Before and after on 35th Street

02/27/2015 7:30 AM by

Guest post by Tommy Waterworth

It should come as no surprise to anyone that now is a very exciting time to be a Church Hill resident. With nationally renowned restaurants, bakeries and boutique shops opening on every corner of our beloved neighborhood and our coveted access to pristine parks with breathtaking vistas of the James River and city skyline, Church Hill has been the topic of national news and is considered one of the hottest up-and-coming real estate markets in all of the United States.

Those who purchased homes immediately following “the great recession of 2008” are now the recipients of substantial home equity growth. In 2011 we saw homebuyers purchase homes south of Broad St. for as low as $85 per square foot for un-renovated homes. Many of those homes (now renovated) could sell for as much as $165 and perhaps $170 per square foot, and some comparable properties are now reaching far into the $200 range.

That’s great news for those who purchased homes before the entire country started paying attention to our wonderful neighborhood but not so great news for those who want to get in.

In 2014 we saw similar price per square foot increases extend as far North as the 700 block of many of our numbered streets, and as a result investors and homebuyers alike are literally racing to find vacant lots and undervalued homes to purchase, develop and/or restore before they are all gone. Limited active inventory in the local real estate market has also contributed greatly to the feverish pace in which buyers flock to each and every open house.

As homes in the St. John’s and Chimborazo districts become more of a hot commodity, first time homebuyers who previously would have bought in these areas but can no longer afford Church Hill proper are beginning to venture further north into historic Oakwood.

Oakwood’s latest period of significant development occurred between 1920 and the beginning of The Great Depression. It was during this time that the California-inspired and “Craftsman and Bungalow styles” were introduced to the area. This style is arguably the most appealing style being used by home builders in the Richmond new construction market, and we’re fortunate enough to have a few of the original examples right here in our back yard.

A local real estate team, The Brad Ruckart Real Estate Group, along with real estate investment collaborative, Dorsey Holdings Inc., and Cobblestone Development Group, recognized this trend in early 2014 and began searching for a deal that would enable them to restore and modernize a home in Oakwood.

The team found and acquired 1100 North 35th Street, one of two eclectic cottages in the Oakwood district, in late June and restoration began.

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The team followed the strict instructions outlined by the Virginia Department of Historical Resources in order to restore the home to its original charm but also upgraded the home with modern amenities.

The home is truly unique. The National Parks Service’s Register of Historic Places describes it as a “two-story, stuccoed-frame dwelling with cross-gambrel roofs and projecting gables. The front gambrel has a decorative truss and two, six-over-one windows. The four-bay main block of the house is recessed below the gambrel. The single-leaf, wood door has a transom. There are two, one-over- one windows to one side of the door and a single window on the other. The gambrel projects to form the roof of the porch. The porch has Doric columns, a turned balustrade and a box cornice. The porch has a circular projection at one end.”

The neighborhood is absolutely charming, and many of the neighbors have expressed great appreciation for the renewed interest in their area and are excited to meet their new neighbors.

The home is now on the market and that anyone interested in seeing the house may visit the open house Sunday, March 1 from 2-5 PM.

Guest post by Tommy Waterworth

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