Homes of the Treasure Coast

Built to last

Homeowners opt for houses that can withstand hurricane-strength winds

No builder will tell you he can build a hurricane-proof house, but many are willing to go beyond building codes, hoping the home will survive a sustained super storm.

“A home can be a bunker and still be a palace,” builder Jim Harkins says. The co-owner of H3 Homes has built more than 30 monolithic, poured concrete houses in Brevard, Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties since 2007. The homes ...

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Singer’s haven

Arlo Guthrie is putting his beloved Sebastian home up for sale

Singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie spent more than 20 years converting a Coast Guard building turned fish cannery into his dream home on the Indian River in Sebastian.

Determined to retain the historical look of the original building, Guthrie overcame one obstacle after another to finally complete the home known as “The Crab House” in 2010.

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Joie de Vivre

European-inspired estate blends classic elegance with family functionality

When Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted doubled the size of their St. Lucie River estate in Stuart, they used design elements inspired by their travels around Europe.

Spanning 10 years, the project included addition of a guest house above the three-car garage and a master wing that doubled the square footage of the home.

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River harmony

Nature meets history on Indian River Drive

After seeing it for the first time, world traveler and nature-lover Diane Wynne knew she wanted to buy the Mediterranean Revival-style home with a rich history and sweeping views of the Indian River in Fort Pierce.

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Tranquil abundance

Custom architectural design connects elegant surroundings to nature’s charm

Riomar Bay, an elite riverfront neighborhood, is small enough to feel intimate yet graced with some of Vero Beach’s most elegant homes.
At 520 Bay Drive, a special residence deals in the rare currency of equitable indoor and outdoor space, utilizing water as its natural allure. The magnificent home is currently on the market for $3,995,000.

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Coastal luxury

Teamwork brings quality workmanship, complex remodeling and elegant design to home on the water

A couple from Manhattan drove into the picturesque seaside town of Vero Beach and immediately knew the search for a home was over. Having scoured Florida’s east coast for a quiet getaway, their criterion was simple: They needed a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors with family, and Vero Beach seemed like the perfect place to escape from the city.

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Magnificent Renewal

Bygone years blend perfectly with modern architecture to make a Riomar Drive home in Vero a picturesque retreat

Just like the early settlers, when Walter and Dale McGee first stumbled upon the little town of Vero Beach, it was love at first sight. “We were coming back from the Keys on our way back to Baltimore and the car broke down on A1A near Riomar,” says Dale, referring to the barrier island’s oldest neighborhood. Charmed by the character homes, mature oaks and proximity to the beach, she turned to her husband and announced, “OK, I’ll move here.”

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Riomar’s humble beginnings

The year was 1918 and three Midwesterners, Dr. J.P. Sawyer, Dr. W.H. Humiston, and businessman E.E. Strong, were looking for a winter retreat far away from Ohio’s icy-cold winters. Scouring Florida’s east coast for the perfect place to golf, swim and fish, they came across Vero Beach and agreed they had found their little piece of paradise.

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All rooms with a view

Nature provides the character for this fortress along the sea

Eduardo Leal and Agnieszka Szymanska built their dream home on North Hutchinson Island to stand the tests of time.

“He (the contractor) told us, ‘You are building a bunker here. If there is a hurricane, you can sit back and watch it,’” says Szymanska, a former ballerina with the Polish National Ballet Company and Vero Beach Realtor.

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Oceanfront paradise

Couple enjoys remodeling that brings grand results for a marvelous home

Charlie and Peggy Russell can’t resist buying large homes and then completing extensive renovations, but their third home in Sailfish Point will be their last.

Originally from Kentucky, the couple has bought, remodeled and sold a dozen homes and condominiums in Palm Beach and Martin counties. Their oceanfront residence in Stuart was the biggest challenge yet, since it was just an unfinished shell when they purchased it three years ago.

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If the walls could talk

Oral history has 95-year-old Vero Beach estate the site of a Roaring ’20s speakeasy

Known today as Crescent Moon, the 95-year-old estate in western Vero Beach has been the location of secret liaisons during Prohibition and a fictional tryst between an American journalist and a Nicaraguan Sandinista rebel portrayed in a Hollywood movie.

The 4.2-acre estate has a legendary – yet largely undocumented – past and was added in 1997 to the National Registry of Historic Places. Built in 1922 by New York couple Theodore and Blanche Hausmann on the then 15-acre parcel, the home was “used as a winter residence and an informal nightclub, or ‘speak easy,’ ’’ according to the historical significance cited in support of it being named to the registry.

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Worth the wait

Arduous process produces contemporary gem in Diamond Sands

When Angel Arias began searching for an oceanfront lot to escape Broward County, he researched his way from Jacksonville south until he stumbled on to what he thought was a typo — a half-acre on Hutchinson Island for $385,000.

Arias bought the lot in Diamond Sands and began the two-year process to build a stunning three-story contemporary home with vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River. Right out of an episode of Miami Vice, the home, which was built in 2015, is an ultra-modern mixture of marble, stone, glass and steel with floor to ceiling windows designed for maximum enjoyment of the waterfront.

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Paradise found

Villa Nirvana in Vero Beach fulfills a homeowner’s every desire

Entering through the doors of Villa Nirvana is like stepping into a dream home complete with every gorgeous detail any discerning person could desire.

The 3,255-square-foot modern beach home, with three bedrooms and three full baths, sits on .23 acres and has amazing 360-degree ocean and wildlife views from each of its three levels. Only 15 steps from the sand, the home was completely renovated in 2016 by owner Mahli Lieblich, a developer and restoration specialist from Miami.

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Adventures on a treasured island

Western St. Lucie homestead provides great place to raise children and flocks of fowl

Suzanne Varn’s four children led a charmed life growing up at the end of the St. Lucie River surrounded by water and wildlife.

“We were like the Swiss Family Robinson,” says son David. “It was always an adventure. It was a really great time and we could explore the forest on our own little island. We loved having fish fries and cookouts on the deck.”

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Picture perfect

Roger and Pattama Lightle have custom-built their home to accommodate their collection of paintings by The Highwaymen

It is rare when a homeowner cares as much about what goes on the walls as how the walls are built, but that sums up Roger and Pattama Lightle’s Vero Beach house. It is a testament to solid construction techniques and the perfect gallery space for the couple’s stellar collection of Highwaymen paintings.

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Luna vistas

House of the moon rises above beachfront property

The Town of Jupiter Island broke the mold after William Brisben built his dream French estate Chateau de la Lune along the ocean shore.

Town fathers decided that the more than 14,000-square-foot residence, which was built in 2002, was too much house for a 1.5 acre lot and passed stricter development rules to preserve the look of the unique community.

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Building on memories

Riomar home harkens back to a more genteel era

Long before there was John’s Island, Windsor or The Moorings, there was Riomar. Nestled just north of Vero’s South Beach neighborhood,the streets are lined with lovely live oaks, giving it a decidedly Old Florida feel.

In the early to mid-20th century, Riomar was a village unto itself. Everyone knew everyone and many of the residents were people of means who were well-known outside the village. There was the Grumman family, co-founders of Grumman Aeronautical Engineering (now part of Northrop Grumman), and the Brashears, former owners of the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

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Equine eden

Renowned farm provides haven for horses and humans in Palm City

The lakefront home at Ludlum Farm opens out in all directions to horses and nature with magnificent views and breezes.

“It is very peaceful when you come in the gates and the horses love it here, too,” says Melissa Gelatt, who along with husband, Philip, bought the 55-acre horse farm in Palm City five years ago. The largest fully-operational dressage horse facility in South Florida — including Wellington — Ludlum Farm has its own covered dressage arena, a veterinary hospital and 68 stalls surrounded by beautifully manicured paddocks and pastures.

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House with attitude

Remodeled beach home radiates Old Florida character

After Bill and Lisa Becker moved to Vero Beach in 1996, he would run past a house around the corner, thinking to himself, “what a great place to raise a family.” One day he saw a For Sale sign. He took it as an omen and the couple bought the house.

“I envisioned my children playing in the yard among the trees, riding their bikes and skateboards and walking to school,” Becker says.

The couple’s three children attended St. Edward’s Lower School when it was three houses away in the prestigious Riomar Country Club neighborhood on the beach south of the commercial district.

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Historical house full of love

Owners ready to part with special property after 43 years

Ankona Acres is 5 acres of old Florida with a horse farm and riverfront lifestyle not found anywhere else on the Treasure Coast.

Originally built in 1903 on Indian River Drive, south of Fort Pierce, as the main home for a pineapple plantation, the home has been expanded several times from the original cross-ventilation design that captured sea breezes in pre-air conditioned days. The 4,000-square-foot main house has survived a raging brush fire and a banyan tree that crashed through the roof during one of the 2004 hurricanes.

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