It’s not unusual for a couple to move an aging parent into their home. Lots of people do it. But is it a little unusual for aging parents to move their adult daughter and her family into their home. That’s what Jim and Kathy Lawrie did three years ago.
“My youngest daughter and her family ran into some problems,” Cathy recalls. “So we decided to ask them to come and live with us for a while.”
The Lawries’ home in Egg Harbor Township had plenty of room – 4 bedrooms, 2½ baths and a finished basement. But in order to accommodate another family of four (which included their son-in-law, daughter, a 3-year-old and a newborn) Jim and Kathy decided to add even more living space. They spent about $30,000 transforming their partially finished basement into a spacious new living area with a bedroom, a full bathroom and a walk-in closet. Then they left the upstairs to their daughter and her family and moved into the basement.
“Except for using the kitchen for cooking that’s where we lived,” Cathy says.
The Lawries’ two-story house is located in Ridgewood Estates, a large subdivision off Delaware Avenue in the township’s Bargaintown section. Jim and Kathy had been living in a smaller house in Ocean City when they purchased the house in 2013. They wanted a place large enough to host family gettogethers, which often included many of their seven children and nine grandchildren.
“I also liked the location, being central to all the places I like to be; convenience stores, the mall,” Cathy says. . Built in 2007 by Ryan Homes, the house features a vinyl siding exterior and many upgrades including a stone front, a tray ceiling and bayed window in the formal dining room, oak floors and custom plantation shutters in the family room and master bedroom.
The spacious kitchen has a center island and stainless steel appliances. It’s open to a morning room with a vaulted ceiling, a wall of windows and a glass door to the concrete patio. The first floor also includes a formal living room that adjoins the dining room, a powder room, a laundry room and a family room with a Berber carpet and gas fireplace.
The second floor has a hall bathroom and four bedrooms including a master suite with a ceiling fan, sitting area and an enormous walk-in-closet. The master bath has a ceramic tile floor, twin vanities, a soaking tub, and a large shower chamber.
Outside, the Lawries added the vinyl privacy fence in the backyard as well as a garden shed and a picturesque Koi pond with a waterfall.
For the past several months, Jim and Cathy have had the house to themselves.
“My daughter got a teaching job in Millville and the family moved out to Upper Township,” she says.
When they sell the house, Jim and Kathy, who are originally from Media, Pa., plan to move to a house they own in Port St. Lucie. FL. “The grandchildren got older and they don’t want to come visit much anymore,” says Kathy, who is retired. “I have a sister who lives 20 minutes away from our house in Florida. That’s where I want to be.”
An open house at this property, which is located at 409 Snow Fox Lane and listed for $269,900, will be held Sunday, March 5, from noon to 3 p.m. For more information call Lynn Krasuski of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, 609-226-2795.