Spy Habitat Price Points: What $100,000 to $400,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $279,000 at 28055 Almshouse Rd in Oxford.

Some readers have commented they would like to see more fixer-uppers, so this week I found a property that fits the bill. Fixer-uppers have always appealed to me as a homeowner and an architect since renovations are always a challenge-you never know what is lurking behind existing walls that may alter your master plan.

Talbot County has many farmhouses dating from the early 20th century that are fixer-upper candidates. I liked this farmhouse’s classic shape with its wrap-around porch and that part of the porch has been infilled to create more interior space. The kitchen has been updated with stainless steel appliances and laminate countertops. Further upgrades could be done later as part of a master plan.

Foundations and roofs are potential big budget renovation items but the new tin roof on this house is a plus. A buyer could then focus their attention on interior cosmetic changes to suit their tastes as one’s time and budget allows.

The site also contains several outbuildings including a garage, garden shed and large Morton building.

 

For more information about this property contact Judy Moore with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o) 410-463-1730 (c) or jmoore@bensonandmangold.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Mid-Shore Gardens: The Satisfaction of Co-Design

The Adkins Arboretum hit on something quite popular when their Native Landscape Design Center started offered co-designing programs. Amateur gardeners looking for help with their projects, but also wanting to fully participate in the design process, are paired with professional landscape designers to accomplish this goal.

And that’s what Mid-Shore resident Chip Heartfield decided to do for his home in St. Michaels and began parting with designer Christina Pax, who heads up Annapolis Native Landscape Design. 

We caught with both of them recently at the Bullitt House to talk about this horticultural match and how both the home gardener and the professional designer both benefit from this new way to create something unique for Eastern Shore homes and their surroundings.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Adkins Native Landscape Design Center please go here

Spy Habitat: Getting Rid of Things by Pamela Heyne

Breaking up can be hard to do, even if it is just with things. But…it can be oh so worth it!

Here are various ways of breaking the grip of valuable and not so valuable things.

A quick break: Facebook is a great way to get rid of not so valuable things, especially for free. A nice lady with a van took away my Trombe wall… twenty 8’ high by 1’ diameter clear plastic tubes.

They were a part of our modern house that we bought 15 years ago. Originally filled with water, and lining a balcony, they absorbed solar heat from a bank of southern windows. I loved those glistening, Jetson-like tubes at first; but love turned to hate when one burst and flooded the ground floor. Now that they are gone, I feel liberated. We have an open balcony lined with plants, and sun cascades down into the main rooms.

Goodwill, ReStore in Easton, Treasure Cove Thrift Shop in Saint Michaels and church rummage sales will take varied donations. Staples will take those old printers, cables, and attachments. Books can be another problem. The library won’t take them anymore. However, Goodwill and The Saint Michaels Christ Church rummage sales will.

Money: Money can definitely ease the pain of a breakup. Also, if you sell your item through Tharpe Antiques and Decorative Arts in Easton, you will be pleased that part of the proceeds benefits Talbot Historical Society. As the name implies, they sell more than just high-end antiques. Appointments must be made, and initially emailing images of the items helps ascertain interest and value. According to store manager Dede Wood, Victorian furniture is not popular now.

However, decorative painted furniture is. Sterling silver will always sell. Silver plate in good condition and polished is popular, going for about $20 a piece. It is seasonal, selling better this time of year. Even younger customers in this area enjoy buying silver. The store shares the proceeds with the seller 50/50. If you are not up to polishing your silver (they recommend Wright’s), you can just donate to the store, and they will do it.

Many sites online can help you ascertain the value of that painting that is not to your taste. Presumably, a donor was unaware of the value of a painting donated to the Goodwill Store in Easton in 2008. Some sharp employees noticed “Flower Market” was signed Edouard-Leon Cortes. Goodwill sold the painting for $40,600 at Sotheby’s, a benefit to the mission of Goodwill.

by Kitti von Kann

We recently sold a painting in London because I had scoped out the gallery that handled the Scottish artist Anne Redpath, a distant relation of my husband, Carl Widell. For a couple of weeks, we were in limbo, because the painting was picked up, packed, and shipped from Baltimore to London so that the gallery could ascertain the work’s authenticity and condition. The painting needed some restoration which the gallery handled efficiently and reasonably.

Fortunately a buyer was waiting for it. Though we initially had mixed emotions about selling the item, in the long run, it was good we did. It was painted on board. Though protected by glass, it was in the process of deteriorating microscopically without our realizing it.

Joan Wetmore, a realtor with Meredith Fine Homes, is on the board of the historical society and is also knowledgeable about antiques. For pricing of items, she suggests www.kovels.com. For estate sales, she suggests caronnacollections@gmail.com and estatesales.net.

If your clothes are stylish enough, Frugalicious, a glamorous clothing consignment shop in the center of Easton, is there to help out. Their new sun-filled store on Washington
Street is full of tempting, well-priced treats. After all, a break up requires replacements, no?

Emotion: I inherited numerous paintings from my mother, Kitti von Kann, a noted portrait painter in Washington, DC. She painted people such as Clare Boothe Luce, and Alexander Butterfield (who revealed the existence of the taping system at the White House under Nixon). My daughters said they don’t want “all those portraits of strangers.” However, Mother also painted other subjects. I am looking into donating some to her college and finding the appropriate gallery venue. In the meantime, I enjoy seeing them populating our walls.

Pamela Heyne is an Eastern Shore architect, pam@heynedesign.com. She is author of the recent book, “In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child.”

 

ReStore Presents Big Check to Habitat Choptank

Habitat for Humanity Choptank volunteers, staff and board members celebrated a milestone at their ReStore’s seventh anniversary event.  A ceremonial check in the amount of $669,849 was revealed representing the cumulative net income the discount home improvement center has generated since it opened in October 2010.  Funds raised by the ReStore are invested into Habitat Choptank’s mission and affordable home ownership programs in Dorchester and Talbot counties.

“We couldn’t have done this without such a supportive community,” said ReStore manager Chris Smith.  It starts with the donors – businesses and organizations, contractors and individuals – who provide an inventory of donated goods that changes daily.  Then there are the customers – collectors, crafters and artists, do-it-yourself types, and landlords – looking to improve their properties.

ReStore manager Chris Smith (left, shaking hands) with George Fox, vice-president on the Habitat Choptank board of directors.

And just as important, team ReStore which includes an equally diverse volunteer corps of men and women of all different ages who help with every aspect of the store operation. Smith adds, “our volunteers support the Habitat Choptank mission, help keep good usable stuff out of the landfill, and have fun in the process. I encourage others who want to make a difference in their community to consider volunteering here.”

ReStores are resale outlets run by local Habitat affiliates.  Habitat Choptank’s ReStore accepts donated construction materials, home improvement items and furniture.  These goods are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price providing funding to the affiliate for its operating costs which represents about 5-10% of its annual budget. With this unique source of revenue, funding from contributions and grants can be invested directly into the non-profit’s program costs including building homes and preparing the homebuyers.

The Habitat Choptank ReStore, located at 8610 Commerce Drive in Easton, is open Wednesdays – Saturdays for shoppers and donations.  The store also operates two box trucks which are available to pick up larger donations with advance scheduling from around the region.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 75 families and currently partners with 12 local home buyers. Seven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least six more over the coming year. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.

For more information about the Habitat Choptank ReStore, to volunteer with the store or to inquire about making a donation, call 410-820-6186, email restore@habitatchoptank.org or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Spy House of the Week: Historic Royal Oak Restoration

Every summer I negotiate the crowds and traffic in St. Michaels on my way home to Wittman. If I could live between Easton and St. Michaels, this house could convince me to move. The aerial photograph shows how the house’s site is a wonderful balance of trees, mature landscaping, lawn, and water. There is also a guest cottage and barn that have also been preserved.

I especially liked the front elevation with its two-story gable extension that created three-bay porches on both floors. Dormer windows aligned above the front door and the front window complete the symmetry of solid/open spaces for great curb appeal.

I also liked this historic house’s extensive restoration and updates. The 2/2 window pattern lets in a great deal of light, and the soft wall colors lighten the spaces even more. This cook loved the kitchen with its professional stove, island worktable in a soft slate blue color and butcher block countertop ready for holiday baking. The worktable’s accent color was a very pleasing contrast to the wall of warm arm light wood original cabinets. Period pendant lighting over the island worktable completed the blend of old and new.

Perhaps my favorite room was the recreation room with its walls of windows and transoms above to open the space to the landscape and water views. Large enough for a game of billiards, this room could easily accommodate gatherings of family and friends.  And one of my favorite details was the second-floor stair landing with its dormer window and door with a chamfered corner to fit into the sloped ceiling. A small chaise under the window would be the perfect spot to settle in with a good book and a pet or two on your lap.

 

For more information about this property, contact Barb Watkins with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-2021 (c), or barb.c.watkins@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity.”

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

 

Habitat Price Points: What over $1,000,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $1,195,000 at 27820 Waverly Rd in Easton.

It’s hard to beat the Oxford corridor as a location. For weekenders from the major metropolitan areas in the Mid-Atlantic, or full time residents, it is minutes from the 322-bypass and close to both Easton and Oxford shopping and community amenities. Unlike newer developments, Waverly is an older neighborhood with large lots, mature trees and landscaping for privacy.

The core of the house is a Dutch Colonial with wings on both sides along the Tred Avon waterfront. One of the wings is a spacious master suite with a sitting room and fireplace. The broad water views and sunsets are breathtaking from all the rear rooms.

I liked how the large living room has a wide picture window to the water view and a working fireplace. My favorite room was the large sunroom facing the water with windows on three sides for panoramic views of the Tred Avon. I could easily imagine relaxing there and watching the sunset.

The master suite on the first floor and three other bedrooms above makes this a great house for family and guests. Unlike some older houses, this floor plan works well without the need for extensive demolition. With cosmetic updates this house could become a true gem in a very desirable neighborhood.

 

 

For more information about this property contact Benson and Mangold agents Schuyler Benson at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-3251 (c), or sbenson@bensonandmangold.com or Laura Carney at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-3307 (c) or laurahcarney@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Easton Point Marina and Port Street Corridor Plan Advance

Early this week, the Easton Town Council was presented with the most recent proposed zoning for Easton Point and the Port Street Corridor. Coming next is a November 20th public hearing held by the Easton Town Council to receive public input on the Port Street Small Area Plan, a document well worth careful review as it describes how an important area of the community would be developed over the next few decades.

Details on the November 20th meeting and additional information on changes under consideration can be found on the Town of Easton’s official site here

Spy Habitat Before and After with Jan Kirsh

HGTV’s programming such as “Love It or List It” introduced viewers to the concept of “staging” to sellers before their property went on the market. Ideas such as decluttering, touch-up painting, upgrading hardware, etc. were discussed and implemented during segments to make the property stand out to potential buyers. Little attention was paid to the landscape but savvy sellers know a house’s setting is equally important for “curb appeal.”

Landscape and garden designer Jan Kirsh understands that first impressions are critical. I have long admired Jan’s talent and I recently had an opportunity to visit one of Jan’s projects to see how she had transformed a site’s curb appeal for new clients. Jan needed to improve the gardens quickly so the property would be ready to place on the market.

Two site issues presented design challenges. The house was close to the street and sited slightly downhill from the road so making the house more visible and welcoming from the street was critical. Jan’s task was to revise and improve the existing landscaping while keeping the work effort and budget reasonable.

At her direction, Jan’s landscape crew worked quickly to remove overgrown shrubs and pruned additional shrubs and trees to open the view of the house from the street. The most dramatic change for me at the front of the house was seeing how the selective pruning of the crape myrtles revealed that had previously obscured the home’s stylish architecture.  Now the house was part of the landscape instead of being hidden behind it.

The rear yard sloped down to Peachblossom Creek and had also become overgrown. Overly large planting beds on the hillside were reduced in size and reshaped by bringing in new sod, rather than filling the space with yet more plants. This allowed the firepit area to become a focal point instead of being lost in the planting beds.

Finishing touches to the landscape included adding plants of a smaller scale to complete the foundation plantings, pulling weeds and removing the less desirable herbaceous plants. The result was a much tidier garden on a beautiful property with lots of potential for the new owners. 

Known for functional, artful four-season gardens, Jan Kirsh has worked collaboratively with clients for over 30 years to bring her unique hardscape and planting style to homes on the Eastern Shore and beyond. Ever conscious of the existing architecture and surrounding site, Kirsh’s successful garden making experience allows for dramatic results, whether she is providing a quick on site consultation, staging a home for sale or drawing a master plan.  She delights in turning her clients dreams into reality. Contact Jan at 410-745-5252 (o), 410-310-1198 (c)

A portfolio of her landscape work can be seen at her website www.jankirshstudio.com Or reach her via email at.jankirshstudio@gmail.com.

For more information about this property, contact Sharon Woodruff at Benson & Mangold Real Estate,410-770-9255 (o), 410-829-5026 (c), or swoodruff@bensonandmangold.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

 

Adkins Arboretum Hosts Magic in the Meadow Gala

Howard and Mary McCoy of Centreville arrive at Adkins Arboretum’s Magic in the Meadow gala.

Perfect weather and delightful company made for an enchanted evening when Adkins Arboretum hosted its Magic in the Meadow gala on Sat., Sept. 23. Featuring a live auction, hoop dancing by Baltimore performance artist Melissa Newman, world-class jazz by the Peter Revell Band and sumptuous food by Peach Blossoms Events, the event brought both new and old friends together to garner support for the Arboretum’s education programs that promote the conservation and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay region’s native landscapes.

Next year’s gala is scheduled for Sat., Sept. 22. Mark your calendar, and join us for this wonderful evening!

Magic in the Meadow was sponsored in part by Unity Landscape Design/Build, Shore United Bank, Avon-Dixon Insurance Agency, The Hill Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Warrington Builders, Accounting Strategy Group, Joanne Shipley Graphic Design, Booth, Booth, Cropper & Marriner, PC, Delmarva Business Network, Piazza Italian Market, St. Michaels Fine Woodworking and numerous private sponsors.

Talbot Spy House of the Week: Lostock Farm in Bozman

Whenever I design an addition I want it to complement, not overpower the original house. That is especially true when you are dealing with expanding an older or historic house.

The original part of Lostock Farm is an 18th century two-story red brick wing with a story and a half addition that is slightly stepped and offset to respect the scale of the original brick wing. The addition’s white lap siding, wood shake roofing and dormers adds additional architectural interest. A nearby barn has space for four cars.

The house was greatly expanded with another addition. I liked how the expansion’s end gable with white lap siding echoes the original brick end wall gable. The connection between the old and new has shed dormers for greater headroom that also adds interest to this elevation. A screened porch and open porch were added for outdoor rooms with access to the pool area. The result is a very pleasing mix of massing, materials and sale.

The interior design is equally delightful. The main sitting room with its white cladded walls, white ceiling with stained wood beams forming a coffered pattern, the floor to ceiling wall of French doors with transoms above, white upholstered pieces with colorful pillows all combine to create a serene setting.

I liked the kitchen with its pitched ceiling and stained exposed roof joists, the stained pine cabinets that contrast with the island’s white cabinets, the darker countertop color and how the kitchen opens to another sitting room with a fireplace.

All of the bedrooms are charming but I particularly liked one bedroom with its dormer windows and deck overlooking the pool below. The dressing room off the bath has a period style deep soaking tub and built-in cabinets.

If this isn’t enough, Lostock Farm has 184 acres, 90 of which are tillable, 2,500 feet of waterfront, four ponds plus two separate platted inland lots and two waterfront lots.

For more information about this property, contact Kurt Petzold with Chesapeake Bay Properties at 410-820-8008 (o) 410-310-1050 (c), or kpetzold@goeaston.net “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.