Everybody know’s about the sugar white sand of Destin, that’s why we go there. There is no doubt that nothing beats the beauty or cleanliness of the Emerald Coast Beaches, but there is so much more in this quaint little area. Just look a little further out and notice the water on a calm day, you can see right down to the bottom, where little fish are swimming around you. On a windy day there will be waves, waves that lift up an incredible translucent emerald green. Of course the beach beams with life you wont be seeing normally. All this makes for a wonderful relaxing day of simply enjoying nature. Only the locals and die-hard beach goers know that during the fall the sunsets move from behind the condo towers and makes an amazing spectacle as it sets over the ocean.
As you pull back from the beach along scenic 98 or 30a you can’t help but be impressed with Beach Cottages lining the road. Planning departments have done a wonderful job setting requirements for neighborhoods to have that special look. The wife and I started renting down here about 15 years ago in the 30a Seagrove area. We explored Seagrove, Seaside, Mirimar, and Destin. We noticed some differences in the neighborhoods that added or detracted from our enjoyment when off the beach. While Beach Cottages in themselves have that quaint look, we always wanted maximum exposure to the natural beauty of the area. With many of the home, when you look out the windows, you see another home, or their back yard, and they see into yours. We all know this is what happens with prime real estate. They build them closer and closer together. In my opinion this is part of the reason 30a is gaining over Destin, many of the Destin communities are very cookie cutter with houses a few feet from each other. But that’s not to say all of Destin is that way, and perhaps the quaint cottage look is enough for you. The Crystal Beach area has many wonderful neighborhoods with charming houses very close to each other, and they are very popular. Many of the Gated Communities fall victim to the tiny land lots where all you see is the cottage next door (and they see you). So 30a draws people away from the crowded city, yet, that same crowded city will always draw you back because it is the hub of the shopping, dining, and activities.
When we started looking for a second home in the area, we made our realtor show us some 30 homes from Panama City to Destin. Panama City dropped off quick, and Destin was a long shot due to our not wanting be inundated with the crowds and crowded houses. One neighborhood we looked at immediately struck us as different. We could tell the houses were not rental machines, but rather owner occupied because of how pristine the whole neighborhood was. In addition to the charming beach cottages we were looking for, there were also the most intriguing twisted oak trees throughout the streets. Many of these look to be over 100 years old. Live Oaks and Palm Trees everywhere and we were feeling pretty good about the house we were going to look at before we even saw the house. If you are familiar with the popular Crystal Beach area, you may know Luke, Dolphin, Pompano streets and the cute cottages lining those streets. Then venture into Kokomo Kove and you will notice the big difference. The houses are just across the street from the beach, and the trip down the street to the beach is just majestic! (We’re going to have a live video made in Oct-2015 that will show this)
Ok, so what about this house, and what about the view?
So this house had listed that it was lake front and had a pool. As far as views go, nothing beach the beach and ocean view, but a house with this view is north of a million. We were setting our sights quite a bit lower than that so were were not expecting a million dollar view. To be honest about the pool, my early inclinations were that I knew nothing about them, they cost extra, and we have the beach so who needs a pool. Maybe you’re laughing at what a bozo I was, I know right. We walk into this house and see that lake straight out the back window. Wow, it was just amazing. It is the lake from Destiny West with million dollar houses lined all around it (pretty to see, but far enough not to hear). Upstairs there were two of the bedrooms with glass doors opening up to another balcony with an even more astounding view of the lake. At a place like this, time away from the beach wont really be down time with a view like this. Getting up early to watch the sunrise over that like is just incredible. Barbecuing on the balcony is just a pleasure as you are musing at that lake. Looking back, the house was quite a fixer upper, and the best view from the main floor had been completely blocked off. From the best seat on the couch for watching TV, you now have the best seat in the house for watching that lake too. I often find myself gazing out there over the TV. I’ve done it often enough to notice that there is a Sea-hawk (Osprey actually) that hangs out in the gargantuan tree overlooking the lake. From time to time, he swoops down into that lake and grabs your attention. Then up he goes with a big fish in his talons.
On cloudy days where you don’t want to venture down
to the beach, you will be pleasantly surprise by the beauty of the clouds over the lake. Sunsets are just astonishing as you can see from some of our pictures. You must admit, a view like that is way better than the wall of another home!
As I said the house needed some work and I wasn’t sure about the pool situation so we look at this one 3 or 4 times. Always impressed by the neighborhood and view, but unsure of the work needed and the pool. Each time my realtor would impress upon me that renters want a pool. We made an effort to speak with any neighbors we would see and they too would also say, “the house with pool, you will do well”. So I was starting to feel another one of those I know I don’t know moments and accepted the pool. That right there was critical. We bought the house in the winter so didn’t appreciate first hand how awesome that pool is. To come back from the beach on a scorching hot day and dip into that pool
is really nice. The fact that it is fenced in is really nice for the privacy. Add that we are at the end of a dead end street adds to that seclusion. I spoke with the owner of what I’ve always considered one of the most impressive home in the neighborhood (Sunkissed) a couple months after I purchased it. He explained how before he had his phenomenal pool put in, he could hardly rent his house. After the pool, no problem. After my first rental season and experiencing the pool for myself, it is definitely a must have. It’s so warm at night during the season that it is even fun going out there after dark.
In keeping with our ideals that being away from the beach doesn’t have to be a let down, my wife has done a wonderful job decoration the beach house. As you move around your eye will catch the various touches of ocean decor throughout so your eyes will know that the view is all important!