56 Howland Road, Spencer

Road crews have laid a ribbon of velvety new blacktop for miles along South Danby Road for a cushiony ride through the woods, and before you know it, you’ve reached 56 Howland Road, adjoining Danby State Forest.

The house, on four acres of meadow with walnut trees and a sizable pond, was built for a horse fancier, and for years its barns and meadows were the stud home of Abdullah, a handsome prizewinning Trakehner jumper stallion who, in his happy retirement, was estimated to have sired 500 offspring, many of them prizewinners too. An Abdullah poster is the first thing you see in the home’s entryway/tack room, and adjoining the tack room is a good-sized workshop.

Up a few stairs a large, woodsy living room welcomes you, with its outsized brick fireplace, built-in bookcases, a baby grand piano in dire need of a tuning but otherwise seemingly sound (it conveys, I’m told), and a picture window overlooking a long view of walnut-tree-dotted meadows, and of the neighboring forest. But the most enchanting focal point is a large, peaceful, private pond.

Adjoining the living room is a pine-paneled study with incorporated bookcases, desk and a built-in and cleverly disguised safe — you just never know when you’ll need one of those to store the family jewels and the deed and abstract to this lovely property.

With five bedrooms in all, and two and a half baths, there are four spacious bedrooms upstairs, with oak floors. Dormers provide light, a cozy atmosphere and spectacular views in every direction, and the master bedroom walks out onto a second-floor deck. There is also a bedroom with full bath on the first floor, which could be office or main-floor master. The home has many replacement windows, and, through them, panoramas of breathtaking proportions.

A door from the ’70s retro kitchen, with its bright orange countertops and cabinets that looked to be in good condition, leads to an l-shaped wrap-around deck, with even more spectacular views. Downstairs is a partially finished walkout basement that faces the pond, and which could be used as an in-law apartment with a family room, bedroom, kitchenette and half bath.

Across the driveway, its neighbor, for sale at $210,000 (same seller), consists of 74 acres of meadows and dense, unharvested forest, a 20-stall barn, and a 66’ X 152’ indoor riding arena with four additional stalls. Wow. Just wow. Saddle up!

Sales statistics from the Ithaca Board of Realtors (updated July 31)

Norma Jayne at the Board tells us that the June 2017 statistics have new listings down 0.5 percent over the same period last year, pending sales increasing 31 percent, inventory shrinking 13.9 percent, and prices moving higher as the median sale price rose 6 percent to $222,550. Days on the market decreased 23.1 percent to 60 days, and the month’s supply of inventory was down 33.7 percent to a 5.9-month supply. Tompkins County’s closed sales increased by 13 percent over last June’s, and new listings were down 12 percent. Days on market decreased by 21 percent to 46 days, and if that doesn’t sound like a sellers’ market, I’d be mighty surprised. If you’re thinking of selling, give your agent a call. And if you’d like to buy, get a move on! •

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