Waterfront house worth the wait


February 06, 1994|By Lorraine Mirabell | Lorraine Mirabell,a Sun Staff Writer

Some people move for a bigger house or a shorter drive to work. Gerry and Mary Hoffman went hunting for a better home for their boat.

Before they found the ideal spot along the hilly banks of Pasadena's Bodkin Creek, the Hoffmans used to rent a slip two blocks from their house in Severna Park.

On weekends, with their retriever, Rocky, they would slice through the Chesapeake Bay on a 25-foot power boat, fishing, swimming and sunning. Then, the slip rental charge doubled.

"That's my incentive," Mrs. Hoffman recalls thinking. "I'm finding my own waterfront."

The 34-year-old sales representative for a pharmaceutical lab began looking, unbeknown to her husband, who was busy installing a 4,000-pound hot tub in the deck of the house in Severna Park.

A hot tub, Mrs. Hoffman convinced her husband, could be moved. So the couple continued a search for a dream home on the water. It was frustrating. Houses on Annapolis' shores cost too much. Others in lower price ranges ended up being too cramped or rundown.

The house on Bodkin Creek, a two-story, cedar contemporary on a wooded half-acre, sat partially built when the Hoffmans found it. The original owner had backed out of plans to complete the custom house.

At first, the couple thought the three-bedroom, 2 1/2 -bath house too far a stretch from the cozy, country cottage they'd always wanted.

But two sliding glass doors in a rear, combination living-dining room with fireplace offered a dazzling view of a shoreline with endless possibilities.

Mrs. Hoffman says that she and her husband -- a 33-year-old paper company sales representative -- decided that, "when you buy on the water, you have to make more compromises. . . . The water frontage has to be the first priority and then the home."

Through the trees and down the hill was Bodkin Creek and a good place to build a pier, which most of the neighboring residents along Park Lane already had done.

Five years later, after paying $298,000 for the house and more than $50,000 for improvements, the Hoffmans have their pier.

They dock the power boat and a 21-foot Bayliner there, at the foot of the rocky hill. They also have a multitiered wood deck off the back of the house, which they built to accommodate the hot tub they moved from Severna Park.

Mrs. Hoffman hasn't let the ultra-contemporary exterior stop her from peppering the house with country touches, handmade wall hangings, flower boxes in the front windows and a braided rug in the sitting room to the right of the foyer.

Upstairs, the master bedroom has a sliding glass door framing a view of the water.

Mrs. Hoffman's collection of Raggedy Ann dolls sits in a guest room. A third room functions as an office. The couple finished the basement, transforming it into a family room with a pool table and bar.

Mrs. Hoffman says she can't think of anything more she'd want in a house.

"There's nothing like waking up and having the Chesapeake Bay as your back yard."

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