Resort living: Business or leisure on Eastern Shore

Whether your dream is to live in a quiet country village with a population of a few dozen people or you want to enjoy the lifestyle of an innkeeper in a charming bed-and-breakfast on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, you may want to take a drive to Eastville, Va.

The Victorian home at 6058 Willow Oak Road in Eastville, in Northampton County, was built in 1886 and has had just three owners in the past 125 years. This quiet property 15 minutes from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel is on the market for $348,843.

The grounds of the estate, which covers almost 3 1/2 acres, include hundreds of trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, including a 125-year-old walnut tree planted when the house was built. The temperate weather in this pocket of the Eastern Shore encourages an abundance of blooms all year long, including dogwoods, crape myrtles, weeping cherry trees, forsythia, a bay tree, gardenias and rhododendrons. The grounds include a 100-year-old English boxwood garden.

A fenced pasture, stable and numerous outbuildings on the property, including a barn with a hayloft, offer space for equestrian activities and a dog kennel, and there also is a detached two-car garage. Real estate broker Melody Scalley of Bay Breeze Realty, the owner of the property, suggests buyers could enjoy developing a “hobby farm” on the grounds.

Residents easily can reach the Chesapeake Bay for fishing or boating and can visit Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads via the Bay Bridge and Tunnel. Recreational activities on and near the property include horseback riding, golf, fishing and hunting.

Eastville, less than four hours from the District, offers a peaceful respite from city life. The town has the oldest continuous court records of any town in the United States and has low annual real estate taxes. (The property taxes for this home are less than $180 per month.) Buyers can use the property as a weekend retreat, telecommute or retire to country life.

This Victorian home has been used in the past as a bed-and-breakfast and easily could be reconverted for that use. The property uses the town water system and has septic approval for a 24-seat restaurant.

The home has approximately 3,500 square feet, with flexible rooms that can be reconfigured into dining and sitting rooms or into space for a home office or home-based business.

Guests immediately will be entranced by the deep porch that wraps around the front and back of the home and includes distinctive columns. The steeply pitched roof and dormer windows hint at the charms to be found inside.

The main level has a front entrance into the main hall, which leads straight through the home and connects the front and back porches. Two adjoining rooms, each with a fireplace, currently are used as dining rooms for guests.

An iron filigree decoration adorns the top of two doorways connecting the main-level rooms, just one of the many Victorian details in the home. The home also has hardwood flooring, Victorian wallpaper, crown and chair-rail molding and chandeliers.

The main level also has a den, two baths, a kitchen with a breakfast bar, and a library that could function as a bedroom. In addition to the covered porches, this level has a screened porch.

Additional bedrooms and baths for guests or residents are on the second floor.

For more information about this Victorian country retreat, contact Miss Scalley at Bay Breeze Realty at 757/678-7200 or visit http://6058willowoakroad.ePropTour.com.

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