Walk into Craig Rogerson's two-story family room and you may not believe what you're seeing. At first glance it appears as if an entire wall is devoted to a mural of a scenic South Jersey seascape: windswept sand dunes stretching to the horizon; beach grass swaying in the breeze; waves crashing on a deserted ocean beach; gulls gliding lazily over tranquil baywaters.
But this is no mural. It's the actual view as seen through a wall of glass in the Rogerson's summer home in Brigantine. And it's made possible because the house stands directly on the border of a state-owned natural area, a pristine three-mile stretch of beach at the extreme northern tip of the barrier island.
The magnificent view isn't confined to the family room. It just as awesome from the multiple porches, bedrooms and a rooftop deck that features a panorama that extends from Atlantic City all the way to Long Beach Island.
Built in 2007, the three-story stucco and stone house is impressive in its own right, with 7 bedrooms, 6 full baths, and an elevator that goes all the way to the rooftop deck. Craig, his wife, Carina, and there three children, were living in suburban Philadelphia when they went looking for a vacation home at the shore,
"We were attracted to the north end of Brigantine because it has the feeling of the Outer Banks (of North Carolina)," recalls Craig, who is the CEO of Chemtura, a worldwide specialty chemicals corporation based in Philadelphia. "If you look north there are no more homes. It looks kind of wild. If you look south from the roof deck you can see the skyline of Atlantic City. And it's only about an hour's drive from Philadelphia."
Located on the northernmost street on the island, the house also overlooks a public viewing platform and the access point for permit-only 4-wheel drive vehicles to enter the nature area.
The house's upside down floor plan includes a first floor with three bedrooms, all with private baths, a playroom, a laundry room and an entry foyer that features an actual seashore themed mural. One bedroom has a wet bar and a private covered deck that looks out over the dunes.
On the second floor there are three more bedrooms and another laundry room. The master suite has a wall of windows overlooking the ocean, bay and refuge, crown molding, a corner gas fireplace and a full wet bar. A covered fiberglass deck is accessed from two bedrooms.
The living area is on the third floor and includes an enormous family room with polished hardwood floors, a gas fireplace and the aforementioned wall of glass. There's also another full bathroom and a media room with a private deck that overlooks the rooftops of Brigantine.
A spiral staircase leads from the third floor deck to the supersized rooftop deck, where the amenities include a large hot tub, a barbecue grill, a television and yet another wet bar.
An eat-in kitchen is open to the family and features a temperature controlled walk-in wine cooler, an immense granite island and upscale appliances that include a Bosch dishwasher and a Sub-Zero refrigerator.
"It's a big home," Craig says. "We thought when the kids got a little older we'd have space for grandkids."
As often happens in life, things rarely go exactly according to plan. Four years ago Carina, passed away following a long illness. The kids grew up and moved away; the couple's oldest son to Pittsburgh and their daughter to Boston, where she attends law school. Craig remarried last July. He and his wife, Irene, currently live in Philadelphia but they plan to build a house in northern Michigan.
"It's just the two of us and it's time to do something else," Craig says. "I'm from Detroit originally and I have a lot of family from Michigan. We're building near the town of Petoskey, near the Upper Peninsula. It's a good place to go fishing."
For more information on this property, which is listed for $2.49 million, call Dori Waldman (609-226-5051) or Elise Waldman (609-457-6409) of Marketplace Realty, 609-823-8500.
Fast Facts: Where: Brigantine Built: 2007 Size: 7 bedrooms, 6 baths Taxes (2012): $26,074 Price: $2.49 million