Instant attachment: Parkside Village calls first-timers

Address: 5496 Hill Top Street
Neighborhood: Parkside Village
Asking: $229,900
Assessment: $208,800
Year Built: 2005
Size:  1632 fin. sq. ft.
Land: 0.10 acres
Curb Appeal: 6 out of 10
Listing Agents:  Shannon Harrington, ReMax Commonwealth, 800-772-5220
Making the transition from renting to owning can be a daunting proposition. Finding a realtor, looking at houses, negotiating contracts, obtaining a mortgage-– it’s easy to see how prospective first-time buyers can feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the process. Add to this the day-to-day responsibilities inherent in owning a house– mowing the lawn, clearing the snow, cleaning the gutters, and keeping an eye on the roof and siding-– and it’s easy to understand why some folks choose to opt out of homeownership entirely.

This end unit in a row of attached houses on a cul-de-sac in Crozet’s Parkside Village may offer an aspiring purchaser a happy compromise.

The front entrance, accessed by a generous porch, leads to a bright entryway separated from the adjoining living and dining rooms by cased openings and columns. Quality touches like crown molding and wood floors lend a touch of formality to the open floor plan and offset the compact scale of the main living areas. 

The kitchen, which includes a side entry leading directly to the parking area, has been upgraded with stainless appliances, custom light fixtures and granite countertops. Upstairs, the master suite includes a large linen closet, a walk-in closet, and dual sinks in the attached bathroom. Two additional bedrooms share a second full bath.

There’s ample storage space in the laundry room, a pull-down attic, and the area beneath the stairs. The entire house has been meticulously maintained.

The most distinguishing feature, which truly separates it from its neighbors, however, is the front porch. Graced by pillars and large enough to accommodate several rocking chairs, the porch spans the width of the house and faces a lawn ringed by a white picket fence. Throw in the fact that lawn care is covered by the Homeowner’s Association, and the view from those rocking chairs becomes even more attractive.

(The HOA also covers landscaping, snow removal and trash service, leaving the homeowner little to worry about except the siding and the roof, both of which appear virtually maintenance-free.)

At just over 1,600 finished square feet, the house won’t comfortably accommodate a large family, but for retirees or young couples just embarking on family life, the space is adequate, and the location offers some attractive benefits. Parkside Village is home to lots of families– moms and dads push strollers along the sidewalks while kids ride their bikes around the cul-de-sacs.

Claudius Crozet Park is within easy walking distance and offers a variety of activities including baseball, boot camps, soccer, swimming, and art and antique shows. The summer fireworks can be seen from the front porch.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t some drawbacks. For starters, there’s the railroad tracks at the end of the parking area, just a short distance from the house. Long-time residents of Crozet may relegate the clatter of the train, which can be heard from many places in town, to background noise, but the close proximity of the tracks will undoubtedly deter some prospective purchasers.

There’s also the fact that this is an attached house, and while that may obviate some worries and responsibilities, statistics indicate that the average sales price of attached houses has dropped recently, making them a riskier investment than a stand-alone.

Investment aside, the lifestyle that accompanies an attached house may prove too static for some people. Avid gardeners will chafe at the lack of space for planting; active retirees will need to find something other than home maintenance to occupy their time; and expanding families will quickly outgrow these quarters. But for first-time buyers looking for a starter home to bridge the gap between renting and owning, the convenient location and low-stress lifestyle could prove attractive.
Every week a brave local seller invites the Hook to take a candid, warts-and-all look at the property. Call to schedule yours today!