REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- A Ruckersville pick: Wafts of history scent Rose Lane

Address: 400 Rose Lane

Neighborhood: Off Amicus Road, Greene County 

Asking: $245,000

Assessment: $215,000

Year Built: 1890

Size: 2,064 fin. sq. ft.

Land:  5.0 acres

Agent: Ellen Pratt, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate III 434-817-9200

Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

Buyers looking to the hinterlands for price and rural vibe will find it here in this Ruckersville house, a 30-minute drive from town. The home's first owner was Dennis Frye, who, lore says, was the first African American landowner in Greene County. Rose Lane is named after his oldest surviving daughter, Rosa, aka Rose, born in 1893.

A single-lane gravel road surrounded by trees passes some newer homes to end at this 100-plus-year-old cottage. It's not exactly a driveway; the road just sort of stops a bit in front of the house. 

Inside, creaky sloped floors signal authenticity. Much of the house is original or nearly so. In addition, the current owners used paint colors that might have been in the home during Frye's lifetime: in the front hall, a creamy white with a stamped fleur-de-lis pattern; in the living room, a painted diamond-patterned border.

On the first floor, a narrow hall leads to shared family spaces. To the right a small family room has a wood-burning stove and some built-in shelving to help make it an undeniably cozy library. A larger living room with fireplace connects to the dining room, which leads to the kitchen and a utility space (washer and dryer) that connects to a half bath.

Simpler times meant less stuff, and buyers will appreciate the utility area as–- except for a coat closet grabbing the space under the stairs– there isn't a lot of additional storage. The attic requires crawling, and there's no basement. Bedrooms have closets, but they, too, were not designed with shopaholics in mind. 

In the eat-in kitchen, original floorboards are painted a checkered cream and red pattern that, if not original, is close to it. Newer cabinets and appliances meet today's standards. Off the kitchen, a roomy pantry has open shelving. From the dining and kitchen, the next owner will have access to a newer part of the house that nevertheless feels old: a screened porch. 

For a buyer who wants more old, there's a dilapidated shed off the drive, and around the side of the house, ruins from an old kitchen chimney stand tall.

Although there have been some updates such as added dual heat pumps, plumbing, and chimney re-pointing, the house is mostly reminiscent of the 1800s. The current owners have taken advantage of the style with the décor, and that may be something potential buyers should consider (read: maybe not the place to indulge your mid-mod fantasy). 

Irregularity is one of the charms of an older house. The staircase seems a little unsettling because the risers are higher than most people expect; it could take a little getting used to. Upstairs, three homey bedrooms, two at the front of the house, share the one full bath. Originally, a closet ran between the two, but it's currently divided. A parlor or sitting area off the hall leads to the third bedroom in the back. The bath also opens from this space, making the back bedroom a possible choice for master. The transitional space could also work as an office or play area for young children.

A home of this vintage includes aged sounds and textures that make unlike most houses on the market today. Not all buyers want vintage elements, but for buyers who do, this house might be a welcome trip back in time.



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