Imagine a place where the sense of community is strong, and wildlife is revered. And within that, envisage a property designed to celebrate the ocean, birdlife, and relaxing in peace. This property on Sanibel Island in Florida is the place. Watching the sun rise over the shimmering Gulf of Mexico from one of its many balconies, the lush garden, or on your boat would be the most rewarding experience.
The views of the bay are the best that can be found, and there are regular sightings of dolphins playing—Brooks Selby, John R. Wood Properties
“There’s a very good chance that the potential buyer will have a boat or two that they could keep lifted at the dock,” predicts realtor Brooks Selby of John R. Wood Properties, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the area. “In fact, that’s the best way to arrive at the property—straight from the bay. This way you can really appreciate its proportions and its very special plot.”
For those seeking splendid isolation with balmy waters lapping at your own personal shore, this may be the perfect spot to call home. “The views of the bay are the best that can be found, and there are regular sightings of dolphins playing, fish jumping, and manatees swimming by, not to mention the numerous bird species—osprey, pelican, eagle, roseate spoonbill . . . the list goes on, to be spotted on a daily basis,” says Selby.
With water all around, the property is enclosed on one side by preserved wooded land. “This location offers extreme peace and quiet. There’s no traffic whatsoever—there are only seven homes on the road, and this is right at the end, so nobody passes by,” he says.
That’s not all that makes the home unusual. “This is an extremely rare property that could not be reproduced,” Selby explains. “While there are several bayfront homes, there are very, very few that have a boat dock on the property. The only ones that exist are grandfathered in from many years ago and are not attractive as they stick out into the bay 150 to 200 feet (46-61 m) where the water is sometimes wavy—that’s not a fun walk either! To have 270 feet (82 m) of bay frontage, a private boat dock in the yard with two boat lifts, and to be tucked on the canal side where the water is calm and also deep enough for large boats makes it one of a kind.”
Owners on Sanibel are proud to say that the island is 67 percent conservation land . . . High-rise builds will never be allowed here—Brooks Selby, John R. Wood Properties
The house is being sold by the people who had it designed and built in 2015. This newer construction makes it even rarer for the island—it’s built to the most up-to-date code and highest quality, and is a smart home, too. The residence is centered on an oversized plot so is generously proportioned, and is accessible, too: it’s located right by the causeway that links the island to the mainland, with Fort Myers just a short drive away.
Affording uninterrupted views of the water, vast windows and multiple balconies on many levels have been designed to maximum effect. Beautifully manicured tropical landscaping surrounds the large pool and hot tub, with the plot sloping gently down to the shore. Flowing over 5,200 square feet (483 sq m), the airy home has five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a home office, and a den, plus dining, family, great and media rooms.
The decor is classic and neutral, allowing the mesmerizing views to do the talking. Marble and tile flooring plus a shaded lanai keep things cool, and there’s no better spot than the rooftop balcony to watch the sun go down and the stars begin to twinkle. And there’s plenty of room to entertain—the outdoor living room with a fireplace is a draw—and accommodate numerous guests.
Should you tire of simply listening to the birdsong, the cool breeze rustling through the palm trees, and the gentle lapping of the ocean, verdant Sanibel has much to offer. “The lifestyle cannot be beaten,” Selby says. “There are many outdoor activities—boating, fishing, paddleboarding, miles of paved bike paths, 13 miles (21 km) of beach, golf courses, country clubs, art festivals, theater, a farmers’ market, shopping, and shelling [the island is the unofficial shelling capital of the world and is home to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum]. It has a small-town feel with a strong sense of community.”
Because Sanibel is connected to the mainland by a three-mile toll causeway, it offers tremendous privacy and a real sense of security. “Owners on Sanibel are proud to say that the island is 67 percent conservation land, which gives it the feel of a wildlife sanctuary and also keeps the home values strong as the island has already been developed,” Shelby says. “High-rise builds will never be allowed on Sanibel and there are no traffic lights.”
As a vacation retreat or main home, the potential is all there at this restorative, rejuvenating hideaway with magical views.
Banner image: The Sanibel Island waterfront property, Florida. Please note, the exterior and interior of this home may be different than that shown in the photographs as a result of Hurricane Ian.