After meeting at Iowa State University and then graduating, Jeff and Jessica Van Winkle bought a starter home in Des Moines in 2002.
They had intentions of eventually selling it and moving to Ankeny. Jeff works for John Deere and Jessica is an academic advisor at Iowa State. They set their sights on moving to Ankeny to have a shorter commute, but also to build their lives and eventually start a family here.
In 2005, Jeff and Jessica were ready to make the move. They sold their home in Des Moines and started looking at new construction homes in Ankeny. After doing their research and searching all around town they found the perfect place in southwest Ankeny. The neighborhood they chose is located in the Wildflower development which is just south of Oralabor Road and west of Ankeny Boulevard.
“The builder, Northwood Homes, had great value per square foot and we liked the layout of the house,” Jessica says. She really appreciates the openness of her home, especially now as their 15-month-old daughter, Caroline, grows.
“It’s really nice to have an open concept when you have a toddler running around,” she adds.
Along with the layout, she and Jeff love the lot the home is built on. Their land backs up to a city pond that can be clearly seen through the large picture window in their family room. Jessica says having the pond so close to their property makes their lot seem bigger. Off the kitchen and dining room, there is a large deck and patio area which both overlook the pond. The Van Winkles, especially Caroline, love to watch the geese and ducks on the pond from their backyard.
Although the lot is their favorite feature of their home, Jeff and Jessica are also very pleased with the location.
“If I ever need anything, I know my neighbors are willing to help,” Jessica says. “I know that we live in a safe area where people care enough to call or stop if they think something is out of the ordinary. A lot of people in our neighborhood have pets and kids and most are outside when the weather is nice. Our neighborhood is very family friendly.”
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