Hollywood style faux-French hunting lodge, “Villa Vista,” on 4.29 acres, with a separate buildable lot of 1.5 acres. Swimming pool, lit tennis court, stable, jacuzzi, 3+ car garage, bomb shelter and guest house. Six bedrooms, six full baths on two stories: $1,495,000 (Additional lot: $295,000)
What: Lovely old stucco mansion, with a delightful aspect and interesting history, in dire need of cosmetic intervention. Villa Vista was built by a Baltimore stockbroker in 1929 — not an optimal year, but nevertheless, no expense was spared in its construction, and for many years it was the setting for Gatsbyesque parties and minor scandals. At the top of a long sweeping drive, dramatically poised on its hilltop setting, the house overlooks acres of trees and lawn and wraps around a swimming pool that looks like a setting for a 1930’s movie, with fountains and gardens, terraces and views. Four fireplaces. Interiors are spacious and sunny, grand but not formal, all with great flow – and designed for entertaining. Now inarguably in decline, the house needs an infusion of energy and cash, half a million at a guess, to bring it back to speed. No A/C. Heat is good and roof is fine, but everything, everything, else needs work.
Where: From Greenspring Station, take Greenspring Valley Road out about three miles to Stevenson Road. Take a right onto Stevenson, up the hill and Villa Vista is a half mile on your left. It feels remote, but you’re really just 3.5 miles from Greenspring Station and I-83, and three miles in the other direction to Reisterstown Road.
Why: There is an over-the-top, “Grey Gardens” feeling to the house that is unusually compelling. It’s extremely photogenic, and offers great possibilities as high profile house re-do. Write about the renovation and become a celebrity blogger. Put it on You Tube and get zillions of hits. Sell it to Extreme Home Makeover and get the whole thing paid for…
Why Not: Usual reasons — lack of cash, energy, time.
NB: Mary Bell Grempler, the owner and partner in the late Grempler Realty, is still resident and loves to talk about the house — a fascinating experience. And as a former realtor, she is “open to an offer.”
Hot House is sponsored by American Land Title Corporation.