1840s house mixes historic, modern

Desirable Spaces

May 11, 2008|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,Sun Reporter

Rick and Terri Steel were about to sign the contract for a new house when they decided to go for a drive and give it some thought.

They said it was a good thing they did. In the car, winding along some country roads just beyond the busy Owings Mills commercial centers, they happened upon a stately, old manor house with a giant maple tree in front. They knew by looking at the porch that it was really the home in which they, their three kids and two dogs belonged.

Terri Steel said she still has a picture of her husband, Rick, standing beneath the two-story porch roof of the 1840s-era house that they bought seven years ago. But now that two of their three kids have grown and left and the bustle in the "study hall" -- a wide hallway equipped with desks and computers -- has largely quieted, they have decided to move on.

"This is going to be a hard place to leave because it was such a lovely place to raise a family," said Terri Steel. "It's ready for that again."

The Steels had planned to move to Baltimore once they became empty nesters, but they have expedited the plan because their youngest daughter goes to private school in town and will have to be at crew practice at 5 a.m. They all agreed that being closer would make life easier.

About the house --Terri Steel has left a mark in every room, replacing the gray walls and heavy drapes she inherited with muted colors and white paint. She designed the kitchen, and even installed some of the house's toilets and sinks herself.

The most modern upgrades include a zoned heating system to better control the temperature and a pool, hot tub and bocce court in the back yard. The historic home -- they believe it's No. 1 in Baltimore County land records -- was also one of the first in the county to be equipped with wireless Internet access.

But the Steels say some of the features they like best in the house are those they didn't pick: The turn-of-the-century barn in a corner of the yard, the original stairs and railing that wind up three floors and the wood logs -- complete with bark -- that support the house. They can be seen from the cellar.

"It's a mix of historic and modern," said Rick Steel. "It's been a respite; a good house."

Address --12005 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, 21117

Asking price --$1,000,000

Taxes --$4,889

Size --The house is between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet and sits on 1.33 acres.

Features --The 1840s manor house has six bedrooms, including a master suite with a private bathroom and small balcony overlooking the pool. It has two fireplaces and some original hardwood floors and stairwell railings.

It has been equipped with modern appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen and pool, hot tub and apple trees in the fenced yard.

Because the Steels plan to move to a smaller apartment, they are willing to negotiate the sale of some of the hand-picked antiques and other furnishings throughout the six-bedroom house.

Listing agent --Creig Northrop & The Northrop Team, info@northropteam.com, 410-531-0321.

meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

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