Those Chester River Views
Dec 07, 2018 12:00AM
● By Brian Saucedo
By James Houck // Photography by Curtis Martin Photography
For residents of Chesapeake Bay country that live on the western side of the famed Bay Bridge, trips to the Eastern Shore are usually weekend jaunts to bucolic bay-front towns and tucked-away communities that beckon afternoon traipses and a sense of discovery. These trips often serve as a liaison to the farther-flung, ocean-front beaches and week-long vacations. But, every so often—actually, very often—some weekend warriors that love visiting the Shore start to think about what life across the bridge would be like…full time. And as the wheels start turning, both in their minds and on exploratory drives looking at property, that vision of moving permanently to a serene, more relaxed slice of the Chesapeake becomes realistic.
Such was the case for our couple in this story (who have chosen to remain anonymous), whom were decades-long residents of Severna Park, having lived on the Severn River waterfront. Trips to the Shore and beaches were routine during the formative years of this nuclear family, and when their son grew up and out of the house, got married, and had kids of his own, these empty nesters settled into life as grandparents. But it was when their son’s family, themselves, moved to the Eastern Shore, that things got interesting. “We wanted to be close to our son and his family and as close to the water as we had been on the Severn River,” they say.
So, the couple began exploring the Shore, just across the bridge in Queen Anne’s County, with an eye for real estate. Their search eventually steered them to a still-developing community, but which was already abundant with residents and amenities…Gibson’s Grant. There,
they found a waterfront lot with panoramic views of the Chester River.
“After we drove through Gibson’s Grant, we contacted Elm Street, the developer, and learned a lot about the quality of the homes that were being built,” the homeowners explains. “We investigated which builders were there and were very pleased to find out that Lundberg Builders was one of them. Gibson’s Grant gave us the flexibility and the components that we were looking for...great views and close proximity to our grandchildren. All the pieces fell into place for us.”
Indeed, after settling on the property, work began in earnest with Brad Lundberg, owner of Lundberg Builders, and Bob Moreland, the company’s lead designer, to flesh out the home-to-be’s design, features, amenities, and construction.
Shovel went to dirt on the nearly 4,500-square foot home in May, 2017 and was completed just eight months later in January of this year. Overall, the design is considered a modern farmhouse with modifications. The first floor of three features an enclosed porch, gallery/game room, powder room, storage, an elevator, and the garage. The second floor takes advantage of the site’s proximity to the river with an open floor plan that adjoins the kitchen and family room, and includes the master bedroom, dining, laundry, and powder rooms off-shooting this main space. There are nice views from the second level and even better from the third, which features two offices, another bedroom, and full bathroom.
“The design of the home has the main living floor on the second and third floors to best capture the views of the Chester River, above the 100-foot buffer zone of trees and shrubs in the conservation easement,” Lundberg explains. “The dining room was originally a sunroom, but the owners decided to change it and add a small grill deck off the second floor. Custom work requires more time to allow for flexibility, which is a benefit to the homeowner because they had more opportunities to make changes, as desired.”
The homeowners agree. “We really appreciated that any change orders were our change orders, not Lundberg’s change orders,” they say. “It was our decision to make upgrades as we went along. We met weekly with Bob on the home design, and as the home was being constructed, they guided us to go to each vendor and pick out our selections for tile, the paint colors, the windows, and doors.”
The open floor-plan, high ceilings, flow of the home, and how people maneuver within were very important to the homeowners. “We wanted it to match our lifestyle, and the open floor-plan and the design of the rooms was carefully measured so that when people would come to visit or when we entertain, everyone would feel comfortable,” they say. And being that the home is three stories high, an elevator became a must-have.
Undoubtedly though, it’s the third-floor offices/dens that have become the couple’s favorite rooms in the house, due to the magnificent views and the relaxing setting. “The whole process for how we unwind and get away is that we are able to come up to our den/offices,” they observe. “It has been inspiring for us both to observe the eagles and the osprey as they fly by our windows.”
When reflecting on the entire process—from discovering Gibson’s Grant to connecting with Lundberg Builders, designing their dream home, and settling in—our couple has nothing but superlatives to say. “The quality of the home has met or exceeded our expectations and without question is what you would expect for the setting that we have.
“The whole concept of Gibson’s Grant is of one of bringing people together,” they say. “Close-knit homes, social squares, and common-areas are designed to look like a small Eastern Shore town. And there are many community events, such as coffees, cookouts, and happy hours that offer the opportunity to meet our new neighbors. And…we really love the way the home captures the views of the Chester River.”