Most people who know Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube know that he likes things done right. He can be tough yet fair, and his family is always a top priority. So as he looks forward to retirement in January after almost 10 years as Manatee County’s top cop, he and his wife Debbie began to dream about a life surrounded by family and filled with grandkids’ laughter. Travelling the world and coming home to a peaceful retreat designed to fit their new lifestyle also tops the list. About one year ago, they decided to move out of their home in Mill Creek, where they had lived for 24 years, and move further east to be closer to their two sons. They found the perfect home site that was, in fact, right next door to their youngest son, Grant.
“At the time, Grant wanted to sell it so actually it worked out perfectly,” said Debbie Steube.
They purchased the site from their son and embarked on a search for a homebuilder who would cater to their needs.
“I would say we’re pretty picky,” said Debbie.
After an exhaustive four-month search and browsing through what seemed like hundreds of models, they kept coming back to just one.
“We really loved the feel and design of Lee Wetherington Homes’ Solivita plan in Country Club East,” said Debbie. “The biggest obstacle in our minds was all of the modifications we wanted to make to ensure the home fit our exact needs. Everyone at Lee Wetherington Homes was so accommodating to make sure the home fit our life.
The on-staff architect, Steve Nelson, made it so easy. He made the changes seem simple, too. That, coupled with the builder’s impeccable reputation, were the main things that helped us make the decision to build with them,” she said.
The Steube’s modified the Solivita plan by bumping out the master bedroom wall to make it larger. They also eliminated the second story, moved and enlarged the utility room, increased the size of the office and added a window. The couple created a beautiful focal point on their pool lanai with a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace that truly brings the outdoors in. It’s also Debbie’s favorite feature in the home.
“We spend hours with the sliding doors wide open, sitting and reading or watching the sunset in front of the fireplace,” she said. “It’s like an outdoor living room, and we could not be more pleased with how it turned out.”
With 14-foot tray ceilings, undermount lighting in the master bathroom and intricate tile detail throughout, the home turned out even better than she expected, said Debbie.
“In addition, our design center experience with Amy was simply marvelous. She helped us out tremendously and always guided us in the right direction, she said. “She kept us focused on our budget, helped us stay within in it and offered great choices to keep us in our target range.”
The Steube’s also praised their construction superintendent Sarah.
“She went above and beyond for us,” said Debbie. “She was effective, efficient and kind and very competent with everything that needed to be done. She was willing to do whatever was needed and always communicated with us about what was happening. She was right on top of everything.”
Now, with one son next door and the other just minutes away, the Steube’s favorite activities in their new home include playing in the sand box with their three grandkids –
ages 6, 4, and 2 – and watching the horses and cows in the backyard. Brad stays busy with his new work shed (man cave) that the builder constructed right next door.
“Just the other day, Brad was working in the shed and I see the kids come running to the yard to play in the sand box,” she said “That’s when it just hit me that this is the best time of our lives, in a beautiful home that we will enjoy so much for years to come.”
The couple moved in just before Thanksgiving, and Debbie says it’s amazing to be in their new home for the holidays. She knows exactly what she is getting her soon-to-be retired husband for Christmas, too.
“A riding lawnmower! He’s going to be super busy cutting some grass!”