REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Surrounded: Gardens create great Batesville retreat


Address: 6342 School House Hill

Neighborhood: Batesville 

Asking: $397,000

Assessment: $223,900

Year Built: 1962

Size: 1,718 fin. Sq. ft. / 300 unfin. 

Land: 2.0 acres 

Agent: Jane Porter Fogleman, Roy Wheeler Realty Co. 434-981-1274

Curb Appeal:  7 out of 10

As the glory of a woman is her hair, the glory of this property is its plantings. Lush, beautiful, and practical, the two acres surrounding the house have redbuds, boxwoods, and two garden plots, one surrounded by an eight-foot deer fence. 

The lawn is lovely, the house is shaded, and there are two outbuildings– a garden shed and a two-room building with unfinished hardwood flooring and baseboard heat. (Alas, we can't provide details about the two-room outbuilding because the agent couldn't get in; but it seems basic, and is currently used for storage.)

But even with these admirable surroundings and the current owner's extensive renovations (kitchen, bathroom, front porch, central AC, back patio), we're hard-pressed to explain why the price of this three-bedroom place, $250K in 2005, has suddenly skyrocketed to nearly $400,000. Maybe it's Batesville.

That being said, this is a pretty storybook cottage with an arbor leading to a screened sunroom with windows opening out from the kitchen and living room, and another set of windows looking over one of the gardens. The kitchen is done in earth tones, with maple cabinets, Formica counters, travertine tile backsplash, and cork floors. There's a gas stove, a dual enamel sink, and a high counter separating the kitchen and dining areas that could double as a buffet bar. 

The elegant dining room has French doors leading to the back patio. With its brown palette, the kitchen has a hippie vibe– or maybe it's the lack of a dishwasher. Past the kitchen, a small enclosed patio serves as a laundry room (and with two dog doors, one leading outside and one into the kitchen, a pet thoroughfare). 

The remainder of the first floor consists of the living room with a woodstove, the master bedroom, a smaller second bedroom, and the house bathroom with a pedestal sink and a large claw-foot tub with a shower head above. The floor tile is beige, and robin's egg blue tile reaches halfway up the wall. A window faces the boxwoods fronting the house, but privacy isn't a huge issue out here. Better to enjoy the view. 

The upstairs is basically a renovated attic, with new windows and added storage. One area is a library, with built-in bookshelves and a window seat. The second room is currently serving as a bedroom/office. This level is carpeted throughout and (on our visit) was much warmer than downstairs, even with central air. 

To the left of the house, a grassy walking path leads down to the Batesville Store, a local eatery with all manner of baked goods and savories made on site. All in all, this tranquil place provides the country version of "downtown" living. 


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