Shore Thing

Nick Churton of Diane Turton Realtors’ London office gets a strong feeling that a wonderful beach-front home on the New Jersey Shore is ready for a new chapter.

Property: 695 East Avenue, Bay Head, New Jersey

Broker: Diane Turton Realtors

Agent: Jennifer Landers

Amongst the attractive pictures on the walls of The Perch, Bay Head in New Jersey, are a black-and-white photograph and a colourful painted portrait – both of its most recent owners. The house has been in the same family since it was built in 1911. The photograph is of a young and handsome newlywed couple in ’50s swimwear walking happily hand-in-hand through the sand dunes. It looks like a Hollywood glamour shot. The painting is of the couple many decades later – they still look glamorous.

These pictures go some way to help one understand why one gets a warm feeling on entering the house. It is a feeling of love, welcome and nurture. It is quite simply the sort of feeling that parents’ and grandparents’ houses should have. This is a house where lifelong fond memories are and have been made.

Inside isn’t new, shiny and temporary. It is solid, stylish and permanent – crafted beautifully in original Arts and Crafts style. Here A/C doesn’t stand for air conditioning, it stands for Atlantic current, the cooling, salt-laden ocean breeze that flows through the house in the summer months. The Perch was built extremely carefully and has been maintained without compromise. It stood, almost alone, against Hurricane Sandy – and won. It protected its owners against the awful damage and broken dreams that beset so many others.

This is a gem of a house perched to take in the wonderful dune, beach and sea views. It still does what it was built to do over one hundred years ago – provide a homely and stylish beach-front family house. I hope the new owners will not move in with a decorator, but instead take some time to get to know the house and let it speak to them. It will tell them it doesn’t need changing. Instead it needs cherishing. It will tell them that this is not a do-not-touch museum piece but a home to be lived in with knocks and dents that all have their stories. It has earned its rich patina. It is a house robust enough to withstand many more small knocks and dents that another family will add – and hurricanes.

If you are looking for an old-money, honest, safe, stylish and classy home on the New Jersey Shore your search is over.


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