Cutting-Edge Homes Built With Classic Designs

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- New-construction Victorian homes and other properties designed to look like they're from the 19th century or earlier offer the best of both worlds: classic architecture with modern amenities.

"Not everyone wants historic homes that are old -- with all of the potential pitfalls that an old house has," says real estate broker Melanie Delman, who sells new and old estates in upscale Newport, R.I. "Lots of people have a 'no muss, no fuss' mentality."

That's why more and more upscale-home buyers and developers are building structures that look like homes from the 1800s on the outside but are wholly 21st century properties on the inside.

These homes typically feature Victorian, Queen Anne or Baronial exteriors that belie the whole-house audio systems, chef's kitchens and spa bathrooms you'll find by stepping through the front door.

"New-construction homes offer the kind of open spaces, modern entertainment systems and energy-efficient building materials that you couldn't get in the 19th century," Delman says. "Old homes have timeless designs, but we live differently than people did way back when."

Click below to check out five superpremium homes for sale on that combine new-construction finishes with Old World good looks.

Sterling Hall Estate, Atlanta, Ga.
Asking price: $10 million
Listing agent: Troy Stowe, Beacham & Co. Realtors, 404-890-7635
This European Rustic-style mansion mixes a classic brick-and-limestone finish on the outside with all sorts of modern conveniences on the inside, from a central vacuum system to a private elevator.

Built last year, the home features seven bedrooms, 12 fireplaces, a four-car attached garage and 14 full or half-bathrooms.

One-of-a-kind amenities include an outdoor grotto with a sunken hot tub and fireplace, as well as an eight-seat home theater modeled on Atlanta's landmark Fox Theatre.

Located a few houses down from the Georgia governor's mansion, the 1-acre property also hosts a heated pool and hot tub, manicured grounds and formal gardens.

Check out the complete listing here.

Heartridge Estate, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Asking price: $9 million
Listing agent:Nicki LaPorta and Karen Chrystal, Ewing & Associates Sotheby's International Real Estate, 818-575-9915
This Queen Anne Victorian looks like something out of the 19th century, but was actually built in 2002.

Located in the Santa Monica Mountains some 10 miles west of Los Angeles, the home features six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and plenty of old-fashioned touches, from a wraparound front veranda to a private gazebo.

Inside, the home's wood-paneled study, clawfoot master bedroom tub and other old-style amenities give the house a 19th century feel. But the home also has all sorts of 21st century accoutrements, from a Crestron whole-house audio-video-security system to five-zone heating and air conditioning.

The 20.5-acre gated estate's other amenities include a grottolike saltwater pool, a 10-seat home theater (complete with a concession stand, popcorn maker and bar) and elaborate fruit and vegetable gardens. There's even a Queen Anne-style doghouse for your pooch, complete with a gabled roof, white-picket fence and window boxes adorned with flowers.

Click here to see the property's listing sheet.

Heath Street home, Brookline, Mass.
Asking price: $5 million
Listing agent: Mona Wiener, Hammond Residential Real Estate, 617-872-1406
This home offers a classic Colonial look even though it was built this year.

The six-bedroom/eight-bathroom house has plenty of old-school touches, from hardwood floors to three fireplaces. But there are also lots of modern amenities, including a whole-house audio system, a three-car attached garage and a spa bathroom in the master bedroom suite.

Located on a 1-acre lot of Boston's tony Brookline suburb, the house is about five miles from downtown Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. You can see more details here.

Ella Terrace home, Newport, R.I.
Asking price: $3.4 million
Listing agent: Melanie Delman and Robin Nicholson, Lila Delman Real Estate, 401-284-4820
This Shingle Style estate is so new workers are still adding the finishing touches.

It's on a half-acre lot just off of Ocean Avenue -- the most exclusive address in Newport, R.I., long the Atlantic Ocean playground of choice for East Coast "old money" families.

Designed to fit in with Ocean Avenue's 19th century homes, this four-bedroom-suite/six-bathroom house features quarter-sawn oak floors, a wraparound porch and three Pennsylvania fieldstone fireplaces (including one that's outdoors).

But 21st century features also abound, from a whole-house Polk audio system to Carrier high-efficiency heating and air conditioning with special heat-recovery ventilation. The home is also just steps from a private beach -- open only to neighborhood residents.

Click here to learn more.

Unfinished resort property, Prospect, Ore.
Asking price: $815,000
Listing agent: J.J. Kramer, John L. Scott Real estate, 541-840-2992
This 50-acre property near Oregon's Crater Lake National Park was supposed to be an eco-friendly resort, but fell into foreclosure before completion. Now it's up for sale by the lender.

The parcel features a Queen Anne Victorian main house that's almost completely finished, as well as a semi-finished Victorian guest house and a small cabin. All three sit atop the Rogue River Gorge near Lost Creek Lake, some 30 miles from the national park and 200 miles south of Portland, Ore.

The three-bedroom-suite/four-bathroom main house is an almost perfect replica of an 1896 Victorian designed by architect George Barber.

Classic features include fireplaces, private balconies and a turret (the big spire in the center of this photo). The home, though, also boasts integrated concrete forms, radiant floor heating and other energy-efficient amenities.

The property's guest house has two unfinished bedroom suites, while the cabin offers an additional 650 square feet of space. The parcel also includes 30 acres of irrigated farmland and its own diesel-powered generators, since there's no municipal electric service.

You can see a complete listing sheet here.

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