It's not uncommon to see a residential community built around a golf course. But it is a bit unusual to see a golf course built around a residential community. But such is the case in Somers Point, where the fairways of the private Greate Bay Country Club completely surround about 100 single family homes. Shaun Fitzpatrick owns one those homes. He bought it 23 years ago when he was a newlywed with a child on the way. At the time, it was a modest 1980s split level that occupied a pie-shaped corner lot across North Village Drive from the 14th hole, a 372-yard par 4.
Shaun, a Linwood native, had big plans for the house. Before moving in, he completed a major makeover, building a two-story addition that increased the livable space to about 3,800 square feet and giving the house five bedrooms, two full baths and three half baths.
"I work in construction so I was able to do a lot of the work myself," says Shaun, an electrician by trade. That work included raising the roof of the original house, adding a huge garage, excavating the basement and installing a hot water baseboard heating system and a six-zone air conditioning system.
"I basically did everything but the sheetrock and the insulation," Shaun says.
The original split level house featured a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and a hall bath. Shaun left the three bedrooms as-is but remodeled the bath and raised the ceilings in the living room and dining room. He also added a spiral staircase in a bedroom that leads to an upper level bedroom and a half bath. The living room now has a vaulted ceiling with recessed lighting, two skylights and a wood-burning fireplace with an 18-foot-high travertine marble surround. The formal dining room has doors that open to the large mahogany deck with a hot tub.
The kitchen has a center island partially made of glass blocks. Shaun installed neon lights behind the glass to add some sizzle. He built the kitchen cabinets himself. A dining area has two walls of 6-foot-high casement windows that look out over the golf course.
"It's a great spot, very quiet and peaceful," says Shaun. "I can sit at my kitchen table and basically don't have to look at neighbors."
The addition also features a large laundry room and family room with a Brazilian cherry floor and doors to a covered porch with a flagstone floor.
"I love sitting our there during a thunder and lightning storm," Shaun says.
The second floor is devoted to a lavish master suite with a vaulted ceiling, a fireplace built into a wall, a walk-in closet and glass doors to a private deck. The tiled master bath has an under-floor radiant heat and is equipped with a corner whirlpool tub.
The partially finished basement has a rubberized floor and includes a sitting area and a well equipped workout area.
Outside, a landscaped paver patio is shielded from the street by a row of towering arborvitaes and is equipped with a hot tub and a coy pond. The garage can accommodate four cars and can be entered from separate driveways on opposite sides of the house.
After 20 years in his golf course home, Shaun is ready to downsize. He's single now and his son, Brandyn, who played on the Mainland High School golf team, will be a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University.
"I don't need all this house anymore," he says. "I'll probably get some place smaller but I don't think I could do a condo. I need something with a garage. And I want my own back yard."
An open house at this property, which is listed for $499,900, will be held Sunday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information and directions call Monte Rose of Balsley Losco Real Estate, 609-457-7673 or 609-872-6589.
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