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Altoona to Ankeny

Posted September 17, 2014 in Ankeny, Community Featured
Josh and Brooke Gillum — with daughters Brynlee and Ashlyn — enjoy their home’s location near Sawgrass Park. Photos by Amy Kort.

Josh and Brooke Gillum — with daughters Brynlee and Ashlyn — enjoy their home’s location near Sawgrass Park. Photos by Amy Kort.

After college, Brooke Gillum bought a townhome in Altoona, but after she met her husband, Josh, they started looking for a home they could grow into and raise a family.

Josh, Brooke, Ashlyn, 2; Brynlee, 5 months; and their two dogs, Emma and Madison, moved to their Ankeny home seven years ago.

“Having grown up in Urbandale, Ankeny was always our rival,” Brooke says. So it was a bit of a transition for her at first.

Their home builder was Happe Homes, and there are several distinctions to separate their home from others.

“We have a large covered front porch where we love to sit in the evenings or during a light rain shower,” Brooke says. “The main floor of our home is open with wide archways in the dining area/living room and entry way.”

Brooke says the kitchen is their favorite area in the house.

“It’s spacious with plenty of room for us all to be in there cooking or eating at the same time,” she says.

In addition, Brooke says they’ve set up their home to both live and work.

“We own a real estate brokerage called Gillum Group Real Estate,” she says. “Josh and I both have fully functional offices in our home which enable us to run the brokerage solely from our residence.”

They chose the house first and consider their neighborhood, White Birch, a bonus, Brooke says.

“It was a brand new development and in a convenient location — close to I-80,” she says. “I liked that it was on the south side of Ankeny, closest to Des Moines where we both worked at the time and where our families lived.”

Gillum outsideSince the neighborhood was relatively new when they moved in, Brooke says they’ve enjoyed seeing the homes being built and then meeting and becoming friends with many of their neighbors.

In addition, their home is close to the Sawgrass Park and pond.

“It’s the perfect location for a peaceful morning or evening walk,” Brooke says. “The new White Birch Park is super close to our house, and our 2-year-old is in heaven. Since living here we have gotten married, welcomed two children and started a business. We have really enjoyed turning our house into our home. We just love Ankeny and what our community offers.”

Would you like your home featured in this column in an upcoming issue of Ankeny Living? If so, email Darren Tromblay at

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