REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Get a spatula: Renovated house ready to flip

ADDRESS: 922 Monticello Avenue


ASKING: $249,900

ASSESSMENT: $200,400


SIZE: 1,403 fin. sq. ft.

LAND: 0.12 acres

CURB APPEAL: 6 out of 10

LISTED BY: Anthony McGhee, Assist 2 Sell/First Rate Realty, Inc., 434-979-1223

The bright-blue house with a striking picket fence is eye-catching for a reason. Having gutted it to its shell and modernized everything, the owner is now offering a house that is clean and current (if somewhat constrained by its age). He hopes to capitalize on recent interest in Belmont to effect a quick turnaround. 

The front door opens into the living room, the centerpiece of the house that accesses every room on the first floor as well as the staircase to the second story. It has a fireplace, new hardwood floors, and a closet under the stairs (useful in a house where storage space is at a premium). 

Some design choices imposed by the house's framework are apparent in the dining room, where brand-new windows are set low on the walls, using the original openings. A low-hanging chandelier works with the windows to make visitors feel extra tall.

Renovation decisions in the vinyl-floored kitchen use the limited space to its fullest. The few counters are on the small side, but a space-saving microwave has been mounted above the stove, and a half-sized dishwasher is compact enough to fir comfortably. The full-sized refrigerator sits off to one side, and– like all the appliances in the house– it is new. 

A closet off the kitchen holds the stacked washer and dryer, with the hot water heater and HVAC system hidden behind. While new equipment is unlikely to develop any immediate problems, the washer and dryer would have to be pulled out of the way before any maintenance or repair issues could be addressed with the other systems. 

Ceramic tile adds interest to the lone bathroom with the usual bathtub, shower, and toilet– also all new– but the new sink manages to exhibit a classic aesthetic that makes it look salvaged and rehabilitated from a previous era. 

The three rooms upstairs– all newly carpeted– are classified as bedrooms, but potential buyers may wish to consider their designations carefully. One of them might not be as well suited for sleeping as the other two. 

The first bedroom, at the back of the house, has shallow "his and hers" closets. The second bedroom with similar closets is accessible only via the third bedroom. In addition to being a conduit from the hallway to the second bedroom, the pass-through (third) bedroom has just a storage nook in one corner in place of a closet. It's too narrow to accommodate a door, and currently it doesn't even have a curtain separating it from the room. 

Interested buyers should also bear in mind that since the third floor is only bedrooms, anyone wishing to use the bathroom has to go downstairs. 

The vibrant blue exterior may distract from some structural elements worth noting, such as the condition of the wood surrounding several windows and splitting boards on the back porch. Cracks in the stucco also suggest more attention paid to cosmetics than quality, as far as the outside is concerned.

While the houses on this block are all snugged against their next-door neighbors, the lot itself extends a good distance behind this house. The steps off the covered porch follow the yard's slope down to a new concrete patio in the middle of the backyard. Added landscaping touches– crushed stone walkways with embedded stepping stones and plantings in a riot of colors– might not suit every taste, but make the house stand out.

Ultimately, it's up to prospective buyers to determine if the updates compensate for the crowding caused by the old floor plan. 


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