms may be a turnoff for buyers more accustomed to the currently popular chrome. 

Although it's listed as having four bedrooms, the elevator takes up the better part of one. A window and closet mean it can be counted as a bedroom, but it may be best suited as an office or as an exercise area, as the seller currently uses it.

Although the lot is a postage stamp, the front has been extensively landscaped, and lights in the garden change color after dark. Out back, the lot slopes downward to a wooded area complete with babbling brook. Traffic from Cherry Avenue is still audible, but the yard has a feeling of privacy that not all city homes can claim.

On-street parking appears to be prohibited, so the two-car garage is critical. But should this place lure young parents, one reason might be its location on practically the same tract as Johnson Elementary School. 

The L-shaped basement, with wall-mounted bookcases and a full bath, is suitable for a caregiver. Sliding doors open to a brick patio below the main-level deck.

The elevator has a house-line telephone, and the garage, a few steps down from the laundry room, has a vertical lift. A generator means it all works in a power outage, and after last winter, that's a necessity for buyers who depend on specialized equipment for survival.

These upgrades and extra features– reflected in the price– mean that buyers are likely to be well-heeled seniors looking for an independent living situation that still caters to their needs.

Corrections: The entire size of the house was incorrectly reported as 3,125 square feet, and the $9,000 figure for the blinds was, due to an editing error, portrayed as the price of just the three Silhouette blinds. Both errors have been corrected above in this online archived edition.




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