The whole building process for the house on Tarawood Drive in Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Golf Community took about a year from start to finish.
“We were just lucky to get the permit quickly through Orange County and our timing was good and everything worked out well on it,” said Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp National Developments and the seller of the house. “We’re generally used to everything taking forever to get permits, but we just got lucky and everything just went smoothly.”
This home sits on the third tee of the golf course and is 5,806 square feet with six bedrooms and five full bathrooms. Whittall paid $745,000 for the property in February 2020 and promptly filed an application to demolish the late 1970s era house on the lot.
The house was one of three spec houses Whittall has built or plans to build in the neighborhood.
“There’s much more opportunity in our central Florida market to start razing homes and building new ones because the land value at this point is starting to exceed the home value,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot more of these knockdowns occur.”
This home sold in about ten days and wasn’t even fully staged.
“We just wanted to show buyers a little bit of what they could get. We didn’t think we needed to stage it completely for buyers to get a feel for the house,” Whittall told GrowthSpotter.
“A bedroom is a bedroom and these are a large size. If they were smaller, we probably would have [staged,]” said listing agent Ruthanne Martin of Suzi Karr Realty. “You can get a good idea of what could go in them.”
The primary bedroom is on the first floor and has two oversized closets and a large bathroom. Four other bedrooms are on the second floor.
There is also a pool bedroom and bathroom near the large pool and pool deck with an outdoor kitchen.
The first floor has 12-foot ceilings and an open concept that gives the large kitchen, dining area, and family room views of the golf course and lake from huge windows and doors.
“The lot was just gorgeous,” Whittall said.
Martin says the buyers also loved some of the design features including detailed wall millwork and the colors that are throughout the home.
Public records list the buyers as Hong Liu and Xiaofei Ran, who were represented by Wenwen Wang of JWJ Realty, LLC.
Martin says the buyers plan to use the home as their full-time residence and loved the views and the fact there are two different living spaces, one upstairs and the other on the main level.
“This house had a large bonus room, an area for a pool table, a sitting area to read a book and watch TV, and then alongside that it also had a movie theater with stadium seating,” Martin said.
There are also two complete laundry rooms, one on each floor.
This is just one neighborhood where Whittall’s company is building homes. He’s also behind two of the region’s most exclusive estate communities: The Ritz Carlton Residences Orlando and Carmel on Lake Tibet, where he is building his own 20,000-square-foot mansion.
He says spec homes like the one on Tarawood are just something he said he enjoys.
“I started off my career building homes. I just love the real estate market. I love to build homes and apartments and everything. we just enjoy it. It’s fun.”