HOT HOUSE: 1500 Old Orchard Lane, Ruxton, MD 21204

Wood frame farmhouse, circa 1902, encasing a much older log home. Six bedrooms, four and a half baths on two acres in Ruxton with fenced paddock area and small barn: $1,195,000

This house is like an eccentric old uncle, handsome in a ramshackle way, loaded with charm and full of wacky ideas. You will need to accept him as he his, however, because Bill Nighy will never be George Clooney.  From the outside, this is classic old Ruxton —  a rambling house with several additions on a very pretty lot. From the top of a sunny rise, it overlooks a large lawn and lower meadow, well landscaped but not manicured.  Looks like someone owned a pony here once.

There are many unique features.  A second story sun porch is also the master bedroom. The kitchen and room above form an actual log cabin, which was the original house – with giant wooden-beams in the ceiling, log walls and a stone fireplace. Fireplace currently contains a pellet stove, which could (not to say, should) be removed.

There is a large living room, banquet sized dining room, library and den, all with fireplaces.  Bedrooms are big enough, but the upstairs layout meanders a bit. There are many hidden corners, unexpected closets, dressing rooms and hallways.  The third floor is one large room with dormers – a great studio, office or playroom. There is an attached garage, unfinished basement and attic, oil radiator heat and central air. Guessing that last update was 20 years ago, at least.

Where: Old Orchard is just off of Bellona Avenue in Ruxton. Driving north, it’s a quarter mile past Graul’s, on your right. Nice for walking. You are still in a neighborhood here, but not too close to anyone else,  and it feels like country. L’Hirondelle swim/tennis club is just down the road.

Why: The house speaks to you, and you can deal with the quirks. Public schools are good.

Why Not: You need more order in your life, not less.

Who: Easy going, fun-loving family, looking for a compound.

NB: House overlooks a small wooded lot on Bellona Avenue. Check out who owns it and whether it is buildable, if you’re serious about buying.