REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Location, location: But buyers should drink from Alice's bottle
Address: 121 Cameron Lane
Neighborhood: Ivy Terrace/Lewis Mountain
Year Built: 1935
Size: 1,146 fin. sq. ft. / 86 unfin.
Land: 0.32 acres
Agent: Ross Stevens, Stevens & Company 434-981-5268
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10
This house at 121 Cameron Lane is reminiscent of the nostalgic era when people didn't have to be multimillionaires to live within walking distance of the Rotunda. The heavily shaded property lies on a sloped parcel off Ivy Road, where it's rare to find any place under $500K. But there's a catch– with two bedrooms and one bath, this single-level home is fit for tiny Alice.
Inside, the living room spans the width of the house, with the front door on one side and a back door on the other. It's a large space for such a small house, with dark wooden beams across the white vaulted ceiling and a stone wood-burning fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves.
A small room to the right of the fireplace is doing service as a sitting room with exposed brick walls. From here, two steps lead down to the master bedroom with vaulted ceiling and a stone fireplace that mirror the living room, and a closet with built-in shelving. A door leads to a small terrace.
The second bedroom is similar: a sitting room (this one with a built-in Formica desk or vanity) leads to the bedroom partially built into the earth (remember that sloped lot), with long narrow windows. A long shelf over the door parallels the roof, but that's it for storage– no closet here.
The kitchen and dining room down the hall from this bedroom were originally beside the living room; the owners moved and rebuilt the kitchen in the same column as the dining room. Here cherry cabinets (and a nifty built-in plate rack) complement dark grey Formica counters, a small, stainless-steel dual sink, and a gas range (no dishwasher). A closet to the left of the stove houses a stacked washer/dryer, precluding a pantry.
The dining area is small (polite folks would use the word "cozy") with a low sloped ceiling and a low coat rack beneath the crown molding.
The house's single bathroom between the kitchen and dining area is petite (like everything else), done in white tile with a thick black tile border on the floor and in the shower. A narrow linen cabinet provides storage.
Outside, a garden shed directly behind the two-car, off-street parking area may come in handy, as there's no basement for storage. The grassy ivy-covered front yard has a stone and concrete pathway (cracked in places) and crushed terracotta pebbles in front of a wooden front porch built by the current owners, who have lived here since 1999, when they purchased the house for $160,000.
There's more crushed stone beyond the back door, which meets a stone retaining wall barely restraining a garden of summer squash, basil, tomatoes, pepper, and corn. Behind the vegetable patch, a tree with a rope-and-plank swing, followed by an ivy-covered retaining wall, more grass, and some shrubbery (holly, cedars) provide a buffer from neighboring houses.
Although the owners have made significant changes to this modest dwelling (kitchen, porch), there's still room for improvement. The bathroom is dismayingly tiny, and there's no central AC. However, two window units convey, which might be enough: at 10am on the 95-degree day of our visit, the house was still cool. Wooden siding covers the house, but the tan paint is peeling in places.
If size isn't an issue, though, it's a surprisingly affordable property for this tony part of town.
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