Willis Allen Real Estate has announced that a home in Rancho Santa Fe it recently listed and sold was selected as a winner in the 2018 HGTV Ultimate House Hunt after receiving the most votes in the Amazing Kitchens category. It’s the second year in a row that a Willis Allen home has won the coveted HGTV Ultimate House Hunt, a month-long online promotion on HGTV.com. The 2018 contest attracted more than 880,000 votes and 84 million page views. In 2017, Del Dios Ranch at 7010 El Camino Del Norte in Rancho Santa Fe, a listing by Linda Sansone of Willis Allen, was selected in the Grand Estates category (San Diego Business Journal, Aug. 18, 2017).
The award-winning kitchen is in a home at 17250 Via De Fortuna that is near downtown Rancho Santa Fe and the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. Monica Sylvester, a realtor with the Willis Allen Rancho Santa Fe office listed the home and Beckie Nielsen, also with Willis Allen in the Del Mar office, represented the buyer. The home sold for $6.48 million in April 2018.
Sylvester, who was born and raised in Rancho Santa Fe, originally became involved with the 1950s/1960s home when it came on the market as a trust sale in June of 2016. Her first instinct was that it was the perfect opportunity for a complete re-imagining.
“I’ve been selling real estate nearly 18 years and have personally built more than 22 homes in and around Rancho Santa Fe, Sylvester said. “My experience spans new build, land acquisition — I’m no stranger to construction.”
Sylvester said she has relationships with several of the builders in Rancho Santa Fe and with Richard Doan Construction in particular. She said Doan, and more recently as a father/son team with Kyle Doan and architect Mark Radford, has been building homes in San Diego County for 41 years.
“I shared it with Richard (Doan) the day it came on the market,” Sylvester said. “It just had wonderful upside to it.”
She said it is unusual in the covenant to find single-story properties that are on flat useable land, sited very prominently on an elevated lot “all you needed to do was scrape the existing house and voila.”
The result is a modern, 7,004-square-foot, six bedroom, seven-and-a-half bath home on 2.46 acres.
Sylvester said when you open the front door you walk into a very large great room that is Doan’s signature design. The kitchen is to the right and across the great room, floor-to-ceiling, 40-foot wide electronic doors open “with a touch of a button, it’s like a George Jetson cartoon, they open up and disappear into the wall and you spill out into this gorgeous loggia.”
Sylvester said the kitchen is the true heart of the home; everyone tends to naturally congregate into the kitchen area.
“For that reason it’s very special, with the high ceilings and the natural lighting that comes through those 40-foot pocket doors,” she said.
The loggia has piped in heaters above and a flat screen TV. “It really lends itself nicely into that indoor/outdoor living/flow,” she said.
Willis Allen’s Beckie Nielsen represented the buyers of the home. Nielsen has been involved in real estate since 2007 and specializes in relocation.
“There’re buyers who come into the area and think they want to live somewhere and just don’t know about other areas,” Nielsen said. “I start talking to them and they end up in a new area because I educated them on something they didn’t know.”
Nielsen said the buyers of Via De Fortuna were looking for something that was private with more acreage. She showed them about 10 properties in the Ranch and they selected this one because of the open concept, modern design.
“This home is incredibly open and light and bright — when those doors that completely open to the back of the home to the pool, you barely know where the house ends and the pool begins,” Nielsen said.
The property is newly landscaped and looks out over a pastoral view and connects to the Rancho Santa Fe horse trails. A towering, mature palm that was formerly in the front of the estate was moved to the west side of the pool to be a centerpiece for the view out of the back of the home.
Sylvester, the listing agent, said at nighttime and especially at dusk, the property is magical.
“The sunsets are just killer,” Sylvester said. “Even when the 40-foot doors are closed at night, the light is just so romantic, there is all this different lighting — it just has such a great feel to it.”
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