Notable Home Sales

Top Universal exec buys country retreat in Sorrento

The four bedroom and 4.5 bathroom home was built in 1988 but was recently renovated. It sold for $1.4 million after just a week on the market.

A home high on a hill in the countryside is a perfect place to ponder and be creative.

“It has the most gorgeous sunsets you’ve ever laid eyes on with a huge back patio porch area which is an outdoor dream,” said listing agent Jan Fergerson with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s on a gorgeous 5-acre piece of land in Sorrento in Lake County. You could just take a glass of wine and walk around the property. It’s just amazing.”


The 4,278-square-foot estate on Equestrian Trail just sold for $1.4 million.

According to public records, the buyer is Mike Hightower, president of Universal Creative. The seller is a trust associated with Dayna Whitson.


The four-bedroom and 4.5-bathroom home was built in 1988 but was recently renovated.

The home sits on 5 acres with lots of mature oak trees in the Sorrento community of Lake County.

“It has been totally redone. The kitchen was done in 2021. They took all of the fixtures out and all of the bathrooms have been redone,” Fergerson told GrowthSpotter, adding the sellers took off all of the exterior wood and replaced it with Hardie Board so it will never rot. “You’d never know it was a house built in the late 1980s.”

Fergerson said the sellers re-did the home intending to stay, but family life changes dictated a move closer to town.

“It was heaven to them and always will be,” she said. “It’s just a beautiful looking property. The thing that people notice the most are the stunning mature trees. They’re just huge and the landscaping is immaculate.”

The home sits on a large piece of land, perfect for horses.

The property includes a 3-stall horse barn with air conditioning.

“The horse barn has three horse stalls and the other side is enclosed,” Fergerson explained,” adding the enclosed side is air conditioned and outfitted to house rescue animals.

“Because the road you go down to the house is a private road, there’s little to no traffic so it’s not unusual to see somebody riding their horse down the private drive.”

The enclosed back porch area has new pavers around the pool and fire pit area and the indoor spaces are high end.


“Everywhere you look, something catches your eye. It’s so custom,” Fergerson said, adding the three fireplaces are striking and all the rooms are large. “It just has so much charm to it.”

The home wasn’t on the market long, just more than a week.

The sellers had recently installed new pavers and a fire pit to the outdoor pool deck.

“We had numerous showings with pretty much everyone wanting it but for one reason or another weren’t prepared to buy it,” she said. “But when the buyer saw it, they made an offer immediately on it.”

Since everything had been recently updated, there wasn’t much left to do.

“They didn’t want to renovate a house but they wanted property. All of the big ticket items were done.”

Because of the location and amount of land, Fergerson said the home feels remote.


“You could sit out there for hours and read a book and not hear anything. It’s just such a calming effect.”

Arielle Hightower with Align Real Estate represented the buyer.

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