Life in the Valley of the Sun has its perks: beautiful winters, affordable living, and enthralling entertainment. But when Valley suburbs grow to be bigger than Miami, Atlanta, or Pittsburgh, finding a sense of community can sometimes be difficult.
Fortunately for Ron and his family, they found exactly what they were looking for in the Shea Homes® 24 North community in Phoenix.
“I’m from Texas, and it’s very different. We’d have block parties, barbeques, stuff like that,” he recalls. “I’ve been here in the valley for twenty years or so, and it always seems like people pull into their garage, close the door, and that’s it. You really don’t know your neighbors that well. But the difference at 24 North is that, with it being a community villa, six homes sharing a driveway, it’s more close-knit. The majority of people you actually talk to!”
Ron and his wife Katina started their search for a new home last year. They’d lived in East Mesa for years to be near their children’s school, but after their two sons moved out, and their daughter got her driver’s license, their options opened up. And so the hunt for a new home began.
The first step for Ron and Katina, like most, was to ask around. “We had heard a lot about Shea and their homes from friends and family, so we checked it out. I think Shea gives more of a luxury look to their homes than some of the other builders. Their standard is a little more upscale.” Location was a factor as well. Ron runs his finance career from home, but his wife’s daily commute was a drag.
“We just love the Sonoran Foothills area, so we started looking over there, found this unique Shea community, and we decided to buy. Her commute is a lot shorter now.”
Part of the fun of buying a new home is visiting the Shea Homes Design Center and choosing everything from cabinets to flooring, window treatments, to optional upgrades. They enjoyed the personalized and exciting process. Ron went out of his way to make sure the ladies in his life would be happy: “One of the big upgrades was for my daughter’s bathroom, where we put in a walk-in shower, which she loves.
“The kitchen is really nice. It’s a gourmet kitchen, and that’s become the centerpiece of the house for us. That’s my wife’s love… how the appliances are laid out, the island, it’s great. They did a good job putting together the floor plan. We love it.
“It’s actually kind of deceiving,” he adds. “When you’re outside and you see it, it doesn’t look that big, but it’s a lot of space, and it’s all usable, too. I turned the spare bedroom into my office.”
Shea’s commitment to melding design to lifestyle left an impression on Ron. “Marci, who’s the rep here for Shea, gave us a lot of great ideas. Like, we all have electric toothbrushes, so she suggested we put outlets under our sink. I’d never thought about that! It’s one of those little changes that adds so much convenience.”
Even the buying process was easy. “Everything with Shea was super smooth. They walked us through everything, all the documentation that was required. Marci was tip-top on it, just sending things over right away; there was no lag time.”
As they have settled into their new house, they’ve gone out of their way to make the community feel like home. Katina created a Facebook page for new members of the community to keep everyone connected, from HOA meetings and trash pickup dates to community potlucks. Even the couple’s two dogs, Lola and Cupcake, have gotten involved. Katina put together a website for 24 North residents to show off their pooches and set up play dates.
“Once we get everyone moved in, we’re going to do our own block party. It’s more of a community feel than any of the areas I’ve lived before. And we want it to be different, you know? We plan on staying here, so why not get to know these people and their families?”
He laughs. “You never know when you’re going to need to borrow a cup of sugar.”