Old Durham Mansion is Back on the Market
Writer / Kara Kavensky
Photographer / Jamie Sangar
A house isn’t a home until its owners make it their own. This is what John and Kara Gurchiek have done with their Geist estate. Since it was built in 1990, their estate has experienced additions and changes, only to fall into severe disrepair over the last decade. With buying the property as an investment, the Gurchiek’s decided to place extensive TLC into the estate, creating a warm, family-focused home for themselves and their children in the process.
It is now on the market and the virtual tour video has gone viral, with the number of views matching its asking price.
Click here to view listing and virtual tour.
The home is nearly unrecognizable with the improvements. With a repair list nearly as long as the driveway, created expertly from pavers, the Gurchiek’s took on the task to create a livable home for themselves and three young children.
“Many of the repairs were needed due to deterioration from vacancy and lack of care,” John says.
The main residence has square footage of 14,480 square feet, with the additional garage space of 11,593, making it one of the largest properties in the area.
Sean Sheppard of Silver Crow Studios, created much of the wall treatments as well as many of the special luxury design elements inside the home, such as the Venetian plaster in the great room.
“Sean is an amazing artist. We commissioned him to do high end finishes throughout the home,” John says.
The updates were not limited to the interior of the home, with much of the budgeting applied to exterior treatments.
“The landscaping was a disaster,” John says. “We updated the grounds around the home, including extensive masonry repair and replacing the entire brick wall bordering the pool.”
“More than 80 windows were repaired, brickwork and masonry redone, complete cedar shake roof repair and restoration, foundational corrections, landscaping, interior updating and repair. The list of what has been done to this home over the last few years is astonishing,” says realtor Allen Williams. “There is not a room in the home that’s not been redone or touched.”
The luxury estate is experiencing a renaissance after prior owners created notoriety. With room for a large family to experience livable luxury, an entertaining area to enjoy with large groups and 4.9 acres of privacy on Geist, the $3.495 million-dollar price tag is a bargain.