SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL — Even if you do have millions of dollars laying around, it’s already too late to lay claim to the Florida Panhandle’s most expensive new home.
Dubbed “Mont Blanc,” the Santa Rosa Beach home at 146 Montgomery Street just sold to a buyer from Nashville for $14 million.
Listing agent Jonathan Spears, of Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty, said the home caught not only the attention of media outlets like Wall Street Journal, Fox Business and Patch, but also the attention of potential buyers from as far away as California and New York.
“Our market typically sees an influx from the southeast and some from the midwest. Basically Dallas though Atlanta and in-between,” Spears said. “On that house, we were getting calls from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey.”
So, what made this house so popular? The list — including a private in-home spa, two pools and a chef’s scullery — goes on and on.
Spears describes Mont Blanc as having an architectural appeal that’s unique to the area but inspired by the well-worn architecture of Greece’s islands.
“The owners took inspiration from architectural components of the Greek islands,” he said. “Those cave-style villas are designed to be protective from the wind. They’re painted white to juxtapose the landscape.”
Indeed, the home’s stark white exterior stands out in contrast to the clear blue water as it rises four stories above the landscape.
“What’s most interesting about the house is the progressive nature of the way that it lives,” Spears said. “The owners designed it to feel like you’re starting your day in Mykonos and ending it in Santorini.”
The house evolves as its occupants travel upward through its floating rotund staircase, encased in tumbled lime washed stone, the listing agent said. By the time they make it to the top, they’ll have arrived at a rooftop deck with a bar, private pool and views spanning from Destin to Panama City Beach.
It’s not just the house that drew interest in the area, Spears said. Affluent buyers also enjoy close proximity to the community of Seaside, a New Urbanism community that offers easy access to five-star restaurants, boutique shopping and accessibility.
The house, he said, is “close enough to go in [to Seaside] and enjoy world class shopping entertainment but close enough to have serenity on the beach.”
Selling the panhandle’s most expensive new construction during the coronavirus pandemic was not as difficult as one would expect, said Spears, who sold the house within 100 days of it hitting the market.
Scenic Sotheby’s received the listing in November, but by the time it was ready to go on the market, the pandemic had already struck the U.S., and beaches in Santa Rosa Beach had already been closed.
“Spring break here is such a pivotal timeframe, and we chose not to expose the property,” he said. “We ended up timing the exposure with the opening of the beaches for summer. At the end of May, local municipalities decided things were safe to open. We thought it would be the perfect time to launch that type of inventory in our market.”
What’s more: sales have continued growing since summer. With people spending more time at home, they’ve had the chance to rethink what matters to them, Spears said. A realignment in lifestyles has “fueled an absolute buying spree,” he said.
Scenic Sotheby’s has sold houses this year with price tags as high as $14 million to $16.5 million and doubled its year-over-year sales volume, he said.
One explanation for the growth, he said, is people leaving dense urban areas and relocating to regions with more exclusivity, such as the Florida 30A state highway corridor that Forbes has dubbed the “Hamptons of the South.”
Architectural renderings for “Mont Blanc” were provided by Archiscapes & TS Adams Studio. The house was designed and finishing selections were made by Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors, and construction was completed by Scott Barnes Development.
The mansion hit the market in May for $15.995 million and saw a price reduction to $14.995 million in June. Complete with six bedrooms, six full bathrooms, three half-baths and an elevator, the house recently sold for $14 million.