Michelle Smith, a Phoenix-area real estate agent, found herself in the same position many parents do when her son and daughter prepared to move-out for college: what do I do with all this extra space?
The answer, she thought, was downsizing. “Every other house I bought, I bought with my children in mind… this house we bought for us.” With decades of real estate experience behind her, Smith had Shea Homes® at the top of her list of builders. Knowing she didn’t want to move far from Chandler, where she’s lived for the past 25 years, Shea’s The Reserves at Val Vista naturally caught her eye.
“What we really wanted was a house with great entertaining spaces that didn’t have a million rooms,” she says. Originally she and her husband wanted a smaller space once the young ones moved out. But as they started looking at The Reserves, that changed; you’ll find no small spaces at The Reserves. The more Smith thought about what she really wanted from the next chapter of her life, she realized less space wasn’t the answer. This would be a home for many years to come, a home for birthdays and holidays, for grandparents and grandkids. Floorplan 7004 fit the bill perfectly.
The Smith’s fell in love with the design, and were the first couple to buy a home in the community.
Floorplan 7004 is 3,983 square feet.
Anything but downsizing.
“All the spaces you would usually entertain in – the breakfast nook, the dining room, the living room, kitchen – are very large. You could comfortably have 40 people in here.” Entertaining space: check. And while the kids would be moving out for school soon, Smith was keeping an eye on the future. With three large bedrooms and an additional casita, she wanted her extended family to have a place to stay for years to come.
“I could put in a king size bed, I could put in a crib, I could put in blow up beds – all so when my children have families of their own, they have a place to stay.”
It wasn’t just her children she had in mind. The Smiths added a backyard casita, as a future optional living space for their own parents. “It’s so perfect for an extended family down the line. We love that aspect of it.”
Room for the family: check. Between spacious bedrooms and oodles of living space, Smith knows her home will be the holiday getaway of choice for years to come.
When asked about her favorite parts of her home, Smith can’t stop gushing. There’s her favorite, the gourmet kitchen, complete with a professional range, huge island, and breakfast nook. Her husband got his dream man-cave: “The guys can go watch football while everyone is in the main entertaining space,” Smith says. They both fell in love with the indoor/outdoor lifestyle; they opted for a 16-foot glass sliding door that opens onto the enormous porch, where they’ve installed an outdoor pool table to take advantage of the weather.
Smith calls the buying and building journey “the most positive experience I’ve ever had. Paula and Lynda (The Reserves community representatives) were fantastic. So was our superintendent, Kevin. They sent me almost daily text messages keeping me in the loop. And the build was still far beyond my expectations.”
As a real-estate agent, Smith was doubly impressed. “In this industry right now, that level of attention, you just don’t see it.”
And how are the empty-nesters faring with the kids off to college? The Reserves proved too much of a temptation for the Smiths’ kids after all, and their 18-year-old son and 22-year-old daughter are back living at home. Why shell out thousands for a dorm when you have resort-style accommodations at Mom and Dad’s?