Calling All Pilots: Historic Hop Brook Farm For Sale

July 12, 2018
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Historic Hop Brook Farm and its 25-acres of land are currently for sale in Holmdel. The site includes a licensed landing strip, an airplane hangar and this walk-in pump house. Photo by Chris Rotolo

By Chris Rotolo

HOLMDEL – The  township is home to some of the most scenic tracts of land and luxurious homes in Monmouth County. Mansions of glory with varied amenities, from equestrian courses, to regulation-size pitch and putt greens and lavish pools are just some of the sights to see.

But how many homes can boast a fully operational, 2,200-foot grass landing strip in their backyard?

Holmdel’s historic Hop Brook Farm can, and this aviation enthusiast’s dream is currently on the market for $1,249,000, a price that was reduced from $1,495,000 in October, just two months after it was put up for sale in 2017.

“There’s a farmer who has been farming that land for as long as I can remember and he had a small plane that he would land on the property,” explained Jeffrey Cruz, the listing agent whose family owns the farmhouse and the 25.48 acres of land it rests upon. “He would store it in a small airplane hangar that’s actually still on the property. He doesn’t fly anymore, but my family has kept the permit up.”

The permit costs just $15 per year to maintain, a mere pittance for such a luxury.

And the asking price attached to the 25-acre property could be described similarly: Three nearby 3-acre properties purchased over the last nine years on Hop Brook Lane – the development that now surrounds Hop Brook Farm – had an average sale price of $2.22 million.

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“It’s tough to price something like this farmhouse property because it’s such a unique structure on a unique piece of land,” Cruz said. “But when looking at what previous pieces of land sold for out here, in some cases, this is up to 10 times the size of it. Looking at it from that standpoint, this is really a bargain, in some ways.”

Located at 5 Hop Brook Lane directly off Holmdel Road, the Hop Brook Farmhouse is a home of historical significance, having been built in 1820. But it is not encumbered by anything that would prevent a future owner from redesigning it.

“The original parts of the house are still here, but it has been added on to over time,” Cruz said of the home, which has not been lived in for nearly 25 years. “Structurally there are some beautiful aspects to it; building and carpentry techniques that you just won’t find anymore.”

“Would it be worth it for the next owner to preserve some of it? That’s in the eye of the beholder and what their vision is for it,” he said.

A central-passage colonial-style home, the structure itself has had additions over time – including a screened-in patio area off the back of the house – though previous owners have been conscious of maintaining the historical design of the house, from the white wood paneling on its exterior to the style of doors and windows.

Due to deed restrictions on further development of the land, only one single-family residence – as well as a barn – is permitted on the property, which certainly lends to the affordability of the tract, which is currently used to grow corn, tomatoes and other vegetables that Cruz says are sold at local produce outlets like Sickles Market in Little Silver.

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Despite the restrictions, Cruz says he has received serious interest from at least four different buyers with varied interest in the sites, which includes a nonoperational, walk-in pump house that could be transformed into a wine cellar.

“There’s a lot of possibilities for someone who is interested in this property. And there has been some interest. One was an aeronautics guy, who has his own plane. Another gentleman is a historian who wants to renovate the house. Another party wants to build something, but in the character of a farmhouse. Everybody has their own interpretation,” Cruz said.

For more information, or to schedule a viewing call 800- 839-1363.

This article first appeared in the July 12 – 19, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.

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