Bu Dave Enscoe, Advertising Department
Carla Glass loves old houses. Lots of old houses. In the past 20 yars she and her husband have owned 10 homes in Ventnor and Margate. Nearly all of them were built in the early part of the 20th century.
But Carla does not love fixer uppers. She prefers them already fixed up.
"I like to buy houses that are mostly done," she says. "I don't like to start from scratch."
Carla's current home in Ventnor certainly meets those criteria. It was built in 1912 by a Philadelphia brewery owner and was later home to Anthony Rey, the first President of Resorts International Casino Hotel. In 2009 it underwent a complete remodel/ restoration.
The project was carried out by Debra Buchalski, whose company, Remarkable Renovations, specializes in redesigning and restoring older homes. During the project, many of the original elements of the home were preserved including the hardwood floors, the solid wood doors, the slate roof and the diamond granite exterior. Modern improvements included a brand new kitchen, remodeled bathrooms, a finished basement, a whole house stereo system and a large L-shaped swimming pool in the back yard. The house was also sided with real cedar shingles.
Buchalski sold the newly renovated house to Carla and her husband in 2010. The Dutch colonial style structure - a block from both the beach and the bay - now has 6 bedrooms, 5½ baths and about 5,500 square feet of living space. It stands on an 85-by-115-foot lot on South Somerset Avenue in Ventnor's desirable St. Leonard's Tract, a neighborhood of stately single-family homes built on oversized lots.
"It's a great neighborhood," Carla says. "We have a senator across the street. We have a congressman, doctors, business owners."
The house is entered from a covered front porch through the original Dutch door. The enormous foyer used to be flanked by formal living and dining rooms. But the living room was converted into an immense eat-in kitchen with a ceramic tile floor, a two-level island with granite counters, a double oven, double warming drawer, even a double dishwasher.
"Where the oven is now there used to be a fireplace with a granite chimney that took up almost the entire wall," says Carla.
The former dining room is now a formal living room and features built-in cabinets and the original fireplace, which now burns gas instead of wood. The former kitchen is now a den and has sliding glass doors to a secluded fenced-in paver patio that surrounds the pool. A back staircase leads to former servants' quarters that were converted into one large bedroom suite with a private bath, a vaulted ceiling and a private teak deck that overlooks the pool and patio.
Double doors open into a master suite that is entered through a spacious sitting room. The master bath has a corner whirlpool tub and an oversized tiled shower chamber. The master bedroom has its original fireplace – also converted to gas. Among the furnishings is a massive armoire that has been in the house since1912.
"I don't think anyone wanted to move it," Carla says. "I'm pretty sure it will be here for the next owners. It's probably bad karma to move it."
The finished basement has a ceramic tile floor, a billiards room, a theater room, a bedroom and a full bathroom with walk-in shower. An attached two-car garage is entered from Ventnor Avenue. The patio has an enclosed outdoor shower and full bathroom.
After three years in her house, Carla is getting the itch to move again. She's got her eye on another one of Buchalski's restored homes in Margate.
"I'm a habitual mover," she says. "I like it. You get to meet new neighbors and you don't accumulate as much. I could probably move and unpack in a week if I had to."
The frequent moves have not proved disruptive to Carla's family, which also includes her husband, a 19-year-old son who's in college and two daughters, ages 17 and 11.
"We're not leaving the island so the schools don't change," she says. "The kids get to pick their rooms in each house. I just have to text my husband so he knows where to go when he comes home from work."
For more information on this property, which is being sold fully furnished, call Mark Arbeit of Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, 609-402-5885 (cell) or 609-449-8182.
Size: 6 bedrooms, 5½ baths
Taxes (2012): $17,418
Price: $2.15 million