Ready for the right buyer

Published 9:07 pm Monday, July 21, 2014

When my wife and I were house hunting after moving to the area, a little over three years ago, we divided our selections between the practical and … the impractical.

On the practical list were those homes that were safely nestled into suburbia, ready to move into, and conducive to busy work schedules and starting a family.

The second list contained homes with enough acreage to run a few head of livestock and live off the land, and historic old homes that, although not too far outside our price range, would require a lot of work.

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One of the latter I recall was in Port Norfolk. It was a rambling old place with a fireplace in every room, including seven or eight bedrooms, and a wrap-around porch.

It had most recently been used as some kind of a boarding house for bohemians, however, and bore the scars proving it: fire damage, empty liquor bottles and overflowing ashtrays were the only items left, and a garden that, though it was only an average-sized lot, was like stepping into a world reclaimed by Mother Nature after Armageddon.

“You have to be able to see the possibilities,” our real estate agent advised, or words to that effect.

And there were possibilities, but none that could be realized by a professional couple about to start a family, with limited disposable income and not overflowing with skills or inclination on the DIY front.

So we went for a house that, though it inspires pride in us both, doesn’t make for very captivating dinner party conversation.

Last week, however, I had a rare opportunity to poke around inside a property that generations of Suffolkians have admired.

The house on Everets Road, overlooking what used to be the fairly bustling community of Everets, would accord with most people’s idea of a stately Southern mansion from the Victorian era.

Most strikingly, the house balances location with opulence: views to Western Branch Reservoir from three sides, good access to major roads and close to downtown and North Suffolk, the feeling of seclusion, and a home that impresses.

It might not need nearly as much work as the Port Norfolk home my wife and I inspected, but 5633 Everets Road does need some TLC. It could be lived in as is, but a generous investment into it would really make it a stunner.

After the family that last lived there packed up and moved to Mississippi several years ago, let’s hope a new owner breathes life into the old girl and ensures that she doesn’t revisit her years of abandonment, as occurred after the Great Depression.