Oceanfront Opulence: $14.9M Shell House Is Delaware’s Most Expensive Home

A grand oceanfront estate built by the Du Pont family is up for sale for only the second time since it was built in 1920. Located in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and available for $14.9 million, it’s currently the most expensive home in the nation’s second-smallest state.

The vacation home known as Shell House was built for Margaretta Lammot du Pont Carpenter, who died in 1973. Her great-grandfather E.I. du Pont founded the DuPont company.

The retreat stayed in the family until it was sold to the current owner 20 years ago, according to listing agent Bryce Lingo.

“The current owner completely renovated it and expanded it,” Lingo says. Upgrades include a new kitchen, new windows and roof, as well as the addition of new bedrooms and bathrooms. The home’s landscaping was also revived by the owner, who’s an avid gardener.

The Shell House was built in 1920 for a member of the Du Pont family.
The Shell House was built in 1920 for a member of the Du Pont family.

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Patio with fountain
Patio with fountain

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Entry with stairs and original tile flooring
Entry with stairs and original tile flooring

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Living room with beamed ceiling
Living room with beamed ceiling

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Large chef's kitchen
Large chef’s kitchen

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Master suite
Master suite

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Oceanfront patio
Oceanfront patio

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Pool on the lakeside
Pool on the lakeside

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The 7,800-square-foot home now has seven beds and 5.5 baths, and sits on an acre of lake-to-ocean land with direct access to the beach. 

The home features multiple living areas across the “sprawling” main level. There’s also an oversize chef’s kitchen with a six-burner gas range, two ovens, marble countertops, travertine tile floor, casual dining space, and butler’s pantry. 

The large living room includes a wood-burning fireplace, exposed beams, and antique tile flooring. In addition, there’s a formal dining room with hardwood flooring and a fireplace, a separate den, and two wings, each with two guest bedrooms. 

Upstairs, the master suite overlooks the ocean and Silver Lake, and has its own fireplace along with dual baths. 

The outdoor spaces include a courtyard with a fountain. The pool in the backyard looks out to Silver Lake, and a brick patio offers ocean views. The lush landscaping contains walking paths and gardens. 

Despite its modern amenities, the home retains its distinctive old world aesthetic, with many original elements, including antique tile floors, paneling, and outside timbers. Toile prints, chandeliers, and window sconces add to the vintage elegance. 

“They sort of give it an identity that new houses don’t have,” Lingo says. “It’s a beautiful house.”

And thanks to the home’s location between two bodies of water, there’s plenty to do. You can go kayaking or paddleboarding on the calm lake waters, or enjoy the waves on the wide beach, which boasts sizable sand dunes.

The current owner isn’t using this fab vacation spot any longer and has decided to part with it. In Delaware, it’s created a wave. The only listing in the tiny state that comes close is an offering in Wilmington for $12 million.

A two-lot property between the lake and the beach, with a third lot available isn’t an everyday occurrence in this lofty locale. With its potent combination of location and history, this pricey mansion stands out: “It’s very rare,” Lingo says.

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