An Unexpected Opportunity

Darren and Shannon Lacey stumbled upon their dream home when they weren’t seriously looking. Realtor Andrea Murphy helped them make the dream a reality.

Photo by: Jacey Davis, Murphy Homes Darren and Shannon Lacey pose in the great room of their retro-inspired home in Evansville, Ind.

About the Agent

  • Name: Andrea Murphy
  • Brokerage: ERA First Advantage Realty
  • Location: Evansville, Ind.
Contact Andrea

Darren and Shannon Lacey were just window shopping for a home, thinking they wouldn’t be ready to buy until several years down the road. On a leisurely drive, they came across the Poet Square community in Evansville, Ind., and fell in love with its traditional feel and retro-inspired home designs. Andrea Murphy – a Realtor who happened to live in the neighborhood – introduced herself and quickly helped the couple realize their dream of homeownership.

What was at the top of the homebuyers' wish list?

Darren and Shannon wanted a home that was unique to their style. They wanted a home with charm, character and a retro-style construction that spoke to their design tastes. 

How did you go about fulfilling the buyers' needs? What were your biggest challenges?

Darren and Shannon work hours that are not eight to five. They needed a Realtor who could be available in the evening hours to show the houses. I met the couple by chance one late evening, because they happened to be driving down my street and looking at a house that was for sale across from my home. I ended up showing them all the houses for sale in my neighborhood until 9 p.m. Darren and Shannon needed an agent who was available immediately, and I was more than happy to help. I know what it is like to be out late looking at homes and not be able to see inside because no one is available to help. It can be frustrating and I wanted to make sure Darren and Shannon knew I would work at their convenience.

Because Darren and Shannon did work nights, it did make it difficult to communicate during normal business hours. When the lender needed more documents or I needed questions answered, I would have to wait until their normal hours to communicate, and that meant 11 p.m. 

Why did you think this house in particular would be good fit for the family?

The New Urban Homes Collection by Murphy Homes incorporated open floor plan living and large kitchens with plenty of cabinet and countertop space. The houses were also designed for garages to be in the back of the home, which I knew Darren and Shannon would like. The house offered just about everything on their list and I thought that the kitchen in this particular home would just put Darren and Shannon over the top. And it did! 

How closely did this house match the buyers' original wish list? What compromises were made?

Darren and Shannon needed a large kitchen, a small yard, room for guests, an open floor plan and – most of all – a home that spoke to their retro style. The house met all of these requirements. Darren wanted a fabulous kitchen that offered lots of counter space because he loves to cook. He also needed plenty of cabinet space to hold all of his cookware and small appliances. They also wanted a small yard for their dog, Tucker, and it needed to be easy maintenance because they love to travel. Shannon needed room for her family to visit because they live more than hour away and visit often.

The location was a compromise, because where Darren and Shannon were previously living was only five minutes from Darren's work. By choosing the home they bought, it added 20 minutes to his drive and he needed to be close to his work because of his type of job. Darren, of course, made it work because he and Shannon both love the home.  

How did you solve any snags or surprises in the home buying process?

Murphy Homes, as the seller, made it easy to negotiate the terms of the contract. The only real snags we had were with the lender. They requested several docs, more and above anything I had ever seen. With Darren and Shannon's hours, it was up to me to get all the docs to the lender, once Darren gathered them together. This meant scanning and faxing over 70 pages! When we were three days from closing, the lender requested a termite inspection. This was not done in the course of the normal time frame because the lender declined needing a report at first. Obviously, they changed their minds. We had to find an inspector to get to the house immediately because we needed a report to give to the lender as soon as possible. I was afraid our closing would not happen as scheduled, which meant new contracts would need to be written to extend the current purchase agreement. However, the inspector came to the house and wrote the report as soon as he was done. I got it to the lender in time and we were able to close as planned.

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