Charm is an over-used word. It’s lost so much punch that there’s a temptation to surround it with quotation marks–A House With “Charm”–except that that would bring out the grammar police at the The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks (a funny read when you get the chance).
But here’s the thing folks: The house now up for sale at 23 Mountainview Road in Verona has charm. The real stuff. And if that’s what you’re looking for in a new home, you’d be well-advised to take a look.
First, the house sits on a quiet street in the Wayland section of town, a 5-minute walk from Verona Park and Brookdale Avenue elementary school, and it has a screened front porch that offers a wide view of that street. I could easily imagine sitting there with a book or a Kindle. The home’s exterior–with a dormer window–is covered in staggered shingles that sport a relatively recent coat of periwinkle paint set off by raspberry-colored trim. There’s another reading nook inside, just off the very large living room. The dining room has a chair rail and cottage windows that let in a filtered north light.
In the 21st century, charm must be balanced by practicality and 23 Mountainview does have a practical side. The eat-in kitchen has a clear view of the back yard and a built-in pantry. No wondering where the kids are. No running to the basement for ingredients while you’re in the middle of cooking dinner.
If you did run to the basement, though, you’d find it clean and dry, with well-defined areas for the home’s mechanicals and a workroom. It’s not now set up for a playroom, but it wouldn’t be that hard to create one in the space. There’s a separate two-car garage (topped with a cupola for added charm) and three second-floor bedrooms with a large bathroom. There’s another bedroom on the third floor. And you can cross a big home-inspection worry off your list: The in-ground oil tank has been removed and a new gas furnace installed. The landscaping, and just about every other aspect of the house, are in move-in condition.
Regular readers of this column know that that every House Snooping comes with quibbles, and here they are. There’s only one full bathroom in the house, and a toilet and sink in the basement. But before you question my sanity for writing about this house, let me say that I don’t think this is a difficult problem to solve. You might be able to carve a small second bathroom out of the adjoining closets that back up to the existing second-floor bathroom. On the third floor, it might be possible to turn the bedroom into a bathroom (it’s right over the second-floor bathroom) and the unfinished attic space into a bedroom. Not inexpensive fixes, though definitely not as expensive as they might have been before the recession.
The house is on the market for $567,500 $525,000 and the listing agent is Patricia Bishop of Prudential New Jersey Properties. You can find more information on the house here, along with a few photos that do a good job of conveying the size of the kitchen. [mappress]