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Laid-back living in a postcard setting

Ollie and Nancy Dixon chose a prime location for their dream home: deep, protected water on the Intracoastal Waterway 10 miles south of North Carolina’s Neuse River and 10 miles north of Beaufort Inlet.

The deepwater dock is just across the lawn.

Then they revamped a standard three-bedroom, three-bath design for the laid-back fishing and boating lifestyle they desired. After enjoying the house and location for 10 years, Ollie, 70, and Nancy, 68, plan to move closer to their daughters and grandsons in Kentucky. Their Low Country-style, two-story home of 3,600 square feet (including its porches) with a dock on 0.69 acres in a gated subdivision is on the market for $650,000.

From the drive, the front staircase rises to the elevated main living level, where the front entry on the porch opens into the great room. A gas-log fireplace, flanked by built-in cabinets, anchors one wall beneath the peak of the cathedral ceiling. Ten-foot ceilings and varnished oak floors enhance the spaciousness.

A bi-level, granite-topped island defines the kitchen at the rear of the great room near stairs from the ground-level garage. “Because we love to entertain, we designed the kitchen so the cook can be preparing food, yet be part of the activity in the living room and also see the boat traffic,” Nancy Dixon says.

The island’s beadboard siding matches the cabinets and the pantry that stands between two doors to the formal dining room. The Dixons often enjoy casual meals in the adjoining breakfast area overlooking the ICW.

The open plan combines the living room, the kitchen and breakfast areas.

The master bedroom’s private tiled bath has two commodes, a jetted garden tub and a Roman walk-in tile shower. French doors open to the waterfront porch.

One of the two guest bedrooms also opens to the waterfront porch. The other overlooks the garden. They share a full bath that adjoins the laundry.

The lower level has a private exterior entrance, a two-plus-car garage, a finished 38-by-38-foot recreation room with French doors to a ground-level waterfront porch and a full bath.

Just across the level landscaped lawn is their 94-foot, rip-rapped waterfront and a dock of treated lumber equipped with power, water and a 13,000-pound boat lift. Depths are 6 feet at mean low water.

The Dixons often cruise to Shackleford Banks for swimming or to historic downtown Beaufort for a meal or boutiqueing and to watch the ponies on Carrot Island across the harbor. Chain stores are on Beaufort’s outskirts and across the ICW in Morehead City, which has a maritime museum.

The Dixons’ home has Certain-T vinyl siding, a two-zone heat pump, a private well and a Bio-C septic system (pumped off-site to a community leach field). Taxes are about $2,500. The $800 annual homeowners association dues include maintenance and use of the community clubhouse, swimming pool, boat ramp, dock and roads.

The waterfront porch runs the width of the house.

“It’s just a wonderful, beautiful place to live,” Nancy Dixon says. But grandchildren are a stronger draw.

Betty Dunn, (252) 723-9128 (cellphone), of Bluewater Real Estate, (252) 726-3105,, Beaufort, N.C., lists the property.

March 2014 issue