House For Sale: Bath, Maine
Well, okay — community first. but what else should a buyer be concerned about?
“First, have a wish list,” Sharon replied. “Second, be prepared to compromise on your wish list. Third, be brutally honest with me — ‘I hate this, I love that’ — because expressing strong opinions not only helps me but also makes you think about what you really want. Fourth, dress comfortably. High heels on Maine’s rocky shoreline or on my boat, well … Fifth, always hire a good building inspector.”
Any advice for sellers? “First, arriving at the proper price is critical,” noted Sharon. “For instance, the home on Merrymeeting Bay I’m going to show you really ought to be two million. But because of the real estate market today — despite amenities including five bedrooms and four baths — we’re offering it for only $899,000.
“Second, be ready to show your house at all times. Third, be courteous in refusing a low offer. For instance, don’t say, ‘Are you kidding me?’ A better response would be: ‘We appreciate and thank you for your offer, but unfortunately we can’t accept it at this time. But would you consider …?’
“Finally, when prospective buyers come to inspect your house, serve them some hot gingerbread right out of the oven. Brings the blood sugar up, and most important, they stay longer.”
Eventually, it was time to head out to Merrymeeting Bay, where six rivers (the Kennebec, Androscoggin, Eastern, Muddy, Cathance, and Abagadasset) come together to provide one of the most nutrient-rich water bodies in the world. It was, we’d guess, about a 10-minute drive from downtown, past many beautiful homes on the water or at least with water views.
At one time, Sharon explained to us, there were scores of shipyards along these various riverbanks, establishing Bath as “the City of Ships.” Today there’s just one — but it’s huge. That would be, of course, the famous Bath Iron Works, established in 1884 and currently building destroyers for the U.S. Navy.
Yes, Sharon was right. We absolutely loved the house the second we turned off Eagle Point Road onto its hot-top driveway and parked in front of the two-car (heated) garage. A stunning contemporary center-chimney timber-frame Cape with two high gabled wings, it’s sited amid tall pines. Patios and an enormous deck overlook the bay. With 2.3 acres and 400 feet of water frontage (including a sandy beach at low tide), as well as nearby access to a shared deepwater mooring area, it most definitely seemed to us like one of those properties that ordinarily sell for millions.
Two cats met us at the front door. The current owners, Dennis and Suzanne Tan, who built the home six years ago, have moved to the Charlotte, North Carolina, area for business and family reasons. The cats belong to a family who is currently leasing the house (away the day of our visit).
With 4,400 square feet divided among 10 rooms on three levels, the home features lots of glass with fabulous views of the bay, and big wooden timbers, joined by pegs rather than nails, throughout. The master bedroom and bath are on the third level over the garage; the main area of that floor contains two children’s bedrooms.