Houses can be a lot like people in that their intrinsic value isn’t always evident from their exterior appearance or, for that matter, their asking price. A good example is the three-bedroom, two-bath house on the market at 104 N. Martindale Ave., a one-way residential street in Ventnor that’s just a stone’s throw from the Margate line and only three short blocks from the ocean.
Although certainly an attractive enough home when viewed from the outside, it’s not one that might strike you as particularly conspicuous or eye-catching. And considering it’s located at the juncture of two of the Jersey Shore’s most desirable resort communities, its relatively modest price tag might not make it seem all that exciting, either.
But once you’re inside, you start to realize just how much this beautifully preserved vintage property has to offer and what a hidden treasure it actually is. In fact, for anyone looking to buy a beach home that combines contemporary convenience with the elegance and charm that characterized early 20th-century resort architecture, this house could be a “real find.”
Among its more intriguing features are distinctive trefoil-type ornamental arches that frame the entries to rooms on both floors and two built-in brick fireplaces, an ornamental one in the sunporch and a wood-burning one in the living room that’s visible from the formal dining room, lending family or holiday meals an especially festive atmosphere. There’s also a separate breakfast nook adjacent to the kitchen, complete with its own window that’s an ideal place for a coffee or tea break at any time of the day.
Other architectural features that date to the mid-1920s when this house was built include handsome crown moldings, old-fashioned doors and hardwood floors that have been scrupulously restored by the current owners, who have tried to maintain a delicate balance of retaining its original character while modernizing it wherever it seemed to be indicated.
The extensive upgrades they’ve done include replacing all the wiring and light fixtures and upgrading the home’s electrical capacity from 100 to 150 amps, installing central air conditioning, replacing the radiators with a new heating system, and refurbishing the kitchen with new granite countertops and new flooring, as well as a new sink and faucets. Recent exterior renovations include replacing aging terra cotta tiles on four outside overhangs with new shingles to match those on the roof.
Exterior attributes that add to the extraordinary appeal as well as the appearance of this abode include an attached garage with enough room to accommodate a car and other items like beach chairs or bikes (or that can alternately be used for storage), a driveway that provides additional off-street parking, and both an inviting, partially covered front porch that has more than ample space for lawn and patio furniture and an equally roomy, private, fenced-in patio area in the back that’s shielded by a line of evergreen trees.
Among the other amenities of this “very beachy house” (as one of the owners describes it) are a full-size laundry/utility room, an attic storage area, a traditional pantry that can be especially helpful in cutting down on shopping trips, and full baths both upstairs and downstairs. Some of the present furnishings are also negotiable should a prospective buyer be interested in acquiring them.
The home’s convenient yet semiprivate setting is another huge advantage. Located on what the co-owner describes as a very quiet street where the neighbors are mostly year-round residents who “look out for each other,” it is within an easy walk of not only the beach and Ventnor Boardwalk but trendy eateries such as WaterDog and Hannah G’s, as well as being only a few minutes from Casel’s Marketplace and Margate’s other retail conveniences.
Then there are the various ways this house can be used — either as a year-round residence, a summer retreat or a lucrative seasonal investment property. And given the skyrocketing value of Downbeach community homes, its highly competitive asking price of $457,000 is the “pricing icing” on the cake.
If this hidden, polished gem of a house sounds like the kind of hideaway haven you’ve been searching for at the seashore, you can set up an appointment to view it with listing agent Paula A. Hartman at the Margate office of BHHS Fox and Roach at 609-487-7234 (her cellphone number) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If she’s not available, you can also call Dana Hartman at 609-541-4484. But don’t wait very long, because someone else is likely to “discover” it before you do.