What You Get for $620,000
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West Simsbury, Conn. | $619,900
A 1788 house 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 spaces. It is within walking distance of a small shopping center, a post office and the Tulmeadow Farm Store, a popular spot to buy seasonal produce, baked goods and freshly made ice cream. A number of schools are within a five-minute drive, including public elementary and high schools, a private school for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and an all-girls school for sixth through 12th grades.
Size: 4,419 square feet
Price per square foot: $140
Indoors: From the street, a driveway leads to the back of the house and the attached three-car garage.
The front door, set 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.
To the right is a sitting area with a fireplace and paneling painted a shade of blue that might 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 study 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-made cabinet designed to hold the seller’s collection of antique tin. Through the dining room is the kitchen, which also connects to the study. A fireplace on one side of the kitchen is original, as are the exposed ceiling beams; the room is large enough to hold a dining table and a sitting area. Off the kitchen is an enclosed sunroom with brick floors, as well as a powder room and several closets.
Stairs in the family room lead to the primary suite on the second level, part of the 1985 addition. The spacious bedroom has a fireplace and overlooks the grounds; across the landing is the primary bathroom.
Two corridors extend off the primary suite: One provides access to the second staircase and to a guest room; the other leads to another guest room and a bathroom.
The fourth bedroom and its en suite bathroom are at the end of the main hallway on the second level, a few paces down from the primary suite.
The finished basement is accessible from the kitchen, and could be used as a media room or a playroom.
Outdoor space: A brick patio off the family room faces the large backyard, landscaped with grass, neat hedges and mature trees.
Taxes: $13,164 (estimated)
Contact: Geena Becker, Geena & Company, William Raveis Luxury Properties, 860-983-4446; raveis.com
Leesburg, Va. | $615,000
A 2017 rowhouse with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 0.02-acre lot
The seat of Loudon County, Leesburg has a historic downtown district that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Much of the quaint downtown is within walking distance of this house, and Loudon Street, a major thoroughfare with a brewery, several coffee shops and bakeries, well reviewed restaurants and the town hall, is a few blocks away.
Washington is about an hour’s drive, and housing prices in Leesburg are considerably lower than in closer suburbs like Arlington and Alexandria, making the town appealing to those who work in the nation’s capital.
Size: 1,962 square feet
Price per square foot: $313
Indoors: This house is one of several in a new development of brick rowhouses 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 a sleek fireplace and street-facing windows, as well as an exposed-brick wall and hardwood floors that run to the back of the living space on the other side of the house.
The open kitchen has new stainless-steel appliances, white wood cabinets and space for a dining table next to doors that open to a balcony. Between the sitting area and the kitchen is a half bathroom.
Two of the bedrooms are on the third floor. The primary bedroom, which faces the back of the property, has carpeted floors and a walk-in closet; the en suite bathroom has a double vanity and a walk-in shower with gray tile and black-metal hardware. At the other end of the hall is a guest room with an en suite bathroom that has a single vanity and a combination tub and shower.
On the fourth floor is an open loft-style space, with an exposed-brick wall, a wet bar with a mini-refrigerator and a double-sided fireplace that warms the terrace outside as well. The third bedroom is also on this level; next door is a full bathroom.
Outdoor space: The balcony off the kitchen is big enough to hold a cafe table and chairs. The roof deck with the fireplace on the level above is big enough for a table and additional outdoor furniture, and has easy access to the fourth floor’s wet bar and bathroom. The attached garage at the back of the entry level holds two cars.
Taxes: $6,111 (estimated), plus an $85 monthly homeowner association fee
Contact: Vicky Noufal, Platinum Group Real Estate at Pearson Smith Realty, 703-402-5416; goplatinumgroup.com
Vestavia Hills, Ala. | $619,900
A 1989 house with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 0.4-acre lot
Vestavia Hills, named after the estate of a former Birmingham mayor, has about 40,000 residents, many of whom commute 15 minutes into downtown Birmingham. The suburb’s public schools 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, affording 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.
Size: 2,866 square feet
Price per square foot: $216
Indoors: A paved path leads from the sidewalk to the front stoop; a driveway runs alongside it, from the street to the garage.
The green front door swings open into a foyer with hardwood floors and a staircase that has a simple iron banister. To the right is a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the front yard.
The hardwood floors continue from the foyer, through the dining room and into an open kitchen with granite counters, stainless-steel appliances, a breakfast bar that seats three and a dining nook near backyard-facing windows.
The kitchen is open to a living room with a fireplace and more windows overlooking the backyard. Off to one side is a door 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 primary suite, at one end of the hall, has carpeted floors and a large en suite bathroom with a shower and a deep soaking tub. The other two bedrooms, at the opposite end of the hall, are connected by a full bathroom.
The top floor functions as a guest suite, with a full bathroom and windows facing the front and rear yards. It could be converted into two bedrooms or a bedroom and playroom.
Outdoor space: A deck outside the screened porch has a barbecue hookup, a built-in sink and plenty of space for a dining table. The lawn in the backyard slopes down to a low rock wall and an area that could be a garden. The attached garage holds two cars and has an area that could be turned into a home gym.
Taxes: $3,108 (estimated)
Contact: Brian Boehm and Mimi Nolen, The Boehm Nolen Group, Realty South, 205-238-8154; greateralabamamls.com
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