Vacation Rentals Real Estate Events Magazine DestinFM News Book Activities Things To Do Sign In

Realty ONE Group Emerald Coast Realtor Spotlight: Jeanette Thetford

As we welcome a new season, we are thrilled to shine our October Realty ONE Group Emerald Coast Realtor Spotlight on Jeanette Thetford. Originally from the peaceful small town of Ostrander, Ohio (about thirty miles northwest of Columbus), Jeanette’s love for the countryside blossomed when her parents moved on two acres across from a large cornfield. She lived so far off the beaten path that the closest grocery store was thirty minutes away. She said the lifestyle “embedded a sense of wonder and pleasure in the small things, like wide-open spaces and the beauty of nature. When you come from a Midwest countryside upbringing and end up near a place like Destin, Florida, that appreciation for natural beauty is pinged like a light on a switchboard; something wonderful turns on. I knew that when I relocated here, I’d never leave.”

Section Image

Falling in love with Destin was easy for Jeanette. About her parents leaving for Ohio to head south for Hurlburt Field, Jeanette said, “I was simply following them here to explore where I’ve never been.” When her parents moved in 2010 they were fortunate to snag a great deal fifteen minutes from the beach. Like in Ostrander, her family quickly found the new area to be family-friendly. Jeanette arrived in Gulf Breeze on the Fourth of July and, before unpacking a thing, she was on the beach watching fireworks on the water in complete disbelief that “this was my life now.”

Section Image

After a few years, Jeanette started her real estate career in 2016. “It was such a wonderful time to get into the business,” she said. “The market at that time was flourishing apart from its previous season of recovery, and it felt like whether you were buying or selling, everyone was winning.” Originally, her background was in high-end, customer-centric experiences that demanded every moment be handled with care. “It was the perfect predecessor to my career now,” Jeanette explained. “So much changes so often, so I am continually educating myself on the new and what’s coming to this industry. There is no other career that gives me what real estate does.”

Jeanette’s passion for realty lives within the people she meets. “The amazing people that I meet from all over the world, their stories, and their families, all bring so much joy and understanding to my life,” she said. “In this business you find yourself serving people in all stages of their lives—the good, the bad, and the best. It’s the best source of perspective for my own life and encourages me to live as if time on this earth is short. Joy is priority number one.”

Section Image

Destin and real estate aren’t the only things Jeanette fell in love with after she moved here. She met her husband, Collin, through a mutual friend. Not only was it love at first sight, but they discovered both had moved here from the Midwest and lived three minutes apart. They now share a beautiful life together with their three kids.

Outside of work, Jeanette and her family enjoy food. Jeanette is a big foodie and makes a hobby of trying new restaurants. “If you’re in the area,” she said, “I hope you’ll ask me for a recommendation, and I hope you won’t mind me joining you!” Aside from eating delicious Emerald Coast cuisines, she also appreciates spending time by the water. “There is something

magical about living near the water, especially these emerald-colored waters that wash over the powdery white sand."

It’s obvious Jeanette has a heart of gold and a zest for life. Working in the real estate industry forces individuals to connect, and Jeanette thrives on those connections. “My favorite part of this work is getting to meet you,” she said, “learning your story or the story of what you’re trying to build by investing in Destin.” Jeanette is motivated by happiness. “It’s what I’d wish everyone to pursue in this life. When I hear why my clients want to move to Destin or why they want to invest here, even a purchase that seems financially motivated is actually emotional. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be attracted to the beauty and fun of Destin, Florida.

“Anytime someone asks me about how life is in Destin, I stammer over my words; I don’t know what to tell them about first! Destin really is a place that can create emotional and financial wealth for anyone. The lifestyle can be as lively or as relaxed as you want it to be, and it’s a small community but diverse enough for everyone to find their tribe and the lifestyle they are wanting in Florida.”

Jeanette is anxious to help you find your dream and fulfill your happiness. If you would like to connect with Jeanette Thetford, visit our website at for her contact information.