Stowe away: Ivy cottage has charm, potential, pool

Address: 2655 Stowe Court
Neighborhood: Ivy
Asking: $379,000
Assessment: $453,400
Year Built: 1980
Size:  2076 fin. sq. ft.
Land: 2.0 acres
Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10
Listing Agent:  Jim McVay, Roy Wheeler Realty Co. 434-962-3420.

Custom-built in 1980, this cottage-style cedar-sided house has a lot going for it. The living room is large and airy, the bedrooms generous, and lots of windows and doors allow natural light. Decks run the length of the house so everyone can enjoy the spacious backyard and in-ground swimming pool.

The front entry opens onto a small landing with a variety of options. To the right are a half-bath in the hallway and a large light-filled bedroom beyond. With an attached full bath, ample closet space, and French doors to a private deck, this bedroom would provide comfortable quarters for family or guests.

The stairs lead to a huge loft currently used as a family room. Ceiling-to-floor folding doors allow the area to be closed off from the living room below, affording a modicum of privacy. The attached bath means that the loft can be used either as prime space for teenagers to hang out, or– with the addition of a sleeper sofa– extra quarters for house guests.

A few steps down from the entryway, the living room has a cathedral ceiling and painted brick fireplace. Furniture groupings separate this more formal area from the cozy casual space facing the back of the house. Built-in bookshelves, French doors to the deck, and natural light invite readers to wile away a sunny afternoon lost in a favorite book. A rounded cased opening leading to the kitchen adds interest and character.

A window over the sink and track lighting fixtures don’t fully offset the dimness of the kitchen, and the eat-in area is rather cramped, but there’s a good amount of cabinet and counter space, and plenty of storage in both the pantry and adjacent laundry room.

Located off the living area, the commodious master has a walk-in closet, attached bath, and its own set of doors opening to the deck and overlooking the backyard.

The majority of the two acres is open, and a large portion of it has been securely fenced, providing a perfect play and exercise area for children and pets. Secondary fencing could be added to accommodate small livestock, and a creek along the back ensures that such four-legged lawnmowers would have an adequate supply of water.

Stowe Court is a small cul-de-sac off Owensville Road in the Ivy area, a location with some advantages– Crozet a few minutes away, the Western Albemarle schools within easy driving distance, and upscale eatery Duner’s just around the corner.

But Owensville Road gets a lot of traffic, and the passing cars are audible. While the inhabitants of Stowe Court are probably used to the noise, it could be a factor for some buyers.

The house itself has some limitations to consider, as well. Though the loft is billed as a potential third bedroom, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone would be comfortable using it as such on a long-term basis, which means that this is essentially a two-bedroom house. Families with lots of kids or who like a basement may not find the living space suitable for their needs.

As with musical hits and movies stars who made it big in the ‘80s, certain elements of this house are dated. Single vanities in the bathrooms, a linoleum floor in the kitchen, and Formica countertops throughout reflect the era when the house was built, and buyers will probably want to update these features and finishes.

Other details– decorative railings on the staircases, gleaming hardwood floors, and crown molding– lend character and contribute to the overall feeling of graciousness and comfort.

Offered at $379,000- nearly $75,000 lower than the current assessment– 2655 Stowe Court could be a solid opportunity for people seeking a comfy home with a Western Albemarle address.
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