House of the Week: ‘Everything is easy and convenient’ in this versatile Manlius ranch

House of the Week: ‘Everything is easy and convenient’ in this versatile Manlius ranch

MANLIUS, N.Y. – In 2005, Margaret Chao and her husband, Joseph Ang, were putting the final touches on their plans to build a new home in their native California when life threw them a curveball.

They had designed their dreamhouse, had a lot picked out, and were speaking with architects when Ang was offered a job in Syracuse, abruptly changing their plans.

“Fate brought us to Syracuse,” Margaret said, “We said let us give Upstate New York a try.”

They brought their plans with them when they came east and hired renowned Syracuse builder Paul Fowler to build their California home in the Mallard’s Landing neighborhood of Manlius.

(The only changes to their original plans was the number of windows was “toned down” and plans for skylights were nixed because of the cold Central New York winter. Sub-flooring and nine-foot ceilings, instead of ten-foot, were put installed in the lower level to make the home more heat efficient.)

When the home was finished in 2006, it was precisely what they had planned it to be.

The home was built to be versatile. It was spacious and multi-generational, but also comfortable and “easy and convenient.”

The home features high ceilings, wide hallways, and double doors throughout making it very easy to move around in and entertain.

“We want to spend time having fun there,” Chao said. “We each have hobbies and love to tinker with things. We do not want to spend our time cleaning up.”

Entertaining is a snap in the house.

The magnificent chef’s kitchen, which features an eight-burner Wolf gas range, two Sub Zero refrigerators, four Bosch dishwashers, has a six-person breakfast bar and dining nook. It flows easily into the formal dining room and incredible great room, creating an amazing entertaining space.

In the good weather, parties can continue out on the Trex deck which gives amazing views of the private property.

“I can host 30 people easily in the kitchen,” Chao said. “And cleanup in easy afterwards.”

The walk-out lower level, accessible by stairs or convenient elevator, provides even more entertaining space and all also a place for the couple’s children to have friends over and living areas for the owner’s visiting parents.

“We love the elevator,” she said. “We got it for our parents, but they do not use it. We do!”

The home features a guest suite for visitors and two home offices, which have come in very handy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Chao says that the new owners could turn them into extra bedrooms if they wish.

The master suite has a small sitting room which can be turned into a nursery or, after the wall is knocked down, eliminated to create an even larger master bedroom.

They are “very sad” about having to leave Central New York and their custom-built “happy” home.

But they want to return to California and be close to their family, including their parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren.

“We truly loved being there,” Chao said of their 14 years in Central New York. “If we could move the house to California we would.”

“Our hope is that the new owners will love it the way we have.”

For more information about the home, please contact realtor Judy Winslow, of HUNT Real Estate ERA. Her information is below.


Address: 9106 Whistling Swan Lane, Manlius, N.Y. 13104

Price: $989,000

Size: 8,145 square feet

Acreage: 0.83 acres

Monthly Mortgage: $3,346 (based on this week’s national average rate of 3.02 percent, according to Freddie Mac, for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment. Fees and points not included.)

Taxes: $34,492 (Based on assessed value of $870,000)

Built: 2006

School District: Fayetteville-Manlius

Kitchen: The enormous chef’s kitchen is called a “cook’s delight” by the owner. The area includes a large center island, which has an eight-burner gas range and separate wok burner. It sits six at a breakfast bar. There is a small dining area which the owner’s children used to do their homework. The kitchen has double Wolf ovens, two Sub Zero refrigerators and four Bosch dishwashers. There is a butler’s pantry. Connected to the formal dining room through double doors and the Trex deck on the back of the house, the kitchen makes entertaining a snap.

Living areas: This California-style ranch home was designed with convenience and versatility in mind. The main living area is open and has an “easy flow.” High ceilings, wide hallways and double doors are throughout. The spacious great room, which has 18-foot high ceiling, and formal dining room is one large space and looks out over the deck. There is a remote-controlled gas fireplace there. There are two home offices which have been used quite a bit this year because of the pandemic. These could be remade into bedrooms. A first-floor laundry room adds a ton of storage space and a dog shower. The home is ultra-modern with stereo sound system, RING doorbell, intercom system, filtered air and heat and whole house water filtration system.

Bedrooms: The large master bedroom has a wall of windows and features a convenient sitting room for TV viewing and reading. New owners could make this a nursery or could eliminate it and make an even larger bedroom. There is another large, “light and bright” guest suite on the main floor. There are three large bedrooms in the lower level.

Bathrooms: The master bathroom has double sinks, linen closet, and a walk-in shower, with three shower heads and a bench. There is a Jacuzzi-style tub. There are six bathrooms total in the house.

Lower level: The walk-out lower level is accessible via stairs in the great room and a convenient elevator. The elevator is great for older or disabled guests and makes moving things around, like Christmas decorations, a snap. The area has a partial kitchen, theater area and an exercise space. There is a second gas-burning fireplace there. Three bedrooms and bathrooms are there. Perfect for older relatives to stay or for children to entertain their friends.

Outdoors: The home is built on almost one acre of property in the Mallard’s Landing neighborhood in Manlius. The grounds have been landscaped with lights, benches, and gardens. The owners say they have planted 53 trees on the property which makes it very private. Brick pavers bring guests to the red front doors from the extra-wide driveway. There is enough room in the backyard for a swimming pool. A Trex deck off the kitchen and dining room is great for parties during the nice weather. A patio off the lower level is protected from the rain. The five-car oversized RV garage is very deep and has space enough for craft tables, sinks and a workshop. The owners call the neighborhood “friendly and close-knit.”

Agent: Judy Winslow

HUNT Real Estate ERA

Address: 7650 Highbridge Road, Manlius, N.Y. 13104

Phone: (315) 682-1950

Email: [email protected]


Facebook and Instagram: @judywinslowhunt


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