On Westport's waterfront, an unrivaled setting for homes, grand to cozy
Published 9:10 am, Saturday, March 30, 2013
Long Island Sound emits a siren call for many people who are lured to the water's edge by the intoxicating rhythm of waves lapping the shore.
For some, it's enough to visit for a daylong picnic, sunbathing or water recreation. Others want endless sunrises and sunsets and to fall asleep to the lullaby of the surf. They have populated the Westport shoreline in homes from modest to magnificent, from 1920s bungalow beach houses of about 1,200 square feet to the spacious custom-built estates like the 8,716-square-foot, 10-room home at 120 Beachside Ave. on the market for $27.5 million.
There are sometimes disadvantages to living on the waterfront. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy wreaked tremendous damage to properties along the Connecticut coast, forcing some homeowners inland. The die-hards have chosen to rebuild and raise their houses to keep them out of harm's way.
There are reports that the recent superstorms have begun to influence homeowners' and house-hunters' decisions about direct waterfront properties.
Bobbie Abagnale of Halstead Property in Westport said prospective homeowners are considering alternatives such as purchasing houses along the Saugatuck River and local lakes and ponds. Those for whom Long Island Sound is so alluring that they can't imagine living elsewhere are doing more homework and being more picky, she said.
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"They're really being more selective. They're asking is it high (enough off the ground)? Was the house damaged? Where is it? Maybe a walk to the beach is better than right on the beach. They're really thinking it out more than they were in the past," Abagnale said.
The house on Beachside is well-protected from the Sound. Others, like a small contemporary beach house right on the water at 82 Compo Mill Cove suffered the wrath of Sandy. The house itself was not damaged but the property's cabana and lap pool that was built in to the tiered wooden deck were washed into the Sound and an attached in-law apartment will need extensive renovation. This house is on the market for $2,699,000.
This house was built as a demonstration home and was exhibited at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. The house is called the House of the Setting Sun. A second house on the property, which is also available for purchase, is called the House of the Rising Sun.
More InformationABOUT THESE HOMES
• 120 Beachside Ave.: $27.5 million sale price; 8,716 square feet. For information, contact Nicholas H. Fingelly Real Estate at 203-255-9900 or 203-226-1900.
• 82 Compo Mill Cove: $2,699,000 sale price; 3,203 square feet. For information, contact, Vera Rudd of William Pitt Sotheby's at 203-722-2230.
• 11 Owenoke Park: $3,295,000 sale price; 2,163 square feet. For information, call Jeanette Dryburgh of Dryburgh & Associates, an affiliate of William Raveis Real Estate, at 203-246-1168.
• 5 Sea Spray Road: $2,895,000 sale price; 4,014 square foot. For information, call Julie Vanderblue of the Vanderblue Team, an affiliate of the Higgins Group, 203-257-6994, or Theresa Roth at 203-858-7346.
Both houses are for the homeowners who cannot live anywhere but on the water. It actually takes a special kind of person to live in these two houses or any others on Compo Mill Cove because this road cannot be accessed by motorized vehicles. Those who live on this road must park in a lot off Hillspoint Road at Compo Mill Cove and walk to their home across wooden bridges and a dirt road. Many have wagons to carry groceries.
Vehicle access is allowed only occasionally via a gate at Sherwood Island State Park.
The House of the Setting Sun has 3,203 square feet of living space and features sliders to the deck from the living room and family room, a fireplace, floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves, wet bar in the dining room and skylights. In the kitchen there is a hand-painted tile backsplash. The second-floor bedrooms, including the master, have access to a balcony with a hot tub.
In the next neighborhood over, within walking distance to Compo Beach, is a vintage 2,163-square-foot Colonial house at 11 Owenoke Park, a private cul-de-sac off Compo Beach Road. Although it also has direct water frontage, it did not suffer serious damage from the recent storms. The only casualty was a porch trellis.
"Historically, this house has fared well in storms," said real estate agent Jeanette Dryburgh of William Raveis Real Estate in Westport.
Built in 1900, this house has its own private beach and a long, covered porch and sunroom from which to relax and enjoy morning coffee and sunrises or evening glass of wine and sunsets. The living room fireplace has decorative dentil molding, and the detached two-car garage has electricity.
Owenoke Park is a private association so the road is not well traveled, providing privacy for the local inhabitants. This house is available for $3,295,000.
Across town on Saugatuck Shores is a 4,014-square-foot Contemporary house at 5 Sea Spray Road that features walls of windows, skylights and cathedral ceilings to take advantage of its stellar water views. The house is on the market for $2,895,000.
This waterfront property has a heated in-ground Gunite swimming pool, three fireplaces, and a spiral staircase that leads from a lower to an upper deck. It is conveniently located close to the Saugatuck train station.
ABOUT THESE HOMES
- 120 Beachside Ave.: $27.5 million sale price; 8,716 square feet. For information, contact Nicholas H. Fingelly Real Estate at 203-255-9900 or 203-226-1900.
- 82 Compo Mill Cove: $2,699,000 sale price; 3,203 square feet. For information, contact, Vera Rudd of William Pitt Sotheby's at 203-722-2230.
- 11 Owenoke Park: $3,295,000 sale price; 2,163 square feet. For information, call Jeanette Dryburgh of Dryburgh & Associates, an affiliate of William Raveis Real Estate, at 203-246-1168.
- 5 Sea Spray Road: $2,895,000 sale price; 4,014 square foot. For information, call Julie Vanderblue of the Vanderblue Team, an affiliate of the Higgins Group, 203-257-6994, or Theresa Roth at 203-858-7346.