Who says Barbie is the only one allowed to live in a dream house?

Home is more of a feeling than a place. We have heard that a home is a place to call your own, raise a family, build memories with friends and family and become part of a community. Others say it is a rite of passage, and you get to be the king of your own castle.

Owning a home is different for everyone, it depends on where you are in your life when you make the decision to buy or sell a home. Jackie Griffin, owner and broker of Florida Lifestyle Realty, has been a REALTOR for over 16 years, and worked with more than 1,000 buyers and sellers making decisions about “where to next?”

Florida Lifestyle Realty

Meet the Taylors

Jason and Coleen Taylor have a 15-year, four home history with Griffin, buying, selling and building their last home. The Taylors bought their first home in 2002; three bedrooms, two bathrooms, in a wonderful neighborhood with sidewalks and a community pool, the perfect home for this young couple.

What they thought about at the time they were buying this home was that it fit a price range they could manage and have a short commute to work. For Griffin, that’s the easy part, an affordable home close to work. But how do you want to live and enjoy your home? What is your lifestyle?

The Taylors didn’t want to spend weekends remodeling the house or spending hours gardening or doing yard work. They love watching movies and going out on the weekends. So, making sure they had a great living room space to set up a surround sound TV system and a large wall for their entire movie collection would be perfect. The house on Potomac Drive was good. It was small enough to maintain, the yard wasn’t too big and it was affordable.

Florida Lifestyle Realty
The Taylor's Second Home

In 2006, after adding a dog to the family, the house began to feel too small, so the Taylors bought house number two; 1,000 square feet larger, had an extra bedroom and half bath with a paved courtyard, good for outdoor barbeques. They also thought that it may be time to add children to their lives. Their daughter Sophie was born shortly after.

Children are small, but after a few birthdays, there are many toys, motorized Barbie cars, bicycles and friends that come to play.

Onto house number three: the Taylors wanted more yard with room to play for the dog and Sophie, and a swimming pool with an outdoor kitchen so they could have pool parties with their friends. They just wanted to have a wonderful place for Sophie and her friends to enjoy. While this home seemed to be perfect, it just wasn’t the home of their dreams.

Coleen wanted a kitchen full of modern features: wine storage, a pot filler, vent hood and a beverage fridge separate from the house refrigerator. She also wanted her bedroom to be her sanctuary; that quiet, cozy place to begin and end her day relaxed and refreshed. Jason wanted a great view with an outdoor kitchen that sits next to a bubbling spa built into a pool. For him, it was his place to unwind after a long day.

Florida Lifestyle Realty
Taylor's Third home

Griffin knew it wasn’t the size of the home they were looking for, it was the way they wanted to feel when they walked through their front door at the end of the day. It was about loving and enjoying every aspect of the home that fit their lifestyle. So, she refused to help them search for another home, and insisted it was time for them to finally build their dream home. At first, they didn’t agree. They didn’t know where to start or if they could manage the process. But Griffin promised to be there every step of the way, and in February 2018, they bought the perfect lot to build their dream home.

It took a year and a half to complete the entire project, and this year, Jason, Coleen, Sophie and Molly will celebrate their first Christmas in their dream home.

Jackie Griffin’s story

The Jackie Griffin Real Estate Team helps over 300 families each year to find a home in Brevard County that fits their Florida lifestyle. In fact, this special group of REALTORS know that feeling very well, because over half of them have bought their homes with Griffin. They have gone through the process and emotions of buying a home. They have felt the highs and the lows, and like many, would do it all over again to get that amazing feeling of coming home and walking through your own front door.

Jackie Griffin herself has owned many homes over the years: townhomes, homes both with and without pools, custom built homes and condominiums. They all had a special meaning to her, but she moved on to another one because she had new needs from her home.

Her first starter home was a small, three-bedroom, two-bathroom with a pool. “Wow was I excited to have my own pool,” says Griffin. That house was great until she started adding children and pets. With each move, she bought a larger home, and then one day her children were grown and moving on into their own homes. The larger homes didn’t serve the purpose any longer, so it was time to change things up.

Florida Lifestyle Realty
Photography: Jason Hook

She bought her first condominium and fell in love with community living. “When I look out my window, someone is mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool. I don’t have to worry about maintenance or managing the property. My neighbors come together for parties where everyone is welcome to join in. I get to live my lifestyle everyday.”

Florida Lifestyle Realty
Photography: Jason Hook

Jackie Griffin has lived the condo lifestyle for 16 years, and last year decided it was the right time in her life to find her special forever home. In November of 2018, the condo she had only dreamed of owning became available. “I had to find a way to make it mine.” This was a huge decision, and she felt all the anxiety that her clients go through.

“I wanted this property more than anything, but could I make it work out? It was at the very top of my budget. I worried if I was going to be able to afford the payments, taxes and condo fees. What will the inspection report reveal? Would I get it before someone else made an offer?”

After 48 hours of no sleep and worry, it was only hers to lose. It took 30 long days and sleepless nights to work through everything that is needed to close on a home. But when it was all done, she walked into her forever home and cried big tears. “I could not, and still cannot believe that this is my home, my perfect forever home.”

Like so many, Jackie Griffin has been fortunate enough to experience the joy of owning a home. She too can say now more than ever, that she really knows what it means to be home for the holidays.