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Carolina couple finds dream home in Catonsville

Created date

March 22nd, 2010

Ask any Realtor and they ll tell you: there is no perfect house. But if you ask Charles and Sondra Tucker, their two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home at Charlestown is as [caption id="attachment_8838" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Charles and Sondra Tucker are extra excited about the arrival of springtime because they can enjoy it on the patio of their Charlestown apartment home. (Photo courtesy of the Tuckers)"][/caption] close to perfect as you can get. We really love it, says Mrs. Tucker, a retired kindergarten teacher. We re on the corner so we have double exposure with lots of natural light, a covered walkout garden patio, and a wonderful location near the pool. Enter the couple s spacious 1,100-square-foot apartment home (which was recently featured in the Baltimore Sun s Dream Home section), and you re welcomed with a gallery wall of family photos. Venture a little further inside and you ll find a wellappointed galley kitchen, separate dining room, sunny study, and a collection of artwork acquired from years of traveling. The apartment is the perfect size for the two of us, says Mr. Tucker, a retired University of South Carolina professor. The house we previously lived in had a lot of rooms we weren t using wasted space. Here, we useevery square inch and we ve maximized our storage by adding custom closets. The Tuckers also opted for other popular upgrades in their Charlestown apartment home, including wood floors, [caption id="attachment_8839" align="alignright" width="280" caption=" It s funny, says Sondra Tucker. Some of our friends who have seen photos of our apartment home, above say it even looks similar to our former house. (Photo by Sara Walters)"][/caption]wood shutters, ceramic tile, chair rails, and crown molding. We tried to include many of the same features in our apartment that we enjoyed in our home in South Carolina, says Mrs. Tucker. It s funny some of our friends who have seen photos say it even looks similar to our former house.

Too much house

That former house was a 3,000-square-foot, ranchstyle, lakefront home located on a half acre in Lake Murray, S.C. The house was built in the 1970s and designed so that you could see the lake from every room in the house, says Mr. Tucker. It was beautiful. But after 12 years of upkeep and maintenance, the Tuckers decided it was time to trade in their once dream home for a pared-down version sans the worry and work. It took an awful lot of time and energy taking care of the maintenance on a half acre, says Mr. Tucker. Plus, we were located a good distance outside of town so we were spending a lot of time traveling back and forth. The Tuckers moved toCharlestownin April 2008 after their daughter introduced them to the community. Our grandson was working as a waiter in one of the restaurants at the time, and our daughter encouraged us to come and seeCharlestownfor ourselves, says Mrs. Tucker. From that point forward, everything fell right into place. I was looking in the newspaper just to get an idea of what houses in our area were selling for, says Mrs. Tucker. I ran across a want ad in the newspaper. It described our house perfectly the square footage, lake frontage, layout. We had been talking about putting our house on the market for some time, so I decided to give them a call.

Happy campers

The next day, the Tuckers had a contract on their house and 90 days to find a temporary place to live while they waited for theirCharlestownapartment home. We re adventurous people, says Mrs. Tucker. We owned a camper and already had plans to go away for a month, so we did. But first we downsized and got rid of a lot of stuff. The rest we put in storage. Then after we returned from our trip, we sold our camper on craigslist ( and rented a beachfront condo. It all seemed too good to be true. We kept waiting for something to go wrong, but everything just worked out beautifully. Now the Tuckers are enjoying every bit of their newfound freedom atCharlestown. They re spending more time with their grandchildren; taking ballroom dancing lessons; volunteering at the Treasure Chest, Charlestown s resale store; and both are members of the Residents Advisory Council. Next month, the Tuckers will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Now that we re not taking care of a large house and a big piece of property, we have a lot more free time to get involved in the things that we want to do, says Mr. Tucker. It s really been a wonderful experience.