You hope to have nice neighbors when you move to a new neighborhood. They might even become good friends. But it’s truly unusual for a group of people to build relationships before they even build their homes. It’s happening right now at the new Epcon community near Charlotte, NC. Thanks to the efforts of the Community Sales Manager, at The Courtyards on Lawyers Road, neighbors-to-be are becoming friends.
Gay Colvin is the spark that ignited the flames of friendship. Every month, she creates opportunities to bring together 17 people who have purchased homes to-be built in this Stallings location. She hosted a groundbreaking ceremony last November. In spite of the cold, rainy weather that day, the home buyers came out to celebrate the event. As Community Sales Manager, Gay has also organized Wine & Cheese parties and a holiday party in December at the sales trailer on the site where The Courtyards on Lawyers Road is going to emerge. The development has been delayed due to some issues with the town, but these home buyers will soon be rewarded for their patience by having beautiful new homes in a very desirable location.
When the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we all handle our everyday lives, Gay wasn’t about to put the Lawyers Road gatherings on hold. Instead, she organized a virtual Easter celebration a few days in advance of the holiday. Using Zoom—which many of the participants experienced for the first time—members of the group could see each other. Gay asked them to join with whatever refreshments they wanted. They chatted, as usual, and then the discussion shifted.
“We talked about how we were going to celebrate Easter differently this year,” Gay explains. Then she asked the group to share what they were grateful for. “The tone of the call switched to gratitude. You know, you can look at the negative side of things or you can choose to look at the positive.”
“Everyone was literally in tears when it was over. Everybody has a story. Every story is different. People were very vulnerable on the call,” Gay says. “They talked about things that were meaningful to them—like a new grandchild who is not going to visit because of the virus. Mostly, we were all very thankful that none of us on the call had been affected or knew anyone who had been affected.”
Families become neighbors
Donna Grier is one of the group who will eventually be moving into a home at The Courtyards on Lawyers Road. Her parents will be joining her in their own home, two doors down from Donna. With the monthly gathering, she discovered that the home between them will be occupied by a woman and her parents.
“We’ll be a really close neighborhood,” Donna says. A native of the area, Donna is living in a townhome, where she expected to remain after she retires soon from her job in finance for a large grocery chain. With her father’s declining health, her plans changed. Although Donna’s parents currently live only five miles from her, she felt she needed to be even closer to them. She says that Gay is the reason she decided to buy an Epcon home.
“I never felt like Gay was trying to sell me a home. She was trying to find a solution for my situation. She made it so easy,” Donna explains. Gay put Donna and her parents in touch with a mortgage specialist who told them about the HECM loan. “It seemed like a great way for them to have a nice home in their retirement years. She had so many solutions for us, and Gay is so great to work with. She’s the reason a lot of us have been willing to wait. She has built a lot of personal relationships with all of us.”
Eager to right-size their lives
Cathy and Tom Donaldson also bought a home to-be built in the new Epcon neighborhood in Stallings, NC. They have been living in their home in nearby Matthews, for 31 years. Every year, Cathy hosts the family Christmas in their home. When her daughter-in-law remarked this past December that it would be the last one in this home, Cathy’s response wasn’t what she expected.
Cathy was elated! She is so excited about her new home. It’s just a few miles from her present location, so she will remain close to (and with) her family and friends. She also has friends living in another Epcon community about three miles away. In fact, they are the ones who tempted the Donaldsons to move. The couple previously lived in a ranch-style home with a large yard for about 40 years, but no longer wanted to deal with upkeep. Cathy and Tom visited them for a housewarming for their new Epcon home.
“I just drooled,” Cathy exclaims.
Several years later, she and Tom passed a sign for the new Epcon community coming to Lawyers Road. She got excited. A few days later, while they were shopping, she suggested they should check out the new Courtyards and decide whether it was beyond the realm of possibility for their budget. The sales trailer was open. They walked in and met Gay. After talking to her, they realized they could afford the new home. It was also Gay who introduced Cathy to the option for the GE Cafe French door wall oven, which makes her giddy.
While they wait, Cathy says they often go to the clubhouse at The Courtyards at Wesley Chapel, because it’s a reflection of what’s to come for them.
“I just sit there and daydream,” gushes Cathy.
While the homeowners of The Courtyards on Lawyers Road patiently wait for a community that they agree is worth waiting for, they enjoy the monthly gatherings. Like every one of them, Gay Colvin looks forward to the day when these wonderful people come “home”.
If the Epcon active adult lifestyle of high-quality, low-maintenance living sounds like the right fit for you, take a look at the communities around the country, each with an enticing array of amenities. Then reach out and we can guide you on the path to homeownership.