09 November 2009

Gold Coast: Gulf Shores Getaway

As I wrote when I launched Gold Coast last week, I want to inspire and delight you with views of homes around the country. This week, we're going to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast. Hurricane Ida may be visiting soon, as well. That's why so many of the homes along the shore are built on stilts. Many of them also have charming names, which delighted me when I honeymooned in the area eight years ago. Long ago, this area was knocked as the "Redneck Riviera." With seven- and eight-figure homes along some of the softest white sand beaches in the country, it's far more Riviera these days than redneck.

The Property

The area agents listing this three-story coastal home (MLS# 154270) call it Bella Bleu. It could have easily been called "Come On Down!" as it's ideal for entertaining large groups of family or friends. It sits right on the beach, so young guests can build sand castles while their parents relax on the deck.

I like its casual comfort. Floors are easy-maintenance tile throughout. The bedrooms all seem to open to the decks. There are rooms designed for adult guests, and rooms designed for kids. Ceiling fans bring Gulf breezes into the home and there's ample seating for gatherings.

The dual refrigerators are a cost-saving option relative to a large built-in, but I would have chosen a left hinge for the left fridge, rather than the dual, awkward rights. Double dishwashers and an icemaker make entertaining easier for the crowd this house can handle. So is the media room, just in case the weather gets wet, as the Gulf Coast so often does on summer afternoons.

Most of the homes in the area don't have pools, so that's a nice feature for this one. So are the three-plus parking spots, as beach parking is never easy anywhere in season!

I didn't see anything in the listing notes about hurricane shutters or impact glass doors. The metal roof and pilings foundation are designed to address hurricane-force winds and rising seas; I hope they're enough!

Details, Details

Here is teh listing description: Bella Bleu - West Beach Custom-built Gulf Front Home with pool and gorgeous views. Three levels for large groups. Large open living/dining/kitchen. Gourmet kitchen w/granite countertops, 2 refrigerators, 2 dishwashers, ice maker, Professional gas range and eating bar. Six bedroom suites (3 Gulf Front; 3 Lagoon view)/7 baths. Plus media room/BR. Elevator. Handicap Accessible. Covered parking. Call for IMPRESSIVE Rental History.

(The last sentence refers to the income potential this home can generate when you and your gang aren't beach bumming.)

Year Built: 2006
Approx. 3870 SF
6 Bedrooms
7 Full Baths
Ceiling Fans
Crown Molding
Carpoort and Garage
Swimming Pool

The Pricetag


Gulf Shores Bonus

Here are some ready resources for visiting Gulf Shores:

Alabama's Gulf Coast Vacation Guide - Official state tourism site
National Shrimp Festival Annual big-deal event every October
The Beach Club - Nice restaurant and spa in the area; we enjoyed both!
The Beach House - Our honeymoon bed and breakfast -- great views, great food, great hosts and great location.

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