By Dave Enscoe, Advertising Department
In the pecking order of Atlantic County real estate, Longport is at the top of the food chain. The tiny borough at the southern tip of Absecon Island is a mostly residential enclave of multi-million dollar beach and bay front homes.
Tom and Franny D'Angelo's house has a Longport address and a Longport zip code, but because it's not technically in Longport it doesn't have a Longport price tag.
"This house would be worth a lot more if it were actually in Longport," says Franny, whose four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home is listed for $774,900.
The house is officially located just across the Intra Coastal Waterway from Longport in Egg Harbor Township. It's part of a small, isolated community off Longport-Somers Point Road called Seaview Harbor.
Twenty years ago, Seaview Harbor consisted of about 80 modest ranch homes, most of which fronted the Great Egg Harbor Inlet and a series of man made lagoons. The character of the neighborhood began to change in the 1990s when homebuyers attracted by the waterfront location started tearing down the ranchers and building lavish Longport-style beach homes. Many of those homes are valued at more than $1 million.
Tom and Franny, longtime casino workers, bought a vacant lot in Seaview Harbor in 1995 and built their house in 2003. The property fronts a deepwater lagoon with a floating boat dock, where Tom and Franny keep their 20-foot Grady White Overnighter.
"At the end of the lagoon you turn left and you're five minutes from the ocean," Franny says. "Turn right and you're in the bay."
The house features an upside down floor plan with a kitchen, great room, laundry room, master suite and a bedroom on the top level. Two guest bedrooms and a full bathroom are on the second level while an oversized two-car garage is on the lower level.
The great room has a gas fireplace and large windows that overlook both the lagoon and the meadowlands to the north. The master suite has a private bath and a walk-in closet. The kitchen has polished oak floors that extend through the great room, new granite counters and stainless steel appliances, a center island and access to an elevated deck.
A ground level patio features another deck, a tiki bar, and storage shed. Tom, a floor person at Revel, and Franny, a dealer at Borgata, recently installed new vinyl railings around the deck and stairway.
"The outside is a party deck," says Franny. "We have music, cable TV. In the summer we're always outside."
Homeowners at Seaview Harbor also have use of a private sandy beach on the bay, a community swimming pool and spa, and a marina that is also home to Caffe Luciano Lamberti, a waterfront restaurant.
"When we work swing shifts, we'll go to the beach until about 4 o'clock, come home and go to the hot tub and pool for a half hour, go home, get dressed and go to work," Franny says.
The house is located 13 feet above sea level and suffered no damage from Superstorm Sandy.
"We were so lucky," Franny says. "The homes facing the open bay did get some flood damage but we're sheltered here. We had some wind damage but no flooding."
When they sell the house, Tom and Franny plan to retire and downsize. They have two grown children including a daughter who is finishing up her residency and is planning to join a medical practice in Somers Point as a surgeon. Their son is a floor person at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.
An open house at this property will be held Sunday, June 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information and directions call Susan Carr of Prudential Fox Roach Realtors, 609-576-6504 (cell) or 609-677-4482.
Where: Seaview Harbor, EHT
Location: Lagoon front
Size: 4 bedrooms, 2½ baths
Taxes (2011): $11,438