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"I never blast rocks. I never cut down trees. Building a house on a so-called 'housing site' doesn't interest me," says Isleib, referring to the standard one-acre parcel that's been clear-cut of any natural element taller than a blade of grass. And what fun is that, when you can have a veritable tree house, with bridges to patios that float in mid-air and boulders serving as sculptures? Broker Lucretia Bingham, who has the $3.85 million listing, reports that the Lyme market is hot thanks to a flood of financial types—hedgies and the like—who are riding up from Greenwich on their tides of cash to purchase acreage and vacation homes. Bingham is with Coldwell Banker's Old Lyme office (860-434-8600).
The Stables, Darien
Long Neck is one of Darien's prettiest coastal neighborhoods, comprised of a peninsula jutting into the Sound that's both pastoral (it's a former farmland) and beachy, while also just a few minutes' drive to the town's MetroNorth station. An estate known as The Stables is so-called because it was once a barn—"with cows on the first floor, horses on the second," says its owner—converted into a home in the 1920s. These days, the only remnants of its agro ancestry are the graceful, barn-like curves to the roofline, its post-and-beam construction and the original slate floor on the lower level. Otherwise, this is an elegant home sitting on an unheard-of two-acre parcel that sweeps down to 150 feet of private coastline. The Stables' 8,822-square-foot expanse includes 10 bedrooms with six full baths and one half-bath. The property is offered by Nancy Dauk of Wheeler Real Estate in Darien (203-655-1418) and is listed at $8.6 million.