The Lion's Den
News & Views About Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Area
A Day Trip to the ‘Irish Riviera’
It was a tough assignment, but someone had to do it. On Nov. 15, our colleagues at Ward Wight Sotheby’s International Realty in Spring Lake, N.J., aka the “Irish Riviera,” hosted a tour of some of their finest listings in Spring Lake, Brielle, Manasquan and Sea Girt, N.J. We left New Hope on a sunny, warm morning, drove south through Trenton and made a beeline out I-195. In just 70 minutes, we had arrived at Ward Wight’s Spring Lake office where sales associate Jeannie Wheat waited to escort us to seven or so properties. Jeannie has been part of the Spring Lake community since her childhood and has encyclopedic knowledge of this town of nearly 3,000 people, about 75% of whom are year-round residents, according to Wheat. She was well informed about property values, what buyers are looking for in shore homes and the history of the greater Spring Lake community, a history that starts with wealthy families from Philadelphia and New York building large Victorian homes there in the late 1800s after rail service made the area accessible for city residents.
Many of those historic homes still stand, but quite a few have been torn down and replaced with homes that speak to the Victorian shingle-style architecture that is common in shore towns along the east coast. For ease of maintenance, Wheat says many builders and their clients are using Azek brand trimwork, rails and moldings and composite shingle siding that hold up in the harsh conditions along the coastline. The look is traditional but the maintenance is anything but: Just power wash and allow to dry.
Here’s a look at some of the properties we saw that day.
204 Remsen Avenue, Spring Lake: This 7,000-square-foot home has nine bedrooms, 5.2 baths, a gorgeous chef’s kitchen that opens to a very large family room with fireplace and French doors that lead to a loggia with fireplace. Ocean and lake views from some of the top-floor bedrooms and the second-floor veranda. Beautifully built to reflect traditional architectural style. Price: $5,899,000.
111 Howell Avenue, Spring Lake: Like the home above, this is newer construction with just over 7,000 square feet of living space, six bedrooms, six baths, top-quality finishes, exquisite millwork and a finished lower level — some homes accommodate basements, some don’t, depending on the water table at the site, Wheat explained. Price: $5,799,000
110 Sussex Avenue, Spring Lake: Pictured above, this big Victorian was built in 1900 and is being offered for the first time in 40 years. Seven bedrooms, direct views of the lake, one block from the beach, one block from town — it’s a prime spot surrounded by other large homes. While it’s been updated over the years, it’s possible someone will buy it for its location and build a new home, says Jeannie Wheat. Price: $4,850,000.
15 Madison Avenue, Spring Lake: On a double lot with more than 10,000 square feet of professionally designed living space, this home is one of Spring Lake’s finest. Five bedrooms, 6.2 baths, elevator, professional-grade kitchen, expansive spaces for entertaining, direct ocean views — nothing is missing from this home. Price: $11,900,000.
If you want to explore the Spring Lake market, please contact Jeannie Wheat or the Ward Wight SIR office. Jeannie’s direct line is 732.859.4141. The office phone is 732.449.3322.