Mansion Global: Waterfront Florida Home on ‘Sugar Sand’ Heads to Auction

Waterfront Florida Home on ‘Sugar Sand’ Heads to Auction

After decades living in a grand waterfront house in Clearwater Beach, Florida, the owners are more or less reconstructing it about 25 miles away.

“We love the Clearwater Beach house so much that we are building a new house that’s almost identical,” said Katie Kaffai, who’s selling the original home with her husband, orthodontist Ernest Howard McDowell, to move closer to their offices in St. Petersburg.

Their longtime Clearwater house, which has direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, is now headed for auction in a live, on-site no-reserve sale later this month. The property first hit the market in June for $3.7 million with agent Melody Hunter of Charles Rutenberg Realty and will be sold to the highest bidder by Elite Auctions on Jan. 28.

The residence, which is snow white like the sand of the beach it’s on, is designed for family life as well as formal entertaining.

“We’ve hosted a lot of parties there,” said Ms. Kaffai, the founder and owner of the med spa Living Young Center for Health and Anti-Aging. “In the back, behind the boat, there’s a big area for water skiing, rake boarding and tubing for the kids. It’s very convenient, because you can hop back in the house in two seconds.”

Mr. McDowell has owned the underlying property for 30 years, paying $235,000 for it in 1993 and building the current house in 2002, according to property records. They raised three daughters and a son while living on the property.

Ms. Hunter noted that the house is “very custom” and has “top-end finishes and materials,” including Brazilian wood trim, motorized window shades, plantation shutters and marble and porcelain flooring.

The three-level, 5,721-square-foot residence, which is on nearly a quarter of an acre with 79 feet of water frontage, has an elevator, four bedrooms and four bathrooms and an oversized two-car garage.

The property also has a gas-heated pool with a spill-over hot tub and a large sunset-facing patio with an outdoor kitchen. The living area has a built-in entertainment center, a fireplace and a wet bar with an ice maker, and the kitchen features a central granite-topped island and a curved snack bar.

The primary suite, which is on the third floor, has a fireplace, a private balcony and a spiral staircase that leads to the roof, which has views of the city and the gulf.

A bridge walkway connects to two other water-view bedrooms that include a balcony, a laundry room and a built-in study.

Other features include a formal dining room, an office with built-in cabinetry that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway, a billiards room, a media room and a bonus room that may be used as a fitness room, a games room or for a variety of other purposes.

The property, in the “upscale, spectacular” community of Island Estates of Clearwater, “stands out,” said Randy Haddaway, founder and CEO of Elite Auctions. “A deep-water channel gives access to the gulf, and the 10,000-pound boat lift is a bonus. The wide beach is spacious—you can do a variety of activities and sports like volleyball. The sand is white powder—I call it ‘sugar sand’—it feels good on the feet and doesn’t get hot.”

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