Friday, August 16, 2013

Our first place together: the shore house then and now

This would be a much more dramatic post if I had some "before" pictures, but just bear with me.

In 2001, the Mister graduated law school and started a one year clerkship in Red Bank, New Jersey.  Over the summer he went apartment hunting and found an adorable cottage in Brantley Beach.  The cottage was a three block walk to the beach, a 15 minutes drive to his new job, and was full of quirky details, like a rainbow shag rug (seriously) in the living room and the original 1950s tile in the bathroom and kitchen.  It was tiny, but cute, and it was cheap, which was very important, since the Mister's salary was also tiny.

A few days before the bar exam, which was a few days before the Mister was supposed to move in, which was also few days before he was supposed to start his new job, he received a phone call from the landlord informing him, sorry, the cottage was condemned and being razed the next day.  (In retrospect, I have a feeling that the landlord probably received a generous offer to sell the place, and decided to skirt the contractual issue of having a tenant, since the prospective tenant had not yet moved in. But I digress.)

This left the Mister with a large problem.  The new job was not really within commuting distance of any family member's houses, and the Mister needed a place to live, pronto. Since the Mister was about to take the bar, the Mister's parents were dispatched with instructions to find the Mister a place to live with immediate vacancy, and within his budget.

In Jersey shore towns, there is a type of rental called a winter share, which I imagine is probably available in shore towns all over.  It is a space that is rented for eight to nine months over the winter, and the owner either returns to live in it for the summer, or rents it out for a much higher price during high season.  The Mister's parents found him a lovely winter share home, available from September through June.  The Mister's parents agreed to help on the rent, and so the Mister moved by himself into a five bedroom, five bath, 3000 square foot fully furnished house located directly on the bay, next to Geraldo Rivera's house.  If the Mister could have afforded a yacht (he couldn't), he could have tied it up on the dock at of the house.

I moved in a few months later, so this was our first home together.

I am very sad that I have no pictures of the interior of this house.  It was enormous, but had not been updated well. I think the house was probably built as a three bedroom rancher in the fifties, and then received a two bedroom addition upstairs in the eighties.  Three of the baths were in original to the house but in good shape; the two upstairs baths were basic builder grade and added when the upstairs addition was built. The kitchen was ugly, small, and inefficient with ancient appliances.  The smallness of the kitchen compared to the largeness of the house is one of the reasons I think the house probably started off as a small rancher.

The house was fully furnished, and decorated in a shabby chic style.  The hardwood floors were painted in a yellow and green checkerboard pattern.  Nearly every room was exploding with floral chintz and plaid everywhere.  But, there were plenty of guest bedrooms, the view of the bay was amazing, and we were very happy, if cold and huddled under blankets from our inability to heat such a large house.

Here is the only picture in my possession of that house.  Its not even a picture of the front of the house; we are standing in the backyard.

The other day we were discussing the house and pulled it up on google, where we discovered that it was recently for sale for $2.4 million. (Ha!!) Someone clearly also put a lot of work into it, because it certainly didn't look like this when we lived there.

The owner added an addition on the left, because the original house stopped about where that tree is.  They also made a ton of renovations in the back.

Here is a (poorly photoshopped) view of the back of the house then and now:

The far right second story is a new addition.  On the first floor directly below that addition they made what was a guest suite off the porch into the new kitchen with a large bay window. There was no raised back porch, either.  On the second level the three sets of French doors were there, but the large balconies were originally much, much smaller.  The roofline is also changed.

The yard was the same, although not as lush.  When we were there, the owner had grass planted on a Monday, and on Wednesday there was a major storm with lots of flooding, and the bay came up to within ten feet of the back of the house, and it took all the grass with it when it receded.  So the year we lived there the backyard was sort of a large mudpit (as you can see in the picture of us standing in the backyard).

The view of the bay was pretty lovely, though.  If only I had taken a picture of it.

Here is what the new owner did with the kitchen.  I am guessing that this is probably in the new addition, because the old kitchen faced the street, not the bay.

Here's our old bedroom, which appears about the same.  It was a periwinkle blue when we lived there, but otherwise the room looks the same.

I pinned all the pictures from the MLS listing to a Pinterest board, if you're interested. The owners did a very nice job renovating the house.

Thanks for joining me on my trip down memory lane...even if that trip involves a house that didn't look anything like the one I lived in.  

1 comment:

  1. That's crazy! I never would have guessed it was the same house. Fun post!


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