What $620,000 buys you in Connecticut, Virginia and Alabama
West Simsbury, Connecticut | $619,900
A 1788 home with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 1.4 acre lot
In its early years this house was a stagecoach stop for travelers passing through this part of Connecticut, about 15 miles from Hartford and 30 miles from Springfield, Mass. The house is well preserved, with its original mantels and moldings in several of the main living areas. It is within walking distance of a small shopping centre, post office and the Tulmeadow Farm Store, a popular place to buy seasonal produce, pastries and freshly made ice cream. A number of schools are within a five-minute drive, including public elementary and secondary schools, a private school for K-12 students, and a school for girls in grades six through 12.
Cut: 4,419 square feet
Price per square foot: $140
Inside: From the street a driveway leads to the rear of the house and the attached three car garage.
The front door, located in the middle of the facade, opens into a foyer with wide plank hardwood floors and one of two staircases leading to the second level.
On the right, a sitting area with a fireplace and blue painted woodwork that could have been used in the late 18th century when the house was built. A door on one side of the room leads to a study with a built-in window bench. To the right of the office is a large family room with a fireplace, exposed beams and glass doors that open to the backyard, part of a 1985 addition.
To the left of the front door is a dining room with a fireplace and a custom cabinet designed to hold the vendor’s antique pewter collection. Across the dining room is the kitchen, which also connects to the office. A fireplace to one side of the kitchen is original, as are the exposed beams in the ceiling; the room is large enough to contain a dining table and a seating area. Next to the kitchen is an enclosed veranda with brick floors, as well as a powder room and several cupboards.
Stairs from the family room lead to the master suite on the second level, part of the 1985 addition. The spacious bedroom has a fireplace and overlooks the grounds; on the other side of the landing is the main bathroom.
Two hallways extend out of the master suite: one gives access to the second staircase and a guest bedroom; the other leads to another guest bedroom and a bathroom.
The fourth bedroom and its en-suite bathroom are at the end of the main hallway on the second level, just steps from the master suite.
The finished basement is accessible from the kitchen and could be used as a media room or games room.
Outdoor space: A brick patio off the family room faces the large backyard, landscaped with grass, manicured hedges and mature trees.
Taxes: $13,164 (estimated)
Contact: Geena Becker, Geena & Company, William Raveis Luxury Properties, 860-983-4446; raveis.com
Leesburg, Virginia | $615,000
A 2017 townhouse with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 0.02 acre lot
The county seat of Loudoun, Leesburg has a downtown historic district that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Much of the scenic downtown area is within walking distance of this home, and Loudoun Street, a main thoroughfare with a brewery, several cafes and bakeries, well rated restaurants and the town hall are just a few blocks away.
Washington is about an hour away, and housing prices in Leesburg are considerably lower than in closer suburbs like Arlington and Alexandria, making the city attractive to those working in the nation’s capital.
Cut: 1,962 square feet
Price per square foot: $313
Inside: This home is one of many in a new development of brick townhouses designed to evoke traditional Federal-style homes.
The front door opens to a staircase that leads to the main living area on the second level. The sitting area at the front of the house has an elegant fireplace and windows facing the street, as well as an exposed brick wall and hardwood floors that extend to the rear of the living space on the other side of the house.
The open kitchen is fitted with new stainless steel appliances, white wood cabinets and space for a dining table next to doors that open to a balcony. Between the living room area and the kitchen is a half bathroom.
Two of the bedrooms are on the third floor. The master bedroom, which faces the rear of the property, has carpeting and a walk-in wardrobe; the en-suite bathroom has a double vanity and walk-in shower with gray tiling and black metal hardware. At the other end of the hallway is a guest bedroom with an adjoining bathroom that has a single vanity and a tub and shower combination.
On the fourth floor is a loft-style open space, with an exposed brick wall, a bar with a mini-fridge and a double-sided fireplace that also warms the terrace outside. The third bedroom is also on this level; next to it is a full bathroom.
Outdoor space: The kitchen balcony is large enough to hold a coffee table and chairs. The roof terrace with the fireplace on the upper level is large enough for a table and additional garden furniture, and offers easy access to the bar and the bathroom on the fourth floor. The attached garage at the rear of the entry level holds two cars.
Taxes: $6,111 (estimated), plus $85 monthly homeowners association fee
Contact: Vicky Noufal, Platinum Group Real Estate at Pearson Smith Realty, 703-402-5416; goplatinumgroup.com
Vestavia Hills, Alabama | $619,900
A 1989 home with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 0.4 acre lot
Vestavia Hills, named after the estate of a former mayor of Birmingham, is home to around 40,000 residents, many of whom travel within 15 minutes of Birmingham city centre. Public schools in the suburbs are a huge draw for many families: one of the elementary schools is a Blue Ribbon school, and the local high school, about five miles away, is known for its debate team.
Several shopping centers are within a five minute drive, providing easy access to grocery stores, a movie theater, and a large hardware store. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is less than 10 minutes away by car.
Cut: 2,866 square feet
Price per square foot: $216
Inside: A paved path leads from the sidewalk to the front porch; a driveway runs along it, from the street to the garage.
The green front door opens into a hall with hardwood floors and a staircase that has a simple iron railing. To the right is a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the front yard.
Hardwood floors continue from the hall, through the dining area, and into an open kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a breakfast bar that seats three, and a dining area by the windows overlooking the courtyard.
The kitchen is open to a living room with a fireplace and several windows overlooking the backyard. To one side is a door leading to a screened porch with a stone fireplace.
Also on this level is a dedicated home office, just off the entry, as well as a powder room between the dining room and the kitchen.
Three of the four bedrooms are on the second floor. The master suite, at one end of the hallway, has carpeted floors and a large en-suite bathroom with shower and deep soaking tub. The other two bedrooms, at the opposite end of the hallway, are connected by a full bathroom.
The top floor functions as a guest suite, with a full bathroom and windows overlooking the front and back yards. It could be converted into two bedrooms or one bedroom and a games room.
Outdoor space: A deck off the screened porch has a BBQ hookup, built-in sink, and plenty of space for a dining table. The backyard lawn slopes down to a low stone wall and an area that could be a garden. The attached garage can hold two cars and has an area that could be converted into a home gym.
Taxes: $3,108 (estimated)
Contact: Brian Boehm and Mimi Nolen, The Boehm Nolen Group, Realty South, 205-238-8154; www.superalabamamls.com
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