Mini Hero: Toni Overman, resident of Marbella Vineyards, chairs this year’s Christmas Idea House

by Shea Homes Arizona on May 22, 2015

TO1

Why did you move into a Shea Home and what appealed to you about this home?

We started our search for a home two years before we found the Shea Home we purchased.  We have two children that will be leaving home soon, so we were looking for a home that had a spectacular master suite and kitchen.  After looking at model homes for two years they all started to look the same; nothing really blew us away.  Then, we looked at the Flourish Model in Marbella Vineyards.  It not only had a beautiful kitchen option, but the master suite with a huge master closet and bathroom was to die for!  The home had a very unique floorplan that we hadn’t seen in all the other model homes and the price was in our budget.  We knew when we walked into this home that it was the home we wanted.

Describe your home buying experience with Shea Homes from a business standpoint and from a personal standpoint.

Going into the purchase we knew there were options and items on our list that we wanted.  We were already homeowners so we went into the deal with Shea knowing that if we couldn’t have the options we wanted, we would not purchase the home.  We weren’t just going to buy a home that we had to “improve”.  We wanted a move-in dream home, and Shea offered the options to make our home unique very affordable.

The sales staff, superintendent and customer service of Shea Homes have always been helpful and friendly.  We really feel like part of the Shea Family.  We’ve grown very close to our sales staff and superintendents…so close that I will be sad when the neighborhood fills up and they all move on to a new area!

Which space(s) do you spend the most time in and why?

When the weather is nice we spend a lot of time in our front courtyard.  We love how Shea designed the outdoor living space in the Flourish model.

Inside the home you can’t beat our kitchen and great room area.  We love the open floorplan concept.  It’s so easy to entertain and for everyone to be a part of the conversation no matter where they are sitting.  It really is the perfect home for us.

TO2

What features of your Shea Home stood out to you during the home buying process?

Definitely the kitchen and master suite.  We loved the new Shea3D concept too.  Being able to choose the kitchen plan and master suite plan that met our needs is really what sold us on the house.  I’m not sure I will ever be able to fill all the cupboards in the kitchen!

We were also extremely impressed with the quality of the home and our meetings with the superintendent during the building process.  It’s great that Shea really involves the homebuyer and explains the processes thoroughly. We stopped in almost daily to see the progress of the home.  It was an exciting few months watching it go from paper to reality.

What do you love about the community and area you live in?

We were one of the first in the community so watching it grow around us is exciting.  As for the area, we moved to Gilbert in 2008 and have loved every minute of it.  We love the “farm” feel with the convenience of the city amenities.  With the San Tan Mall just down the road we have the convenience of shopping and restaurants.  We are regulars at Blue 32 with it being only a mile away!

TO3

As our current mini-hero, describe some of the volunteer work and organizations you are dedicated to out in the community.

I am part of a philanthropic ladies organization called Desert Club.  Desert Club was founded in 1946 and provides community grants and scholarships to students living in the East Valley.  Since 1958, Desert Club has hosted the annual Christmas Idea House where over the course of three days, events are held at a luxury home.  Our club works year round preparing for the Christmas Idea House making items to be sold to ticket holders.  The Christmas Idea House is a gigantic Christmas boutique and luxury home tour all wrapped up in one.  All the proceeds for the event are filtered back in the community with our grants and scholarship programs.  Over the past 50 years, Desert Club has raised and given almost $3 million.

What is a personal story that has really touched you throughout your “career” working in the community?

The stories of our scholarship recipients always makes me cry.  Many of the kids that we give our scholarships to have had hardships that I hope to never know.  Last year in particular we had a girl that was homeless living in a car due to her parent’s drug addiction.  She then moved in with other family only to have her aunt fighting for her life with cancer.  Living through this with her aunt she decided she wanted to become a nurse.  She wanted to break the cycle and worked hard in school to keep her grades in the top 10% of her class.

The club grows very close to the kids over the course of their college career.  All the hard work makes it worth it when you hear their stories and see them succeed!

You are Chair of this year’s Christmas Idea House. Can you tell us a little bit about what your role is and why you wanted to be Chair this year?

Each year, the president of our club chooses two women to be Christmas House Co-Chairs.  It is really an honor to be chosen but one that comes with a lot of hard work.  As house chairs, it is our job to find the home to host the event that is held the first week of December each year.  We assign each member of the club to a room in the house where they work in committees creating the items that will be sold at our event.  We have become very well-known throughout the years and we were on the list of top 10 things to do in the Valley for Christmas.  We usually sell about 3,000 tickets! This year’s event will be held the December 3 – 5, 2015! I really encourage everyone to put it on their calendar!  You will be blown away by the Christmas Wonderland and the beauty of this year’s home!  We will begin selling tickets in October and all proceeds really help some deserving community members! You can view our website http://www.christmasideahouse.org/.

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