A dream house for all seasons


Ocean Pines and the Route 611 corridor in West Ocean City are prime areas for individual new homes, whether a custom-built dream house or a 400-square-footer that comes from the manufacturer fully furnished.

Charlie Muskat had been looking for a 10-acre wooded site on which to build several years ago, but he settled on a 4 1/2 -acre lot in a new West Ocean City development. He'd wanted to be near the water, but not on the beach.

"I have sand in my shoes, but I don't like the beach," he says. "I like the water and the quietness of the space."

Architect Jeff Schoellkopf of Warren, Vt., drew up several plans in order to help him decide what kind of house would be energy-efficient and have the best views of Sinepuxent Bay.

The house is situated so that the hot summer sun is blocked out of the windows of the living spaces but comes in during the cold winter months to help heat the area. The main living area also has a 3-inch concrete base to capture heat from hot-water pipes running through it.

During construction, there were unexpected surprises. Along the edge of his property, Mr. Muskat found an American Indian burial area. While he likes to think that the Indians would be pleased with his creation, he isn't taking any chances. "I'm going to plant some herbs on top to keep the spirits happy," he says.

Acting as his own general contractor, Mr. Muskat has been playing an active role in the construction of the three-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot house. After two years of building, Mr. Muskat hopes to have the house completed by the end of this month.

Those looking for something simpler will find several new communities off Route 611. Assateague Point has furnished homes ranging from 400 square feet to 750 square feet that the developer says can only be used as a second home. Buyers must maintain another primary address.

The nearby Mystic Harbour, also off Route 611, has unfurnished homes from 1,100 square feet to 1,800 square feet. There are also sites available at The Landing off Route 611 for custom-built homes.

New home sales have also been active at Ocean Pines this year. Houses priced from $80,000 to $90,000 reportedly are selling well.

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