Grateful for Gales Ferry

The three-bedroom ranch-style home at 7 Oakridge Drive in Gales Ferry is newly listed for sale, with an asking price of $350,000. Listing agent Jacqueline Hoyt, a sales associate with the East Lyme office of Coldwell Banker Realty, introduced her client, Mackenzie Stephenson, to Welcome Home. Stephenson and her husband, Eric — both military service members — bought the property in early 2020, when orders brought them east from Hawaii.

Mackenzie had come to Connecticut ahead of her husband, accompanied by her father, to look for a place to live that was in or close to Groton. They weren't "persnickety" about their expectations for a home, she said, and they didn't mind taking on some minor projects.

She recalled touring 7 Oakridge Drive during an open house and noting how it had good bones and some recent improvements made by the seller.

"It still allowed a lot of room for projects to personalize, and my husband is very handy," she said. One of the projects he took on was an overhaul of the garage — adding insulation and new drywall.

The house and attached garage were built in 1961 and sited on a 0.64-acre lot. When the current owners acquired it, some of the interiors had been updated already, including the kitchen.

They chose white cabinetry with stainless hardware to match the appliances. The countertops are white and gray, contrasted nicely by a pop of wall color.

"It's very calming," Stephenson said of the soft shade of blue-green.

Combining the above- and below-grade square footage figures, the house has a sum total of 3,047 square feet of living space — much of it with hardwood floors. It has three wood-burning fireplaces — one in the living room, a second in a bedroom (currently used as a home office), and the third in the lower-level family room.

The lower level is a full walk-out basement with both living and storage space, including an oversized cedar closet. The laundry room is also on the lower level.

When they bought the house, Stephenson's husband celebrated the occasion with a new John Deere mower and took pride in maintaining the yard around the 0.64-acre lot, she said.

Gales Ferry is a little village within the town of Ledyard, named after the former 1740-era site of a ferry that ran out of the eastern bank of the Thames River. Gales Ferry and Ledyard are home to a number of historic houses, some dating back to circa 1750.

The Stephensons appreciated the home's location.

"We had this very private-feeling property, but it took us five seconds to get on a main road, to get to a grocery store or access the highway," she said.

Destined for their next post, she said they'll take fond memories and friendships along with them. They welcomed their first child during their time living here.

"I've probably made the most friends I've ever made, living anywhere, in this neighborhood," she said.

"It's a good mix, with a core population of people who have lived here for many years, with houses that have been passed down generationally within the families. They're the historians of the neighborhood and how its developed. There are also young families and kids in the neighborhood," she added. "It's a really friendly place."

Property: 7 Oakridge Dr., Gales Ferry

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 3

Square Footage: 3,037

Acreage: 0.64 acre

Asking Price: $350,000

Seller's Agent: Jacqueline Hoyt, Coldwell Banker Realty; Office: (860) 739-6277; Mobile: (860) 235-2665; jacqueline.hoyt@cbrealty.com

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