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What's Up Magazine

What’s Up? with Annapolis Real Estate August 2015

Aug 03, 2015 09:00AM ● By Cate Reynolds
For families, the perfect home is a warm, welcome gathering place with room to play. In this issue of What’s Up? with Real Estate, we profile three properties that provide both indoor and community comforts for the growing families of their new owners.

Stafford Estates

Riva, Anne Arundel County

Primary Structure Built:         1988
Sold For:                                  $730,000
Original List Price:                  $759,900
Last Sold/Price:                      None
Bedrooms:                               4
Bathrooms:                              3 full, 1 half
Living Space:                           4,400 sq. ft.
Lot Size:                                   0.35 acre

This Stafford Estates property found its new owners by being the perfect family home. The 27-year-old home with nearly 4,400 square feet across three floors has been beautifully maintained and updated.

Situated with water views of Beards Creek from the living room and master bedroom, the property offers privacy, as well, with a wooded backyard. The home is replete with the comforts of a family home, including a 406 square feet recreation room in the basement, enclosed sunroom, and wood-burning fireplace in the large 31x14 foot family room.

From the classic elements including hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves and china cabinet, main level office, and granite countertops, to the family-friendly massive main level family room and basement recreation room, the home was a perfect fit for a family already fairly content. “The only way we’d move would be if we found the perfect home, so we really were just casually looking,” explain the new owners. “When we saw this house, it checked off every request we had.”
While very happy in an Annapolis townhome community for 13 years, they wanted a more kid-friendly neighborhood. Their favorite perk of purchasing their new home was the instant boat access and community marina included in the Stafford Estates neighborhood privileges.

Another perk for the new owners: the home was move-in ready. The only changes they plan are some painting and adding fresh carpet to the screened-in porch.

Sources: Listing Agent: Mary Ann Elliott, Coldwell Banker,  Buyer’s Agent: Kelly Parks, Coldwell Banker,

By C.B. Scott


The Boarding House Waterfront Home

Edgewater, Anne Arundel County

Primary Structure Built:            2005
Sold For:                                     $925,000
Original List Price:                     $972,500
Last Sold/Price:                         None
Bedrooms:                                 4
Bathrooms:                                3 full, 2 half
Living Space:                             3,647 sq. ft.
Lot Size:                                     0.135 acre

When this property hit the market in 2014, it was more than the home, even more than the water, that caught the Taylor family’s attention. Though the custom-built, 3,600-plus-square-foot, three-story waterfront home was exceptional inside and out, Candice Taylor explains, “We didn’t choose this house for the usual selling points. We were more interested in buying a lifestyle.”

“This was the only home on our ‘must see’ list,” she continues. “We had about 30 houses marked as backups, but this was the only home we really wanted.”

With Edgewater Elementary, restaurants, and shops within easy walking distance, the address fit the Taylors’ desire for a small town feel with room to grow. “Our home is less than a block from Edgewater Park, so we can also skateboard, land paddle, scooter, or ride bikes. We often walk to Waterman’s Tavern for dinner, as a family,” Candice says. She added, “I think we found the perfect place.”

Nonetheless, the home is as impressive as the location. All of the main floor windows have striking three-pane transoms, the floors are Brazilian hardwood, and the open kitchen includes a sub-zero refrigerator, granite countertops, and roomy 8x7 foot pantry. Still, these luxuries are secondary to the simple, comfortable, casual feel of the open space. “The main floor of the home is where we spend the majority of our time,” Candice says. “The openness of the space allows the family to be together, even while participating in different activities. The views are beautiful, the area is peaceful, and there are always animals outside to watch, so we spend a lot of time relaxing and just enjoying the surroundings.”

For the Taylors, even the master suite amenities like the luxurious shower and bubbler style soaker tub pale in comparison to the respite from a busy city or suburban location. “We’ve lived in extremely varied locations in 15 years,” she explains. “We’ve discovered that water and being outdoors are the keys to our happiness.”

They did make some practical improvements after closing, including expanding the smaller closets in the children’s bedrooms. But the biggest change to the interior so far has been giving the home a less formal, more coastal feel. The brick fireplace has been limewashed and the new owners darkened the exposed wood inside to a rich walnut to complement their eclectic collection of antique pieces.

Outside, vinyl shake siding and Candice’s fresh coat of bright teal “Surfer Blue” paint on the front door reinforces the Taylor’s welcoming casual, coastal style. The property provides year round views and access to Almshouse Creek, off the South River, complete with dual jet-ski lifts and a 30-foot boat slip.

And the Taylors added a little something extra on the roof. They purchased 40 solar panels totaling 11.6 kWdc from Maryland Solar Solutions, Inc. (MSSI). The solar energy generated by the panels is expected to offset at least 50 percent of the home’s power needs.

“We have all the activities our family loves the most in a single location,” Candice surmises. As a tribute to this, the Taylors named the home “The Boarding House.”

Sources: Candice Taylor, new owner. Listing Agent: JJ Fegan, RE/MAX,  410-956-3500; Buyer’s Agent: Mary Ann Zaruba, Coldwell Banker,, 410-421-8106

By C.B. Scott


Sylvan Shores

Riva, Anne Arundel County

Primary Structure Built:           2007
Sold For:                                    $810,000
Original List Price:                    $825,000
Last Sold/Price:                        2001/$387,500 
(sellers purchased, tore down and rebuilt in 2007)
Bedrooms:                                 4
Bathrooms:                                3
Living Space:                             2,408 sq. ft.
Lot Size:                                     0.20 acre

Once home to a smattering of cottages and bungalows serving seasonal residents, Sylvan Shores established itself as a popular, post-war neighborhood, with private water privileges on the South River, Granville Creek, and Hardesty Cove. Its streets soon began to fill with ranchers and ramblers, the economic and practical style emblematic of 1960s American residential architecture. While its waters are popular for kayaking and water skiing, its quaint, tree- and picket fence-lined roads encompass a wide variety of big and little homes. More than 40 years later, the original 1966 rancher on this site no longer met the needs of the homeowners, and was torn down to the foundation and rebuilt in a coastal living style eight years ago.

Its newest owners had been searching for an affordable waterfront residence with an open floor plan and good traffic flow. As boaters, they appreciated the private community, with its boat ramps and piers, as well as its various parks, swim/recreational areas, and club house. In addition to the community offerings, the property includes 50 feet of shore line, its own private pier, covered slip, 10,000-pound boat lift, waterside shed, and 6-plus feet MLW access.

Inside and out, the like-new construction emphasizes the combination of durability with aesthetics. On the exterior, for example, Hardiplank siding and a wide front porch add curb appeal, while a back deck is finished with discreet steel railings for unencumbered water views.
Indoors, much of the house is outfitted with chocolate-hued Ipe flooring, a dense Brazilian walnut more commonly used for decks because of its hardiness. A custom-built bookcase in the home office conceals a pull-out Murphy bed. The elegant tile-and-marble-clad master bathroom is anchored by radiant heat flooring. A custom kitchen includes the expected cherry cabinetry and granite surfaces, plus the unexpected stainless steel-topped island. And, most importantly, the residence’s contemporary floor plan and walls of windows is open and airy, with the foyer opening to the main living area and the kitchen flowing into the dining/family room.

The buyers liked that the home was pristine and turnkey and do not have plans for any changes at this time.

Sources: Brent Allen (listing agent), Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, office 410-263-8686, cell 410-349-7764,, Ray Alexander (buyer’s agent), Coldwell Banker, office 410-919-2612, cell 410-353-2642,

By Lurdes Abruscato