WALDORF – A White House look-a-like has been on the market for 18 months with no signs of selling soon. The 4500-square-foot house, listed at $995,000, sits on approximately five acres of land atop the highest point in Charles County, said Long & Foster real estate agent Gisela Gilbert.
Diane and John Dries have lived in the house for 23 years and put it up for sale after deciding to move to Georgia, near their daughter and her family. The couple bought a house outside of Atlanta two years ago, before putting their White House replica on the market.
“Economic conditions are not very favorable for selling and it has affected the luxury home market as well as other markets,” Gilbert said. “It’s a distressed market to say the least, even in the upper price ranges there are hardship cases.”
In the past two years only one property listed above $900,000 has sold in Charles County. In a normal market there usually would be up to four sales per year in that price range in the county, Gilbert said.
The Dries have had about a dozen prospective buyers come to see the house, which was built in 1905. When the Dries purchased the house there were no other homes around. The house sits on land that was originally a 2000-acre farm, but two subdivisions have been built on property north of the house.
Diane Dries said she and her husband, John, purchased the house knowing the surrounding areas would later be developed. The driveway on the side of the house used to be the main road to Waldorf and the room John Dries has used as his office was a country store and gas station during the Great Depression.
The Dries added an addition in 2006 that made the house look slightly less like the White House. It’s unknown if the original owners built it with the White House as an inspiration, Gilbert said.
“I hope the next owner loves it as much as we did and do,” Diane Dries said. “It’s a bittersweet thing to leave it yet we know as we get older it’s time.”