Home of the Week: An award-winning Cape antique with a pond for $524,900

Buying Fall House Hunt Home of the Week Cape Cod
The home started out as two rooms with a central fireplace and a loft. Lauren Clough Photography

44 Water St., Sandwich

Style Antique
Year built Circa 1690
Square feet 3,106
Beds 4
Baths 4 full
Water/sewer Public/private
Taxes $7,147 (2020)

Originally just a two-room Cape with a central chimney and a loft built for settler Nathan Tobey in the late 17th century, this 330-year-old First Period home is a modern-day winner, recipient of the town’s 2019 Historic Preservation Award. The home dates to roughly 1682; it was built in preparation for Tobey’s marriage to Mary Sargent and bequeathed to him in 1710 upon his father’s death.

Under the careful supervision of the various owners in the centuries that followed, this Cape Cod home was greatly expanded to eight rooms and four bathrooms. It has grown wings in the centuries since it was first built, and owner Janet Chakarian, who received the preservation honor, renovated it. The town praised “Chakarian and her team for removing lead paint from all of the walls and floors, revealing the warm luster of the original oak and pine flooring.’’ She also repaired, rather than replaced, the windows.

Clustered off the front hall are the living, family, and dining rooms, and in the hall off the dining room, there is a full bath with the laundry and then a fully updated kitchen, a walk-in pantry, and a bedroom used as a den. Off the family room, a small space known in First Period homes as the “birthing room” could be used as a home office, according to Chakarian.

The living room features exposed wood beams suggestive of the ribs of a clipper ship, wide-plank wood flooring, several windows overlooking the backyard, and a wood-burning wide-hearth fireplace with a beehive oven that’s original to the house — one of five fireplaces in the home. The ceiling is just 6 feet high.

The room flows into a dining room that offers exposed beams and a replica of an antique chandelier.

A hallway off the dining room leads to a full bath — with a black-and white octagonal ceramic tile floor, board-and-batten wainscoting, a porcelain pedestal sink, and a shower with a clear-glass door and a subway tile surround — and then the eat-in kitchen.

The kitchen was updated in 2017 with the installation of new white wood cabinets (some with glass fronts), granite counters, stainless-steel appliances, recessed lighting, and an island with seating on three sides and a microwave on the fourth. The wide-plank pine floors are original to the kitchen. There is a pantry off the kitchen and a bedroom with blue bead-board walls that is used as a den.

The family room can be reached via the dining room or the front hall. It has exposed beams, French doors to the stone patio and backyard, built-in bookcases, and a fireplace.

The second floor of this home consists of two wings. The one that starts directly above the front door contains the owner’s bedroom, which is nearly 170 square feet and features wide-plank flooring, a fireplace, and exposed beams painted a softening white. The second bedroom, across the hall, is roughly 145 square feet. It is painted a bright pink and has a fireplace. These two bedrooms, with their Federal-style fireplaces, are believed to be mid-18th-century additions.

The full bathrooms on this level have been updated and are back to back: One is painted blue and white and has a shower with a clear-glass door and a white porcelain pedestal sink, while the other offers green and white walls and a mid-century porcelain pedestal sink and tub. Both are green. The flooring in each is a weaved pattern of white and corresponding iridescent blue or green ceramic tiles.

The final bedroom is above the kitchen and overlooks the backyard. It comes with transom windows on one side and its own bath consisting of an antique tub, a painted wood-plank floor, and a white porcelain sink on metal legs.

This floor also offers a small front-facing room adjoining the owner’s room (currently used as a toddler bedroom) and another backyard-facing small room adjoining the pink bedroom that could be used as a dressing room.

The basement is unfinished. The house sits on a stone foundation on a 1.06-acre lot surrounded by stone walls, and includes a private pond.

The home is listed on the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s Inventory of Historic Assets of the Commonwealth and as a structure of significance in the Town Hall Square Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places nominations for Massachusetts.

Tori Harrison of Sotheby’s International Real Estate in Osterville has the listing. As of press time, an offer had been accepted on the property.

See more photos of the home below:

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