Whenever I buy property, I try to find the least improved house on the street so I can renovate it to my tastes as my time and budget allows. Today’s feature is a 1900’s farmhouse that is a perfect candidate for such a renovation. I drove up the gravel drive that was lined with mature oaks whose branches overhang the road like an arbor to frame the front elevation. After I reached the clearing around the house, it was clear the overgrown landscape needed attention but mature crape myrtles and towering trees around the house were clues that many elements of the originally landscape remain to compliment the house.
The front elevation of the five-bay farmhouse once had an open porch and entry door centered between two pairs of single windows aligned with the five second floor windows that remain. When the porch was converted into a sunroom with full height contemporary windows and sliding doors, the main floor’s front windows were removed to create wide wall openings between the sunroom and the two original parlors. If I were a buyer, I would remove the windows and revert to the original arrangement of the open porch and the front wall’s windows to restore the original symmetry.
As I walked through the main floor, I found the layout works very well. The stairs are centered between two parlors and one parlor chimney appears to be original but the other has been widened for a contemporary flair. If the latter were deconstructed, I suspect the original chimney might be revealed. Behind the left side parlor is the spacious kitchen with its kitchen “L” and island arrangement open to the dining area. The dining area’s picture window between single double hung units creates a full window wall for views of the landscape.
At the side of the dining area is a door and steps leading to a flagstone terrace at grade that has been enclosed to become conditioned space but the sloped roof covers up the views from the main floor. Changing the roof to a low slope roof and replacing the windows with screened panels would create a warm weather family room with direct access to the kitchen. If a buyer’s master plan included a pool, the screened porch could be the first step in that plan. Off the right parlor is a large laundry/mud room with an exterior door convenient to the driveway and garage. The powder room under the stairs could be relocated to the laundry/mudroom to open up a continuous circulation among the main floor rooms. If a pool were added in the future, the powder room would then be convenient to the pool.
The second floor contains three bedrooms and one bath. The doors to each space have arched tops that are unusual for the farmhouse style. Adding a second bath over the one-story laundry mudroom would create a primary suite with the other two bedrooms sharing the hall bath. The rear bedroom is tucked under the gable roof and adding more windows would connect the room with the landscape. For additional guest space, the three-car garage has an apartment on the second floor.
This is a unique opportunity to own twenty nine acres which have been subdivided and recorded with this house, its five acres and four additional lots. The lots have platted septic reserve areas and a 10 acre reserved lot. With some demolition and modifications to the front sunroom and rear enclosed terrace, the main house would have great flow for relaxation with family and friends. New owners could also update the kitchen and baths cabinets and finishes to their own tastes. The landscaping does require initial major clearing and pruning but after that only routine maintenance should be needed. A great fixer-upper on the Bozman-Neavitt corridor!
For more information about this property, contact Debra Crouch with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0720 (o), 410-924-0771 (c) or email@example.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.