If you’re contemplating buying a house — especially one in an upscale beach community like Longport — how can you go about determining whether a particular property offers the best value for your money when the criteria involved aren’t always obvious?
Well, in the case of the three-story, five-year-old house now for sale at 3217 Ventnor Avenue with an asking price of $1,650,000, it might help to know that the contractor who designed it and supervised its construction, Joseph Hirsch, went to considerable pains and spared no expense to make sure it was built to the highest possible standards. That’s because it was the home where he and his wife Amy had originally intended to spend their retirement (and would have but for a recent change in plans).
As a result, there are certain distinct advantages this three-story, five-bedroom (or possibly six-or seven-bedroom), four-and-a-half bath, double-decked resort residence enjoys that you won’t find in many other seemingly comparable Downbeach area homes — benefits that derive both from the exceptional quality of the materials and craftsmanship used in its construction and the unusual degree of ingenuity that went into its design.
For one thing, Hirsch notes that the foundation walls of the house consist of precast concrete manufactured by the firm Superior Walls, which had to be hoisted into place by a crane and is much stronger (as well as considerably more expensive) than the standard hollow concrete blocks most home builders utilize. He also decided to use foam insulation, again a more costly alternative, rather than loose-fill materials such as fiberglass, which gives the home a much better R-value (that is, capacity to resist heat transfer, which keeps it both warmer in winter and cooler in summer and helps save on energy bills).
Additionally, instead of the standard vinyl siding found on many Shore area homes, Hirsch says he opted to install a fiber-cement product that offers better protection from the elements so “you don’t really feel the wind,” and which is five times thicker than vinyl, all of which he says makes the house “much more secure.”
But those aren’t the only built-in benefits of this custom-designed dwelling. One of the most unusual features is its extraordinary elevator that goes from the garage to the 3rd floor — which, in addition to being an amenity not found in most homes, utilizes pneumatic vacuum (PV) technology, requiring far less room than conventional models (and also costs about twice as much). That’s because while “most elevators need a separate pit for the mechanicals,” Hirsch notes, “ours works exactly like the drive-through at a bank,” which has further enabled the couple to make the most of the home’s interior space. “I was told we’re only the second house in Longport that has one of these particular elevators” he adds.
The house also contains a 20-killowatt Generac generator to ensure against outages during windstorms, which, as Hirsch points out, is particularly reassuring for anyone living there year round (and ensures that elevator remains operational), as well as a “huge” two-car garage with ample space to store bicycles, beach chairs and equipment, as well as an extra room attached to it that can hold a freezer or extra refrigerator or be used as a workshop. The driveway also offers parking space for three more vehicles, and a spare room on the third floor can serve as either an additional storage area, a personal gym (its current use) or be converted into an extra bedroom, as can a downstairs den/office.
The superior-grade materials and amenities that have gone into this home also include COREtec laminate flooring that’s very easy to clean and comes with a lifetime guarantee; a kitchen equipped with high-end Thermador appliances, a sizeable center island, subway-tile backsplash, and attractive white cabinetry and countertops, and a master suite complete with a large walk-in closet. Exterior features also include a fenced-in, private back yard, weatherproof composite surfaces on the upper and lower decks, an extra rear deck off a third-floor bedroom, an outside shower, and attractive stone veneers on the garage level and first-floor deck.
Then there’s the reason the couple decided on this particular site to build the home—its prime location just two blocks from Longport’s 33rd Street beach, which has an adjoining recreational complex complete with municipal tennis courts, a playground and rest rooms (which can be a very important convenience for anyone spending any time at the beach). In addition, it’s just three blocks from the Margate City line, and within easy walking distance of some of the trendy eateries along Ventnor Avenue in that community.
Hirsch also wants potential buyers to be aware that he made sure the house was constructed at a high enough elevation so that even during the worst storms, it has never been subject to any flooding.
To arrange for a tour of this superbly crafted home, you can contact listing agent Todd B. Gordon of the Hartman Home Team, BHHS Fox & Roach, Margate at (609) 487-7234 or (609) 553-5098 (his cell phone) or email him at Todd.ACRealtor@gmail.com.