Found On Trulia: Sinners And Saints Built This Annapolis Estate

Picture this: It’s the Roaring ’20s. An industrialist from Baltimore, MD, is looking for the perfect spot for his new home base, and he has some very specific requirements. Because although his business in the steel industry is legit, he also has a secret — he’s running guns and selling illegal liquor on the side.

Then he finds a piece of land in Annapolis, MD, along the Severn River, secluded and expansive, with daring views of the United States Naval Academy. The industrialist builds his massive estate on the site — including a secret underground vault that connects to a tunnel leading from the home to the river.

That’s the truth-is-wilder-than-fiction behind the construction of this luxurious $ 28.8 million estate for sale in Annapolis, MD. But that’s not the end of the story.

Annapolis real estate

The 26,000-square-foot home sits on 23 acres along the Severn River, just 40 minutes from Washington, DC. It’s been renovated many times over the last 80 years, but its private location is what attracted the original owner — and, years later, the Catholic Church, which turned it into a Capuchin friary, and finally its current owners, who made it an expansive yet cozy family home.

Annapolis Real Estate

One big clue to the estate’s illicit past? That secret vault. “Supposedly, it was a tunnel that went all the way from under the house down to the river. We don’t know if it still goes down that far, but you can still get into the vault through the billiards room,” says listing agent David DeSantis, partner and managing broker, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in Washington, DC.

But the billiards room no longer looks the way it did when the vault was built; it has since been paneled with hand-carved teak. “The entire room was hand-carved in Southeast Asia,” says DeSantis. “The ceiling, the walls, everything. It was measured to specifications, shipped to Annapolis, and then rebuilt in the house.”

Annapolis Real Estate

While we’d love to know what gems could’ve been tucked away in this wine cellar in the 1920s, chances are slim that any original items would’ve made it through the home’s many extensive renovations. “[The home] was pretty much uninhabitable when the current owners bought it,” explains DeSantis. “There were raccoons living in it.”

Annapolis Home for sale

Saved from its sinful origins, the home was eventually purchased by the Catholic Church and converted into a friary. The vaulted ceilings in the ballroom (it once served as the chapel) are some of the last remnants of its religious past. According to DeSantis, about 25 to 30 friars lived here, sleeping in a dormitory that was torn down to build the home’s more recent spa wing, added by the current owners.

Annapolis Real Estate

The current owners, who are in the seafood business, restored the estate, adding contemporary updates — including this cheerful commercial-sized gourmet kitchen. Although the home has been for sale for a few years as a private listing, the owners aren’t in a hurry to sell. (We can see why!) Buyers today might benefit from those days on the market; it was originally listed at $ 32 million, now down to $ 28 million.

Annapolis Real Estate

Rich wood paneling and comfortable furniture with antique accents, seen here in a trunk-turned-coffee-table and Windsor rocking chair, keep formal spaces casual. “[The owners] have been fishermen for several generations,” says DeSantis. “It was very important to them not only to restore the house to the grandeur that it once had, but [also] to reflect their sensibilities and be a house that was comfortable for them.”

Annapolis Real Estate

Instead of the massive friars’ dormitory, the home now has a more manageable seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms — including this light-filled room with paneled walls. In this bedroom, Old World meets New, with elegant drapery around the Colonial-style, four-poster bed frame and rich oil paintings that frame the entrance to an adjacent sitting room.

Annapolis Real Estate

This wood-paneled sitting room is a spot for quiet contemplation — and cozying up by the fire with a good book. (Or perhaps writing one about the colorful history behind this piece of Annapolis real estate?)

Annapolis Real Estate

The current owners replaced the dorm with a spa wing, which includes an indoor pool and elaborate baths. According to DeSantis, since the owners frequently travel to Asia for work, their travels inspired them to add Asian influences throughout their decor — like the dragon candlesticks in this shower.

Annapolis Real Estate Home With Pool

The Asian influence carries over throughout the spa wing, where a teaching Buddha statue, symbolizing the union of teaching and method, overlooks the indoor pool and spa.

Annapolis Real Estate Home With Pool

The back of the home overlooks a 60-foot infinity edge pool lined with chairs. To the left, a covered pool pavilion with an outdoor fireplace offers a sheltered place to relax.

Annapolis Real Estate Home With Pool

This room, called the Zen room, is part of the guest wing. The large, circular windows let in light and offer views of swimmers in the outdoor pool. “A lot of times when you go in very expensive homes, they have that feeling like a museum — where you’re uncomfortable touching anything,” says DeSantis. “This home doesn’t feel like that.”

Annapolis Real Estate Waterfront Home

Of course, no self-respecting gunrunner would be able to transport goods without a private dock. The home now boasts a private, six-slip dock with a boatlift — and 2,000 feet of riverfront.

Annapolis Real Estate Teahouse

The current owners built the charming teahouse, a relaxing spot to enjoy a pot of Sencha — the tea that a guest is most likely to be served when visiting a Japanese home. The property also includes a conservatory, game room, catering kitchen, workshop, nine-car garage, roof garden, and tennis court.

Check out the image gallery and real estate listing for this home: 1600 Winchester Road, Annapolis, MD. (Find other homes for sale in Annapolis.)

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Found On Trulia: Sinners And Saints Built This Annapolis Estate was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing

There’s no reason amateur real estate investors can’t profit from small, individual property purchases. With home values currently rising 3.9 percent year-over-year, and expected to rise another 2.6 percent over the next year, why not allocate some of your savings toward real estate?

To get started off on the right foot, you’ll need to make some decisions. Follow these steps prior to entering the real estate market.

Assess your current finances

Typically, financial professionals advise buyers put down at least 20 percent of a home’s purchase price. But to avoid being responsible for two mortgages, many investors wait until they can pay for real estate outright. Obviously this requires a large savings, but to skip the lender and avoid interest rates you might opt for a foreclosure listed below the local market median.

If you do need a mortgage, you might consider living in your investment property to take advantage of owner-occupant rates. You don’t have to live there forever, either. Lenders typically require just one year of residency to lock in the lower rate for the remainder of the mortgage. Owner-occupied interest rates are much more favorable than secondary home or rental property loans.

For those fortunate enough to purchase multiple income properties simultaneously, it’s important to choose the right financing.

“We recommend our clients leverage their investment capital using cheap 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and buy as many income-producing properties as possible. This is how they accelerate their wealth-building with our turnkey properties,” says Marco Santarelli of Norada Real Estate Investments.

Determine the potential cash flow

House flipping shows can make quick profits look easy. Typically, most homeowners don’t profit when they sell shortly after closing. Of course, a major renovation on a flipped home increases the potential for short-term profit, but such extensive upgrades are going to cost a lot of money. Unless you’re capable or experienced in large-scale home improvements, don’t assume you can flip a house by yourself to benefit immediately.

Renting out the property, on the other hand, is more of a long-term strategy. Pricing requires some serious calculations to attract the largest number of possible tenants, while still covering the mortgage and homeownership costs. Although you’ll aim for profit in the beginning, the real money usually flows in after the mortgage is paid.

“When I calculated my potential cash flow from renting out my house I started with Zillow,” says Andy Prescott of Art of Being Cheap. “I looked at Zillow’s rental estimate to see how much income I could expect. Since I was renting out the home I was already living in, I knew exactly what my mortgage, insurance and tax payments would be, and had a pretty good idea how much I would spend on repairs. So I subtracted all my expected payments from my expected income to get my expected cash flow. If that number had been close to zero, I would have been nervous about unexpected expenses, but since I had a few hundred dollars cushion I knew renting my home out would work out well,” Prescott says.

Today’s rental market is notoriously expensive, and competition among lessees is high. Even if you’re not looking to be a landlord long-term, it could be financially wise to rent out your unit at least until median sale prices in the region peak.

Decide on your investment type

Many investors default to considering individual direct ownership as their only way to profit from real estate. However, partnerships (both close and limited) and publicly-traded investment trusts are designed to help investors who might not have the time, or the skills, to run real estate investments on their own. Partnerships can benefit individuals with similar investment interests who aren’t quite ready to dive in solo. Real estate investment trusts (REITs), on the other hand, enable investors to fund multiple projects simultaneously without the hassle of day-to-day management.

“REITs behave in a certain respect like stocks (potential for capital appreciation/loss) and in certain respects like bonds (high levels of current income),” says Rich Ellinger of Wealthminder. “These somewhat unique properties, combined with the ability to raise rents on the underlying properties in inflationary times, mean that REITs behave a little differently than other types of investments. Although subject to economic fluctuation, REITs have performed well in the past few decades. Over the past 20 years, REITs have appreciated approximately 13 percent per year — the top among all equity classes,” Ellinger says.

Unsurprisingly, your financial capabilities, estimated profit margins and choice of investment are all interconnected. Whether you’re starting out with $ 10,000 or a million, staying informed in the real estate industry — even as a passive investor — is a key to success.

Related:

Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News » Tips & Advice

How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home