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What's Up Magazine

What's Up? With Real Estate

Dec 09, 2013 02:41PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Annapolis home buying isn’t always about the big cross-country relocations. Instead, our realty transactions often boil down to inter-ZIP code moves, whether it’s because we’re jockeying for a place closer to the water, a neighborhood with different amenities, or a home better suited for evolving families. In this edition of What’s Up? with Real Estate, the two spotlighted home purchases demonstrate small moves, but big changes.

Primary Structure Built: 1990
Sold For: $699,000
Original List Price: $739,000
Last Sold/Price: 2009/$675,000
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3.5
Living Space: 5,024 square feet
Lot Size: .34 acre

Image titleRecent renovations, an appealing neighborhood, and a good eye for décor helped this Annapolis home sell within 30 days of hitting the market. The sellers, who originally purchased the home from an investor who had remodeled to flip it, enhanced the various upgrades with custom painting, trim work, and window treatments. The listing agent, who often works with a stager to prepare homes, didn’t need to bring in one for this property, as it already conveyed a charming farmhouse feel with a designer interior. Broadview Estates also provides easy access to major routes, as well as nearby Broad Creek, making it all the more attractive.

The buyers, a locally based, young married couple, needed a home for their growing family, as well as a place to accommodate a very large extended family when visiting. Having researched extensively pre-purchase, they already had targeted specific areas and price points, enabling a swift, savvy, and smooth transaction.

The home offers plenty of room, with more than 5,000 square feet of living space, plus an unfinished basement. A two-story, marble-tiled foyer with a staircase presents an impressive entrance to the home. This staircase, along with a second one in the rear of the house, appealed to the buyers, particularly to keep track of children and pets.
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Much of the home is set off with heart pine flooring, a handsome (and often reclaimed) timber popular amongst craftsmen for its denseness and durability. The main floor flows easily from the living room to the gourmet kitchen—with its cherry cabinetry, contrasting granite, gas range and island—to the dining room to a family room with a stacked stone gas fireplace.

More elegant upgrades can be found both inside and out: All the bathrooms have been updated with custom tile and granite; a separate laundry room is accessed easily on the second floor; and paver patio opens to a large, fenced-in yard. The new homeowners have only made minor changes to color schemes and have no immediate projects planned, besides gradually filling all those rooms.

Sources: Melissa Murray (listing agent), The Murray Home Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, office: 410-919-2508, cell: 443-995- 2626, Deb Valainis (buyer’s agent), Office Manager and Associate, Annapolis Realty, office: 410-280- 5600, cell: 410-212-2206,,


Primary Structure Built: 1987
Sold For: $780,000
Original List Price: $849,000
Last Sold/Price: 1994/$392,500
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Living Space: 2,930 square feet
Lot Size: 2.01 acres
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Empty nesters looking to downsize and move to a water/city-access home in Eastport, the sellers of this Davidsonville home took action approximately six months before putting their property on the market. Old tile flooring and Formica countertops were replaced by hardwood flooring and granite. A little front door painting, exterior maintenance, and overall decluttering, combined with some price reductions and offer negotiations, resulted in a contract within the year.

With three young children, Annapolis locals Kathleen and Brad Spain were in search of a “forever” family home. Their requirements were emblematic of so many of today’s families: a good neighborhood with good schools, ample community amenities, and a family friendly layout. Kathleen, a part-time grant writer for a nonprofit, needed a home-based work space, while Brad, a project manager with a construction company, needed a location with a reasonable daily commute to Gaithersburg.

Driving through Harbor Hills, they were enamored with the picturesque setting, big trees, and peaceful streets. They especially liked that the homes were all very different and that the neighborhood offered a pool, beach, tennis courts, marina, athletic association, and various community activities. Coming from nearby Broadview, they appreciated not having to relearn a whole new area, and already were familiar with local shops and venues. But perhaps most importantly, they were comforted knowing the sellers had raised their own family in this cul de sac Colonial. “You could tell there were lots of happy memories here … It was so nice [knowing that] someone else took really good care of it,” Kathleen says.

The home’s traditional-yet-adaptive floor plan is conducive to family living, with a center-island kitchen that looks out over an expansive backyard. A full bath on the main level appealed to the Spains, especially for family visitors with limited mobility. A large main floor library with built-ins can function as a generous office or future bedroom. And despite its 26 years, the home features other recent improvements, including a sunroom addition, new siding, and low-maintenance Azek decking.
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The Spains have made only surface changes since moving in, particularly painting, and adding a playground to the backyard. Long term, they may convert the unfinished basement to a recreation area, renovate two upstairs baths, and transition to recessed lighting.

Sources: Russell Brown (listing agent), RE/MAX Leading Edge, office: 410-224-3200, cell: 410-320-3832,, Russellbrown. Melissa Murray (buyer’s agent), The Murray Home Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, office: 410- 919-2508, cell: 443-995-2626, melissa@