Matt Parker owns a real estate appraisal business and for years has helped Coast residents benefit from knowing the value of their property assets.
   It's only natural Parker and his wife, Erin, a librarian for Gautier High School, would have a special retreat of their own.
   In 2003, the couple custom-built a 2,100-square-foot bungalow-style home facing the Pascagoula beach.
   The three-bedroom "condo design" was built on pilings and featured an open floor plan with a first and second floor porch that overlooked the gulf.
   "My favorite rooms were the living room and the master bedroom because you could look out and see all the islands," said Parker. "I also like the location because I could go fishing in the morning for a couple of hours before I had to go to work."
   Although the unique getaway did not withstand Katrina, the Parkers were determined to not let a storm hinder plans for rebuilding in the same location.
   Parker admits it it was "devastating" to lose all "earthly possessions" but things were put into perspective for him when he saw historic homes along the Pascagoula beach swept away as well.
   Starting over invited an opportunity to design a completely new look, but the Parkers wanted what they loved before.
   By adding only 400 more feet to the layout, the additional space gave Erin a room for her arts and crafts hobby and a breakfast nook near the kitchen.
   With the project "99 percent complete," the Parkers will remember the one-year anniversary of Katrina while in their new home.
   "We rebuilt in the same location just to get up every morning and see the sun come up over the Gulf and be able to walk down to the beach and catch flounder or speckled trout," Parker said.
   "I personally would assume to just stay home and never go on vacation. That's how much I enjoy where I live."