Lakefront wooded oasis a piece of Pennsylvania just off the Jersey shore ‣ Ocean City Sentinel


UPPER TOWNSHIP — “Tranquility at its finest,” is how real estate agent Mark Grimes described the property at 1201 Route 9 in the Palermo section of Upper Township.

The four-level home, tucked back at the end of a long, meandering wooded drive overlooking a private lake, sits on 34 acres including the former sand pit, providing a beautiful vista just a stone’s throw away.

The large property is bordered by a wildlife preserve providing a park-like setting just off Route 9, with easy access to local restaurants, shopping and beaches. 

“It’s close to area attractions but set apart from the hustle and bustle — a truly distinctive home and property,” Grimes said.

The 2,400-square-foot home, built in 1952, has been upgraded over the years where it matters — kitchen and baths — and left in its original rustic state in family gathering areas.

It has a living room with a wood-burning fireplace, dining room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom and screened porch on the first floor, and three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the second. 

There also is a full unfinished basement with a cement floor and standing room, as well as a walk-up attic.

Turning off Route 9, the private drive is reminiscent of the path to many a swimming hole found throughout the woods of central Pennsylvania — it even is bordered by an old railroad bed, evoking memories of the whistle blowing far off in the distance on lazy summer days.

The white house is of a traditional design with a center doorway and wings to each side. The front door, beneath a partial overhang intended to provide some protection from the rain, opens into a small foyer.

Fantastic wood flooring, paneling and window and door trim maintain the feeling of nostalgia for a reporter who grew up in the woods.

Stairs ascend straight ahead and the living room if off the left. It stretches from front to back, with multiple windows on both sides providing natural light. While many would think the brick fireplace with its wood mantel along the outside wall would draw the most attention, it was the built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with classics that was the most intriguing to this bibliophile. 

The room, like the others in the house, is not only spacious but has a cathedral ceiling, making it feel even larger.

A doorway toward the back wall opens onto the porch, which has multiple removable screened inserts and runs front to back.

Back in the foyer, the handsome dining room to the right has three windows across the front overlooking the lake. With built-in corner curio cabinets, its pine-paneled walls perfectly frame the setting.

In the back, the kitchen has been modernized with tile flooring but, like the rest of the house, the best parts were preserved. Original wood cabinets line the front and back walls and more are in the center island, but now they have granite countertops and are arranged around stainless-steel appliances such as the dishwasher to the right of the two-basin sink.

A corner laundry closet contains a washer and dryer behind double bi-fold doors while a hallway alongside the refrigerator leads past the ground-flood bathroom across from the basement stairs and into the living room.

Upstairs, the large master suite is on the left side, above the living room. It has a large four-poster bed that is in no way crammed into the space, which also has a small sofa. The furniture is not included.

The fine millwork continues in the bedroom, which has a full bathroom and walk-in closet. The bath has tile on the floor, halfway up the walls and in the tub/shower. There’s also a pedestal sink.

Just atop the stairs, the hall bathroom is nearly identical.

In the back right corner, the second bedroom has twin beds and a walk-in closet. 

The third bedroom is in the front right and connects with the master suite via a front hallway with access to the attic.

The possibilities are endless as 1201 Route 9. It could serve as a terrific shore vacation headquarters, with easy access to Ocean City and shore points south, or be a year-round residence. 

Upper Township has quality schools educating students through eighth grade and a sending relationship with Ocean City High School, with highly touted academic and sports programs.

Ocean City is one of the most popular shore resorts on the East Coast, featuring a 2.5-mile-long oceanfront boardwalk filled with hundreds of shopping, dining and entertainment venues, as well as miles and miles of pristine beaches. There also is an award-winning downtown business district centered on Asbury Avenue and a watersports district around Third Street on Bay Avenue.

The property is listed for $1.995 million with Mark Grimes of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox & Roach Realtors. Call (609) 425-2042 or email for more information or to set up a time to see this wonderful home.

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