When a home is included in Margate’s Annual Jewish Family Service House Tour, the proceeds from which help provide Atlantic County seniors with needed services, you would be justified in assuming that it is considered to be among the most luxurious and exceptional abodes in the Downbeach area of Absecon Island.
It’s therefore worth noting that the custom-built Tudor-style residence at 437 N. Rumson Ave. in the city’s Sunset Canal district, which is now on the market for an asking price of $2,575,000, has actually been selected for that tour twice in the past decade — a fact that should be of particular interest to anyone looking to purchase a singular seashore resort property.
The feature that one of the present owners of this house believes largely accounts for its having merited that distinction is the elegantly elevated veranda, a stone-inlaid, extra-long, covered terrace that overlooks a pavered patio containing a full-size in-ground heated pool and hot tub, and which is set apart from them by an ornamental iron railing and Greek-style Doric columns. What gives this veranda its especially unique character, however, is its prominent brick hearth—actually, the lower exterior half of the chimney—complete with a built-in wood-burning fireplace that encompasses a sizeable section of the adjoining wall.
The veranda is spacious enough to accommodate a gathering of up to 16 people sitting down and makes an ideal venue for outdoor dining, according to the co-owner, who noted that the fireplace keeps at least a portion of it nice and toasty on cool evenings in the spring and fall. In addition, its front end is flanked by a curved wall made of the same brick as the hearth, providing a perfect storage area for firewood (about half a cord of which comes with the house).
Complementing the home’s outward appearance are a charming front-entrance portico, complete with its own gabled mini-roof, beautifully landscaped front and back yards, and special high-end, orange-tinted outdoor Mica Lighting. That last item was installed by its original owner, local restaurateur Steve Marchel, who ordered it from a California firm to be “reflective of what a fairy-tale cottage would have” in keeping with a vision of the way he wanted the house to look that was inspired by similar ones he had seen in Carmel-by-the-Sea on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
A less prominent exterior feature that combines both utility and aesthetics is a detached one-car garage built to match the “Hansel and Gretel”-type ambience Marchel wanted to create, which can also be used to store beach equipment and is located at the end of a long driveway on which several additional vehicles can be parked.
Adjoining the terrace is an open-floor-plan living and dining area with another fireplace, this one equipped with a gas log that can be turned on instantly. An oversized kitchen at one end would not only delight any chef but cater to the needs of a caterer as well, with high-end appliances that include a Wolf 60” gas range with six burners and dual griddle, two dishwashers (one of which was recently added), along with a plumbed built-in Miele coffeemaker that can make a fresh, hot cup of coffee, cappuccino or latte instantly available, attractive built-in custom cabinetry, a large center island that can double as a kitchen table and natural lighting from a number of windows.
Among the other special aspects of this property are windows that Marchel, who co-owns the nearby Water Dog Smoke House (which is within walking distance), imported from Costa Rica after looking for what he describes as a wood-casement window with “true divided light inside and out. I was attempting to design a house that was new but looked old, and those windows, which are crafted from a special type of mahogany that’s indigenous to Central America, fit into that design perfectly,” he says.
Additional amenities include new hardwood flooring throughout the entire house; a second-floor laundry/utility room equipped with an Electrolux washer and dryer combo; a master suite that contains a huge walk-in closet, steam shower and soaking tub, and a first-floor den that’s ideal for a home office. And should a buyer like the way its furnished and want to move right in, the contents are also all negotiable.
And while it’s located a couple houses from the bay, the current co-owner, whose family has used it primarily as a summer home, says he has had no problem walking the few blocks to the beach while carrying a chair. “I don’t think I’d want anything closer to the beach,” he says. “It’s a much quieter neighborhood, and visitors never have any trouble finding parking there”
To set up a tour of this “really spectacular” property, as he refers to it, the listing agent to contact is Paula A. Hartman at BHHS Fox & Roach, who can be reached at either (609) 271-7337, her cellphone number, her office number at (609) 487-7234, or by emailing her at redheaded firstname.lastname@example.org