Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Here's Your Dream Home; "Pictures Can't Prepare You for the View," Say Winners of HGTV's House in St. Marys

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Here's Your Dream Home; "Pictures Can't Prepare You for the View," Say Winners of HGTV's House in St. Marys

Article excerpt

Byline: Gordon Jackson, The Times-Union

ST. MARYS -- The dream is now a reality for the lucky winners of a $1.2 million home in St. Marys.

Don and Kathi Nakao of Sacramento, Calif., said they watched the HGTV Dream Home special aired by the network this year before submitting 11 entries to the national contest, via the Internet. Still, with more than 35 million entries, the couple said they never expected to beat the odds and win the contest.

Prior to leaving California for the first visit to their new home, the couple said they looked at photographs and replays of the TV special showing the house, located on 2 acres of land overlooking the St. Marys River. But they were unprepared for their reaction when they arrived in a limousine about noon Friday.

"Pictures can't prepare you for the view," Don Nakao said of the panoramic vista of the marsh and hammocks behind their back yard.

"Each room, everything that's in there, it's awesome," he said. "It's a very comfortable house."

Kathi Nakao agreed, saying the homey design and furnishings "make you feel like you want to live here."

The couple, both retired, said they haven't decided whether they'll move across the country or sell their new home. It may take several more visits before they decide.

Brian Nakao, one of the couple's sons on hand when the house keys were given to his parents, said he's already staked claim to the media room. The room is hidden behind a bookshelf that swings open to reveal the room, complete with a plasma TV, stereo, matching recliners and couches.

Brian Nakao, a postal worker in Sacramento, said he is considering applying for a transfer to the St. Marys Post Office if his parents move.

"I can easily see myself living here," he said. "Everything in the videos [published by the network] don't do it justice. It's great."

If they move to St. Marys, Kathi Nakao said she wouldn't change much with the furnishings, other than bring some personal items such as photographs and family heirlooms. …

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