Greenleaf good life: Cape Cod screams Ozzie and Harriet

Address: 1510 Rose Hill Drive
Neighborhood: Greenleaf
Asking: $335,000
Assessment: $332,400
Year Built: 1950
Size: 1,663 fin. sq. ft.; 1,600 unfin.
Land: 0.25 acres
Agent: Phyllis Novotny, Roy Wheeler Realty, 434-760-0548
Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10

Looking at this house, we just know that inside the kids are dutifully doing their homework, and mom, now that dad is home from work, is pulling a meatloaf out of the oven for a cozy family dinner.

This house fits with the neighborhood ambiance of groomed yards, towering hardwood trees, and houses of similar size and age. It's a neighborhood redolent of high voter turnout, sports-minded kids, and recycling. While we were checking out the property, a neighbor drove by, rolled down his window, and called out, "and the neighbors are terrific!"

This well-kept one-story Cape Cod sits a stone's throw from Greenleaf Park. Out back, the large landscaped fenced-in yard even has a private wooden gate for the kids to make a quick dash into the fun.

Entering the house is a step into the past: an original 1950s living room; two ample bedrooms back and to the right, each with a smallish closet and sharing a ho-hum but adequate bathroom; small linen closet, hall closet, and a full attic.

But  in 2002-03, the footprint of the house was doubled, giving it a major boost: the new 800 square-foot addition changed everything. From the living room, enter the sizable eat-in kitchen, fully remodeled with luminous, soft-green Mexican tiles, maple cabinets to the ceiling, all new appliances, and a generous pantry.

The kitchen leads to a nearly 24’ x 16’ family room with ceiling fan, fireplace, pretty hardwood floors, and a view to the backyard. On the left, double glass doors lead to a snug private patio nestled under the trees.

The new addition also includes a large new master suite with a closet that will thwart evil-minded moths dreaming of cashmere and wool. It's totally cedar-lined, with shelves, rods, and racks. People feeling a little down will be glad to hear the closet is big enough for meditation sessions.

With the addition, the footprint jumped from 800 to 1,600 square feet. That includes 1,600 square feet of dry unfinished concrete basement, sitting there waiting for an imaginative use.

French doors lead into the yard and the huge old trees. Seeing this in dismal February, we can only imagine what pleasure the swaying canopy will provide come summer. The glass-half-empty folks will look with a shudder at these venerable trees and see nothing but autumn leaf raking. Well, everything has a price.

Hidden improvements include new blown-in insulation, new roof, new windows throughout, new or refinished hardwood floors, exterior soft brown vinyl siding, leaf guards on gutters, and a new heat pump.

That leaves only the ‘50s living room inside the front door. One happy way to think of it is as a room that won't get messy: all the action is going to be in the new family room. It can be like the old days, when moms and dads kept the formal living room reserved for "grownup" gatherings where stylish friends waved long cigarette holders over highballs and canapés.

Coming in the door after a hard day on the job, Mom says, "Honey, I'm home," and junior replies, "Dad's on his way home from the recycling center, and he says dinner will be ready in 15."

It's a good life on Rose Hill Drive.
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