Hot House: 1811 Circle Road, Ruxton, 21204
Single-style colonial, circa 1883, with L-shaped later addition. Slate roof over main house, asphalt shingle roof on addition. Six bedrooms, 5.5 baths over 6,033 sq. ft., with entrance hall, formal living and dining rooms, eat-in kitchen, butler’s pantry, multiple fireplaces, original architectural details, hot tub, 3 car garage, partial a/c. 9.27 acre hilltop property: $1,585,000
What: The John Wayne of houses — big, simple and a little creaky — with an innate dignity and an incorrigible aspect. It’s a storybook setting, magical for children, but perhaps best suited to owners with an easy-going, tolerant disposition. Built in 1886 by the Fisher family as a summer home, it has since been owned by assorted Finneys, Seilers, Cromwells and Tates, and lived in year-round since 1936. There were once cows grazing on the hillside, horses, a pond, a tennis court and a vegetable garden. It has been well-loved and well-maintained. You could live here happily for many years and never feel the need to improve a thing. But after awhile (if not sooner), the lack of a master suite, the lemon yellow bathroom tile, the beige formica kitchen cabinets — or some other old-fashioned aspect of the house — is likely to set off a mania of home-improvement. There’s a risk that either the house, or a change-obsessed homeowner could lose their soul in the process, which would be a shame.
So try to resist the temptation to slap up vinyl siding. Instead walk out the French doors to the covered back porch that runs the length of the house. Sit on the swing. Enjoy the view. Plant an orchard on the hillside. Then, slowly, carefully, get to work.
Where: At the top of a long-winding drive off of Circle Road, a proud Ruxton address. Just minutes from Graul’s and its coterie of shops, Thunder Hill is about 10 minutes to Towson, I-83 and the beltway, and 15 minutes to Roland Park. Good public schools in Riderwood and Towson. The location is spectacular. Old oaks and hickory trees loom protectively, a private woodland surrounds the house, and there is a constant gentle breeze.
Why Not: A little old fashioned …
Why: …but that’s all right.
Would Suit: Artistic family of independent means.
NB: According to realtor, none of the 9.27 acres is buildable.