Cozy cape an ideal Stamford starter home
STAMFORD — A growing family often signals that it’s time to trade a starter home for one with more square footage and land.
Just ask Ginny Anderson, who hopes to sell her Belltown cape and move to a house with a bigger yard for Beatrice the Newfoundland and Ernie the Irish wolfhound, both large breeds and 3 years old.
“I’m moving for them,” said Anderson, whose canines pack a combined weight of about 180 pounds.
That’s not to say that Anderson’s yard at 71 Belltown Road is small, especially by neighborhood standards. The 1,500-square-foot cape is situated on a quarter-acre, most of it a flat, shaded backyard with detached one-car garage.
Still, Anderson has her eye on a South Salem, N.Y., property that’s two acres, big enough for Beatrice and Ernie to romp freely in the country.
But while the yard is a dream, the rest of the house needs major rehab, something Anderson is ready to dig into.
“I’m going to take it down to the studs, like what I did to the kitchen [at Belltown],” she said. “I loved doing it.”
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When Anderson purchased the red Belltown cape in 2005, both home and homeowner were in a period of transition. Anderson, who works in mortgage lending, had purchased the 1920 cape just before the housing market crash, expecting to update it while preserving its more charming features.
“I saw what this house could be when I bought it,” she said. “The kitchen was all marigold yellow, including the appliances. Everything was marigold yellow.”
Listed now at $509,000, Anderson bought her home for $525,000 at the height of the market. After the crash, Anderson had trouble finding work in her industry and had to reinvent herself. Today she works in another area of mortgage lending.
The crash meant Anderson had to put her renovation plans on hold. It wasn’t until three years ago that the marigold kitchen was finally torn out and replaced with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.
“I did everything way more high end than maybe I should have,” she said.
Anderson said she completed about $100,000 in renovations, including the kitchen, central air conditioning, new windows, an upgraded electrical system and refurbished hardwood floors. She also expanded the home’s one full bathroom and added a jacuzzi.
“She’s made it what it is today,” said Jennifer Leahy, the listing agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who added that the small cape could draw millennials looking to put down roots in a walkable neighborhood. “It’s so warm and inviting.”
The centerpiece of the living room is a brown marble fireplace, which used to be an unappealing red brick. The living room flows into a formal dining room with chair rail. Upstairs are three bedrooms.
Anderson said the home is perfect for a single person or a young family.
“It’s just a comfortable, cozy house,” she said. “When I walked into the home, it just felt solid.”
An open house at 71 Belltown Road will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Know of a home, condo or apartment with an interesting story? Contact Liz Skalka at email@example.com.