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What's Up Magazine

What's Up with Annapolis Real Estate: August 2012

Jul 31, 2012 11:45PM ● By Anonymous


Primary Structure Built: 1976
Sold For: $635,000
Original List Price: $649,900
Last Sold/Price: 1995/$256,000
Bedrooms: 4       
Bathrooms: 2.5
Living Space: 3,564 square feet
Lot Size: .45 acre

You wouldn’t think a 36-year-old home in the sleepy town of Arnold would incite multiple offers and receive a ratified contract by day eight on the market. But that’s just one of the many surprises we can learn from with this unconventional residence.

Through an introduction from their agent, the sellers hired a stager to get the house ready prior to putting it on the market, following such instructions as re-painting, updating landscaped areas and re-mulching, rolling towels in the bathrooms to create a spa-like environment, clearing countertops, and making any minor repairs, says Heather Costello, a marketing executive and 17-year resident of the home.

The family and their agent, Mary Beth Paganelli, also put a lot of thought into their valuing strategy, assessing search engine ranges to determine a good price point. “We priced the house where we wanted to end up, not on the high end expecting to come in lower,” Costello says.

weatherly3And while the interior of the home isn’t equipped with the typical stainless steel, granite and two-story ceilings we’ve come to expect today, it still conveyed a sense of both luxury and whimsy that’s inherent to the Annapolis area. That’s because in 2004, the sellers, with the help of Edgewater-based Chesapeake Interiors LLC and Reico Kitchen and Bath in Annapolis, re-modeled with an emphasis on “something fun and livable,” Costello says.

That translated into cobalt blue appliances, amber-colored lighting fixtures, tumbled marble tile counters, mosaic accents and wood-planked ceilings in the kitchen.

But to make a whimsical design really work, and not look scattershot, it needs to be executed carefully and cohesively throughout a house. Here, it carried into the family room, with its tray ceilings, cedar-planked walls and built-in bookshelves, reminiscent of elements on a ship (how apropos that they were a sponsor family for midshipmen for 12 years). The bedrooms, with their slightly funky light fixtures and pops of color also adhered to the whimsical theme; the basement’s large wall murals featured their favorite water haunts; and a screened-in porch – with views of the yard and sunken Jacuzzi – further emphasized fun with beach and boating décor. Many of the fanciful elements were balanced with high-end upgrades, including Bose surround sound, Lutron lighting, an irrigation system, Trex decking, and a two-story shed wired with electricity. Other attractive features included a deeded deep water (6+ MLW) boat slip across the street, as well as access to a community beach, pier and playground.

weatherly4Funny how fate works sometimes: The buyers had been looking for a while and were disappointed that offers on other properties had died, until they happened upon this house. The open flow of the home, the attention to detail in its renovations, and the fact that it was so well-maintained appealed to them. Certainly, the whimsy and rich naval homage spoke to them also – buyer Laurie Hanley is a counseling and advocacy supervisor for the Navy Fleet and Support Center on Fort Meade; her husband Steve Smith is retired from the Air Force and is an acupuncturist who helped start one of the first military acupuncture clinics. To top it off, their agent, Rich Taylor, is a graduate of USNA and a retired nuclear trained surface warfare officer who does a lot of residential real estate work with military families.

To everyone involved, unconventional added up to exceptional.

Sources: Mary Beth Paganelli (listing agent), Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 410-980-5812, Rich Taylor (buyer’s agent), Taylor Properties, cell-443-710-7871, office-410-987-6609,,, Barbara Mullins, Chesapeake Interiors LLC, 410-956-1544, Reico Kitchen and Bath, 410-571-8400.  

carrolton1Carrollton Manor

Primary Structure Built: 2004
Sold For: $670,000
Original List Price: $739,900
Last Sold/Price: 2010/$695,000
Bedrooms: 5       
Living Space:2,840 square feet
Lot Size: .39 acre

Topography can often be a deciding factor for buyers: Most usually prefer flat parcels of land for easier maintenance and use. But these sellers took an unconventional backyard and converted it into an asset.

On the market for four months, this home appealed to the buyers, who were impressed with its layout, location and waterfront privileges. Built on a higher elevation, with a sloped backyard and multi-leveled decks, the home was marketed as having a “bird’s eye view.” As they were touring the house, the buyers (who happen to be amateur bird watchers), spotted a unique bird, and were all the more impressed with the home’s hillside setting.

carrolton2Given that the previous homeowners were in residence for only two years and were eager to sell because of a relocation to the West Coast, it’s understandable that this home sold for less than asking price, and at a $25,000 loss from when it last sold.

After decades living in Vienna, Va., the new homeowners purposely sought out properties in water-access areas only. The Carrollton Manor community boasts several water entries, including a beach, boat ramp, boat slips and community pier.

The aforementioned backyard features stacked stone retaining walls, outlined by a well-landscaped lawn. Also on a cul de sac, the home backs to forest conservation property, enhancing its private and nature-centric orientation.

carrolton3The home itself, a contemporary-styled colonial, has an open and bright floor plan with high ceilings, stone fireplaces and wood floors on the main level. The kitchen includes maple cabinetry and stainless steel appliances; the en-suite master bedroom features lots of windows and wooded views; and the lower level includes an in-law/au pair suite.

Sources: Mary Ann Elliott (listing agent), Associate Broker, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage – Annapolis Church Circle, 410-991-4000,, Betsy Stettinius (buyer's agent), Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage – Annapolis Church Circle, 443-994-2126,,