Roland Park estate is sold after five years on market St. Georges Road house with gardens and pond auctioned for $530,450

July 21, 1996|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

After languishing on the market for five years, the Roland Park house with Japanese-style gardens and a swan gliding on a backyard pond sold in less than 10 minutes at public auction yesterday.

Bob Williams and his wife, Kathleen Hogan, outbid 10 other qualified buyers to purchase the one-story brick house on St. Georges Road for $530,450 -- much less than the home's fair-market value and little more than half of what it was sold for seven years ago.

"We've been looking for a nice place to raise two little boys," Hogan said, noting that she and her husband had been searching for their dream house since the birth of their first son, Samuel, 3.

They live less than a block away from the north Roland Park estate, in a four-bedroom townhouse on Drohomer Place.

"The townhouse is a great place to live," Hogan said. "It's convenient to everything and we love the neighborhood, but there's no private property here. We really wanted a yard of our own, for our children to enjoy."

The 1.25-acre estate, with its lush lawn and bamboo, will provide a shady place for Samuel and his brother, Benjamin, 1, to play. Hogan said she hopes to move within a couple of months.

Former owners Al and Babette Meltzer, who live all year in their summer home in Annapolis, decided to auction the house at the suggestion of their real estate agent, Karen Hubble Bisbee of W.H.C. Wilson & Co. Realtors.

"I thought the auction would stimulate interest in the property," Bisbee said. "It had lost a tremendous amount of its marketability because it was on the market for so long."

During the six months W.H.C. Wilson listed the house, the Meltzers had no takers.

The Meltzers bought the estate for nearly $1 million in 1989 in a bidding war and invested another $235,000 in a gourmet kitchen, a small, lower-level apartment and remodeled bathrooms. They had been asking $595,000 -- less than the price of other properties in the area. Last week, an adjacent home sold for $720,000.

"It was upsetting to us, emotionally and monetarily, to lose so much money on the house," said Babette Meltzer, who attended the auction. "But I'm glad the buyers turned out to be a young family. I believe they'll appreciate the beauty of the home."

Pub Date: 7/21/96

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