Yard of the Quarter Fall 2021
5525 Sago Palm -- Alfredo Matias and Lea Anne Groover
By Donna Fontaine
A well-kept yard adds to the value of our neighborhood and reflects how much residents care about our community. Each quarter, Hidden Springs/Estates residents have the opportunity to nominate a fellow neighbor whose property stands out as being attractive and well-maintained. A committee of volunteers then reviews the nominations and selects a winner.
Congratulations to Alfredo Matias and Lea Anne Groover, our Fall Yard of the Quarter winners! Let's dig into this amazing renovation!
Lea Anne relocated from Virginia to the Dr. Phillips area in 1973. She comes from quite a decorated military family. When her dad, who fought in WWII and the Vietnam War, finally retired, the family made their home here in Dr. Phillips. Lea Anne is an attorney who specializes in Estate Planning, Probate and Fiduciary Services. She has her own firm, Groover Law, here in Dr. Phillips.
Alfredo grew up in Puerto Rico, and came to Orlando to attend UCF and play water polo. He liked Orlando so much, he made Central Florida his home. Alfredo worked for quite a while as a sommelier at Eddie V's, until Covid. He was furloughed, but decided he had a lot of things he wanted to do, namely re-invent their new home.
Between Lea Anne and Alfredo, they have three sons, two daughters and three grandchildren.
Lea Anne and Alfredo bought their home in November of 2018, after selling their completely renovated condo in the Sanctuary by the YMCA, which, by the way, spent a total of 18 hours on the market. After seeing through the successful renovation of their condo, they decided to try their hands at their new home on Sago Palm.
The original plan was to focus on the interior of their home, but when they realized there were spots on the ceiling and the roof needed to be replaced, their focus became laser-pointed on the exterior.
When replacing the roof, they decided to go black. Well, a black roof with red bricks and cypress wood siding wouldn't work. Alfredo and Lea Anne decided to paint their red bricks, brick by brick, with gray paint. They, along with their son, completely demolished all the cypress wood facade and painted the exterior white.
The top of the roof had a kind of faux dormer on it. It didn't really serve a purpose: no skylights or anything. Its intent, back in the 1980s, was supposed aesthetics. You will notice in the before-and-after pictures that the dormer was removed. They also added new solar panels.
The home was originally brown and beige, and as Lea Anne says, "More beige and more beige." The brown/beige was replaced with white paint. They painted the front door black, as well as the garage door and window frames.
In addition, they took out the fence and installed a new one. Nine trees were taken out and brand-new sod and a new sprinkler system were installed. They added LED lighting for a beautiful ambiance at night.
All of this totally updated the look of the home, and it's almost unrecognizable from the original home. All the work was done by Alfredo and Lea Anne, when she could sneak away from her busy law practice.
When asked where they learned how to do all this, Alfredo's response was growing up in Puerto Rico and learning, as a young boy, how to repair BMX bikes. He was a BMX racer and had to learn how to take care of these bikes on his own. He said his mom was his pit crew and had a big knack for mechanics. He said he also watches a lot of DIY YouTube videos.
Lea Anne is no slouch, either. She can do just about anything. She constructed from scratch a built-in bookshelf (with the help of Alfredo's wood-cutting skills), and she can rewire electric, do woodwork, you name it.
They have two pets in their home: Buddy, their Boxer-Hound mix and their rescued cat, Dobby, who seems more interested in getting himself in trouble. Buddy loves when the ice cream truck comes to the neighborhood! He starts pacing and crying and waits with baited breath for that ice cream.
Alfredo and Lea Anne were awarded a $50 gift certificate to Ace Hardware. Congratulations to them both -- what an outstanding job. Be sure to look at the pictures, and click the link below for more information about their background.
Thank you to all of you who are beautifying your yards. The Yard of the Quarter program is the Board's way of noticing you and saying Thank You!
The “Yard of the Quarter” program is sponsored by local Realtor, John Scolaro, Coldwell Banker Realty, who donates a gift certificate to the winners each quarter. If you would like to nominate a yard for consideration, please email HOA@HiddenSpringsEstates.org or John@johnscolaro.com. Special thanks to Donna Fontaine for coordinating our Yard of the Quarter program.