Hot House: 23014 Carrollton Road, Neavitt, MD 21652
Cedar shingle, timber frame cottage, circa 2010, with water views of Balls Creek. 1,500 sq. feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, with three sleeping lofts. Sleeps eight in total. Screened porch with water views, master bedroom and bath with deep tub and separate shower, kitchen with wood-burning fireplace, concrete counters and stainless appliances, two car parking, storage shed with canoe/kayak storage, on .32 acres: $410,000
What: Dish Calm is waterman’s slang for calm water. It’s the name of this picture perfect, year-round getaway cottage, built by designer/builder David Sutphen for his own use. Solidly constructed (40-year architect grade roof shingles, top of the line double-hung windows), with delightful architectural details throughout, it fits right in, both size-wise and looks-wise, to this charming little town, but it offers a big step up from the usual shore cottage. From the front door, you see all the way through to the breakfast room at back and the water beyond. Living room, with fireplace, is to the right. The kitchen is spacious and cozy at the same time, with a raised hearth fireplace. Custom cabinetry and exposed shelving painted Seasalt blue. Fun fact: heart pine floors throughout the house come from the old Waverly post office. Around the corner, a built-in desk and book cases lead to the high-end mudroom, with its 6’ long farm sink. There’s not a bit of wasted space here, which is part of its great charm. A nice sized master bedroom and a second bedroom are upstairs, along with the sleeping lofts, guaranteed to wow any kid worth his/her salt. A GE remote security system allows you to control heat and central a/c from your mid-week home or office.
Students graduating from college face an uncertain future, a shaky economic climate, and an average of $26,500 in debt. So Washington College senior Tim Marcin, who graduates from the small Eastern Shore college this spring, is probably pretty happy that his school just wrote him a check for $61,192, his winnings from one of the largest college-awarded prizes in the country.
The Northern Map Turtle’s shell is criss-crossed with fine yellow patterns that resemble contour lines (hence the name). They are “avid baskers.” The female map turtle is five times larger than the male, and while she uses her powerful jaws to crush and eat mollusks, he mostly nibbles on aquatic insect larvae. And in Maryland, these sun-loving, human-shy turtles are endangered due to hunting, pollution, and development — but not if students at Towson University and the Eastern Shore town of Port Deposit (pop. 653) have anything to do with it.
Looking back over a year of Hot House columns, searching for some rhyme or reason to the local real estate market, the Baltimore Fishbowl ran a quick check to see which dream houses have sold and which ones are still hanging around.
What’s moving — sleek condos or charming cottages? Old estates or giant McMansions? There are any number of ideas on what makes a house sell in this down economy, but the prevailing market-think is best summed up by Noah Mumaw, of Prudential Homesale, YWGC Realty, “This is the most price-sensitive market that I have ever seen. Homes that are priced properly are flying off the market.”
Of course, one man’s “priced properly” is another man’s “practically giving it away.” What is undeniable is that the average home sale price has dropped about 30 percent in the past five years, and yesterday’s $500,000 house is worth only $350,000 in today’s money.
A 1661 land grant property from Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert. Three hundred and sixty-eight tillable acres, waterfowl impoundments, miles of river frontage and stables, brick Georgian manor house built in 1920 and extensively modernized, with 11 bedrooms, five full and three half baths: $11,300,000
What: Augustine Herman, noted Czech cartographer, was deeded this property by Lord Baltimore in exchange for creating the first map of the entire Chesapeake Bay coastline. It was part of a larger parcel that included most of the Delmarva Peninsula, and he named it after his homeland of Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia. Herman’s grave is on the property. The farm stayed in the family (Bayard) for many generations, and figures prominently in Maryland history. In 2003 it went out of the family for the first time in 350 years, to Shane Flynn, former vice chairman of MBNA.
Our friends at Citybizlist are reporting today that Tudor Farms, the over-the-top Eastern Shore lodge owned by Wall Street hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones is (still) for sale. We reported on Tudor Farms last summer and are surprised to see that Mr. Jones has not dropped the $30 million price! It’s been on the market awhile now, so some savvy, strapping lodge-loving, horse-riding hunter can probably pick it up for a song, say…$20 million?
HOT HOUSE: ‘Lauretum’ 954 High Street, Chestertown, Kent County, MD. 21620
Queen Anne-style Victorian, stucco over brick, built in 1881. Well-maintained and currently run as The Lauretum Inn, a bed and breakfast, with nine bedrooms and 6 1/2 baths, on 6 acres near the Chester River: $932,500
What: An architectural masterpiece in the exuberant, eclectic style of Queen Anne, as well as a beacon to Maryland history buffs. Lauretum,, the name means ‘laurel-grove’, was built in 1881 by Harrison W. Vickers, son of Maryland Senator George Vickers, and paid for by a $75,000 win in the Louisiana Lottery. (Senator Vickers, on his deathbed, cast the deciding vote against the impeachment of President Andrew Jackson.) Designed by Baltimore-based, internationally known architect Edmund G. Lind, Lauretum was one of the first architect-designed homes of its period in Chestertown, and it looks like Mr. Lind gave it everything he had. Mansard roof with jerkin-head gables, towers (including one ‘secret’ tower), double-tiered porches, plaster moldings, striped mahogany floors, interior shutters, beaded paneling, formal fireplaces etc. But don’t be intimidated by all the history and gables –Lauretum is a warm, comfortable home. From the wide verandas overlooking the park-like grounds, to the new gourmet kitchen, and modern –- yes, modern — bathrooms, it’s an idyllic spot by any standard. The floor plan is surprisingly open and unstructured. Large, sunny rooms lead toward that stunning kitchen and out onto the south-facing porch. The house has a second kitchen and laundry room, which are the only concessions to its B&B status. It could be un-B&Bd quite easily – just take down the sign and call it home.
Where: Lauretum sits high on six acres above Chestertown, a mile or so from town, adjacent to Washington College and the Chester River. High Street runs up from the pleasant downtown, where spring, summer and fall, visitors keep things humming. To get there from Baltimore, take Rt. 50 to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, then north on 301. Exit to 213 North. It’s about 1 ½ hours from Baltimore and Washington D.C. Founded in 1706, Chestertown has a year-round population of about 4,500.
Why: Eastern shore lifestyle. Farmers markets. Chance to become a leading light of Chestertown society.
Would Suit: People who’ve always wanted to run a B&B (there’s more of them around then you might think). Urbanites looking for a unique summer experience.
NB: Winters might be a little slow.
The Johnson-Goslee family in the town of Mardela Springs in Wicomico County got a knock on the door yesterday from ABC hit television show Extreme Makeover – Home Edition.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the Eastern Shore family live in an 80 year-old house with no working showers or bathtubs. The construction team, lead by Annapolis builder Fusion Construction, will have until Monday afternoon — 106 hours — to complete the house.
This is not the first time the TV crew has been to Maryland. Last year, the show built a new home for the Boys Hope Girls Hope in Baltimore.
Hundreds of workers and thousands of volunteers will help with the construction. To volunteer contact Fusion.
HOT HOUSE: Tudor Farms, 3675 Decoursey Bridge Road, Cambridge, MD 21613
Spectacular hunting lodge with 6,250 acres of land, indoor riding ring and stables, indoor tennis/sports center, two guest houses, barns, kennels and picking house, in Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: $30 million.
What: Built as a weekend retreat in 1990 for Wall Street hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones–who later pled guilty to federal wetlands violations there–this is a grand, Adirondack-style hunting lodge of turn-of the-century splendor. Eleven bedrooms, ten and a half baths, and eight fireplaces on three stories make it a natural for large group entertaining (your family reunion!), and would work really well as a small hotel or private hunting club. Heated and cooled with geothermal energy, the house is supplied with all the custom features you would expect in a $30 million property. Gourmet kitchen? Duh. Yoga room? Yup. Games room? Check. Walk-in closets, built-in bookcases and hardwood floors? Check. Window treatments all in-place, and included, a nice touch. In the living room, a breathtaking wall of glass overlooks the water. Even so, the real appeal of the place is at least as much about the property as the house. Head for the basketball court or the equestrian center, to check out the riding ring and pristine stables. Then off to the kennels, ready for your pack of hounds. This is a nature connoisseur’s paradise. Considered “one of the most important hunting estates in the country” and categorized for tax purposes as a “hunting and fishing reserve,” the land has been carefully managed to insure the widest variety of native wildlife. There are ponds for fishing, wetlands and woodland for hunting duck, goose, turkey, pheasant, deer and more. The peaceful, private atmosphere (broken only by occasional gunfire…) creates a haven for man and beast. Fun fact: The lake on the property has islands in the shape of the owner’s initials PTJ.
Where: Cambridge (pop.12,326), a pretty town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Its also one of the state’s oldest towns, so guests not out hunting on the reserve can get a little history and shop its galleries and markets. To get there, take Rt. 50 east over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Go about 40 more miles and you’ll cross the Choptank River and be in Cambridge. Decoursey Bridge Road is about six miles out Bucktown Road from Cambridge.
Why: The picking house obviously–how many people do you know who have one? But really, because this is an over-the-top man cave, a boy’s retreat, where hunting is the main event and every day is Superbowl Sunday. The former owner’s status as a Wall Street celeb gives it extra cachet. Jones, 56, nickname PTJ, is a Memphis boy and UVA grad/major donor who made a killing in the 1980’s futures market as head of Tudor Investments. He founded the Robin Hood Foundation with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, married an Australian model after dating Bianca Jagger and Christina Onassis, and was involved in a minor scandal when his environmental planner, hired to create ten duck ponds on the property, was convicted of knowingly in-filling wetlands and sentenced to two years in jail. Jones paid $2 million in fines. Interestingly, Jones is also the star of a rogue documentary called “Trader,” (a clip currently shows on the Baltimore Fishbowl video landing) recently released on You Tube after years off the market (rumor is that Jones tried to buy all the copies out there) in which, among other things he predicts the Wall Street crash of 1987. Current worth, $3.3 billion.
NB: No swimming pool–possibly due to environmental concerns or restrictions. Also, an ongoing battle with nutria, a small destructive rodent currently infesting North American wetlands.
Would suit: Teddy Roosevelt…Great White Hunter…Dick Cheney…