Could you afford it? A look at Destin’s most expensive home on the market

Janie Harris
Palazzo del Mar sits gated along the coast.

Have you ever imagined waking up in a home where when your feet hit the ground in the morning, they are standing on the floor of a 13,000 square-foot home sitting on the beach that towers above all the homes around it? If you have, you might be stumbling on your dream home right now.

The Palazzo Del Mar rests on the shores of Crystal Beach at 2990 Scenic Highway 98. Furnished with unique items from around the world, this 12 bedroom, 12 full bathroom home remains the highest priced home on the market in Destin, according to an MLS search and other real estate websites.

“It’s appropriate to the beach. It is a home that can stand comfortably with the others but still stand so far above,” said Keen Polakoff, one of the listing agents.

Polakoff and his wife Kim work with Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty to represent the seller of the home. They have followed Palazzo Del Mar through the years, remaining the listing agents in most of the home’s history of transactions.

“I’ve always loved this house. It’s just a great setting, and to see that it now has all the details that everyone else can appreciate, I can see the love factor coming in from people who come to see the home,” said Kim.

In 2004, when the home was originally built, the first owner decided to make his home a showcase for smart homes, so the entire house was wired to support this technology.

After the current owner bought the home through an auction, he updated this system to be controlled by iPads. That’s right, most of the features in this home — such as the temperature, lights and televisions — are controlled by iPads.

“Miles of wire have been pulled through this, so it’s not your average home,” Keen told The Log.

When you first walk in the Palazzo Del Mar you are greeted by a twisting staircase that flows gracefully from one floor to the next. But why use the staircase when you can step into the elevator and be dropped off at any of the four floors?

The first floor holds the kitchen and living spaces. Equipped with both a formal dining area and a breakfast area, this floor begs to be used as a space for entertaining guests while cooking. The kitchen also includes a dumbwaiter, a small elevator, to haul food up to the floor above. Just outside sits the in-ground pool and hot tub along with another sitting and dining area.

Each floor has its own large patio similar to the one on the first floor with sitting areas and mounted binoculars to gaze at the sea and beach below.

Complete with a billiards table, poker table, checkerboard table, multiple flat screens, a wet bar and a sound-proof theatre room, the second level holds the major entertaining space.

Then, there is the carriage house. Separate from the main house, this portion has its own kitchen and living space with three of the twelve bedrooms.

The home comes fully furnished with pieces from around the world and personal pieces from the current owner scattered throughout the home, and with all the bedrooms the home holds, one might assume that each room would be furnished similarly. This is not the case. Each room has its own theme that stays unique to that specific space.

“What I’ve found is as elegant as the home is, each room is very approachable,” said Keen.

The third floor holds many of the bedrooms, and the forth remains the home of the master suite.

The master suite includes a fireplace, sitting area, two walk-in closets, the largest bathroom in the house, a private half-shade, half-sun patio area, an office and a conference room with views of the emerald waters.

Does all this sound good to you? It could be yours at about $8.4 million.

“It’s the palace by the sea. It truly is," Kim said.