Sitting atop the hills overlooking Monmouth County’s Navesink River, sits luxurious castle-esque homes, each one towering higher than the next. But arguably one of the most stunning homes looking out over the water is Virginia ‘Ginny’ and Waldo Carkhuff’s home on Navesink River Road in the Locust section of Middletown, NJ. Sitting on over four acres of land, the 22,000-square-foot, five-story and four wing $12 million home boasts features that anyone would love to call their own.
Built in 2004 by former Major League Baseball player John Valentin, the house went on the market halfway through construction. Mr. and Mrs. Carkhuff weren’t originally interested in the property when they were first called about it, considering the cost of the unfinished home. But they eventually decided to take on the project and create something of their own. Though it wasn’t necessarily from the ground up, the couple spent the next several years designing and finishing the space. “Of course, things were done in stages, the home was a work in progress for a long time,” Mrs. Carkhuff explained.
But luckily, the couple had a strong foundation to work on, as they explained during an exclusive tour of the home.“When it came to building everything in here, if it was possible, they went for it, which made for a very well built house,” Mr. Carkhuff explained. Of course, a solid built home is a huge importance for the area, especially being so close to the Navesink River. “It’s just very sturdy. When you think about it, we have marble and stone extensively on three levels. So just to support that, you have to have steel instead of the wood beams that go in most homes. Even the deck is on steel,” Mrs. Carkhuff added. Every window in the home is metal, with screens that are built in, and the entire structure is made out of poured concrete and stone, thus the exterior requires almost zero maintenance.
Driving through the gates and down the heated driveway, the home is remarkable. Inside, giant double doors and floor-to-ceiling windows span across every room. Walking into the grand entry foyer, one is instantly met with breathtaking views of the property, the Navesink, and beyond. Through the middle of the foyer is a giant marble double staircase, cascading marble floors, and above on the sky high ceilings, lies intricate artwork, like painted replicas of oriental rugs that Ginny liked. Mrs. Carkhuff explained that the artwork was done by Polish artists, who won the International Design Award in Poland for the work done on the home, and hand painted everything on their knees and backs for months.
The rest of the main floor includes a massive kitchen, breakfast room, family room, and butler’s pantry. To the east of the foyer, and a parlor room and Mr. Carkhuff’s office is to the west. Throughout the main level and much of the home, intricate, gold leafed molding lines the rooms. The drapes, done by hand, rest atop the windows, without blocking the views. Much of the house is also decorated with larger than life chandeliers, hand looped and knotted rugs, ornate artwork, and rich colors, textures, and furniture.
Upstairs are the master suite and families bedrooms, all including bathrooms and each giving off spectacular views of the property below. The master suite is a marvel in itself, including a fireplace and a bathroom featuring a spa tub, shower, and steam bath. A floor higher are two private apartment areas, set up in an almost New York City loft style, but not short on space. Both have bedrooms, eating areas, and living rooms, and also include views of the backyard grounds and river. In total, there are nine bedrooms with en suite baths, and seven fireplaces.
Whether using the stairs or the elevator to get through the lower levels of the home, it is clear why this is the perfect place for entertaining. Complete with sculpted wet bars, a catering kitchen, a wine room, and an arcade. The home’s theater can fit 12 to 24 people, depending on the seating arrangements. There is a certified racquetball court, and a two-lane bowling alley, “which is a professional alley that is PBA certified with flooring from 1968,” said Mr. Carkhuff. There is also a sauna, locker room, spa, full gym, and indoor swimming pool, with hand painted walls made to look as though one is under water.
Outside, there is a stone deck and a large inground saltwater pool, with a hot tub and waterfall foundations. Down the property are stone boulders used as walls and steps, creating pathways leading around the grounds, decorated with beautiful and colorful seasonal flowers and trees, many of which the couple hand picked and brought in. On the side of the property is the Carkhuff’s organic garden and further down are the stairs leading down to the oversized dock leading out into the river.
Though the home is enormously spacious, spanning across five floors and four wings, the couple still managed to make it not feel overwhelming, and instead, made it feel like exactly what it is, a home. No room is left sparse, everything is detailed and decorated with a lived in, family feel. But through all, the focal point of the home is its views, which can be seen from almost every room. After putting in years of work for the perfect family residence, the Carkhuff’s have decided to pass the home on, hoping it will give another family as much joy as it has given them. With every feature one can think of, and then some, this $12 million home could be your new paradise on the Navesink.
For more information on this property, contact Geralyn Behring at Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate at 732-530-2800 x167.