Family Renovates Old Beach House With Eye On Tradition

Family Renovates Old Beach House With Eye On Tradition

OCEAN CITY – The Bunting family has taken on weekly vacation rentals this summer in freshly updated downtown properties that focus on keeping families together while making memories in Ocean City.

The Bunting family, who owns and operates The Angler Restaurant, had experience with yearly rentals but decided to expand its horizons with weekly vacation rentals a couple of years ago.

“We had been looking for a while. It was something that my sister and I have wanted to do. The properties allow families to vacation together,” said Julie Smith of the Bunting family. “The people who have come have enjoyed it and come back.”

The most recent purchase was Beach Break located at 607 Baltimore Ave. It was bought in December and the winter months were spent updating the property. This is its first rental season under the new ownership, and families that have stayed so far this summer are already booking Beach Break for next summer.

According to the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC), the property was originally owned by the Davis family. The multifamily residence was constructed in 1937 by S. Dodd Shuster.

“It was in great shape. It has great bones and very well taken care of. The only thing it needed was updating,” Smith said. “When it was finished, some of the Davis family came to see and one of them said ‘it feels alive again’, so they are very happy with the renovation and that’s what we wanted. It is important to keep the tradition,” Smith said.

In updating the units the goal was to keep it clean and simple, while keeping the old Ocean City tradition.

The main house served as Ms. Davis’s primary residence with two rental units below. There are a total of four bathrooms and six bedrooms in the primary residence that can sleep a total of 14 guests. The home received all new furniture and bedding.

“Our thing is it offers a family an option to all be together. They each can have their own space while allowing the family to be together. That is important,” said Smith.Family1

The first floor of the main house contains a large kitchen, living space, three bedrooms, bathrooms and an enclosed porch. It is freshly painted white and pale yellow to brighten the space. Red shag carpet in the living room was lifted to reveal original hardwood floors, as well as the original stone fireplace remains. The kitchen and enclosed porch had tile installed and all bathrooms received new appliances and tile.

The upstairs was originally an attic but was finished prior to the Bunting family owning the property. Its original heart pine subflooring remains, which is a quality commodity today. As well as the knotty pine wood paneling was kept to keep the characteristic of the space.

The two rental units downstairs, which each have two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen and living space, have also been updated with new tile, fresh paint and new furniture and bedding.

In all, Beach Break can sleep a total of 26.

Chateau Surf, located at 503 Baltimore Avenue, was purchased in the summer of 2013 but had tenants that finished out the summer before renovations began and were completed in time for last summer. This is the property’s second rental season under new ownership and has families returning.

According to OCDC, the property was originally the Irving McCabe House built in 1929.

The front house has eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, sleeping a total of 20. The ground level rental unit has two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen and living space. The upper levels of the front house have three rental units that can be rented separately or combined as they interconnect. Each unit has its own kitchen, bathrooms and living space.

Like Beach Break, Chateau Surf is similarly updated with fresh paint, tiling, and all new furniture and bedding while keeping the characteristic of old Ocean City.

The back house has two units with each having two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen and living space, sleeping a total of eight. The units original knotty pine wood paneling and heart pine floors remain, while also being updated like the others.

“It’s great seeing more downtown properties being renovated.  As we have seen with our OCDC Façade Improvement Program, each exterior improvement promotes other downtown property owners to improve and maintain the exteriors of their buildings.  We anticipate the same trend to occur to other downtown properties with Julie’s interior improvements to her two buildings now complete. This has a very positive ripple effect, not only for the downtown area, but for all of Ocean City,” OCDC Executive Director Glenn Irwin said.

Smith recognized local business owner Spiro Buas as an inspiration for others downtown as he has renovated several downtown properties while keeping the old Ocean City tradition alive.