High Point Rising 

Circa-1948 Colonial Revival.

High Point Terrace is probably named for its elevated site, not its initial sale prices. The neighborhood is now experiencing tremendous growth in value. Certainly its central location is a factor, but its large lots also make for easy additions, leaving plenty of yard. This house is a prime example of how, several expansions later, these G.I. bill starter houses can become both spacious and gracious.

The house was built in 1948 by a young developer named Kemmons Wilson. It was still occupied by the original owner until five years ago. This owner made only two spatial alterations in an almost 50-year tenure. The east side porch was enclosed for an intimate TV room. Later a master bath and dressing room were added on the west end.

This being a Colonial Revival house, two flanking wings work perfectly. And because the lot is ample there was plenty of room to expand to the side. The current owners have been much busier than the first in their five years in the house.

The living room gained a fireplace with appropriate Colonial mantel and new, well-scaled ceiling moldings. The red-oak floors were uncarpeted, sanded, and clear-sealed to highlight their inherent color. The intimate TV room was converted into a two-person office with lots of built-ins and all the latest in telephone and cable outlets.

The back of the house was the real target. The original kitchen, breakfast room, and bedroom were all gutted and combined. Lots of glass was installed to fill these rooms with light and views to the very private backyard. The new kitchen's painted cabinets up to the ceiling provide storage for everything imaginable. There's even an island with butcher-block top and a cozy breakfast area. The other end is a keeping room. Bookcases have been added. In addition to an ample seating area there is a counter for stools facing the kitchen. This new space can accommodate a passel of folks and, when the weather is nice, opens to an adjoining rear deck.

Still not willing to rest, the current owners continued by adding a rear wing. It is a very spacious third bedroom and/or family room. It has lots of windows onto the backyard, and there's still plenty of room if you wanted to make this a second master suite by adding another private bath and dressing room off the rear.

The backyard has a new ell to one side and a one-car garage to the other. The garage has enough room for a workbench and a paved potting area out back. The back of the property has been terraced with stones to form raised beds filled with sun-loving perennials. While the front, which faces south, is well shaded by two beautiful oaks, the back has an open, sunny demeanor that's perfect for playing or just watching the grass grow. After this much work that's really all that is required.

3792 Oakley Avenue

2,100 square feet, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths; $220,000

FSBO, 230-6943, e-mail: michael.reeves@alumni.duke.edu


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