REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Coming along: Cherry Ave. charmer looking good


Address: 1421 Cherry Avenue

Neighborhood: Forest Hills 

Asking: $199,900

Assessment: $157,500

Year Built: 1946

Size: 1,272 fin. sq. ft. 

Land: 0.12 acres 

Agent: Julie Gee, Real Estate III 434-981-1212

Curb Appeal:  8 out of 10

What's that? A house in the city for under $200K? Sold. 

Well, maybe not quite literally, but after all the chatter we hear about affordable housing, it's nice to find a place in Charlottesville that doesn't price out the middle class. 

This three-bedroom Cherry Avenue charmer has been a perfect starter home for the current owners, who have put an estimated $20,000 into the place since purchasing it for $169,000 in 2006. Although there's still room for improvement (there's no central air conditioning, and the back yard could use some work), they have imaginatively redesigned the house to fit their needs.

The operative word for this house is cute, meaning it's attractive, and also diminutive— which gave the owners an incentive to open up the space. For starters, they tore down the wall blocking the living room from the foyer so that the living room now wraps around to the dining area. 

They redid the kitchen, which has stainless-steel appliances and white tile counters (attractive, but you'll be scrubbing grout if you spill red wine). The woodwork is also painted white, and glass doors brighten the overhead cabinets and built-in wine racks below. 

Hardwood floors replace the carpet and linoleum throughout the house. Remnants of the former flooring still exist in a room off the kitchen currently used as a pantry/laundry/office with a desk in one corner. 

Upstairs, the owners converted two bedrooms into one master, which works a little less effectively than the living room configuration. To be sure, the space is doubled, but the bedroom is long and narrow, and because of the closet, the foot of the bed is just a few feet from the wall. Doors at both ends of the room lead to the staircase landing.

The second and third bedrooms are intact (one serves as a nursery, the other an office), but they're tiny– seriously tiny. If you had a queen-sized bed in this room, there would be no room to walk.

There's only one bathroom in this house, created by tearing down yet another wall. It has marble tile, new fixtures, built-in shelving, and a new console, but the bathtub is original and looks worn. 

There's not a whole lot of space here, but it's definitely comfortable. People who need a little more room to stretch out will welcome the concrete patio in the back yard, nothing fancy, but nice for entertaining. The back yard is fenced, with a six-foot privacy fence along the back and white picket to the front. Four shade trees dominate the rear near a garden shed, but the grass itself is patchy and could use some work. 

A peach-colored cinderblock building with black shutters and a window box, this house sits at the end of a long driveway (turn-arounds are difficult) on a prettily landscaped little lawn adjoining a stream. All in all, it's homey, and although it's apparent that more renovations would make the house even more comfortable, at least new buyers can sleep with the security of knowing they're under a new roof. 



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