Charity Event Leads to Home Purchase

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Wendy and Alan Smith bought their new home almost by accident.

May 01, 1999

Wendy and Alan Smith bought their new home almost by accident. Wendy was hosting a charity outing at the White Deer Run Golf Club at Gregg’s Landing, a planned community in the Chicago suburb of Vernon Hills. Intrigued by the home designs at the Inverness neighborhood, she talked Alan into looking at the models, and last November they moved into a 2800-square-foot, two-story home.

Wendy, 48, is executive director of a nonprofit organization that serves children with physical and mental disabilities and their families. Alan, 51, is a computer consultant for an insurance firm. They have three daughters: Angela, 28, Becky, 26 and Erica, 23.

The Smiths had lived in their previous home in suburban Mt. Prospect for about 15 years. "It was a 3100-square-foot split-level with the master bedroom and another bedroom suite on the first floor," says Wendy. The couple had discussed buying a townhouse or condominium in Florida for their retirement (which they estimate is 10 years away), and the children had moved out. Nevertheless, they felt no urgency to move until the day of the golf outing.

Once they saw Inverness, however, they wasted no time in picking out a house. The maintenance-free aspect of the community appealed to them, having lived in a 30-year-old house that required constant repair and remodeling. For the same reason, the Smiths didn’t consider buying a resale home.

Their requirements included a golf course lot (both play when time permits), a second-floor master, a first-floor den and an open plan suitable for entertaining large groups. Wendy, who loves to cook, duplicated the kitchen design of the Mt. Prospect house.

The Smiths closed off a doorway between the kitchen and great room and added a separate entrance from the upstairs bath to the guest bedroom to create a private suite. They also removed a closet to make room for filing cabinets in the home office (formerly a den), where Wendy works full-time.

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