Hot House: 1213 Oella Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Stone mill workers’ house (originally two houses), circa 1807, completely and recently restored. Three bedrooms, 3.5 baths over 2,596 sq. ft. New and replacement windows with river views, 9 foot ceilings, original hardwood floors, exposed stone walls, loft entry foyer, chef’s kitchen with custom cabinets, breakfast nook, and granite counters, family room with gas fireplace, all new bathrooms, two zone heat and central air, exterior balcony, courtyard w/ picket fence, large finished basement: $685,000
What: A unique and scenic spot. This house was once two mill cottages, part of a small group of stone houses built cozily into a granite hillside high above the Patapsco River. They have been nicely combined into a good-sized, single-family home. The front of the house faces the river, a fast flowing tributary that soon empties into the Patapsco. The windows, though not large, all have nice views. The driveway and car park is at the back of the house, which is a level higher. This is the level you enter on, and on this main floor is the kitchen, a large family room with gas fireplace, and a dining room. Downstairs are two bedrooms, including the ensuite master bedroom which has a large walk-in closet, as well as river views and a small balcony with stairs out to the front yard. The yard is not large, but it is completely enclosed by a white picket fence. There are a few big trees, and a flat area for a garden. On the top floor is a large studio-like guest room with en suite bath, set under the eves. It would make an awesome office, and this would be the idyllic situation to work from home.
Where: Ellicott City is the seat of affluent Howard County, although this house is just over the line in Baltimore County. It is supremely convenient to both Baltimore and Washington, and ideal for a couple who divides their time between them. The main street is a five minute walk from the house, and it’s a magnet for historians, antiquers and shoppers with its stone houses, tea rooms, restaurants and eclectic stores. Even closer to the house, just down the hill, are the popular Trolley Stop restaurant and the Old Mill Bakery Cafe. Across Frederick Road is the historic and still functioning flour mill, believed to be the oldest in America, built in 1796 — the place where our Industrial Revolution began. There is way too much history in these parts to get into here, but trust that it could be a lifetime hobby. For outdoors people, there are hundreds of hiking and biking trails nearby, which interconnect, and according to one local you can actually make your way across the country from here. Many of the trails are dog friendly, including the popular Trolley Line #9. Number 1213 Oella Avenue sits about 20 feet above the river, well above flood range, and you could (not suggesting that you do) launch a kayak from the river’s edge. From Baltimore, take 695W to 40W, Baltimore National Pike, towards Ellicott City. After a half mile, take a left onto Rolling Road. Another mile, and a right onto Frederick Road will take you right into town. Oella Avenue is on the right. Public schools are pretty good, community pretty diverse. It must be said, however, that charming as it is to shop for candles in Historic Ellicott City, your real shopping will be done on MD Rt. 40 W, a few miles away — one of the least appealing roads in Maryland.
Why: River views
Why Not: A lot of stairs
Would Suit: Commuting kayakers
NB: Ellicott City has been listed four times among the “top 20 best places to live in the United States” by Money magazine and CNNMoney.com.