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What's Up Magazine

What's Up? With Real Estate

Sep 18, 2013 12:19PM ● By Cate Reynolds

By LURDES ABRUSCATO

In the Annapolis real estate world, bigger isn’t necessarily better, and pricier doesn’t always mean less options. In this month’s What’s Up? with Real Estate, we feature two local homes that prove great things can come in small packages.

FAIR OAKS ON THE MAGOTHY

Primary Structure Built: 1969
Sold For: $582,000
Original List Price: $585,000
Last Sold/Price: 2006/$599,900
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Living Space: 2,025 square feet
Lot Size: .43 acre

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Our column typically skews to mega-square feet, high-dollar mansions, but we couldn’t pass up this Severna Park rancher, with a cuteness quota that’s off the charts. In fact, this 44-year-old, water-privileged residence is a study in what to expect in today’s volatile real estate world.

Listed then delisted over a period of months—with price and realtor changes in the process—the sellers ultimately chose to gut the house to improve its marketability. A renovation ensued, which included, amongst many tasks, taking down walls; replacing indoor and outdoor lighting; relocating the laundry to the main level; redoing the kitchen with granite/stainless steel/new cabinetry; and remodeling both baths with travertine tile, Kraftmaid cabinets, and satin nickel finishes.

The buyers, relocating from Virginia, had been searching for months and zeroed in on a few area communities. This part of Severna Park is coveted for its abundant amenities, including a nice beach, pool, marina, playground, and first-rate schools. Though the buyers never expected to purchase a rancher, its new, open floor plan, distinct separation of the master from the other bedrooms (typically ranchers have all the bedrooms in one wing of the house), fenced-in yard, and appealing community met all their requirements.

An added benefit: the dwelling was completely turnkey in that nothing needed to get done and it had been decorated in a charming cottage style with neutral colors and highend finishes. The finishes included lots of buyer-pleasing elements, such as hardwood floors throughout, a breakfast bar, beautiful glass-tiled backsplash, French glass doors on the pantry and an all-season tiled sunroom opening to the deck.

Since it had been on the market previously, both parties’ agents had kept in touch and a contract was submitted even before the remodeled property was officially relisted. Since the home is in pristine condition, the buyers plan no changes except to finish the basement.

Sources: Jean Andrews (listing agent), Champion Realty, 410-975-3286, jeanandrews@championrealty.com. Melissa Murray, (buyer's agent), The Murray Home Team, Coldwell Banker, 443-995-2626, melissa@themurrayhometeam.com, themurrayhometeam.com.

STONECREST

Primary Structure Built: 2009
Sold For: $621,000
Original List Price: $649,900
Last Sold/Price: 2009/$532,155
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 4
Living Space: 2,426 square feet
Lot Size: .23 acre

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Think that 55-plus communities are just a euphemism for retirement neighborhoods? Think again. The demographics of age-restricted communities in our area have changed signifi cantly in recent years, in part because of longer careers, more active lifestyles, multi-generational family living arrangements and continued challenges in home buying. Local realty experts concur that many 55-plus areas now encompass a diverse population, from older professionals simply looking to downsize in square footage or multiple floors to families with adult children that have moved back home, or even busy homeowners who prefer low-maintenance lawns or tight-knit neighborhoods. Though restrictions vary amongst different communities, many properties in age-specific areas, for example, usually sell for less than in most communities, so multigenerational families can get a lot of home for less.

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This Stonecrest dwelling, built by NV Homes in Arnold, is in one of the newer and smaller 55-plus communities in the Annapolis area, with just 43 single-family homes. (A few other 55-plus neighborhoods include Magothy Meadows on College Parkway, with 41 single-family homes; Shipley’s Crossing in Millersville, with 51 townhomes; the Hamlets in South River Colony with a mix of condos and townhomes; and Heritage Harbour, with 1,600 condos, cottages, duplexes, villas and houses.)

True to the new trends in these communities, this abode looks nothing like a retirement residence. Instead, it features modern design elements such astray ceilings, columns, and custom backsplash, as well as an open floor plan, a walkout basement, and a master suite with its own sitting area and deluxe bath. A two-story foyer, two-car garage, and main-level bedroom add to its appeal, and nice finishes, such as granite counters and a paver patio, helped it nab a contract within a month of listing.

Sources: Melissa Murray (listing agent), The Murray Home Team, Coldwell Banker, 443-995-2626, melissa@themurrayhometeam.com, themurrayhometeam.com.

Lori Gough (buyer’s agent), Champion Realty, Associate Broker, Champion Realty, office-410-224-0624, cell-410-320-0851, lorigough@aol.com, lorigough.com.