Pride of Ownership in Carmel.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Photo: Brick by Brick: Willis Shepard personally placed each 8-inch-thick brick in his 1950s'' post-adobe home.
On the tiled kitchen counter in Willis and Ernestine Shepard''s sunny kitchen is a glass cookie jar always filled with Ernie''s famous cookies. Today there are crunch cookies, a crumbly, sugary delight made with oatmeal and cornflakes. But there''s nary a crumb on the spotless floors in Shepard''s meticulously kept Carmel home.
That the home is so tidy is due in part to the pride the Shepards feel in the home they built in 1956 on a road that winds behind Carmel High School.
"When we bought the lot, there was only one other house on the street," Ernie recalls. "Willis was a contractor, but only had time to work on our home on the weekends."
"There''s 2,200 bricks, and I''ve got my name on every one of them." Willis says with a grin.
Over the years, Willis added to the house as the family''s needs changed. Solid maple kitchen cabinets and new tile were added a few years ago in a kitchen remodel. A brand new fence was put up this year. And the family room was added to the house as the Shepards'' kids grew up and wanted more space to play. It''s a huge room, 20-by-28 feet, located next to the rear garden and hot tub. The room has so many windows it resembles a sun porch.
"We raised our family in that room," Ernie says. "We had weddings there, Christmas, our 50th anniversary--there''s loads of memories in that room."
The location of the house also makes it special, Ernie says.
"Growing up, the kids could walk over to the tennis courts or the swimming pool at Carmel High, and probably a day doesn''t go by when we don''t go down the hill to Long''s or Safeway," she says.
When asked what his favorite room is, Willis jokes and answers, "Probably the bedroom. You know you spend one-third of your life there." But when he reconsiders, Willis says that the almost-12,000-square-foot lot provides his happiest retreat.
"We had to take the lawn out, because of the drought, but Willis loves working in the yard," Ernie says.
Realtor George Brehmer, a practical man, points out his favorite part of the house: the mud room, or what he refers to as the "out kitchen," complete with its own refrigerator, washer and dryer, and bathroom.
"You can go outside and be gardening, or fishing, come in to this room through the garage, clean your fish, put it in the freezer and throw your clothes in the washing machine," he says.
Willis walks across the large living room and puts a rather antique looking stereo system to work. Immediately the house is flooded with the sounds of "Auf Weidersein." The speakers, though older, work just fine.
The living room, like other rooms in the house, has stunning views of the green hills of Carmel Valley. Like the family room, it''s also got a wood-burning fireplace. And with the style definitely set in the 1950s, the home is so well made and cared for that it feels like stepping back in time to a kinder, gentler era.
"The house has really excellent construction," Brehmer says. "It''s got such a sweet home feeling that one doesn''t find in many homes, and it''s been maintained in such a totally clean manner. I''d say it''s got ''livability,'' you can do a lot of real living in here. It''s just a very comfortable space."
Price: $849,500. 25602 Morse Dr., Carmel. Contact George Brehmer of Coldwell Banker Del Monte Real Estate at 624-8961.