Secret Rooms In IL, MA, VA Homes Pique Your Curiosity: How Much House

ACROSS AMERICA — Secret rooms captivate the imagination. How many enslaved Americans sheltered in these hiding places on their way to freedom? What other stories unfolded behind the bookcase? How many of these rooms echo with the giggles of children discovering a secret place to play and dream?

Hidden rooms are tucked inside historic homes, with references in history and lore, but also in newer construction. Hidden in plain sight, secret rooms are found in fancy estates and affordable homes alike.

This week in Patch’s weekly real estate feature How Much House, we peeked inside these homes in Illinois, Massachusetts and Virginia and found secret rooms.

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Estimated monthly costs assume a 20 percent down payment, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at current interest rates and associated costs, such as insurance and homeowner association fees.

Massachusetts | $900,000

115 East Road, Westminster
Listed by:
Stephen Clements | Keller Williams Pinnacle Metro West
Square feet: 4,916
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 4 (3 full)
Year built: 1790
Property tax estimate: $6,600
Monthly cost to live here: $5,234

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There’s no mystery about the use of secret rooms in this home, the most historic in the How Much House collection this week and the least expensive.

This two-story waterfront brick colonial was a stop along the Underground Railroad, a network of routes, places and people who helped enslaved people in the American South escape to freedom in the North during the era of slavery. An underground tunnel provided safe passage to various hiding places within this house.

Many of the original features have been preserved in this home, including wide board floors, other original woodwork and the five fireplaces that were used to heat it in its early history.

There are plenty of updates, too, including a granite kitchen with a center island that opens to the large family room and dining area with a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace. The sunny formal living room with window seats has a fireplace as well.

Two of the four large upstairs bedrooms have fireplaces. Also on the second level: an entry to the attic — and the fascination it holds for curious minds. The walkout lower level includes space for a home office or playroom.

Outside this waterfront property with a private beach and boat dock are an in-ground pool, hot tub and cabana.

A 3,600-square-foot addition has a six-car garage with 10-foot doors. The owner has offered to customize the addition to the buyer’s needs for an additional cost, whether for a large extended family, in-home office, rental unit, or in-law or nanny suite, and 3 percent owner financing is available. Peek inside for more photos.

Illinois | $2,340,000

8S318 Oxford Lane, Naperville
Listed by:
William White | Baird & Warner
Square feet: 8,100
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 6 (5 full)
Year built: 1998
Property tax estimate: $17,316 annually
Estimated monthly cost to live here: $13,404

Tucked behind the second-floor ensuite bedroom of this newly renovated home is a secret room. It’s used by the current owners as a gaming and sleepover room, but a little imagination could make this hidden room more intriguing.

Intrigue befits this estate that’s perfect for hosting weekend guests. A murder mystery party, perchance? A loft also on the second floor, along with two other bedrooms sharing a Jack & Jill bath, seems to be a perfect place to plant a clue.

Or, start the party outdoors on the sweet 2.2-acre lot. There’s plenty of room for hints on the large pool deck. Or perhaps the mystery itself centered on something that happened in the 42-foot granite pool or the hot tub with seating for 10, or around the fire pit, or near the sports court, or …

Or, just enjoy this house for everything it is — a bold property that makes a big statement just inside the front door with a great room with 21-foot ceilings, a floor-to-ceiling gas fireplace faced in stacked stone, and a full wall of windows overlooking the back yard.

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Newly refinished hardwood floors are found throughout this level, which includes a gourmet kitchen with an adjacent sun room/breakfast room, a private study and an extra-large dining room.

The owners’ suite includes a private deck, a luxurious bath with a double steam shower and Victoria Albert freestanding tub, and a fully customized walk-in closet.

The finished basement has a fully equipped bar that can double as a kitchen, a game table area, a soundproofed room that can be used as a theater or a workout room, a living room with a gas fireplace, and two more bedrooms.

And, because you never knew you needed it until you did, there’s even a gift wrapping area, as well as a laundry/mudroom. Peek inside for more photos.

Virginia | $1,750,000

3701 Fairways Court, Fredericksburg
Listed by:
Stephanie Hiner | Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Pen Fed Realty
Square feet: 9,431
Bedrooms: 7
Bathrooms: 7 (6 full)
Year built: 1998
Property tax estimate: $12,950 annually
Estimated monthly cost to live here: $10,056

The secret room is classically hidden behind a stunning wooden bookcase on the second floor, is used by the current owner as a bedroom in this one-of-a-kind estate in a gated community. The intrigue factor is infinite here, too.

What’s a good mystery without front and back staircases leading to a second-floor loft area that offers a view of the rooms below and access to a balcony area overlooking the property? The second floor has four more bedrooms, three with their own baths, a generous office space and a laundry room.

The home opens to a spacious foyer with detailed trim and arched entryways to each room. Some of the features include an elegant sitting room off the foyer, a formal dining room, both with natural lighting; and custom plantation shutters on the windows. The gourmet kitchen includes a bar area and opens to both the living room and an oversized screen porch and deck. There’s a sun room off the living room, too.

The owners’ suite on the main level has a gas fireplace and luxurious ensuite bathroom with a freestanding tub and oversized shower with a rain head.

A home theater with stanced seating, a wet bar and a built-in microwave stars in the fully finished basement, which also has the seventh bedroom, a gourmet kitchen, a living room with a stone fireplace, a sauna and a workout room with a built-in basketball hoop and professional gym flooring. It opens to a stone patio with an outdoor kitchen that has special touches like granite countertops and easy-to-clean prep space. Peek inside for more photos.

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