Mike Kargar has a passion for creating high-end, quality homes
In what might or might not be a sign of the improving economy, a new million-dollar-plus home north of Ormond Beach was recently put under contract just five days after it was put on the market.
To celebrate, its creator, Mike Kargar of Kargar Construction, held an open house earlier this month to show off the new house before it officially changes hands in May.
Dubbed "The Blue," the two-story house in the Plantation Bay community just west of Interstate 95, features a sleek, ultra-modern design and the latest in smart-home technology.
The buyers agreed to pay $1.4 million, including the furnishings used to stage the house, after seeing it during the Volusia Building Industry Association's 2019 Parade of Homes in late March, according to Kargar.
"They looked at it and put an offer on it that night," he said.
The house offers 4,485 square feet of living space including five bedrooms, six baths, two full kitchens with Viking appliances, wet bars on both floors, a spacious great room on the first floor, a second living (or recreation) room on the second floor, an outdoor pool and summer kitchen in back, as well as a three-car garage.
Kargar acknowledged that few prospective buyers out there can afford his million-dollar-plus homes, especially in the Volusia-Flagler area where the average annual income is well below statewide and national averages.
Nevertheless, building one-of-a-kind creations where price is practically no object has become a passion for Kargar in recent years.
He has even built some "on spec" — in the hope that a buyer eventually will be found.
That can sometimes result in a long wait, Kargar admits.
Case in point: His "The Vida," a two-story 9,000-square-foot mansion in Plantation Bay that was featured as the official "Showcase Home" of the VBIA's 2017 Parade of Homes.
When no takers stepped forward to meet his $4.5 million asking price, Kargar and his wife Marjan, who serves as vice president of Kargar Construction, decided to move into The Blue themselves.
Kargar expresses no regret.
"I'll be honest with you," he said. "I used to build (quick-selling) production homes for many years, but that was not my passion. My passion is building high-end homes, beautiful unique homes, so that's what I do.
"Sometimes the houses sit, but I build what I like and what I think people will like. Yes, it may take longer to sell, but that is what I like to do."
Jason Lee, president and chief operating officer at MJS Custom Home Design, the Orlando firm that teamed up with Kargar to design The Blue, praised the builder whose work he said is on par with the finest luxury homes found in larger, more affluent metro areas.
"Every one of his homes stands out in a very visually appealing way," Lee said. "In the multimillion-dollar house market, you really have to have a knack for pulling out the best-of-the-best design features and finishes and treatments. That's Mike's specialty.
"Selling a home of this caliber in this area within five days, you don't even see that in Orlando," Lee said. "Everything Mike does stacks up just as if you were in a major market."
Randy Lee, owner of a Jacksonville-based trucking company, recently commissioned Kargar to build a $3 million home for him and his wife Lori that they plan to make their primary residence. The house is also in Plantation Bay.
"He's very creative and builds an excellent house from a quality standpoint," Lee said. "It's the uniqueness about it that I like."
Sheriff Giundi, vice president of residential and commercial sales for Realty Pros Assured in Ormond Beach, offered a similar assessment.
Giundi was the Realtor who represented the buyers of The Blue.
He said his clients were impressed by the house's "cutting-edge design" and "magnificent" features, as well as the unobstructed view from the second floor of both a lake as well as the third hole of one of Plantation Bay's two golf courses.
"Mike Kargar is a visionary," Giundi said. "People walk in and say 'Wow, never seen that before.' He's an artist."
John Adams, president of Adams, Cameron & Co. Realtors in Daytona Beach, said the speed in which Kargar's latest home sold shows "there's a buyer for every home."
While demand is strong locally for more affordable and moderately priced homes, Adams said million-dollar-plus homes tend to take longer to sell.
That isn't stopping Kargar, who is already planning The Blue II, which he promises will be bigger and even more spectacular.
"I want to take it one step higher every time we build the next one," he said. "At the end of the day, I'm not going to stop doing what is my passion."
Clayton Park is business editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.