Epes Merchant, a Gloucester businessman, built this well-tailored brick Tudor Revival as his summer home circa 1920. It enjoys the unique aspect of having frontage on freshwater Niles Pond as well as frontage and a deeded sandy beach on Gloucester’s Outer Harbor. Now lovingly referred to as ‘Swan Cottage’, The current owner purchased this signature property in 2006 and proceeded to enhance its legacy with a series of spectacular additions and renovations. The 2+ acre lot includes a 3-room granite cottage, manicured grounds, and a formal rose garden. A brilliant array of well-established border gardens and thoughtfully designed plantings dot the broad lawn and granite outcroppings of this magical estate.
” If a house does not go under contract in ninety days does it mean that the market is weak?”
Real estate agents, buyers, sellers, and the media talk about ‘the market’ ad nauseam. The market is good. The market is bad. The market is strong. It is a buyers’ market. It is a sellers’ market. Demand is high. Prices are up. Prices are down.
Thankfully, we live in a part of the country where most of the houses are not ‘cookie-cutter’. We have relatively few subdivisions where the same home was built again and again with minor changes. It is easy to discuss the market when you are talking about a 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath colonial with a two-car garage. It is a no brainer for agents and appraisers to estimate the sale value of these houses.
Many of the properties that we sell are unique. The house is unique. The location is unique. What is the market for these houses? If a house does not go under contract in ninety days does it mean that the market is weak? Does it mean that the house is overpriced? Or does it simply mean that the house is so unique that there is only a handful of potential buyers for that house every year? If the right buyer isn’t actively looking this month, will he/she be looking and ready to buy next month?
“As a broker of specialty properties, I am looking for that one buyer – not ten. Twenty people attending an open house and 300 Zillow views mean very little.”
Ron and I toured two Rockport houses yesterday – 25 Penryn Way and 5 Penzance Road. The houses are similar in many ways but feel very different. You could almost throw a stone from one of the houses and hit the other. Both houses are priced over $1,500,000. Both sellers have purchased another home and are motivated. Penryn is empty while the sellers are still living in Penzance. In 2019, only four houses sold over $1,500,000 in Rockport through the MLS (multiple listing service). There are five houses presently on the market over the 1.5 mark including 25 Penryn and 5 Penzance.
” It will be interesting to see how buyers react to these two houses as 2020 unrolls. Which home will sell first and for how much?”
5 Penzance Road was fully renovated by the present owners who purchased it in 2000. The house has 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, and 1 half bath. There is 4000 square feet of living space not counting the partially finished lower level where there is an office and workout areas. The views are lovely, and the house feels very much in keeping with today’s way of living. The main living area is open and designed with a casual feeling that is very inviting. The lot is 21,356 square feet. The list price of this house is $1,895,000. The house is assessed at $1,335,500 (land $461,200 building $874,300). It is listed by Lux Realty North Shore. The listing agent is Lynda Hemeon who is also one of the co-owners.
25 Penryn Way has a different history. It has been on the market with Julie Gamble Smith of Engel & Volkers By the Sea since 2016. The original price was $2,895,000 and the present list price is $2,100,000. The assessed value is $2,586,000 (land $578,500 building $2,007,500). The house has over 7000 square feet of living area and sits on 40,280. Penryn sits closer to the water and offers more privacy than Penzance Road. For all of its size, Penryn only has 3 bedrooms. It has 4 full baths and 3 half baths. I was surprised to see that it was built in 1999 because it felt like it was built in the ’80s or early 90s.
It will be interesting to see how buyers react to these two houses as 2020 unrolls. Which home will sell first and for how much? There is a $205,000 difference in price between the two houses, yet a $1,250,00 difference in assessed value. What are buyers looking for in 2020? Are they looking for size or are they looking for convenience? Are they looking for a good deal? I am sure that I will be revisiting these two properties as the year progresses. Stay tuned for up to date news on these and other homes and as always, if you want to look at these homes, other homes, or are contemplating selling, I can be reached at 978-764-4506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the highest public residential sales on the North Shore this decade!
The Kristal Pooler Team is thrilled to have helped our clients purchase this landmark property! 3 Norton’s Point is situated on approximately 3 acres and enjoys 450 feet of shoreline at the mouth of Manchester Harbor.
The circa 1883 shingle-style residence was designed by renowned architect Arthur Little. In 2002, it was extensively reconstructed by the noted builder, Tom Silva and his crew from the TV show ‘This Old House’ The renovation went on for 10 months and 26 episodes!
The open Atlantic beckons! The breathtaking view (mid-December) of Tuck’s Point’s iconic gazebo and the islands.
The Spacious Boat House has a great fireplace!
A grass-covered causeway leads to the boathouse and deep water dock
3 Norton’s Point was offered at $9,750,00. Our clients offer of $8,650,00. was accepted in August of 2019 and closed on December 16th, 2019. This is one of the highest public residential sales in Manchester’s history. The new owners are delighted to re-plant their North Shore roots with the acquisition of this magnificent maritime Pied a Terre!
This home was listed for $450K on July 29th, 2019. It was an estate sale with a mandate to get the highest price possible. It sold for $553K . For the first two weeks of August, we showed the property to over 40 qualified buyers (there were no open houses per request of the estate) and entertained multiple offers. The market spoke as offers shot up and contingencies melted away.
One of the first things that people say when we meet them is “You always represent such special houses”!
We must confess that our hearts lean toward unique homes and the people who love these uncommon homes. We delight in marketing homes that have ‘intangible’ value. The value that comes from privacy, layout, patina, sunlight, views, prevailing breezes, gardens, trees, fireplaces, and yes, sometimes quirkiness! We will sing the praises of homes that don’t rely solely on the latest amenities and finishes to tell their stories. We love selling homes that have a sense of timelessness and place.
No matter how many homes someone has owned or how analytical they are, the heart always speaks first. Buyers purchase homes that feel right. Buyers want to see themselves swimming in the quarry, relaxing by the fire with a good book, creating masterful culinary delights or perhaps, a grilled cheese sandwich, in the kitchen. They can feel how it will be to have coffee on the deck, watch the birds, or take a relaxed stroll through the neighborhood.
The funny thing is that often the homeowner had the same feelings when they first saw their house. It is a privilege to watch a seller describe their home, their yard, their neighborhood and their memories of living there. Most unique homes are not perfect, but time and again, we see buyers falling in love with a house not despite the quirkiness but because of it. Knowing the idiosyncrasies of homes that we sell and the clients we represent allows us to find the perfect buyer and in doing so, obtain the best price.
When we put a buyer, a seller, and a home together, we know that we are participating in a kind of alchemy. Our clients sense it too. It’s a win-win!
SOLD SUMMER 2019! When we want to experience the most inspirational ocean sunsets and refreshing sea breezes on Cape Ann, we head to Gloucester’s historic village of Lanesville. We love to walk on Lanes Cove’s newly reconstructed breakwater and drink in the magic! We are honored to be marketing the ‘Pancoast House’, a circa 1845 Cottage named after the renowned artist, Morris Hall Pancoast, who once lived and painted there. Sited directly above the cove, it is the kind of place I imagine a budding novelist escaping to on languid summer retreats. Or perhaps a plugged-in urbanite seeking a restorative getaway from the hectic pace of city life. Live your special dream here.
It is a new day and we are with a new company, Churchill Properties! We are thrilled that you are here! Our new site will develop and blossom with the Spring market. We will be opining about The North Shore and Cape Ann with a strong emphasis on residential real estate and all its fascinating components.
SOLD OCTOBER 2019! Wilderness Farm is an opportunity to craft your rendition of the perfect equestrian home. The complex includes a 4 bedroom main house, separate 2800sf studio with guest quarters, a 4 stall barn, and an indoor riding ring, all on acres of fenced paddock and lawn. The lot includes an adjacent 8.8-acre undeveloped parcel for privacy and further equestrian use. Wilderness farm abuts and enjoys DIRECT private access to the 525 acre Sagamore Hill Conservation Area with scenic equestrian trails! Ensconced in the heart of horse country, Wilderness Farm is a short trailer ride to Crane Beach, Appleton Farm, Groton House, Myopia Schooling Field, and Bradley Palmer State Park and more! ALSO OFFERED at $1,395,000 WITHOUT 60 CANDLEWOOD on apprx 5.1 ACRES. ASK KRISTAL or RON
“Be still my beating heart for it has been captured by 2 Walker Road, Manchester!”
A porte-cochere (something not often seen on the North Shore and defined as a doorway to a building or courtyard, “often very grand” through which vehicles can enter from the street) and columned portico are clues to what lies ahead in this one-of-a-kind brick residence built in 1926.
The yard is fully fenced and boasts a heated pool, landscaped gardens, and specimen plantings. A screened porch overlooks the yard. I look forward to seeing this yard in bloom, though I think that it will likely go under contract before that. There is also an architect-designed tree house that I opted not to tour! The house offers five bedrooms, three full baths, and two half baths. The updates have all been tastefully done without spoiling any of the specialness that makes this home unique. The details are swoon-worthy – fine millwork, paneled doors and hardware, crown molding, wainscoting, hardwood floors, radiators (which are so often removed in favor of baseboard heating) a stunning curved staircase leading to the second level, French doors, and two wood-burning fireplaces. The layout is very livable. The kitchen has a center island, breakfast nook, and butler’s pantry. The baths have been updated, but not too updated. The mudroom and laundry room add functionality. There are suites on both floors that can be used as a master. Walker Street is about a mile from the town center and close to Route 128.
I would love to show you this hidden jewel if you happen to fall in love with it in the way that I have. Call me (978-764-4506) and I will be glad to send you full details on the property.”
The property is listed by Hannah Barker and Nicole Monahan of Landvest for $1,625,000. Hannah and Nicole hosted a broker luncheon with sandwiches from Green Grocer of Ipswich.
‘ Located in an estate neighborhood, this unique property offers the potential to design and build your custom equine abode or to possibly subdivide. ‘
True to its legacy, Gathering Farm continues to this day as a premier professional boarding and training facility on 17+ acres. Located in an estate neighborhood, this unique property offers the potential to design and build your custom equine abode or to possibly subdivide.
There is a very persistent whisper in the greater Cape Ann real estate community. It seems that there is an advance team of decidedly British ‘agents’ making discrete inquiries about several area luxury properties. The Royal Couple, it is well known, is taking a step back from their official duties and want to spend time in North America. That means Canada, most pundits agree. However, the Kristal Pooler Team has been informed that Harry is a student of history, with a particular interest in the American Revolutionary War! That means that Massachusetts is in the musket sight of the Prince and Duchess’s search. Whether true or not, we wonder what properties currently on the market could possibly interest them. Here is a link to a collection of active North Shore Listings that Meghan and Harry might consider. What ones do you like? If you are competing with the Sussex Royals for a North Shore palace, call us – we can provide you with excellent representation.
We are delighted that we were able to assist 2 families with their unique horse property acquisitions. Both Hamilton equestrian properties sold in October 2019. Our Team represented the Sellers of Wilderness Farm (467 Sagamore Street closed on October 9th ) and the Buyers of Rockwood Farm ( 2 Spingler Drive closed on October 30th).
467 Sagamore transferred for $1,330,00 on approximately 5 acres. The new owners retained a Right of First Offer for the adjacent 8 +/- acre Ipswich parcel if it is ever offered for sale. Wilderness Farm’s asking price was predicated on its need for some renovation and addressing of several deferred maintenance issues.
During 467 Sagamore’s marketing period, the fate of an adjacent 500+/- acre parcel known as Sagamore Hill was uncertain. A coalition of conservation-minded organizations speared by Essex County Greenbelt was given a finite period to raise the funds needed to purchase it. This uncertainty made 467 Sagamore an untenable risk for many potential Buyers and increased the property’s time on the market. Happily, the property was conserved and the new owners enjoy direct access to the immense reservation and its equestrian, hiking and cross country ski trails!
Rockwood Farm conveyed on October 30th, 2019. It was listed for $2,395,000 on September 12th, 2019. We quickly identified that this property was about to be listed and notified our clients. They purchased it for $2,100,000. Rockwood Farm’s Residence and Carriage House underwent major architectural renovations between 2007 and 2011 and provide a modern, amenity-laden complex for multi-generational living. The very private 9+ acres provide gently sloping paddocks, a barn, and a sand riding ring that will delight the horse owner. Equine pursuits are further enhanced by direct access to the ECTA’s extensive trail system.
It is truly satisfying to see these magnificent properties being used to their full potential by all the happy humans, ecstatic equines, and precious pets involved!
We were honored to work with a young family from Brooklyn NY this year. They have North Shore roots and their goal was to find a reasonably priced home in Manchester-by-the-Sea in 2019. Their plan was to find and purchase the home and rent it for a few years while remaining in NYC to run the charter school they founded. As educators, one reason they targeted Manchester was the high rating of the Manchester Essex Regional School District. They have a baby daughter. When it is time for her to enroll, they will be in their Manchester Home. The circa 1980 home is set back and above a side street. It is a prefabricated home built by the well-known company, Acorn Homes, in Concord MA. They are working hard this July and August, to spruce up the property and offer it to the rental market come Fall. We know they will have a fabulous outcome!
Our seller clients took our advice and invested in a full home preparation and staging initiative. Within 10 days we presented multiple offers, all above the asking price. It was listed at $499K and the market pushed it to $520K selling price.