Creek­side Liv­ing In North Carolina

Soundings - - Waterfront - By Mary R. Drake

Smith Creek and Green Creek merge in front of Mar­i­lyn Arnone’s home to flow past Ori­en­tal — North Carolina’s self-pro­claimed “Sail­ing Cap­i­tal” — into the Neuse River and Pam­lico Sound. “While look­ing for a re­tire­ment home, we fell in love with this beau­ti­ful view across the wa­ter,” says Arnone.

Arnone and her hus­band, Joe, a re­tired sales and mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive for Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb, com­pleted the un­fin­ished house in 1994. In 2002 they raised the more than 2,000-square-foot struc­ture above flood level and re­mod­eled the in­te­rior into a con­tem­po­rary open plan. “Now we must leave this oa­sis,” says Arnone, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of prac­tice and re­search as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Syra­cuse Uni­ver­sity’s School of In­for­ma­tion Stud­ies. “We’ll downsize and move nearby to [the city of] New Bern.”

Their three-bed­room, two-bath home on 0.75 acres has 200 feet of bulk­headed water­front, a con­crete dock with a 13,000-pound boat lift and 4-foot wa­ter depths, an at­tached two-car garage, a de­tached out­build­ing and a heated 8-by-15-foot spa pool. It is of­fered for $487,900.

A wide front porch pro­tects the leaded-glass- trimmed front door. This is where Arnone’s hus­band has his early morn­ing cof­fee, lis­ten­ing to the birds and “mak­ing sure the sun gets up” — usu­ally in a gor­geous sun­rise. The yard is land­scaped with fig, pear, crepe myr­tle and other ma­ture trees, and rose and peren­nial gar­dens. It’s very quiet and very shel­tered, she says.

In­side the house, views of the wa­ter through an arched win­dow dom­i­nate the 10-foot-high great room. Col­umns di­vide the space into a cozy sit­ting room, a liv­ing room with a gas-log fire­place and a din­ing room be­neath the win­dow. An an­gled gran­ite-topped penin­sula sep­a­rates the din­ing area from the kitchen, which is lined with white cab­i­netry and stain­less steel ap­pli­ances. An ad­ja­cent laun­dry room con­nects to the garage.

The water­front screened porch off the great room opens to the con­crete pa­tio ad­join­ing the lap pool. “That porch or deck is my fa­vorite place,” Arnone says, “just sit­ting, read­ing, watch­ing the wa­ter, dol­phins or pass­ing boats.

“Our house is a fan­tas­tic place to en­ter­tain,” she says. “Joe grills on the pa­tio’s out­door kitchen while we watch the boats or, on July 4, fire­works across the creek. Some­times we’ve en­ter­tained 80 to 100 peo­ple.”

The pri­vate mas­ter bed­room wing has a walk-in closet and an en-suite full bath with a dou­ble van­ity. Slid­ers ac­cess the deck and pool. In the other wing, two guest bed­rooms each have twin clos­ets. They share a tiled full bath that is also ac­ces­si­ble from the great room.

Hard­wood cov­ers the liv­ing- area floors; there is tile in the din­ing room, kitchen and bath­rooms, and car­pet in the bed­rooms. A 3-ton heat pump pro­vides cli­mate con­trol.

Their 140-foot dock is a fa­vorite fish­ing spot, and neigh­bors of­ten tie up for im­promptu gath­er­ings. The Arnones en­joy kayak­ing the area’s seven creeks. Joe fishes from his pon­toon boat for floun­der, speck­led trout or red drum in the creeks or the ar­ti­fi­cial reef in the 5-mile-wide Neuse River. “Ori­en­tal is one of the most amaz­ing towns I’ve ever lived in,” says Arnone. “It’s a quaint lit­tle fish­ing vil­lage with art gal­leries, bou­tiques, ca­ma­raderie and spon­tane­ity.”

Ori­en­tal’s mari­nas and as­so­ci­ated busi­nesses make the area a fa­vorite stop for cruis­ers. New Bern — North Carolina’s first cap­i­tal — is about 30 miles away and pro­vides ser­vices, restau­rants, at­trac­tions and chain stores.

Suzanne and Larry Gwalt­ney, (252) 6703797, of Cen­tury 21 Sail/ Loft Realty in Ori­en­tal list the prop­erty. An­nual taxes are about $2,400. sailloftre­alty.com

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