A View From Above
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Ben Goldman is a man of worldly experience, ideas and a studied point of view on just about any topic. Goldman pulls no punches, which includes talking about anything to do with the condition of his home that’s located in a gated community on Reservation Road off Highway 68.
“We took up all the wall-to-wall carpet, if you can believe that,” Goldman says. “Then they painted the under flooring a beige color. The new people can put down anything they like: Tiles, wood, radiant heat…and, there’s a $3,700.00 carpeting allowance.”
Much of the house is, in fact, available for creativity and fresh ideas. In spite of having been built over twenty years ago, it’s in good condition.
“I had it all inspected. There are no termites and only a few of the roofing shingles are being replaced. Plus, the hot tub is being fixed,” Goldman says. “The house is solid. There’s not a thing wrong with it.”
The front door opens to a generous entry and immediate awareness of natural light in the rooms ahead. The kitchen, to the left, has a greenhouse window and one side of the L-shaped counter looks through to the living room, which in turn looks through glass doors and large windows to a wrap-around terrace and the elevated sweep of nature beyond.
“My wife Judy and I used to cuddle under blankets out there late at night and watch the shooting stars,” Goldman says. “There’s no light pollution here. We could literally stare into the heavens.”
Inside, the living room walls are all wood with exposed timbers across the vaulted ceiling. “This place was so horrible, such dark, nearly black wood when we moved in,” Goldman says. “We couldn’t stand it, so we had it painted.”
The walls now are powder white and the ceiling seems to be bleached planks.
“No,” Goldman says. “It’s rolled and rubbed to get that effect. First, the paint is rolled on and right away rubbed in with a cloth. That’s why all the grain shows through this way.”
The living room has an adobe fireplace and pull-down stairs that lead to a loft and an extra storage area. The master suite is huge with windows that look down into a valley with the community aqua pool sparkling in the center. The master bath has double sinks and a step-down tub. New owners may want to generate closet space since those present are long and narrow, and none are walk-in. The house is very livable and can either be done over from front to back with modern materials and high-end appliances, or receive only cosmetic relief and still become a perfect place to call home.
Goldman’s house sits among others on a plateau above many hills in “the Bluffs,” an area unbeknownst to the world below. All you need is the gate code, then you disappear up a winding road through oaks that lean from steep slopes heading to the first hint of houses anywhere. Signs on Reservation Road show three miles to Marina and six to Salinas with Seaside, Monterey and Carmel just minutes south. Nevertheless, up here there are only the silences of a manifestly serene setting.
Warm sunshine seems private and precious here since the band of sky to the west is weighted by a marine layer as obscuring as bundled wool. While the fog saps color and detail from the beach towns, the view from the Bluffs provides classic Central Coast beauty with a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view of golden hills, green fields, mossy dark trees and a big blue sky.
Price: $625,000. The Bluffs, 14092 Reservation Road, Salinas. Contact Imogene Speiser of Alain Pinel Realtors at 622-1040.