A Colchester house that piqued the interest of 56 million Americans last year went up for sale earlier this month — and was under contract again within just two days, according to real estate agent Kara Koptiuch.
The Red Rock Point Rd. home was transformed as part of renovation show “Ultimate Retreat Giveaway” on the DIY Network last August. Built in 1960, the 2,100-square-foot place boasts a modern kitchen, vibrant master bedroom and a winding deck overlooking Lake Champlain.
The local home was the first to feature the “Ultimate Retreat” branding, but a similar contest existed for nine years before that. Viewers were allowed to enter a random drawing for this home once per day.
Maryland resident Sondra Cresta was chosen as the grand prizewinner at the conclusion of the contest. She is a retiree and “super-fan,” according to the DIY Network website, and, at one point, said she planned to visit the house.
On February 5, however, the Vermont Real Estate Company announced the fully furnished house would hit the market listed at nearly $1.1 million.
Koptiuch said she fielded a flurry of interest even before the listing made its way through the usual advertising mediums.
“We had some pretty disappointed people,” Koptiuch said, adding the interest came solely from locals rather than viewers who had fallen in love with the house from across the country.
Koptiuch was contacted by the DIY Network last year as it searched for a house to renovate for the show. She pointed them toward the Red Rock property and has stayed on to “house manage” for the past year.
“What’s nice about this house is they used tons of local sub[contractors],” Koptiuch said. “This house really is the perfect combination of proximity to town … but you still feel like you’re in an oasis.”
The exterior of the DIY home looked a bit different earlier this week than in the sunny days of summer. The rooms inside, though, look frozen in time. Koptiuch said the new owners will inherit every furniture piece and little knick knack brought in when the place was staged for TV cameras.
“It’s absolutely fully furnished, down to the food in the pantry, the popcorn in the basement.” Koptiuch said. “Absolutely everything in here stays, which people really liked.”
A handful of smart appliances are still in place, too, including “intelligent toilets” in the two bathrooms and a Wi-Fi enabled HVAC system that allows folks to remotely select the temperature of each room on an iPad.
Without fail, though, everyone who stepped through the front door on Monday was immediately drawn to the lake, visible from multiple points of the house.
“The view is unbelievable, especially on a clear day,” Koptiuch said.
Kristin Alm, the network’s director of media relations, said whether a winner chooses to keep or sell their house largely depends on “life and family circumstances.”
“But regardless of whether or not a winner chooses to live in the home, winning such an amazing prize is a life-changing experience,” Alm said.