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B83.Bob Vila, renowned as America’s Favorite Handyman, is seeking $52.9 million for his waterfront residence in Florida, showcasing a masterful blend of craftsmanship and luxury in every corner.




Bob Vila, renowned for his expertise in home improvement, gained recognition through sharing DIY tips on popular shows like “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again.” However, even with his vast knowledge, there were projects beyond his scope. In 2005, when he and his wife, Diana Barrett, aimed to renovate their 1940s Florida home, Vila admitted it was too extensive for him to tackle alone. They engaged a general contractor and landscaper for a comprehensive overhaul, including updates to the electrical system, roof, and windows while preserving the home’s original charm.

Black-and-white marble flooring extends to the pool terrace.

Although Vila has since enjoyed tinkering with minor repairs on their waterfront property, he acknowledges the perpetual upkeep inherent to owning an older home. Yet, as he approaches his 70s, he feels the urge to simplify life. Consequently, he and Barrett have opted to downsize, placing their beloved home on the market for $52.9 million.

Situated on Everglades Island within the Intracoastal Waterway, adjacent to the primary island of Palm Beach, the 0.84-acre estate boasts approximately 175 feet of waterfront, along with amenities such as a pool, a hot tub, and a dock, as detailed by Chris Vila of PB Realty Advisors, who serves as the couple’s son and listing agent.

The house has about 6,300 square feet of interior space.

Records indicate that Vila and Barrett, the latter a former professor at Harvard University specializing in business and public health, acquired the property from Barrett’s late mother’s estate for $6.1 million. The house was originally purchased by Barrett’s parents in 1975 for $375,000.

They renovated the kitchen, expanded the guest suite and added a new roof and electrical.

Crafted by renowned architect Marion Sims Wyeth around 1949, the residence features a formal, H-shaped layout encompassing approximately 6,300 square feet of living space across seven bedrooms, according to Chris Vila. Noteworthy architectural elements include original cypress paneling and a loggia on the eastern facade adorned with black-and-white marble flooring, extending to the pool terrace where a similar motif is replicated in pink- and sand-colored stone.

The property has about 175 feet of water frontage.

Describing themselves as “preservationists” in the realm of real estate, Vila revealed that they dedicated approximately a year to renovations, deliberately maintaining the property’s original flow and many distinctive features. “Our aim was to preserve the authentic ambiance of old Florida,” remarked Barrett.

The house has seven bedrooms.

In addition to installing a new roof and electrical system, the couple undertook the task of expanding a guest wing by linking a detached cabana to the main dwelling. They also revamped the kitchen, seamlessly integrating it with a spacious dining area and family room featuring glass pocket doors leading to the outdoors.

Barrett expressed fondness for a particular aspect of the house: from the driveway, it exudes the modest charm of a brick house; however, upon entering, visitors are greeted with breathtaking panoramic water vistas.

The 1940s house has water views.

Seller Bob Vila, pictured in 1979, shared DIY advice on shows like ‘This Old House.’