Santa Rosa Beach, along Florida’s Gulf Coast, is one of the fastest growing vacation home markets in the United States. And no wonder. With pristine water and sugar sand beaches, not to mention easy transportation from most of the East Coast, the area has long shed the “Redneck Riviera” moniker in favor of the fancier sounding Emerald Coast. The area has long been popular with music and sports stars and today, homes in Santa Rosa Beach score premium prices. To wit: a beachfront property, which has the stardust of being formerly owned by soul singer Reverend Al “Let’s Stay Together” Green that recently traded for a whopping $13.25 million.
Green purchased the property in 1992 for $178,000 and married developers Cynthia and Alex Rice purchased it from Green in 2020 for $2.8 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, the first to report on the sale. A brand-new house was erected on the footprint of Green’s old house, which the Rices named “Love and Happiness” after the singer and ordained minister’s 1972 song. The four-story house, with a vertical footprint to maximize the Gulf views, boasts more than 6,600 heated and cooled square feet, including six spacious bedrooms, all en-suite, and three half baths. Each level is accessible by an elevator and though the house sits on the beach, it boasts not just one but two swimming pools.
Set on about a half-acre of land, walking distance to the New Urbanism town of Seaside, the house has an inverted plan which puts most of the bedrooms on the lower two levels and the main living and entertaining spaces on the upper floors. Designed to accommodate extended family and friends, one guest bedroom has built-in bunk beds for kids, while the ground-floor primary bedroom opens to a covered plunge pool, perfect for taking a dip during inclement weather.
The main living spaces are on the third floor and feature a whitewashed brick fireplace, a pecky cypress ceiling and a covered porch with panoramic views. A spacious dining area, a built-in banquette and a five-seat snack bar in the top-of-the-line kitchen mean everyone can sit and eat at the same time. The large windows that frame views of the Gulf of Mexico are all impact-rated for Florida’s notoriously stormy weather.
Up on the fourth floor, along with a couple of bedrooms, is the home’s pièce de résistance, a penthouse lounge that spills out to a rooftop sunbathing deck with a second pool with gorgeous views. Back downstairs, a new ipe wood boardwalk spans the dunes to the property’s 55 feet of beach frontage.
The home was listed with Compass’s Jonathan Spears.