Carmel Valley house sits on lush acreage along the river, offering peace and beauty.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
1947 was a very good year, a very good year for a meadow of level land to transform into a home, grow trees, have horses roam. Sweet piece of heaven, 1947.
The story may not be of the house necessarily, but the land offers more than most could conjure even given a week to think. Within the fenced flat acre are too many trees to count, with varieties not limited to pine, sycamore and oak, all thriving over half a century. The back of the property is broad and even and terraced down to the Carmel River, where the combination of precious natural beauty and the need for flood insurance are seen simultaneously.
Harwell and Phyllis Dyer have owned the house since 1947. Phyllis Dyer, who died about two years ago at age 102, left it to her family, which has decided to donate all proceeds from the home’s sale to Doctors Without Borders and several other charities. The property is being represented by Steve Bradford, who has personal memories of it, dating back to his childhood.
“My father was close friends with Harwell Dyer, and in fact in 1968 married the Dyers’ daughter who I knew well and who then became my stepmother,” Bradford says. “The place feels as friendly now as it always did, even empty. And the trees are huge after 40 years.”
The house looks quite the same, too, since it was well-built and maintained and never has been updated. The square footage is about 1,768, with two master suites and 2½ baths, one fireplace in the living room and in one master, a separate dining room directly off the fully equipped, good-sized kitchen and an attached two-car garage. The house is set back from the road, offering notable quiet. The river pan goes directly along the property, then under the little bridge partially seen through several lofty autumn-thinned trees, their silver trunks nearly glowing. Views everywhere are of the Garland Park mountains only a few blocks away.
Bradford worked in contracting for many years and with educated observations notes how the house could best be remodeled should the next owner choose to do so. It’s built of concrete block with slanting ceilings of thick redwood and many support beams to last forever.
“But it’s on a slab foundation,” Bradford says. “That means it can’t be raised and that makes it pretty cold sometimes.” He suggests radiant heat and proper flooring throughout to solve the problem (electric baseboard heaters were used before). To install the radiant heat, the doorframes would be raised, a task Bradford says is straightforward since the walls are concrete. “After that,” he says, “the house needs plaster, paint and dual panes.” He’s referring to the basics since the kitchen, baths and main rooms likely would be redone and made beautiful again to someone’s taste.
Bradford mentions how easily, and to handsome effect, a house of this construction can be plastered inside and out. But it’s not an impossible idea to live here as is, since everything’s in working order. Water is supplied by Cal Am, and a large well, long in place, is used to irrigate from the Carmel River aquifer. Plenty of water credits are available.
All the windows are expansive, designed to frame and bring forth views of the land, river and sky as if seen cinematically. The scope allows the trees to seem both protective and wild, some challenging the sky; some demurely spiraling flutters of gold leaf onto the still-green lawns below.
Price: $1,049,000. 90 Boronda Rd., Carmel Valley. Contact Steve Bradford, 402-2502, Intero Real Estate Services.