In the market for a farm-style Victorian bed and breakfast?
Great location (historic district of Olde Towne), modern conveniences (new electric and plumbing systems), and a painted caboose in the front yard.
Chris and Terry Kirtz have decided to sell the Gaithersburg Inn, a 119-year-old home that they converted into a bed and breakfast after purchasing it in 2004.
"We would love to turn it over to someone who'd keep it going as an enterprise and partnership with the town," Chris Kirtz said. "In a way i feel like a steward of history. It really was a labor of love."
The Kirtz's reluctantly decided to sell--even after putting nearly $350,000 into renovating the property--so they could put more effort into advocating for traumatic brain injury (TBI) research and fundraising.
Their son suffered a serious brain injury several years ago, and more and more the Kirtz's have been pouring time and effort into TBI support.
Chris Kirtz, a retired public interest lawyer, has for years had a passion for restoring and rebuilding old homes. He estimates that he's worked on more than 30 in his lifetime, and still has five properties that he rents out in Loudon County in Virginia.
"For me it's a form of artistic expression," he said. "I've always loved old houses." He's even Kirtz a member of the Gaithersburg Historic District Commission.
Having just turned 71 last week, Kirtz said he recently had to take a very hard look at what he was going to do with his time and energy. Finally, he decided it was time to start "looking to get out of the landlord business."
Terry Kirtz works for Montgomery County Public Schools, and after buying the Gaithersburg Inn, dedicated herself to learning how to put on teas.
She took classes and became "an expert," as her husband describes. The City of Gaithersburg even granted a special exception for the property allowing formal teas to be held.
"We'll miss it," Chris Kirtz said, of operating the bed and breakfast.
Even though they live in Washington Grove (in a home Chris restored), when a client would rent out the Inn, the Kirtz's said they took great pleasure in staying there with them.
The spacious home (the Kirtz's had a cocktail party with 91 guests) has a screened-in porch, three guest bedrooms (plus the master suite), a large back yard and can come more-or-less fully furnished, if you negotiate the details with Terry.
Built in 1892 for the Thompson family, the Inn at 104 Russell Ave. was named "Little Zoar" after it's owner's father's home.
According to the Gaithersburg Inn's website:
Although the home is now a private residence it was once a home for children and may have been a part of Asbury Methodist Village retirement community, which began as a home for the aged and orphaned children. The house has been owned by a number of individuals and a local church before being purchased by the current owners who have lovingly brought it back to life as a bed and breakfast. Its Victorian furnishings are in keeping with the architecture of the house and provide a reminder of that time period.
The asking price is $795,000.