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What's Up Magazine

What’s Up? with Eastern Shore Real Estate: August 2015

Aug 14, 2015 10:38AM ● By Cate Reynolds
By C.B. Scott

When it comes to selling a home, what’s old isn’t really always new again, and sometimes a fresh coat of paint just isn’t enough. In this issue of What’s Up? with Eastern Shore Real Estate, we profile two properties that benefited from beautiful cosmetic updates: one post-sale, and another before it went to market.

Harbor View Waterfront Chester, Queen Anne’s County

Primary Structure Built:       1987
Appraised Value:                  $490,000
Original List Price:                N/A – Realtor Purchased
Bedrooms:                            3
Bathrooms:                           2
Living Space:                        1,712 sq. ft.
Lot Size:                                0.45 acres

Built in 1987, this property was a simple 1,712-square-foot rancher. Cox Creek lapped along the southern boundary of the almost half-acre lot and the back of the home was lined with windows to take in the view. Structurally, the house was very well built, with Pella casement windows and all 2x6 construction. But inside, it was still 1987, and the home’s two bedrooms limited the home’s potential.

But when designer and realtor Jennifer Chaney was contacted to list the home earlier this year, she saw not only her next design project. She saw her family’s waterfront dream home. According to Jennifer, the home sits on “the most prime location lot in the neighborhood.” Jennifer and her husband Bruce bought the home, and Jennifer planned and executed a renovation to both revamp interior as well as add a third bedroom.

The couple, with two daughters in tow, sold their existing home, squeezed into a condo, and dove headfirst into their dream home project.

The major updates included new floors throughout, new kitchen cabinets, countertops, and appliances, and the conversion of the home’s den to a third bedroom. Jennifer enlisted husband Bruce and a few of his friends to complete the demolition work. Once the old flooring and cabinets were gone, contractor Tim Goodrich of BZB Construction began the renovations, and Marilyn Terry, cabinetry designer for Friel Kitchen & Bath, supplied the kitchen updates.

Jennifer followed the same style advice she gives her clients: steer clear of elements that are simply trendy, but don’t use materials that everyone else has. The new wood flooring in the home is wide plank, at 7.5 x 6 ft. runs. “A shorter run would have been cheaper,” she notes, “but that would have broken the line of sight much more.”
And maintaining the line of sight was integral to Jennifer’s vision. In the kitchen, white cabinets above new quartz countertops don’t compete with the water views, while the lower cabinets are cherry. The main living areas, including a large great room, are painted in rich grey, and the master is a soft, muddy navy. The bathroom updates include bead board and hardwood-look porcelain tile.

While the renovations were cosmetic, the schedule was ambitious. “I wanted to complete the renovations and be able to move into the home in 7–8 weeks,” Jennifer says. The transformation was completed exactly eight weeks to the day, with something special for each member of the family.

The original home included two bedrooms, a great room, and a den. The Chaney family needed a third bedroom. “The true master bedroom is in the front of the home,” Jennifer says, “and Bruce and I wanted our bedroom to face the water.” So they traded the master bedroom to their 13-year-old daughter and converted the den to a private, waterfront bedroom for themselves. And while Jennifer could have simply added a standard door to the new bedroom, she had two 84” reclaimed shutters put together for a striking entrance.

For their younger daughter, Jennifer worked with carpenter Tom “T-Bone” Christenson to create a custom dollhouse bed, complete with flower boxes, to make her new bedroom special. “Tom constructed the bed in a way that it can be taken apart and reassembled in another room or even outdoors as a playhouse when she grows out of it,” Jennifer says.

As a finishing touch, Jennifer updated the front of the home with a fresh coat of paint on the front door, flower boxes to the home’s windows, custom-made shutters, and a custom-designed garage door with an opaque glass finish.

Now the family can simply sit back and enjoy the view or be part of it via their boat and private pier. “Our dream has always been to be on the water,” Jennifer says. “We just didn’t think we’d be here this soon. We are very, very thankful for it.”

Source: Jennifer Chaney, CSP, GRI, MBA (listing agent), Broker, Owner, Designer, Chaney Homes, LLC, 410-739-0242,


Matapeake Estates Stevensville, Queen Anne’s County

Primary Structure Built:    1981
Sold For:                             $389,000
Original List Price:             $389,000
Bedrooms:                          4
Bathrooms:                        3 full
Living Space:                     2,660 sq. ft.
Lot Size:                             0.82 acres

After years of using the property as a rental home, owners Kary McLaughlin and her husband decided to put this Stevensville property on the market in early 2015. To give the split level home a makeover for the market, Kary designed a plan for renovations and enlisted the help of designer/realtor Jennifer Chaney.

The home is surrounded by mature trees and, while beautiful, they limit the natural light inside. Kary and Jennifer brightened the main living areas by painting the dark fireplace brick white and painting the kitchen walls and cabinets, as well as the master bedroom.
They then turned their attention to the master suite, separating the bedroom area from the sitting room with double French doors. The team added a double door to the walk-in closet and marble-topped double vanities in the master bath.

Kary replaced the existing flooring with wide, dark wood laminate, and Jennifer brought in two assistants to stage the home. In three short days, the property was under contract.

Source: Jennifer Chaney, CSP, GRI, MBA (listing agent), Broker, Owner, Designer, Chaney Homes, LLC, 410-739-0242,

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