FLORIDA DREAMING: Finding the perfect vacation home

So here we go….

I’ve been an adventurer all of my life. I’ve been fortunate to have lived and traveled extensively abroad. From traveling all over the USA to Europe and Asia for work and pleasure, I’ve seen so much of this world. 

Also, it’s been a dream of mine for at least a decade, where I have wanted to escape the cold of Michigan and have a second home… somewhere, anywhere warmer than 10 degrees in January. Over the years, my husband and I (albeit less an adventurer than I), have looked and looked and visited places and asked ourselves if we “could live here”. Unfortunately our travels never really compelled us to take action.

A few years ago we entertained the idea of buying a home in the USVI — specifically on the island of St. Croix. But after we booked a vacation home there and the devastating hurricane hit the islands, we realized that as beautiful as it is, we may be better off looking for this home on the continental United States. 

At the end of 2017 we found Sandestin through a friend, an established community within Miramar Beach, FL which is situated on the Panhandle of Florida between Pensacola and Panama City. The Sandestin community has been around since the mid-70s being developed and expanded around pristine waters of a large bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. There are several communities within the Sandestin property as a whole — from small studio vacation rentals to large multi-million dollar homes, to beachfront high-rises…. truly something for everyone. 

Before entertaining the idea of buying a vacation home, we stayed twice: in a four bedroom home in Villa Lago at the back of the property and then again in Westwinds, a tall high-rise right on the beach. We loved both experiences — and our time there solidified that we wanted to buy our vacation home within Sandestin.

During the course of our first stay in Sandestin, we ran into some difficulty with our original rental home. Our good fortune led us to Shawna Jacoby, a local realtor and property manager in the area. She helped us tremendously, and I reached out to her when we were beginning our search in Sandestin.

On our trip down October 2018, we looked at 15 homes over two days…. John and Anna were troopers to say this least, as this is my “project” as John calls it. Not originally on our list, we ultimately found our home in Sandpiper Village. It is on the Bayside of the Sandestin property — but importantly, a 5 minute drive from pretty much everything including the beach, tennis, golf, the shops and restaurants and activities at Baytowne Wharf and one of the community pools. After some back and forth, the home became ours in early December.  

Located directly on the 17th fairway of the Links golf course, it had good bones overall and we purchased it furnished. I could see hidden potential everywhere.

From a tired, worn Florida bungalow it became a jewel with a beach-meets-farmhouse vibe…. I call it Coastal Magnolia. And yes, a bit of a homage to @JoannaGaines without a doubt.

I’ll document my 8-week renovation story here… so stay tuned!




Here’s the link to the house:


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