Room to grow: Add-on potential in Earlysville


ASKING: $159,900

SIZE: 1606 finished square feet


ADDRESS: 584 Link Evans Road


CURB APPEAL: 7 out of a possible 10

LISTED BY: Cynthia Viejo of Montague, Miller & Co. 434-981-2419

Finally, an affordable house!

Relatively speaking, of course, but in Earlysville, no less.

Houses rarely come on the market out here, and when they do, they often sell before the general population gets wind of them. Earlysville, an older suburb of Charlottesville, offers easy access to downtown as well as to the airport and Route 29, while retaining an authentic rural feel.

Thus zipping right by Earlysville is easy to do– there are no traffic lights and little congestion despite a smattering of small convenience stores. With the real estate sign for this home blown over, we spent several minutes taking wrong turns and discovering many dead ends finding homes tucked away oblivious to the proximity of urban sprawl. The house we were looking for is on Route 743, the main road through the village, and once the sign was back up and we were parked in the driveway, the wooded 1.3 acres surrounding the house kept the small amount of noise to a minimum.

Fifteen-foot azaleas mark the entrance and practically hide the front door. The spacious porch welcomes with its shady interior and comfortable decorations. Upon opening the front door, though, one is immediately confronted by a hallway. Harking back to a time when form followed function, the layout is decidedly simple.

All on one level, this house extends out from this one long hallway. To the right of the front door, a very small kitchen and a "Florida" room beckon, being the only true "living" spots in the house. Down the corridor several small wall cubbies contain closet space and laundry facilities. At the far end, two good-sized bedrooms and a bathroom round out the original part of the house.

A 1990s addition– a master suite– gives the house extra flair as well as the space needed to bring it up to today's bottom-line standards. In between the two original bedrooms, another hallway (but this one big enough to be a baby's room) brings one into a glorious window-filled room. Adjoining this master suite are a full bathroom and a walk-in closet. It's a nice touch in what would otherwise be a fairly plain little bungalow.

The outdoors is extravagant for downtown Earlysville, with beautiful dogwoods and hollies happily ensconced and thriving. A small deck off the kitchen offers some privacy for viewing the goldfish pond but, all in all, it seems the house needs to expand in order to really take advantage of its surroundings.

Both the kitchen and the front of the house lack satisfactory air space, and as we stood there surveying the possibilities, enclosing both the porch and back deck appeared to be the best solution. Although the house is certainly livable as is, the potential for upgrading is immeasurable.

The location and the 1.3 acres that come with the property are definite pluses in the tight Charlottesville real estate market. The fact that this is also one of the nicest modern houses (if not the only one) under $200,000 that On the Block has had a chance to visit doesn't hurt either.

Whatever a future owner's plans may entail for this house, losing money probably won't be one of them.