My Second Home: A Watersound Origins beach house

The Florida community offers amenities such as a heated pool, gym, bike trails, and a lakefront dock
Watersound Origins
McGrory, right, on the paddleboard

Photograph by Steven McBride

Real estate agent Molly McGrory, who runs eight Re/Max offices in the metro area, vacationed for years at Rosemary Beach on the Florida Panhandle’s legendary Highway 30A. But when she decided to buy her own home in the area, she hesitated. “Truly, Rosemary is in more of a vacation-home mode, not a second-home mode. [When I stayed there,] every seven days I had new friends,” she says.

To find a more permanent community, McGrory ventured a couple of miles inland to Watersound Origins, a brand-new neighborhood on Lake Powell that is being developed by the St. Joe Company. For McGrory, the number one attraction was its ban on short-term rentals.

Watersound Origins offers amenities such as a heated pool, gym, cafe, bike trails, and a lakefront dock with paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. And, as a St. Joe homeowner, McGrory was able to join area golf and beach clubs. McGrory visits so often that she opened a Florida office (she estimates her three-bedroom ranch has increased 10 percent in value this year). She says Atlantans love her 30A bumper sticker. “I cannot tell you how much business I do off that 30A sticker here in Atlanta.”

This article originally appeared in our Spring 2016 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.