REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Old house: But new, high-tech tricks

Address: 329 Key West Drive 

Neighborhood: Key West

Asking: $?

Assessment:  $451,100

Year Built: 1963

Size:  3,000 fin sq ft. 

Land:  1.4 acres

Agent: Roger Voisinet, Re/Max Realty Specialists (434) 974-1500

Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

Set back from the street and up on a hill, this Key West home was originally the model home in the off Route 20 neighborhood and just may have the best view on the street. Just a mile north of the city, it's accessible to downtown and UVA. Yet, several it's a trove of renovations that really make this house stand out.

Although built in 1963, buyers won't find much original except for the hardwood floors, and even those don't show their age. Replaced systems include a gas furnace and thermal windows and doors–- as well as new pipes, drainage, and electrical. Even the interior walls have been insulated (to cut down on noise). And a generator is another bonus, particularly important for any technology-reliant buyer.

On the main level, three bedrooms share space with the open living and dining room and updated kitchen, and nothing in this kitchen even hints at the original design. Blond wood and pale counters contrast with a dark backsplash. The space is long– with triple ovens and two sinks to make it ideal for entertaining. 

That living/dining area flows from the kitchen out to a freestanding deck. There, a ceiling product called American Dry Deck keeps the patio below from getting wet on rainy days.

A few stylistic choices upgrade what were once standard rooms. For instance, double crown molding has been used throughout. And the sellers installed cove lighting on each floor's living spaces for indirect illumination. There's so much custom lighting that many rooms contain multiple switches.

Pocket doors also abound. Beyond giving rooms a flowing feel, these mean that anyone in a wheelchair can more easily move around, particularly important on the ground level, which was designed around those needs.

Back in the living room, a cabinet comes wired for home theater, just part of the hidden technology. An alarm system, for instance, includes driveway cameras visible from both of the home's levels. An intercom links visitors as well as people inside.

The place is wired for sound with surround in the main level living room– six zones including the outdoors. Seven rooms are networked with high-speed data connections, and it's also wired for DirectTV. (Anticipating tech toys, most switch plates have four outlets.)

The pocket doors connecting the master suite with another bedroom make that ideal as a nursery, but unless kids are very small, buyers may want a little more privacy. It's actually staged now as a sitting room, but the space could also work as exercise or office space.

A kitchenette, living room with fireplace, and second master suite anchor this floor along with another bedroom with a private half bath. In addition to a wide staircase connecting it to the main level, this floor has a separate entrance, particularly convenient with access right to the driveway. Income-seeking buyers should note, however, that this neighborhood isn't zoned to allow rentals. 

But with all the custom updates (and relatively high price), it is a turn-key kind of place. Top groups of potential buyers include those who are technology-oriented and those who have a disabled family member they want to keep close.



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