Realty Builder Connection: Homes of the Rich and Famous Highlight


Former NFL player’s mansion one of top sales

By Carole Hawkins,


Sphere of influence is one of the best ways to pick up a real estate deal. 

So it doesn’t hurt when selling homes to be friends with a retired NFL football player. 

It’s how Juanita Wright of Exit Real Estate Gallery listed 87 Coles Court in St. Johns County, a more than 20,000-square-foot mansion belonging to former NFL wide receiver Laveranues Coles. 

Wright was also friends with the buyer, Semone Blair-Walker. The owner of Mandarin’s Meobachi Salon & Spa, Blair-Walker is a former model who’s appeared in Ebony and Jet magazines. 

Putting her two friends together netted Wright both sides of the $2.95 million home’s commission and placed the deal on the list of the top home sales for July through December.

Ten of Northeast Florida’s top 11 home sales, unsurprisingly, were beach homes. Ranging from $4.7 million to $2.95 million, most were in Ponte Vedra Beach. 

What is unusual, though, is two of the top sales were foreclosures — one, an old-world style home in Atlantic Beach, and the other, a 2-acre estate beach house in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Another surprise was Realtor Elizabeth Hudgins, who swept in with a beach house sale of $4.7 million in December to claim the top spot on the list. It wouldn’t be the only last-minute top sale for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty agent. 

Hudgins was the buyer’s agent for a Ponte Vedra beach house that sold in December for $3.8 million and ranked fourth on the list. And, she closed on the final day of the year on a third Ponte Vedra home for $3.475 million. 

Hudgins said the three sales made her 2015 business. “I did more this month than I did all year,” she said. 

High-value sales can jam into December from buyers who want to homestead their properties, Hudgins said.

The only non-waterfront home on the list was the Laveranues Coles estate. Visually it delivered the biggest wow factor.

Built for Coles in 2006, the large floorplan is necessary to accommodate its many recreation areas.

The home features a full-size indoor basketball court with stadium seating, a gym and locker rooms with a large steam shower, a two-lane bowling alley, two billiards rooms and two wet bars. 

That’s in addition to more typical upscale amenities, like a home theater and a pool with a waterfall, sauna and overhead balconies. 

It might seem like all those extras would narrow the pool of buyers. But Wright said they ended up being a plus. 

“(Blair-Walker’s) family plays there all the time. They have a lot of parties at their home,” she said.

What sold the buyers wasn’t just the home, but the 12 acres of land surrounding it, Wright said. 

Since the purchase, the Walker family has added nearly $100,000 in outdoor improvements, including a front garden, fountains, ponds and a gazebo. 

“Football players don’t necessarily go for anything too froufrou,” Wright said. “(The Walkers) have totally changed it. It’s the most gorgeous looking place now.”


Article Courtesy of: Realty Builder Connection