Storybook style: Whimsy and charm near Downtown

Address: 1012 Belmont Avenue
Neighborhood: North Belmont
Asking: $309,000
Assessment: $309,700
Year Built: 1908
Size:  1,546 fin. sq. ft., 50 unfin.
Land:  0.14 acres
Agent: Garwin DeBerry Jr., Hasbrouck Real Estate, 434-817-1672
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

This stucco Victorian in trendy Belmont has the texture and color– golden brown– of gingerbread, but the aqua ceiling of the front porch gives a hint of the inside where candy colors coat the walls and whet the appetite. This slightly whimsical house with retro appeal (and a little room for improvement) would be just right for Hansel and Gretel.

From the porch, the front door leads into a welcoming foyer. To the right the living room with fireplace is painted a soft minty green. Alas, the fireplace is ornamental rather than functional.

Beyond is the kitchen, the heart of the house. In this case, it’s been slightly updated with some new cabinets and an opening to the formal dining room painted grape purple. The rest of the kitchen is as-was, with an enameled sink and built-in drain board, glass-front cabinets, and butcher-block counters. It’s a mismatched space, but it suits the age of the house.

Off the kitchen is a separate breakfast room in lemon yellow. A postage-stamp sink and some cabinets mark it as a room for eating, but it could also be a home office or cozy spot for sipping tea and reading up on the Brothers Grimm.

A mudroom with built-in bench leads to the backyard. En route, there’s a half bath behind an old outhouse door. The moon and star cutout mean it’s not exactly private, but buyers enchanted by this house probably won’t mind.

On the second floor, a small room at the front of the house has been converted to a walk-in closet. With vintage closets in the bedrooms, it’s a welcome— and necessary— change. Soft creamy peach coats the walls in one bedroom where a fireplace has been tiled over but remains a focal point. Another bedroom in butterscotch is a generous size considering the age of the house, but Hansel and Gretel will have to share that converted walk-in to store their sabots and bag of breadcrumbs.

The lone full bath with vintage tub pops with a peppy coat of turquoise. A stained glass window above the tub maintains privacy while letting in a kaleidoscope of light.

Would-be witches hoping to lure kids will find that little ones come with the territory as the backyard abuts Clark Elementary on one side. Although there isn’t much to see this time of year, perennial plantings will bloom in the spring. A walkway leads around back, and fencing provides some privacy on this level corner lot.

The tiny basement is accessible only from an exterior entrance at the back of the house. It houses the washer and dryer but not much else. At 50 square feet, it’s a modest utility space, and the inconvenience of having to go outside to reach it is a concern.

Buyers will find small projects around the house, but nothing that needs immediate attention. Original heart pine floors are mostly in good condition but could use a little TLC here and there. Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems have been updated, and the slate roof has been restored. New windows keep heat in during the colder months.

Buyers will be attracted to the location and style of this house just around the corner from downtown Belmont’s many restaurants. Confectionary colors highlight and freshen the vintage look of this century-old offering.
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