Fate. There really doesn’t seem to be a better way to describe how Sandy VanEmmerik ended up moving to Encanterra Country Club less than 8 months ago. When you talk to Sandy today, the first thing you notice is the warmth and passion in her voice as she explains what Trilogy means to her. But, to understand the special place Trilogy holds in her heart, you first have to know her journey. It’s one of love, strength and a new season in Sandy’s life.
“Encanterra has just been a great place for me to heal. My husband passed away last February, and he was just 53 years old - not something you would expect at that age. This community has been a place for me to recharge, get involved and start a new chapter in my life,” said Sandy.
Prior to moving to Encanterra, Sandy and her late husband, Randy, lived in Northern California. Randy, who started a construction business in his garage with a partner 34 years ago, transformed his start-up into a booming business with 250 employees across three states.
The coincidence: Randy and his team were building a lot of Shea Homes!
In fact, as Sandy explained it, he also helped build Trilogy at Rio Vista in the Bay Area. “Randy would always tell me about Shea, and he believed strongly that Shea Homes was a great developer. As he was working on Rio Vista, he would always tell me, ‘Babe. One day we’re going to be in Trilogy.’”
While Randy was building at Rio Vista, they purchased a large 4,000+ sq. ft. home nearby that was ideal to accommodate visiting kids and grandkids. But, Sandy recalls her husband was convinced that one day they were going to get out of that house and into a Trilogy resort-style community. It was only a matter of time.
After her husband passed away last year, Sandy wanted to honor his wish for her to be near their son in Arizona. So, her house hunt began.
House Hunting in Arizona
Sandy searched all over the place, online and more. At one point, she said she flew all the way out to Arizona just to see one particular house in a neighboring community.
“I walked into the house I had come to see, and I really liked it. But, when we drove away down the main street, my daughter-in-law said there was one other area she wanted me to look at.”
On the spur of the moment, Sandy and her family whipped the car around and started their search for this community her daughter-in-law had in mind.
“We kept heading down that street until we saw the flags. We pulled in to Encanterra, and then all of a sudden, I looked up and realized, ‘Oh my gosh, it was Shea, and it’s Trilogy. My family had no idea what that meant originally, but it was seriously like, for the 33 years that we were married, Randy was setting me up to come here.”
From the moment Sandy stepped foot onto Encanterra grounds, she knew it was a magical place that would be like living in a fairy tale. From the 60,000+ square-foot resort club, La Casa, four restaurants and three pools, to the expansive athletic club, full-service spa and private golf course, Sandy was amazed at all the amenities. In fact, she knew it would be like living halfway between real life and a vacation.
“Fantasy Island. That’s what I call it. There are no words to really be able to describe the experience, the relationships and the opportunities you have here. It’s like living a fairy tale. I’ve been at other communities, and it is nothing like Encanterra. For anyone strongly considering moving here, I would recommend to do try the Taste the Good Life program, so they can experience a very small fraction of the lifestyle here.”
The Taste The Good Life – Try Before You Buy Program offers homebuyers an opportunity to actually stay at a Trilogy or Shea Homes community. During your visit, you can get a better sense of what the resort lifestyle is like, and residents like Sandy are also able to answer your questions about the community based on their own personal experiences. Sandy says it’s great because you get a “Trilogy member’s point of view about what they love.”
For Sandy, she’ll tell you one of the things she can’t get enough of is her spacious home. “This house was really what was amazing to me and everything else was the cherry on top of the ice cream.”
She lives in the Monaco home model, which has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a den and a great covered patio. As part of the Francia Collection, the Monaco is great for entertaining, and offers you a private, serene space when you want to get away. The Monaco has you enter through a courtyard, and you’re instantly met by a great room and dining room that are harmoniously arranged to capture the natural light. There is also a very inviting den that overlooks the backyard and a covered outdoor patio that is easily designed to expand the entertaining area of your home.
“I love the floor plan. I love the openness. And, I over-the-top-love my patio, because it’s an extension of my living area. In the Monaco, there is not one ounce of wasted space here. I always think that whoever designed these models certainly knew what they were doing. With how my home lives, I feel like I don’t have a 1,583 sq. ft. home, it feels like an 1,800 sq. ft. home!”
SheaXero No Electric Bill Home ™ Living
Sandy’s new Trilogy home also comes standard as a SheaXero No Electric Bill Home, which eliminates monthly electric bills through an innovative blend of 14 energy-efficient features and a large solar power system.
“It’s crazy that I only pay 18 dollars and change each month,” said Sandy. “It’s not even for my electrical bill. It’s for the electrical company to have the connection. For my situation, it totally offsets the HOA’s. People may not want to have HOA’s when they are purchasing a home, but you have to understand that when you live here, you don’t have an electrical bill. You don’t have a gym bill. Frankly, you don’t have a lot of the fees that you would associate with the activities and amenities we have available to us. We actually turn around and make money here. That’s what it feels like.”
Before living at Encanterra, Sandy was paying between $700-900 a month in the winter for her large home and never paid less than $300. “Now, with SheaXero, I have saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars by not having an electrical bill,” said Sandy.
Finding Peace & Contentment
Beyond the freedom and peace of mind that SheaXero gives her, Sandy says she can’t say enough about the warmth of the community.
“If you ask me what complaints I have, I say it would be better for me to tell you what I like. Seriously, I can’t tell you something I don’t like. There is nothing negative I could ever say about this place. When you come to Encanterra it simply takes your breath away. You have to keep telling yourself to ‘Breath, breath, breath,’ because the place is just so beautiful.”
“Everybody here is filled with peace. There is no tension and there’s no roughness. I just haven’t experienced anybody here who doesn’t seem content with where they are. That rubs off on you. It’s just a nicer, better way to live.”
People who live and work at Encanterra will tell you, though, it’s Sandy who has rubbed off on them. From the time she spends helping her new neighbors unpack their boxes to her involvement in the community, Sandy is a pure joy at Encanterra. Not to mention, she is ready and waiting to invite her next neighbors to this amazing community. In fact, there are two people, who after meeting Sandy, have actually purchased their new home on her street. Simply said, her enthusiasm for life at Trilogy is nothing short of infectious.
When you visit Encanterra, be sure to say hi to Sandy while you’re here. How can you tell which home is hers? Look for the waterfall.
“When I had my house built, I had them build a beautiful waterfall in front. That’s for my husband,” explained Sandy. “He knew we were going to be at Trilogy, and here I am - starting the next chapter of life surrounded by a community of friends, family and so much more.”
Interested in visiting Encanterra? See more details about our Taste The Good Life program and read another member’s story here.