Welcome to a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse of the the history and heart of 558 Stuart Street, in Lake Forest Subdivision. Located just 2 minutes into the largest subdivision in the state of Alabama, this home is close enough to the entrance of Lake Forest to be super convenient, yet it also has the feeling of being quietly nestled off the beaten path. Just minutes from Interstate 10, it is ideal for commuters to Mobile or Pensacola, and offers quick access to all the excellent shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities along the Eastern Shore.
Please continue to read the following Q&A between myself and the seller of 558 Stuart St. It is both enlightening and informative:
Agent: How did you know this was the home you were meant to buy?
Seller: “It just made sense for us at the time. In 2006, we looked all over Daphne but could not find anything that was really calling to us. My grandmother, who was recently widowed, asked if we wanted to buy her house because it was “too much house” for her. We were shocked at first. Couldn’t fathom living in our grandparents’ house that they had lived in since 1971. But when we got to thinking about it, we couldn’t see anyone else living in it and we could see us making it “ours” with some modern changes.”
Agent: What have become your top 5-10 favorite features of the home?
The kitchen – “It was a good kitchen before but with carpet in the kitchen that was one of the first changes we made. It only took us spilling flour (once) and red wine (almost a whole bottle) on blue carpet to kick off the renovations. Not really sure how our grandma kept it so clean all of those years. We ended up reconfiguring the layout to make better sense and replaced the electric range with gas, laid tile and installed new cabinets, an island, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Boom! Dream kitchen. It opens the flow to the living and dining rooms and is just really nice and inviting.”
The pool – “Who doesn’t love a pool? This pool is not just any pool. It is the first one ever installed in Lake Forest back in 1972. The neighborhood kids wanted it SO bad they worked together and hand-dug it in 1 month. But the pool itself is awesome! It’s undergone a few liner changes from normal wear and tear and has had some upgrades. The shallow end ladder was replaced with built-in steps that we mostly did for small kids and our elderly Labrador retriever at the time. It’s been a great add. The best thing though has to be the saltwater chlorine generator. Adding salt to the pool along with a few other chemicals a few times a year lessens the maintenance and cost tremendously. This pool has never been difficult or time consuming to clean. We’ve also never “Closed” it which I would not recommend doing. Utilizing the timer and checking the chemicals once a month is all that is needed. Winterizing a pool is really hard on the system, plumbing and liner and is just not worth it when we don’t have true winters down here. It gets full sun in the summer until about 3pm. It’s nice to turn on the fancy pool light at night too; whether you are swimming or just enjoying being outside.”
The tankless gas water heater – “This was a no-brainer when the water heater went out. Endless hot water even when the power goes out. Great investment!”
The grass – “This may sound funny but the St. Augustine grass at this house feels like carpet on bare feet and just looks extra nice. We were always complimented on it.”
The bonus room – “At first we debated closing in the single car garage that we couldn’t pull our cars of today into but we are very happy we did. This room has been used as a man cave, full-time work office for multiple businesses and weight room. We designed it so that it would be easy to add two walls to make a closet and 4th bedroom entrance while not requiring the lights to be relocated or the attic access to be inaccessible. Having access to the back patio makes it a plus too.”
Agent: What are your favorite grocery stores and shops in the area?
Seller: “We always shop Winn Dixie. We pass Publix and Wal-mart to shop there mostly for the deals and selection. It’s just easier to get to and not as crowded. Fresh Market is right around the corner too and we’ve enjoyed that.”
Agent: Any interests or hobbies you enjoy on or near the property?
Seller: “The pool, gardening and playing washers in the backyard. The patio deck is perfect for stargazing too. The neighborhood is great for walks, runs, walking dogs or strolling babies at all times of day or night.”
Agent: What will you miss most about living in or owning this property, as well as the surrounding community?
Seller: “Honestly? Everything. It sounds cliché but it’s true for this house. This house has been in our lives for as long as we’ve been a couple and for my whole life and in our family’s lives for almost half a century. Our kids have only known this house. The neighbors on either side are the original neighbors and they are great. The other neighbors haven’t changed much but are nice as well. The house itself is just a solid house; structurally sound and everything we needed and wanted aesthetically. When a hurricane threatens our area, it has always been comforting to know this house is strong enough to withstand it even being ¼ mile from the bay. Through all of the storms we’ve had since 1971, this house has fared just fine. It was always the place we’d come growing up so we’d all be together for the duration of the storm.”
From the curb to the closets, this home has been pristinely maintained and renovated. Call me at 251-623-2392 for an appointment to come see for yourself why this property has been so dearly loved for generations.