I have inspected a bunch on the Jersey shore. Most are well constructed for the era, but unfortunately, the homes do not come with a maintenance manual, and therefore require repairs due to neglect and/or novice contractor renovations.
If you would like further clarification about the above, give me a call or send an email. I will get back you as soon as possible (provided I am not walking a roof, crawling under the home, or conducting an infrared thermal imaging survey for leaking windows, doors, roofs, overheated electrical components, missing wall and ceiling insulation and leaking ductwork)
Peter W. Bennett, Owner
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As a lover of Craftsman homes (and owner of a great 1917 California Bungalow), I can tell you there are a good number of Craftsman stye homes in northern & eastern Monmouth County. Unfortunately, searching thru MLS for them can be a bit difficult because there's no specific description of "Craftsman" or "Arts & Crafts" when searching (unlike other stylistic descriptions like "Victorian" or "ranch", etc.) I think its made more difficult because the MLS style description that is the closest match in the Monmouth MLS is "Cottage/Bungalow" which many realtors seem to avoid because the connotation tends to indicate smaller, summer bungalows that over time were converted to year-round use. Some are charming, others... not so much.
When attending the Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend last year in California even I was surprised to see what there is referred to there as a "bungalow"... some were massive, very expensive homes designed by architects Greene & Greene and others. Much of Pasadena, when originally developed, was built during the period that Craftsman homes were very popular so they appear throughout the city.
Because Monmouth County was settled much earlier, Craftsman homes tend to be more spread out. Keyport & Matawan have both a good number of Victorian and Craftsman homes, and Middletown has Craftsman as well as a fair amount of a similar style often referred to as "Shingle-Style".
You may also want to consider Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Monmouth Beach & Oceanport where I've seen a number of Craftsman homes (although not necessarily available for purchase). Interestingly, a number of builders of late have been adopting a Craftsman aesthetic in new construction with wide front porches and interior details often found in Arts & Crafts homes. While these would not pass the test for a "purist", they arguably offer more architectural interest than more typical "cookie cutter" new construction.
Probably the most important question is what is your level of interest in a home that needs work... many of the homes out there are in need of at least some amount of renovation. For many buyers, this is preferable (if the price is right) rather than deal with another homeowner's "modernization" which effectively removes all the historic period details that are of interest. I know of one house that has many interesting original details (e.g. original woodwork, brick fireplace, etc) but has also endured many "improvements" that would need to be redone like '70's paneling, 80's kitchen and the loss of the front porch which was enclosed to create additional living space.) I know of another home - truly extraordinary - that was built just a few years ago but the builder used all salvaged materials so it looks like its 100 years old (this home has more English Arts & Crafts features than American A&C but there's a fairly large amount of overlap).
Hope that helps.... let me know if I can be of assistance.
You can search the MLS from my website, too. The information comes right from the Monmouth County MLS so it is accurate and up to date. Then, if you see anything you like, you can email me directly.
Your best way to find that particular style is to work with a local agent. Then, we do all the legwork for you and only send you homes that meet your needs.
I would be happy to help you with your home search. Please feel free to contact me so we can discuss your criteria in a home such as bedrooms, bathrooms, price range, etc.
Patricia "Patty" Lipert
Heritage House Sotheby's International Realty