June 03, 2004 02:40 PM

A three-story, three-bedroom Colonial situated in the homey bedroom community of Nutley, N.J. – just 12 miles west of New York City – is now on the market for $549,000 and carries quite a domestic pedigree: It’s where Martha Stewart grew up.

Amenities at 86 Elm Place include a mature fig trees planted by Stewart (then known as Martha Kostyra) and a holly bush she and her father pruned in the shape of a cone, the Associated Press reports.

The 74-year-old house had a For Sale sign placed on its front lawn this week. Century 21 listing agent Pat Kraven-O’Connell expects the 1,922-sq.-ft. home to sell quickly, and she has designed a sales strategy to limit curiosity-seekers: No open houses, and showings to pre-qualified buyers only.

“I don’t want it to become a circus,” she said, adding that the price is a bargain, in that it hasn’t been padded simply because it once had a famous resident.

The Kostyras purchased the residence when Stewart was 3, and she lived there through high school. Stewart’s mother sold it to the present owners 17 years ago.

As for Stewart’s future residence, on June 17 a judge will get to decide that – following Stewart’s March 5 conviction for lying to federal investigators looking into a questionable stock sale. Legal experts predict she will be sentenced to between 10 and 16 months in prison.

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