Barrier island living within reach and very near Sebastian

ORCHID ISLAND — Just over the Wabasso Causeway, located on the north barrier island between Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and Historic Jungle Trail is the Seasons at Orchid.

It’s a quiet collection of only 100 single-family homes offering a great location, friendly neighbors and luxury amenities – at bargain prices.

With the first homes going on line in 2002 and the final few being completed in 2006 and 2007, the Seasons at Orchid offers recent construction according to post-Hurricane Andrew code.

Ten homes currently are available in the Seasons at Orchid, ranging from $450,000 to $724,000.

Though it’s not a country club community, the Seasons at Orchid is gated and dotted with cul-de-sacs and only a short stroll to Wabasso Beach Park with its newly replenished beaches. The residences and common areas are well-maintained and nearly all the homes are customized from the available models sold and built by M & R Homes, the company now developing Ocean Oaks.

“There are 10 different color schemes that you can choose from and the builder tried to keep it so no two of the same exact homes are located together,” said Josephine Rolenc, president of the Seasons at Orchid Homeowners Association.

The community has been nearly immune to the financial difficulties that have stressed some homeowners’ associations on the barrier island, with only one foreclosure, which has already been purchased.

“The homes built in the earlier years before the bubble have held their value very well,” she said.

John Genovese, a retired police chief from New Jersey, said the Seasons won him over in 2003 despite the fact that he didn’t intend to make the Treasure Coast his home.

“My wife and I, we looked at property for two seasons and I was really looking at the west coast of Florida,” he said. “We were traveling through Florida and found the place and thought it was a nice community.”

Rolenc fell in love with the location before the Seasons at Orchid ever existed. She just had to wait until a homesite was available on the spot she’d picked out.

“In 1998 I came to the Disney resort for vacation. I stood on the balcony and looked out and said that this is where I’d like to live,” she said. “Jungle Trail borders the property and it’s protected wetlands all around us.”

Those with a leisurely pace to their life and the time to take long walks and watch the birds, the Seasons at Orchid is teeming with wildlife and bird species. The development is also near the Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge and a stone’s throw from the Environmental Learning Center, which can be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart alike.

The streets of the Seasons at Orchid center around a central fountain adjacent to a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse with pool and spa, exercise room – which will be undergoing an expansion – covered patio with barbecue grills, tennis and croquet courts and plans underway for a pilates and yoga room.

Through the association, residents contract for their cable television and monitored security system service. Lawn care is provided as part of the maintenance, but individual residents are responsible for any landscaping they plant inside their courtyards and for a small patch of garden not kept up by the association. Homeowners are also responsible for their own swimming pool maintenance.

For everyday living and maintenance of a home, Genovese said he feels he made a good investment in his residence.

“I liked the way it was built. We weathered the storms of 2004 very well,” he said. “And I liked it that I could have a guest house separate from the main house.”

Rolenc said she, too was attracted by the quality construction, but the style of the floor plans available was the best selling point for her.

“The dream of mine for my Florida home was a home wrapped around a pool and that’s what we have,” she said.

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