Seven hundred steps.
That’s how far the Martindell family from Doylestown, Pennsylvania — not an oceanfront community — has to walk from their new Port Royal Plantation home to the beach. Matt Martindell said he “stepped it out” before settling on the $529,000 house.
It’s by no means a mansion. But the four-bedroom, three-bath, 3,005-square-foot house likely will be on display later this year or early next for the entire country to see, featured in a planned episode of HGTV’s “Island Life.”
The show, which aims to demonstrate that island living can fit into any budget, is going to air in about six months, Martindell said Friday. Four days of filming were crammed into three during mid-June because their daughter, Becca, needed to get back to their Pennsylvania home, located north of Philadelphia, for final exams at her high school, he said.
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Matt, wife Kyle and Becca looked at three homes in Port Royal Plantation and a condo in Shelter Cove for the HGTV episode, said their real estate broker, Paula Traver with Charter One Realty. Traver said she approached them about filming the episode after about a year of looking for a home on the island.
Traver said she was able to prepare the Martindells for filming because she had been involved with another episode of Island Life last year.
“We’re trying to find their dream home — their piece of paradise,” she said.
Houses in Folly Field, Sea Pines and Palmetto Dunes were considered, but the ranch-style home in Port Royal Plantation with a big backyard, large windows and a golf course view made the final cut.
“We liked Port Royal the best because it’s quiet, and they don’t have short-term rentals,” Kyle said. “And we wanted to be close to the beach.”
Matt, Kyle and their two cats will officially move down when they retire, which won’t happen anytime soon because Becca is still in high school. Matt owns a remodeling company, and Kyle is a dental assistant.
When they move, Matt said he is set on getting a dog — that’s what the big backyard is for.
“Eight years ago my dog died,” he said. “And I’ve said for eight years I want a dog again.”
There’s also a large empty room that Matt plans to make his “man room” complete with a pool table, Foosball table and bar.
Kyle has been visiting Hilton Head since her late teens to visit her aunt, who owns The Jazz Corner in the Village at Wexford. Matt started coming to the island around 2002.
Now, Kyle visits about once a month and Matt every few months to see “Aunt Lois” Masteller at The Jazz Corner. Masteller could be featured in the episode because crews filmed her talking to the Martindells about how the house hunting was going.
Don Blank, vice president of the association of landowners at Port Royal Plantation, said although film crews were in the plantation for three days, they spent about 10 days filming other locations on the island.
Besides The Jazz Corner, Matt and Kyle said film crews followed them for about 12 hours a day over the three days they were on camera to various places including ZipLine Hilton Head, Up the Creek Pub and Grill, and Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks.
“It was definitely a fun experience,” Kyle said. “I’m looking forward to meeting our neighbors in Port Royal.”