“Just the overall details and finish levels were pretty unique and spectacular,” Smith began. “The ceilings in particular had all details that were done in a unique fashion with a unique flavor or twist. There was a ceiling in the living room instead of a typical tongue and groove we suspended each of the boards from the previous board sort of like putting together a puzzle. You had this feeling that the ceiling was suspended in the room. That theme was carried through to the stairs. They were also done with floating treads. That was a really cool detail that took a lot of time to think through and construct. It was unique to this home and very interesting when you walk through the front door. It is the first thing you see which is phenomenal.”
While spec homes at such a high price point can be risky, Smith said he knew he found the right niche.
“There were spec homes in Port Royal, but they were not at this level,” Smith explained. “The idea was to create a spec home at a quality and level that had not been seen before.”
Tom Gasbarro, sales associate at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, sold the house.
“Looking back, it was probably as close to as perfect a spec home that could be built at that time,” he began. “It really put a stamp on coastal contemporary interiors. The glass wrap, the view, the ceiling treatments — everything seemed to gel perfectly. This was contemporary without being stark. It had a soothing effect without being stark. The buyer was over the moon that’s for sure. People are still driving by. People are still talking about it.”
A palatial four-bedroom beachfront home on Sanibel Island was the most expensive house sold in Lee County in 2017, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
The home at 3577 West Gulf Drive on Sanibel Island sold on July 12 for $7.2 million. That’s more than last year’s most expensive home on Hickory Boulevard that sold for $6.45 million, or the 2015 winner in Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club that went for $7 million or the 2014 high sale in Bonita Bay of $5 million. It is just slightly less than the 2013 highest sale of an $8 million home on Sanibel Island.
“Everyone got pretty shaken up after the hurricane,” said Jeff Weiss, Multiple Listing Service and MLS Products for the Bonita Springs-Estero Association of Realtors as he explained why the high price in Collier is still much lower.
“For a few weeks after the hurricane there was no motion whatsoever. It took about two weeks, and after about two weeks, the market started going back. And people are still in the political mind; people are still worried about taxes.”
That didn’t seem to affect the highest price home in Lee County as much because homes sell for a lower price than its Collier neighbor.