When Kellyann Artusa and her husband, Anthony, bought a dilapidated house in Patchogue last year, it had been abandoned for more than a decade, she says. “It was just beyond,” she says. Drug needles and mattresses evidenced squatters, she adds.
But 9-foot ceilings, an original carriage house and a two-story barn — complete with hayloft door — suggested a history the couple deemed worth preserving. Today, the home stands fully restored and is back on the market for $464,993.
The Artusas, who live in Sayville, purchased the four-bedroom, three-bath Colonial not to live in, but to work on. Kellyann is an administrator for a home care agency, Anthony works as a mason, and the two took on the house as a project. It was considered a zombie home, which is a vacant house in foreclosure. They paid $274,612 for the home, according to public records.
Kellyann says she and her husband wanted simply, “to save it, really” — and they have done the same for several other houses in the area. The two own four houses in Patchogue and one in West Babylon, each built more than six decades ago, which they rent out, she says.
“We don’t buy anything that was built after 1950,” she says. “That just doesn’t turn us on.”
The house on Maple Avenue was built in 1920, she says, and the barn and carriage house predate that. For the sake of functionality, the Artusas modernized the kitchen, installed new flooring, and updated the electric and plumbing systems. But many of the home’s original features survived the renovation.
An original claw-foot tub wears a fresh coat of glaze. Plasterwork on the dining room ceiling, which had animal-made holes in it, has been patched. Original shutters, banister, locking mechanisms, crown molding, doors and their handles remain.
Kellyann calls the property itself, listed now by Donna Worsell at Signature Premier Properties, “almost magical.”
Magic aside, the Artusas have never lived at the address. Instead, they live in a 5,000-square-foot historic home in Sayville that has been featured on local house tours. Named the Joseph Wood House, the Dutch Colonial built by Isaac H. Greene, Jr., holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.