REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Doggone appealing: Check out this fetching carriage house

Address: 902 Rosser Lane

Neighborhood: Rugby

Asking: $725,000

Assessment: $635,600

Year Built: 1948

Size: 2,184 fin. sq. ft., 543 unfin.

Land: 0.33 acres

Agent: W. Keith Davis   Nest Realty Group,  566-0656

Curb Appeal: 9 out of 10

Just off Rugby Road, this Charlottesville neighborhood has an uppercrusty feel, thanks in part to its location just a mile from the Rotunda. Fitting right in, this converted carriage house was originally built for the caretaker of a nearby estate. As would be expected from the asking price, it's been updated since the weary minion trod home after a hard day at the beck and call of the Rugby Hall swells, but it doesn't actually feel modernized. The current owners worked to create a house that still radiates a post-war zeitgeist.

Where possible, elements have been salvaged and repurposed. Rather than settle for reproduction fixtures, windows, and doors, the sellers mined the treasures at < a href="">Caravati's in Richmond.

The result is pleasant enough. From the front entrance, an open study, living room, and dining area lead to a long kitchen. Original built-in shelves line the walls of the living space. A window from the kitchen allows the cook to pass dishes through to the formal dining room. 

Slates from the roof have a new life as the heated floor of a tiny all-season sunroom off the living room. An armchair that converts to a sleeper means the room can quickly become an impromptu guestroom. Another charming space is a minute cubby off the study which visitors can reach by crawling under the stairs. It's a fun hiding place for anybody.  

The updated galley kitchen reflects the owner's history as a sous chef, with plenty of prep space and a long soapstone counter ending in a built-in desk. Butcher block and stainless steel remind us that Eisenhower isn't running things anymore. Spigots hang above the professional range and over a bowl on the floor. (This is the home of passionate dog-lovers.) A breakfast nook is just big enough for casual dining, with benches that provide extra storage. Off the kitchen, the mudroom has more storage and a hidden washer and dryer. 

Doors open from the mudroom, kitchen, and dining area to a screened porch, a nice touch providing lots of access and air. The location of the porch between the kitchen and dining areas makes it feel like an actual room, although the ceiling fan and soapstone floor are reminders that it's really outside. 

Upstairs, a shared bath in the hall, with a cute half tub, is good for kids; another tyke-friendly feature is a separate play area off one of the three bedrooms. The master suite, big enough for a king ensemble with room to spare, also has a walk-in cedar closet.

While storage is typically at a premium in older houses like this, that's not the case here. Although there's no basement, the garage provides ample unfinished space, with a staircase that leads to a second level for additional stowage. 

Outside, the nearly flat yard is fully fenced for the hounds. Original wisteria was preserved for a pergola connected to the screened porch. Two apple trees plus a walnut, peach and figs share the yard with liriope and laurels. There's also a potting shed.

Buyers looking for a turn-key operation and willing to pay the price will like this place for the quality of the work and the preserved vintage style. Designed with family living in mind, no one can say this place has gone to the dogs.



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