Even after 23 years, Cliff Skodnek can’t figure out how to describe his home on Eaton’s Neck in Northport. Noting the three clamshell-shaped roofs that cover the creation, friends have suggested it is an homage to the great pyramids of Egypt. Skodnek says he thinks perhaps it resembles an upside-down boat, like a giant trimaran washed up on shore.
“I really don’t know,” he says after a thoughtful pause. “I added a lot of strange features.”
Unique homes such as Skodnek’s are hard to define. They are visions based on caprice, necessity, a challenge or even a flight of fancy. Their appearance to onlookers can evoke everything from a “Wow” to a stunned “Huh?”
Living in unusual homes has advantages and disadvantages, homeowners say.
For a while, Skodnek says he considered submitting his home for consideration to an architectural magazine, then abandoned the idea. “I figured people would be knocking on my door asking about it all the time,” he says.
Here is Skodnek's house and some others for sale on Long Island that are anything but ordinary.
NORTHPORT: $2,997,000 to $3,492,000
LISTING HISTORY On the market three weeks
SIZE 2,552-square-foot home on two acres
WHAT’S FOR SALE This is a four bedroom, 4.5-bath chalet-style, custom-built home. It has an eat-in kitchen, a spaces that combines a great room, living room and dining room, two fireplaces and a full, finished basement. There also is an attached two-car garage and 300 feet of water frontage with mooring rights. The home sits on two acres with a rear deck. The two-story water side is comprised almost entirely of windows overlooking Northport Bay.
UNIQUE HOW The home is supported by massive wooden arches and beams that allowed the creation of two stories of windows overlooking Northport Bay.
LISTING AGENT Kelley Taylor, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-553-6923.
THE BACK STORY When Cliff Skodnek built this unusual home in Eatons Neck 23 years ago, he did it as an engineering challenge with energy conservation in mind. He put in two stories of windows facing the water, with panoramic views of Northport Bay, that can be opened for breezes in summer. Ceramic floor tiles retain heat from the sun in winter.
LISTING HISTORY On the market three weeks
SIZE 750-square-foot home on 0.5-acre lot
WHAT’S FOR SALE This home has two bedrooms and one bath, a kitchen, formal dining room, a stone fireplace and a full basement. The house has been renovated inside. It has a utility shed in back.
UNIQUE HOW This home is in the middle of an open-space preserve and has an unusual shape.
LISTING AGENT Kim Filardi, Signature Premier Properties, 516-819-1116.
BACKSTORY The home that Shane Cozier bought a year and a half ago in Commack both attracted and puzzled him.
“It could have been a hunting cabin, a school, a church,” he says. “I don’t know what the heck it was.” What he did know was that it sits inside an open-space preserve that prohibits development, which gave him the peace and serenity he needed after a daily commute to Brooklyn. “There are deer and birds all over the place,” he says. “It’s a great environment to help you relax.”
After rehabbing the 1930s home, he added colors such as light purples, greens and blues to accent the interior. For the exterior, he went with a cobalt blue and white trim. The overall effect was meant to reflect an older style with a modern twist, he says.
“I think the style stayed true to the time period of the home,” he says.
LISTING HISTORY On the market three months
SIZE 4,748-square-foot home on 3.19 acres
WHAT’S FOR SALE This is a four-bedroom, 3.5-bath ranch on three acres. It has a great room that contains a living and dining room. There is an eat-in kitchen as well as a lower level that is connected to a patio and pool area. Other features include a wine room and four fireplaces. The master suite comes with sitting room and a fireplace. There is a pool house directly across from the home on the other side of the pool with a kitchen, two bedrooms, a bath and a sitting room.
UNIQUE HOW The Muttontown house was designed by William Adair Bernoudy, an apprentice of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He was an advocate of Wright’s modern organic architecture and was known for harmonizing homes with their environment.
LISTING AGENT Frances Covello and Christine Chang, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, 516-359-7779.
LISTING HISTORY On the market two months
SIZE 2,396-square-foot home on 0.69-acre lot
WHAT’S FOR SALE This is a four-bedroom, 2.5-bath renovated Colonial with an eat-in kitchen, formal dining room and a partly finished basement. It has a fireplace, skylights, a screened-in porch, an elevated deck and an attached, two-car garage.
UNIQUE HOW The home almost appears to be two houses put together, but allows for a much enlarged living space.
LISTING AGENT Maria Siringo, Nest Seekers International, 516-316-8654.
LISTING HISTORY On the market a week
SIZE 1,700-square-foot home on 50-by-100-foot lot
WHAT’S FOR SALE This is three-bedroom, 1.5-bath Contemporary with a rare attached boathouse. It has a den, formal dining room and a deck along with a spa and workout room that includes a Jacuzzi and a wood stove. It comes with 50 feet of water frontage and deeded dock rights. The house is on a canal 10 homes away from the Great South Bay.
UNIQUE HOW This “boater’s dream,” says owner Jeff Clark, features an automatic door that opens the attached boathouse, which can accommodate a 35-foot craft. “You can put a boat inside and tie up two boats outside and enjoy yourself,” he says.
LISTING AGENT Dennis Drumm, Realty Connect USA, 631-321-6100.