The Needle
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#clientsofcompass Q & A

Carolyn’s home is a whole experience

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It’s already a score when you come across a Miami home with truly spectacular specs: 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom old Florida home on two parcels of land (each with its own private entrance), impeccably restored, situated on three lush acres of fruit-tree-filled land with a library, vaulted Dade County pine ceilings, a chef’s kitchen, coral fireplace, and a separate charming 2 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow and high-end greenhouse. But it’s a diamond in the rough when you find a home that far exceeds what it sounds like on paper. “I don’t know how to best describe it, other than it’s an experience,” owner Carolyn Gilbert Epstein said. “There’s always something happening naturewise. There’s a new flower in bloom, a wild orchid, a different animal visitor, a migrating bird, some new fruit in season. I made a pact when we moved here that anything we plant would be edible. And already on the property there were several different kinds of avocado trees, various types of mango trees, lychee, carambola, and I’ve planted a Florida peach, like six varieties of bananas, papaya, and so much else.” We sat down with Carolyn to really dig deep into why this home is an experience, and why, for the right person or family, this home can truly be transformative.

What kind of people would fall in love with your home?

Carolyn G. Epstein: Almost anyone because you get the best of two worlds – a sophisticated and elegant home mixed with Old-Florida style living, surrounded by a tropical paradise just outside the door. Equestrians, hobby farmers and gardeners, nature lovers or just those wanting to live the good rural life close to cosmopolitan Miami would find a fit here. It can be the backto-nature weekend getaway, or a full-time residence. You can live in paradise, and the best kept secret is that it’s just a 30 minute drive to Airport West/Doral and Miami’s best private schools.

Why Redland?

CGE: We wanted to live in Redland for several reasons: the main one being to live a more rural and wholesome lifestyle in Miami. Two of my three kids were avid equestrians, and there are a lot of horse barns in the area. They went to school in Coral Gables which was only a 30-minute commute. It also provides easy access (30 minutes) to the Keys and Everglades National Park. My kids could tell you all sorts of memorable stories about adventures of rural life in Miami.

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Amid the magical, secluded-ness of your home, it’s also practical. Elaborate.

CGE: Before this house, we all lived in Coral Gables. My kids went to school there. When we lived there, my 2-mile morning commute (from Coral Gables to the kid’s school), was a half hour because of traffic. When we moved to Redland, they still went to school in Coral Gables, which is obviously much further away mileage wise, but it took me the same amount of time.

What’s a typical morning look like?

CGE: Coffee on the porch outside with the chickens — we have free-range chickens, farm fresh eggs for breakfast, we juice whatever’s in season. Today was carambola with ginger and moringa. I always say, if you wanted to, you would never have to buy produce at the grocery store again. There’s so much growing here. It’s incredible.

How are your property taxes so (relatively) low?

CGE: Because of the fruit trees, the property qualifies for agricultural exemptions, which reduces the taxes.

What’s next?

CGE: My youngest just left for college. Now that I’m an empty nester, I’m ready for the next chapter, maybe to the water now!

Carolyn’s home has been featured in the New York Times and Curbed magazine, and her guesthouse has a perfect-star rating on Airbnb. Her home, located at 15355 SW 232 Street, is currently available for sale and listed at $1,299,000. View photos and details at

Jared Klein