AU GRES, Mich. (NEXSTAR) – A unique home that recently hit the market in Michigan offers beautiful views of Lake Huron from both its port and starboard sides.
A single-family residence in the city of Au Gres is offering buyers the chance to live like an early 20th-century sea captain, having been designed to look like a boat peeking out over Saginaw Bay.
The home, described as an icon of the lakefront landscape, is currently selling for $750,000.
Just as interesting as its appearance is its history, according to listing agent Laura Kempf and her partner and husband, Martin Kempf. Locals say the original owners were a married couple who had previously owned a summer house nearby. But the husband was always off sailing, leaving his wife attending to the home back on dry land.
“His wife was stuck in the cottage,” explained Martin Kempf, who grew up nearby. “She had enough of that, and said, ‘If you wanna be on a boat so bad, let’s build you a cottage that looks like one.’”
They did exactly that in 1936, building their “houseboat” near the site of an old burned-down hotel.
The home has changed hands a few times over the years, but each owner has kept the majority of the “boat” intact, including some very subtle, ship-specific touches, according to Laura Kempf.
“This flooring is actually slightly sloped from edge to edge, for draining of water,” she said. “Same with the ceiling, it has a curve, like a boat boat. It’s got a steering wheel in the living room!”
The Kempfs also said the previous owner was so tickled with his home that he used boating terminology almost exclusively when talking about the “74-foot-land yacht.” For example, the master bedroom was the “captain’s quarters” and the kitchen was his “galley.” The current listing, too, even describes the bathrooms as “heads” and the front and back porches as “forward” and “aft” decks.
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A few offers have already been submitted, according to Laura, although she’s unclear what the buyers are planning to do with the property.
“It’s an institution,” she said. “I just hope we can find someone that appreciates it as much as the last owner.”
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