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Virginia family puts unique house on the market

(Photo courtesy of Jay Korff)

Jordan Stuart with Keller Williams Capital Properties knows that to be a good real estate agent you have to know how to deliver a home’s selling points to prospective buyers.

But Stuart decided to throw out his real estate script in the case of this house in Burke, Virginia.

“There’s more to this than simply selling a house," said Stuart.

Sure, 6600 Mainsail Court is spacious, sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a neighborhood with low crime and top performing schools.

“It’s pretty unbelievable in there, inside and out,” said Stuart.

But Stuart, and homeowners Jim Phelps and his wife Sue Lapp believe this house comes with additional value.

“There’s got to be somebody out there who needs this type of house," said Lapp.

Lapp and Phelps are retiring to Florida. Their 25-year-old son Josef is coming with them.

“I have cerebral palsy. That means I can’t walk,” said Josef.

Josef’s condition means he will require care for the rest of his life.

That doesn’t mean Josef is idle. On the contrary. He works two part-time jobs, is engaging and social and enjoys listening to first responders.

“I like playing on my computer. I have a police scanner,” said Josef.

From the very beginning, his parents created a world of inclusion for their son.


“In many ways, it brought the family together and you might think the opposite,” said Phelps.

To that end, they literally built a home designed to enrich, not limit, Josef.

“Even while the house was under construction we were making changes," said Phelps.

Over the years, they added wider doors, industrial carpeting and ramps to accommodate Josef’s wheelchairs, a jacuzzi and heated swimming pool for Josef’s therapy, along with a ceiling lift.

“Then as Josef got bigger and heavier and I got older and weaker we put in a ceiling lift in his bedroom that assists us in getting him from the bed to the bathroom and the shower,” said Phelps.

Josef’s favorite modification is the elevator.


“There’s a door right there that opens. Well, somebody has to help me hold that gate and then I can get in it and go downstairs. I like people when they ride with me,” said Josef.

The elevator allows Josef to get downstairs to his physical therapy room.

The Phelps hope all these adaptations, costing some $100,000, will help a family like theirs.

“I don’t think we have a preconceived about who we see in the house. We just know the value that those things bring in terms of your quality of life and we’d like to see somebody be able to take advantage of that," said Phelps.

So instead of removing all these modifications they are using them as selling points. They suspect it won’t be easy to sell this house.

The listing price is nearly $800,000.

“It’s a challenge from a sales perspective in finding that right person but it’s a worthwhile challenge," said Stuart.

They hope the gifts handed down to Josef will having meaning for the next person who calls this house, their home.

“I’d be glad to give it up to somebody who can use it. I’ll be sad to leave it but happy to give it to somebody else," said Josef.


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