Orland, Maine | $1.25 Million
A circa-1905 waterfront retreat with a six-bedroom main house, a 1995 three-bedroom guesthouse and garage, and a craft studio, on 76 acres
Built with shingles, overhanging eaves and massive stone fireplaces, this house has had only three owners in the past 115 years. The sellers bought the property 25 years ago, converted the garage into a craft studio used for quilting and built a new three-bay garage and workshop with guest quarters above it.
The year-round complex is in mid-coast Maine, on Alamoosook Lake where it meets Dead River, several miles northeast of Penobscot Bay. It is about 23 miles south of Bangor and 17 miles north of Castine. Boston is 240 miles southwest.
Size: 3,466 square feet (in the main house)
Price per square foot: $361
Indoors: The property is reached by a private bridge that crosses the Dead River. The main house sits close to the lake and centers on a 24-foot-square great room with pendant lamps dangling from wood beams. The fireplaces in the great room and master bedroom have been relined and have glass-fronted wood-burning inserts.
The house also includes five-zone, oil-fired baseboard heating. Tudor-style timber decorates the walls and ceilings in almost every room. The floors throughout are the original hardwood.
The great room continues on one side into an 11-foot-square sitting room, with a small office attached. The adjacent open kitchen has custom wood cabinets topped in poured concrete embedded with sea glass, which the current owner collected. The kitchen has the original oak refrigerator (now used as a pantry), as well as a modern unit.
Two bedrooms with vaulted ceilings — one with a stone fireplace — and a bathroom with a combined tub and shower are at the end of this wing.
On the opposite side of the great room is a sun porch facing the water, used as a dining area. The master suite opens from the porch and includes a bedroom (with a stone hearth), a sitting room or bedroom, and a bathroom with birch-patterned wallpaper and subway tile.
Two additional bedrooms are on the second floor, along with a bathroom with a shower. Both have timber trim, but only one has an eyebrow window and is wonderfully pink.
At the base of the guest cottage is a three-bay garage and a heated wood shop with a dust-collection system. The upstairs apartment, which can be reached from interior and exterior staircases, includes three bedrooms, a family room that could be built out to include a kitchen and one and a half bathrooms.
The studio building is 20 by 30 feet and includes a bathroom with a shower.
Outdoor space: The wooded property has more than 3,500 feet of water frontage and abuts 4,500 acres of conservation land. It comes with a boathouse and a dock.
Contact: George MacLeod, Maine Real Estate Brokerage, 207-944-8771; https://www.mainerealestatebrokerage.com/property/whispering-pines/
Houston | $1.25 Million
A house custom-built in 2004, with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 5,750-square-foot lot with a swimming pool
This steel-framed brick house is in the Montrose neighborhood, a few miles southwest of downtown. It was expanded five years ago to include a poolside great room, a new second-floor master suite and a third-floor covered patio. The property is a few houses away from the many commercial offerings of Westheimer Road and about two miles north of the Museum District.
Size: 4,741 square feet
Price per square foot: $264
Indoors: From the outside, the building appears to be a pair of townhouses positioned behind a gate in a manicured courtyard. What lies beyond the front doors is a single living room with a 24-foot ceiling, Italian porcelain-tile floors, walls of reclaimed brick or plaster punched through with massive arched windows and an iron staircase rising to an open interior balcony.
Tucked under the staircase is a wine-storage room and bar. Beyond is a dining room with an elaborate trusswork ceiling that continues, on the right, into an electric-blue kitchen with steel cabinets, black granite countertops and a chandelier formed from a cluster of silver globes. Straight ahead, a great room has identical finishes and a similarly styled wet bar; a biofuel-burning Cocoon fireplace suspended from the intricate wood ceiling; and 32 feet of folding glass doors opening to the pool area.
The current master suite is above the great room. It has hardwood floors, flowery sconces, spidery pendant lights and double doors opening to a balcony overlooking the pool. A partition behind the headboard divides the area from the master bathroom, which includes a floating vanity with double porcelain bowl sinks, a glass-enclosed shower with double shower heads and a soaking tub in the middle of the marble floor. (The toilet has its own room.) The windowed walk-in closet includes built-in cabinetry and a rolling ladder for reaching overhead shelves.
The former master suite includes a balcony that looks out to the street, plus a private, slate-faced bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub. The third bedroom has a rear-facing balcony and a bathroom with a tub-and-shower combo and a decorative ribbon of mosaic tile.
Outdoor space: The third-floor covered patio overlooking the pool includes a full stainless-steel kitchen and downtown skyline views. Bamboo lines the pool, and a hot tub is attached to it. Parking is in a two-bay garage at the front of the building.
Taxes: $24,579 (2019, without exemptions for use as a primary residence)
Contact: Karin Tennant, Greenwood King Properties, 713-320-5557; greenwoodking.com
Piermont, N.Y. | $1.275 Million
An 1871 house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and Hudson River views, on a half-acre lot
Designed by McKim, Mead & White as a summer home for George Nelson Taylor, a piano company executive and the great-great-grandfather of the current owner, this four-story shingled house is five minutes on foot from the village center of Piermont. This Rockland County community is three miles south of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and 15 miles north of the George Washington Bridge. It is named for its mile-long pier (a popular strolling location, especially in pandemic times) and the Palisades cliffs that form its backdrop. The 687-acre Tallman Mountain State Park is a little more than a mile south of this residence.
Size: 2,900 square feet
Price per square foot: $440
Indoors: The main floor centers on a large foyer with a decorative tile fireplace and a staircase with a sinuous upper banister and a large Palladian window. Paneled pocket doors open to a dining room and a living room that both have hardwood floors with decorative inlay, graceful moldings and fireplaces. (The living room fireplace includes a functional wood-burning insert). The two rooms also connect to each other and to the lower level of a two-story sun porch that is not included in the square footage.
An eat-in kitchen is off the dining room, with two walls of custom cabinets. French doors open to a large backyard deck at one end. A laundry room and rear staircase are on the other side.
On the second floor, folding doors in two connected bedrooms open to a sun porch above the one on the main floor, creating a large suite. A third bedroom has a bay window. A fourth is a closet’s width away from the shared bathroom, which includes a wainscot, a vintage sink and a claw-foot tub with a shower head.
Two bonus windowed rooms with closets are on the third floor, along with a storage room. The lower level has its own exterior entrance and contains a 22-foot-long family room and a 12-by-9.5-foot office with walls that expose the stone-and-brick foundation. There is also a full bathroom and direct access to a two-car garage.
Outdoor space: The large elevated back porch has river views. The terraced grounds include an 18-by-38-foot lap pool that needs refurbishing and a Japanese maple that was planted at the time the house was built.
Contact: Diane T. Smith, Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty, 914-523-0004; ellissothebysrealty.com