MASON CITY | Nearly a decade ago, Jodi and Kevin Hardy of Mason City fell in love with the Bahamas.
Its beauty, its food and its people.
“It’s hard to come home from there,” Jodi said. “I love it. It’s a dream come true.”
The couple purchased their own sliver of paradise on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera for their family to enjoy, and on Monday, their experience was featured in an episode of HGTV’s new beach lifestyle series “Bahamas Life.”
According to the HGTV website, “Bahamas Life” provides an “insider’s look at what it really takes for prospective homebuyers to make their Bahamian dream a reality.” The series premiered on Monday with two episodes, including “From Iowa to Eleuthera” featuring the Mason City couple and their six children. The show airs at 8 and 8:30 p.m. Sundays.
“It was so fun to be able to share a little bit of our heaven with people we love who may not be able to go,” Jodi said about the show airing New Year's Day. “That was the exciting part.”
Jodi said when she and Kevin first visited the island in 2008, airfare and lodging to the Bahamas was expensive, but within the past few years, it became “very affordable” and “attainable,” so they started looking to buy a property.
The couple purchased Serendipity, a 1,200-square-foot oceanfront property in Eleuthera, for $327,000.
Serendipity is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house on the Caribbean Sea that’s less than one mile from Rainbow Bay Beach. It features a hide-a-bed in the living area with a deck, a central-air system and a view of the sea from three sides of the property.
Kevin and Jodi said the house provides access to “amazing” snorkeling, spear-fishing and sunset views as well as the opportunity to make “really cool” décor from things they find along the shore.
“I would’ve taken a shack, a one-room shack as long as it was a piece of that rock, a piece of Eleuthera,” Jodi said. “I would’ve taken anything ... We couldn’t be happier with the house.”
The couple and their six children between the ages of 5 and 14 take a trip to the Bahamas every summer and a few times throughout the year as their work and school schedules allow. Kevin is the owner of Cutting Edge Tree Services in Mason City, and Jodi is the owner-operator of Hardy Homes in Mason City.
When the episode aired on Monday, Jodi and Kevin saw it for the first time.
“When all our friends and family saw it, we saw it,” she said.
Jodi said something that wasn’t conveyed in the episode featuring her family was how hard it worked to make its dream of owning a Bahamian house a reality as a young family in North Iowa that isn’t wealthy.
“I want people to know we worked really, really hard for this over the past 10 years, and they can have this, too,” she said. “Anybody can have this.”
Since the couple purchased the house, it’s rented it to four guests, and they’ve booked one more since the show aired.