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    Real Estate
    Friday, March 31, 2023

    Porch Life

    Extending a home’s living space, a front porch often has the best perspective on the neighborhood
    The front porch at 16 Montauk Avenue in Stonington looks out to a circular drive approach the five-bedroom home and to meticulously manicured lawn and gardens. The property is listed for sale by Market Realty LLC, with an asking price of $2.595 million.

    By Gretchen A. Peck

    Novelist Amor Towles once recounted time he’d spent on a certain front porch: “In my college years, I would retreat to our summer house for two weeks in June to read a novel a day. How exciting it was, after pouring my coffee and making myself comfortable on the porch, to open the next book on the roster, read the first sentences, and find myself on the platform of a train station.”

    While front porches serve a foremost practical purpose for a home—shelter, protection, a place to greet—they can also be an easy extension of a home’s living space. For young Towles, it was the front porch where he found he could quietly disappear into a captivating plot. Others might find their front porches the perfect perch to glance across gardens, to observe the neighborhood, to wave to neighbors, to watch the world pass by.

    A particularly large front porch—the kind more common to homes of a certain vintage—can be a place for lounging, for beating the heat on an oppressively hot summer day, sipping afternoon tea, happy hour cocktails with neighbors, a friendly game of checkers, morning coffee, a newspaper, and the repetitive, reassuring sound of rocking chairs on deck boards.

    People in search of a home to buy might not have “great front porch” high on their priority lists, and yet, a front porch affords so much utility beyond curb appeal. In New London County, two homes currently on the market stand out for their “rocking chair-ready” front porches, among other features.

    The first is at 16 Montauk Ave., Stonington, a five-bedroom custom colonial on 1.51 acres.

    Listing Broker Judi Caracausa suggested that the lawn and gardens—seen here from the front porch at 16 Montauk Ave., Stonington—would make for a wonderful setting for a special occasion or wedding.

    This is a house with presence. It has a happy disposition, with yellow siding, white shutters and a pop of blue color on the front door. The house has a covered front porch that’s charming rather than imposing—spacious enough to accommodate three or four comfortable chairs, perhaps.

    Judi Caracausa, broker-owner of Market Realty LLC in Mystic, is the seller’s Realtor.

    “When you’re sitting on that beautiful front porch, on your comfortable patio furniture, sipping iced tea, your view is of your manicured, spacious front yard, with a circular driveway,” Caracausa described the view from the front porch.

    “It is beautifully, professionally manicured and is a park-like setting—ideal for dinner parties,” she suggested to Welcome Home. “A perfect site for a wedding, too! It’s a winter wonderland when it snows—truly beautiful in all four seasons.”

    As for the porch, she said it’s a “relaxing and functional space.”

    Close to historic Stonington Borough, downtown Mystic and Watch Hill, 16 Montauk Ave., Stonington, affords a buyer a five-bedroom, 8,728-square-foot move-in ready home, with a two-car garage, a pool house and indoor heated pool, 1.51 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, and an endearing front porch.

    The front porch and landscaping are just the beginning of a long list of intriguing facts about the home: generously proportioned rooms; a well-equipped chef’s kitchen, four gas fireplaces, hardwood floors, a butler’s pantry, formal entertaining spaces, a two-car garage, and a finished lower level.

    There’s even a pool house with an indoor, heated pool on the property. The homeowner is asking $2.595 million for 16 Montauk Ave., Stonington.

    Groton Long Point

    There’s probably not a more perfectly matched Realtor to market 158 S. Shore Avenue (in the Groton Long Point Association) than Matt Merritt, a Realtor with William Pitt Sotheby’s Essex brokerage. Merritt isn’t merely the seller’s agent; he’s been a long-time friend of the family and recounted having learned to sail just offshore. He’s known the house for 50 years, including how it’s been cared for and updated over the years and how the waters of Fishers Island Sound and Long Island Sound come into view from the front porch and second-floor bedrooms.

    Known as the “Sea Mount,” the shingle-style home debuted on the site in 1912. It has four bedrooms, three baths, 2,328 square feet of renovated interior living space, and water views from many of the rooms inside. Naturally, the wrapround porch—a captain’s porch, Merritt calls it—serves up some spectacular views, as well.

    The property has been owned by the same family for three generations. Merritt recalled how the family renovated the home, while ensuring that the original period character remained intact.

    “It’s cozy and warm. It’s cottagey. They really kept the cottagey feel,” he said.

    Many of Groton Long Point’s residents have an affinity for the water. Some nearby waterfront properties have private docks, and others keep their boats close at hand at the local lagoon moorings, Merritt noted. He also described it as “a family-oriented community.”

    Homes here are not inexpensive, he added, citing past residential sales of more than $3 million.

    Asked particularly about the view from the front porch, Merritt said, “It’s stunning. You can sit here for hours and hours and watch the races, the regattas, the boats coming and going, especially in-season. Off-season, there’s less boat traffic, but it’s still a beautiful view all the way down to Watch Hill. … It’s one of the few places where you can sit on the wraparound porch and watch both the sunrise and sunset.”

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