What started as a vacation destination for two teachers from up north eventually became their year-round residence. As Disney Vacation Club members, this pair of elementary school teachers from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been coming to Vero Beach for 20 years.
When it was time for the couple to start making retirement plans, they discovered the sleepy little seaside town is “1,000 times greater than what we already knew.”
When they purchased the two-bedroom, two-bath villa at 1054 Normandie Way in Provence Bay, they planned to retire in two years.
After a single stellar summertime in their new home, however, they moved up the timetable to begin fulltime residency in the quiet little neighborhood, expediting their retirement.
While they love their home in Provence Bay, the husband and wife have now decided to move to another part of Vero.
“This is truly for someone who is seasonal, a lock-and-go place,” says Brenda Montgomery, Alex MacWilliam Real Estate listing agent.
“And, if you’re year-round, it’s perfect too.”
The solidly built villa has no-step design, built-in pest control system, an impeccably kept community, friendly neighbors and spot-on amenities, and provides secure living in a gated community, with a location that is central to beach and town.
The couple visits South Beach every morning for several hours basking in the blue skies and sunny weather – in contrast to their life in Michigan. “It’s a short drive to the beach,” he says, adding that the proximity to the beach, shopping, movie theaters and his wife’s daily caffeine fix is all they need.
From the welcoming porch to the screened lanai, everything about the villa whispers, “Relax.” There’s even space for a bench near the front entry where you can sit and wave to neighbors who ride past on their bicycles or stroll by with the family pet.
“That’s what I’ll miss the most,” he says. “The neighborhood is very friendly. People are always stopping to say, ‘Hi!’ It’s just a friendly, friendly neighborhood.”
The home’s front door opens into a hallway with the garage access to the left and the den to the right. The owner notes that the far garage wall is the only wall shared with the villa next door, eliminating any chance of noise carrying over. That, added to the solid construction and impact windows, ensures that noise from the outside never intrudes on the serene haven created inside.
The couple added a barn door so the den can be used for overflow guests and as an added buffer when the owners pursue independent interests.
Just past the den, the guest bedroom and bathroom await. The generous bedroom is large enough for a king-size bed, perhaps not the best idea if you don’t want guests to get too comfortable. The guest bathroom was recently updated. With pebble accents and a unique, wavy tile, the decor makes you feel you’re already at the beach.
In the kitchen, the 10-foot-long granite island countertop holds center court. The island has plenty of space for guests to belly up to the bar and chat with the hosts as they prepare dinner.
A pair of clerestory windows – small horizontal panes set high on a wall – break up the western wall that runs the villa’s length without giving up any privacy while still allowing plenty of light to flow into the kitchen.
Custom top-down, bottom-up blinds also provide for an elevated level of privacy while allowing the owners to enjoy the beautiful blue sky, intoxicating clouds, and sunrise or sunset when the blinds are in the top-down position.
A small cafe table provides ample space for more intimate meals near the great room where guests can chat with the cook or enjoy the water view of the community lake.
Tucked at the back of the house, the master suite and laundry room enjoy a great deal of privacy, making the most of the split plan.
“When we have company at night, we can’t hear them if they get up,” she says
Her husband chuckles. “I didn’t know I was that well-liked until I moved to Florida,” he says of their recent visits from northern family and friends.
A generous walk-in closet in the spacious master suite is a nice bonus, with plenty of room for clothes and storage.
A favorite spot in the house is the screened lanai. An exterior wall allows the owners to entertain in the secluded spot while screens let the breeze flow through, keeping the space cool and fresh. And a mural hand-painted by a friend provides plenty of tropical imagery to liven up the space.
The owner admits that she doesn’t get much reading done from the lanai because she is often distracted by the water view. “It’s hard to concentrate when you’ve got all this to watch,” she adds with a smile.
Provence Bay is a gated community just south of the 17th Street bridge on Indian River Boulevard conveniently located to the beaches, downtown shopping, and the nearby Lagoon Greenway Trail. The community was designed with a lock-and-leave lifestyle in mind for maximize functionality, with low maintenance and plenty of conveniences. HOA fees include lawn care, cable, pool and play area.
- Address: 1054 Normandie Way
- Neighborhood: Provence Bay
- Year built: 2016
- Construction: Concrete block with stucco
- Lot size: 76 feet by 45 feet
- Home size: 1,411 square feet
- Bedrooms: 2
- Bathrooms: 2
- Pool: Community swimming pool
- Additional features: Granite island countertop; impact glass; crown molding; tile flooring; custom blinds; den; walk-in closet; laundry room; single-car garage and screened lanai
- Listing agency: Alex MacWilliam Real Estate
- Listing agent: Brenda Montgomery, 772-532-4170
- Listing price: $255,000