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Cozy living on a Florida barrier island

In 1996 Carl and Johanna Loth designed their house in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, with everything they wanted in a retirement home: a solar-heated indoor swimming pool, lots of space for family and friends, and easy access to boating waters and the Atlantic beach.

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“Over the years my parents had lots and lots of parties, including many, many wonderful family gatherings,” says their daughter Maryke Lee. But now that the Loths have passed on, their children and grandchildren do not use the house adequately, she says.

 The 100-by-100-foot property on the west side of an east coast barrier island is a five-bedroom, four-bath home, with an oversized three-car garage and workshop, a dock, ramp and float. It’s on the market for $775,000.

The 3,200-square-foot house features open-plan, one-floor living; the second floor is for guests. The foyer opens into the living room, where a cathedral ceiling soars to the loft above and bamboo planks cover the floor. The adjacent dining room is only steps from the kitchen, where Carl Loth baked Christmas treats. “My father was the family baker,” Lee says, “so he designed a nicely laid out, convenient kitchen with storage in the island, boiling water and ice water at the sink, top-name appliances and lots of storage. You even can sweep the kitchen floor directly into the central vacuum system.”

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Only the granite-topped island separates the kitchen from the waterfront family room. A gas-log fireplace makes the tile-floored room cozy. The family room’s wet bar is also convenient to the adjoining pool. 

“My mother swam every day, so the pool was an essential part of the house,” accessible through sliding glass doors in the living room, master bedroom and family room, and from outside, Lee says. 

Two first-floor bedrooms occupy the other side of the house, beyond the living room. The master suite has bamboo flooring, a private bath with a glass shower and a water view through the sliders to the pool. The full guest bath is also accessible from the pool.

The indoor swimming pool is solar-heated.

Upstairs, a loft sitting room overlooks the living room. One of the upstairs carpeted bedrooms has a small private bath; the other two share a second full bath.

The Loths kept their Hurricane deckboat in the boathouse at the end of their wood dock and kept one of Carl Loth’s handcrafted wood runabouts on the davits. Water depths at the end of the dock were sufficient for their boats but are not deep, she says.

The family frequently day-cruised to Ponce de Leon Inlet, stopping along the way for the children to swim and picnic. JB’s Fish Camp (about a mile south) was a favorite restaurant cruising destination. The Halifax River (the Intracoastal Waterway) and myriad creeks, canals and Mosquito Lagoon also are within day-cruising range.

Davits held the homeowner's handcrafted wooden boats.

“We often watched dolphins and manatees in the creek behind the house,” Lee says. “Sunsets over the water could be spectacular.”

The stucco-covered, concrete-block house has ceiling fans, two heating/cooling units, central air conditioning, a central vacuum system, and city water and sewer. Taxes were about $8,200 in 2012. Homestead and other exemptions will affect a new owner’s taxes.

Margie Lints (855-262-9056) of Magnolia Properties (855-302-5741, lists the property.

December 2014 issue