By First Coast News Staff
ST. MARYS, GA -- First Coast News has learned that a woman from California is the lucky winner of the HGTV Dream Home.
She is Kathi Nakao of Sacramento, California. In addition to winning the keys to the Dream Home, she won a GMC envoy. Kathi plans to give the vehicle to her husband of nearly 40 years who gave up buying a new SUV this year to help his son in North Carolina with his restaurant.
The HGTV prize patrol surprised Kathi at The Rainbow Glass shop where she works.
The Home and Garden Television Dream Home is the talk of the town. Nearly 36 million people have entered a drawing for their chance to win the home. Some have signed up several times.
The Dream Home is breath taking. It's located in the new Cumberland Harbour neighborhood. It's about 4,000 square feet, is 3 stories tall and has a spectacular view from every window in the house. The prize package is worth $1.2 million. That includes the fully furnished home, a large boat dock, a dream dog house and an SUV.
Not a bad deal, but beware of the taxes. Scott Barfield, Director of Sales for Cumberland Harbour, says the taxes won't be cheap. If you are in the 28% tax bracket, you could pay up to $400,000 in state income tax. Barfield estimates property tax will be about $17,000 a year. The price tag keeps going up. There's the upkeep, this includes lawn care, cleaning the house, the electricity bill. This could easily be up to a thousand dollars a month.
The folks at Cumberland Harbour will help the winner get over some tax hurdles the first year. They have set up an agreement with a local bank to finance the initial costs. The loan has already been approved. The winner of the Dream Home just has to sign on the dotted line.
The Dream Home has been a big boost to St. Marys. The Director of Tourism, Janet Brinko says it has put the city on the map. People from all over the country have toured the home. The numbers prove it.
Brinko says 1,275 people visited the Welcome Center last month. In February 2003, 430 people went to the center. Brinko also says people have been calling and e-mailing the Convention and Visitors Bureau wanting information about St. Marys. The CVB's website had 70,000 hits this past January. It usually gets about 1,500 hits a month. The number of emails have quadrupled and the number of phone calls have more than quadrupled. Brinko believes a lot of that is because of the HGTV Dream Home.
You can still tour the home until April 24th. Tours are available Thursday through Sunday. You can purchase tickets for $10 at Orange Hall. So far, 12,000 people have toured the home. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Orange Hall. It's a 3 story Greek revival mansion. Many consider it the crown jewel of St. Marys.
- Dream Home Given Away Wednesday
- "Dream Home" Winning Entry Announced Tomorrow
- HGTV Dream House near St. Marys, Georgia
First Coast News