Torn between living in dream house, or being closer to kin


Picture a game of tug of war. On one side, a 3,000-square-foot “Old Florida” waterside cottage with up-to-the-minute amenities that Sharon and Waine Hicks designed and built six years ago.

On the other side, a vision of a Little League team being coached by Waine and his son-in-law in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and the promise of seeing his grandson, Blake Money (already a national youth baseball star), pitch and play third base on a regular basis.

Guess which side won, and guess who’s packing?

DREAM2The Hicks home in Coral Cove is on the market.

“You work your whole life to have a home as wonderful as this,” said Waine Hicks, who owns the construction company that built his dream house, “and Sharon and I put every feature in this place that we had always wanted, including plenty of guest rooms for visiting family, and a kitchen so beautiful it was featured in a national magazine. We were absolutely sure this was the house we were going to be in forever.”




But, Hicks says, the emotional pull of a close-knit family won out. “Honestly, I just want to be at the ballpark in Nashville and see my grandkids play ball, and I want to coach a team with my son-in-law, who was one of my players half a lifetime ago, when I coached at Twin Lakes,” he said.

“When I sat in the stands at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and saw my grandson play in the Little League World Series and then saw him play on TV in the Hall of Fame game, it became clear to me that I wanted to be part of that youth baseball life again.

“It became more important than this house, and more compelling than living in Sarasota. Sharon is with me on this, and we’ve already identified a neighborhood where we’d like to live in Spring Hill. In the end, a house is a house and we can build another. But family is family and that’s more important.”

Waine and Sharon Hicks first saw their Coral Cove property six years ago while they were bike riding through neighborhoods on water.

“We lived in a nearby subdivision and had our 28-foot boat in our driveway,” said Waine, who is a competitive fisherman and plays in tournaments in the Florida Keys. “We wanted a place on the water, and we loved this quiet and secluded neighborhood.

“The property was for sale. It was a 1956 ‘Old Florida’ ranch, and the original owners had moved to Bay Village.”

The house was about 1,800 square feet that sat on 148 feet of waterfront. The Hickses paid $650,000 and then put $300,000 into making it new and bigger. They took the existing house, with its shag carpeting and oil furnace, down to the studs and then brought the total square footage to 3,000 in an eight-month renovation/addition project that was done by Waine’s construction firm, W.P. Hicks Construction. He’s been in business in Sarasota and Virginia since 1974.

“I put everything into this house that I knew a well-built home should have,” said Waine, “including open-cell insulation, hurricane-impact windows and doors, tankless gas water heater, and a Wolf gas cooktop.”

He also engineered the air=conditioning system for maximum air circulation. The house has 9- and 10-foot ceilings throughout, wood floors, a gas fireplace, crown molding, French doors, plantation shutters and recessed lighting. Styled like an Old Florida cottage with ceiling beams and heirlooms from both sides of the family, the Hicks house has four bedrooms and three full baths, a three-car garage, screened porch with a hot tub, and a kitchen designed by Sharon that was featured in a national magazine.

The house also has a security system and a whole-house sound system. Because the home is elevated 12 feet, new owners will not be required to buy flood insurance. Additionally, there’s a 50-foot dock and a 14,000-pound lift to make boaters feel right at home. The house enjoys a nice setback and tucks discretely into the neighborhood of mature tropical foliage. Its size is deceptive from the front, but once you’re inside it widens to a spacious, open-concept floor plan with the public rooms oriented to the water views.

“Honestly, I never thought we would be putting this house on the market because it has everything and more that Sharon and I wanted in a beautiful and comfortable home on the water,” said Waine Hicks.

“All I can say is that I want to be at the ballpark with our grandkids, so we’re going to Tennessee to do it.” Score a run for the boys of summer.


Marsha Fottler

Marsha Fottler has been a newspaper and magazine lifestyle, food and design writer since 1968 first in Boston and in Florida since 1970. She contributes to regional and national publications and she is co-publisher and editor of a monthly online magazine that celebrates the pleasures of the table called Flavors & More. (941) 371-8593.
Last modified: July 12, 2014
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