- The Washington Times - Friday, June 19, 2009

While million-dollar mansions are fun to read about, there are many affordably priced homes in the Washington area. Now on the market for $399,500, the recently remodeled duplex at 2721 Jefferson Drive in the Franconia area of Fairfax County invites buyers with plenty of curb appeal and outdoor living space.

The homeowner saw potential in a two-bedroom, one-bath home built in 1948 and transformed it by adding five decks, another bedroom, a full bath and a half bath. The concept (or paradigm) for the renovated four-level home is based on a pyramid. The owner refers to the home as the “Pyradigm.”

The home, which is part of the Jefferson Manor community, is within a five-minute walk of the Huntington Metro station on a high hill known as Fort Lyon, a Civil War defensive position for the Union Army. (The owner’s research reveals that Fort Lyon is one of only two Civil War posts visited by President Lincoln during the war.)

This neighborhood of brick homes celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2007, and neighbors gather at annual events such as a community picnic, a Halloween parade, garden tours, neighborhood clean-up days and holiday parties organized through the community Web site. Jefferson Manor was designed as affordable housing, particularly for returning World War II veterans and their families. The current owner of this home says that the original owner purchased the home for $9,000 in 1948 and owned the property until 2003.

The current owner has slowly transformed this home by expanding the space, refinishing the hardwood floors and adding modern touches. As he built the decks, which extend from the front and the back of the home, he prepared the property for future expansion with decks and support beams that can handle a three-level extension of interior space.

The home’s narrow facade belies a deep backyard, which is fully landscaped and enhanced with three decks.

The main-level deck, accessible through French doors from the kitchen, extends 16 feet beyond the back of the house. From this deck, the lower deck and the backyard are visible.

A lower-level covered patio extends from the bedroom, then expands into an open-air deck with a hot tub. Stairs link this deck with the lower garden and lawn area, which have been landscaped and enhanced with a low brick retaining wall built at chair height so guests can sit during parties. The entire property is fenced and easily accommodates a large crowd for outdoor entertaining.

While the back of the home offers the most space, the front of the home also has a covered front deck off the living room. The main level is one large open space rather than the previous configuration of a galley kitchen, dining room and living room.

The original hardwood floors blend with the wood cabinets, doors and trim throughout the house. Recessed and pendant lighting, all with dimmers, have been installed on all four levels.

To compensate for the removal of some wall cabinets during the renovation, the owner created a half wall made of cabinets between the living area and the kitchen. The kitchen has cherry cabinets, granite counters, ceramic tile floors and stainless steel appliances (including a downdraft cooktop).

The half bath on the first floor is tiny, created from a closet at the base of the stairs. This bath, along with the other two full baths in the home, features marble flooring.

The lower level features a third bedroom that could also be used as a family room/recreation room. One corner of this space includes a wet bar with a dishwasher, granite counters, ceramic tile floors and multiple cabinets.

French doors link this room with the covered patio and the deck with the hot tub.

This level has a full bath with marble floors and a combined tub and shower with marble walls.

Just outside on this level is an off-street parking pad with room for two cars and an extensive storage area created underneath the front deck.

Upstairs, each of the two bedrooms has access to a deck. The front bedroom includes floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass door leading to the deck, which has been partially enclosed for privacy.

Inside the walk-in closet for this bedroom, a steep staircase leads to the fourth-level loft - an expansive room with recessed lighting.

The back bedroom has a glass door leading to a private rear deck, which seems almost suspended in the sky above the neighborhood and overlooking the backyard.

Also on the third level is a full bath with marble flooring and walls along with a combination tub and shower. A closet conceals a stacked washer and dryer.

The extensive renovations, including rewiring all the electricity and replacing all the exterior doors and windows, means the next residents will have little to do besides enjoy the decks and location near a Metro station, shopping areas and commuter routes.

DETAILS

Address: 2721 Jefferson Drive, Alexandria, VA 22303

Community: Jefferson Manor

Age: Built in 1948

Price: $399,500

Lot size: 3,600 square feet

Taxes: $3,676 in 2008

Exterior features: Colonial-style brick duplex with five decks, including two in front of home and three in back; fenced backyard with garden beds and retaining wall/seating for guests; parking pad with space for two cars; hot tub; storage area under front deck

Interior features: Four finished levels with three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths; open living room and kitchen with French doors to a deck; kitchen has cherry cabinets, granite counters, ceramic tile floors and stainless steel appliances; finished lower level with bedroom, wet bar (including dishwasher), full bath and French doors to deck with hot tub; bedroom with access to a finished attic loft and deck; second bedroom with deck access; third-level full bath; closet with stacked washer and dryer; renovations include extensive wood trim, refinished hardwood floors, marble baths; recessed and pendant lighting; glass doors; gas heat and hot water

Close by: Walk to Huntington Metro station, quick access to shops and restaurants, the Beltway, I-95 and I-395

Schools: Mount Eagle Elementary School, Mark Twain Middle School and Thomas A. Edison High School

Open house: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19, 20 and 21

Contact: Realtor Morgan Knull with RE/MAX Gateway LLC at 202/431-9867


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