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Posts Tagged ‘Shea Homes’

Why the best parties happen at BackCountry.

by | December 9th, 2015

Some might say BackCountry’s festive streak is simply a function of the fun, friendly people who tend to move there. Or the very active HOA that’s always cooking up special events to help neighbors get to know each other. All true, but there’s another factor involved: BackCountry offers perfect places for entertaining, both at the Sundial House and in residents’ own homes.

The Sundial House is an award-winning gathering place where residents not only meet for community events, but can host private parties. Several venues provide superb backdrops for gatherings large and small. In more temperate months, cocktails around the courtyard fire pit, looking out over thousands of acres of wilderness, makes for a pretty memorable get-together. You could also host a Broncos watch party at Pikes Pub and Lounge or a lively, interactive dinner party in the demonstration kitchen and dining room. The community room is large enough for a wedding, but with intimate conversation areas perfect for smaller gatherings. (Residents, find more information about reserving the Sundial House at www.backcountrylife.org or contact John Lyon at 303-346-2800 or jlyon@ccmcnet.com.)

That said, BackCountry homeowners have some amazing places to entertain right in their own homes. Visit any of the model homes and you may find yourself dreaming up the guest list for your housewarming party. Every Shea home is designed for great entertaining, both indoors and out, since the great outdoors is so breathtaking in BackCountry.

Within the Shadow Walk Collectionthe Somerset plan is made for entertaining. Guests can easily mingle in thoughtfully connected spaces, such as the formal dining room, morning room, great room, and this kitchen, with a rounded island and breakfast bar. 

BackCountryCO kitchen new home

A grand vaulted entrance welcomes guests to the Northern Sky model in the Water Dance Collection.

BackCountryCO foyer new home

Once the party gets going, everyone will find themselves gravitating toward this gourmet kitchen, where the spacious morning room easily seats eight and extends out into a covered outdoor dining terrace. The formal dining room and butler’s pantry complete the space, which is perfect for your more traditional holiday gatherings.

Kitchen and morning room

Also within the Water Dance Collection, the Solstice model offers a special twist for get-togethers. A spacious hearth room connects to the great room, kitchen, and dining area. With a dramatic fireplace as its focal point, the hearth room is an inviting place to break off from the crowd for an intimate conversation.

Hearth Room Art Lights BackCountryCO

BackCountry Colorado new home Overall

Those looking for ranch homes and low-maintenance living (more time for parties!) should peek into the Alize model in the Whispering Wind Collection

This plan has a large great room with fireplace and a morning room that accesses a covered dining terrace, which is perfect for Sunday brunch with friends. Evening might inspire parties downstairs in the finished basement that comes standard—a perfect place to share movies and popcorn or a game of pool.

Alize Basement

Parties at the Sundial House, parties at home…BackCountry offers several places to entertain guests. Discover your own party headquarters here.

Picture Your Pet | Official Rules

by | November 30th, 2015

Shea-Picture Your PetPicture Your Pet | Official Rules

Pets are important family members and can brighten our lives and our homes. This holiday season, we want to honor your four-legged, feathered, and scaly friends! Snap and submit a photo of your pet for a chance to win one of our fabulous prizes. Full contest details are below.

  1. From November 30 to December 11, 2015, enter a photo of your pet by posting it to the Facebook page of http://facebook.com/BackCountryCO. These photos can be of your pet in action, looking cute, showing off, hanging out with the family… Get creative! Add a caption to tell us a little bit about your pet and the photo. Please don’t forget to include your pet’s name.
  2. Only one entry per Facebook profile is accepted.
  3. Submissions will be gathered into a Facebook photo album located at http://facebook.com/BackCountryCO, which will be published on or around December 12, 2015. Photos must be received by 8 p.m. MST on December 11 to qualify.
  4. Voting is open from the time the photo album goes live until December 17, 2015. Vote for your favorites and encourage other non-furry family members and friends to vote too. To vote, voters will simply like their favorite photo. Please note: Only one action per Facebook account is considered as a vote.
  5. The contest is open to anyone age 13 years or older (per Facebook’s user requirements). Interested parties must enter and vote through Facebook. You are not required to be a Shea homeowner to participate, you are not required to visit a community or attend a sales presentation, and no purchase or fee is necessary to enter. Entrants must be legal residents of the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories and possessions. Void where prohibited. Employees of Shea Homes and its affiliates, and their immediate family members, are not eligible.
  6. By entering, entrants give permission for images to be used for marketing and promotion on social media platforms, on websites, and in e-newsletters.
  7. The photo with the most votes at the end of the voting period will receive a $100 gift card to Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch, photo with the second most votes will receive a $75 Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch gift card, and the photo with the third most votes will receive a $50 Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch gift card. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. This contest is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch, the Denver Dumb Friends League, or Facebook.
  8. Winners will be notified on or around December 18, 2015, via Facebook. Prizes will be sent directly to the winners, at no cost to them. Delivery may take up to three weeks. Winners are responsible for taxes, if applicable.
  9. In addition to the prizes awarded during the Picture Your Pet contest, BackCountryCO will donate $1 to the Denver Dumb Friends League for each new page like received from November 30-December 17, 2015.

In entering the contest you subject yourself to the Contest Rules and are deemed to have reviewed, read and accepted the Rules.

We look forward to seeing your wonderful pets!

Is BackCountry right for you? Three questions to ask yourself.

by | October 21st, 2015

No man is an island, they say, and neither is a home. It’s critical that your “perfect home” be in a community that’s equally in sync with your tastes and lifestyle. Because, after all, you do have to go outside sometime.

If you’re considering BackCountry for your future home, ask yourself these three questions. They’ll help clarify what’s unique about the community and if it’s right for you.  

1. How important is the outdoors to you?
If you moved to Colorado for its natural beauty and endless outdoor activities, then go ahead and skip to question #2. In other words, run, do not walk, to BackCountry—you were made for each other. Otherwise, let’s explore this idea a bit. First of all, depending on how it’s situated, your home can offer magnificent sunset vistas of the mountains and foothills, which are easily accessed thanks to BackCountry’s southwest metro location near C-470. Also, within South Rimthe community’s private wilderness of 467 acres, you can walk, run, or ride bikes and spot all kinds of wildlife. Keep going and you’ll head straight into the Backcountry Wilderness Area, home to 26 miles of trails, more critters such as deer, elk, and wild turkey, as well as regular Highlands Ranch-organized activities such as archery, horseback riding, hikes, camping, and hunting. And if you just want a nice and easy after-dinner walk, stroll on one of the many winding trails within the neighborhood or visit one of the six parks.
On the other hand, if the Discovery Channel gives you all the nature you want, consider Question 2.

BackCountry map Highlands Ranch Colorado

2. Do you like to know your neighbors?
Like anyone else, hermits are welcome to live in BackCountry—but they sure will miss out on a lot of fun. BackCountry is a gated community, which helps to create an exceptional sense of friendliness. (In other words, why not talk to strangers? They’re all your neighbors.) Residents are quick to tell you how warm and welcoming people are here. Amenities such as a resort-style pool, the Sundial House community center with its pub and lounge, and the outdoor amphitheatre and network of trails, promote easy, frequent connections between residents. And an active HOA is always cooking up community-wide events, such as summer concerts, golf tournaments, art shows, and holiday parties, as well as more intimate gatherings such as book club meetings and empty nester potlucks.

3. How do you like your architecture?
Chances are, you didn’t answer that with “corner-cutting and cookie-cutter.” That’s good, because you just won’t find that in BackCountry, which was conceived of as a community with exceptionally high standards. Architecturally, the community feels cohesive with a Colorado-inspired emphasis on stone, stucco, and other natural materials that complement the area’s natural beauty. Varied neighborhoods, and within those, multiple floor plans and elevations, keep streetscapes as interesting as they are beautiful. And by being selective with builders, the community aims to keep quality (and home values) high. Our current builders include Shea Homes, whose homes range in price from the $500s to $700s, and Paragon Homes, which offers semi-custom living priced from $1 million. Additionally, seven builders offer custom homes at varying price points.

BACK COUNTRY WATER DANCE Exterior

So now that you’ve mulled over the possibility of living at BackCountry, maybe it’s time for a visit. Seeing the place—with its natural beauty, strong sense of community and high-quality homes—is the best way to definitively answer these questions, and any others you still have.      

When your home is a hard hat area: Six tips for staying safe

by | September 16th, 2015

Somehow, watching a beautiful home rise from a hole in the ground just never grows old, even for the Shea construction crew. Of course it’s even more thrilling to watch when it’s your own new, BackCountry home.  More than the typical homebuilder, Shea encourages homebuyers to visit the construction site. Not only at four major milestones (welcome meeting, pre-drywall orientation, walkthrough, and delivery), but at additional, once-a-month visits too.  Safety precautions are essential at these busy construction sites though, says Jeff Palumbo, Shea Homes Colorado’s Manager of Safety and Environment. Here are Jeff’s six tips for staying safe while charting the progress of your home-to-be.

Shea Homes Colorado construction site

1) Sign in and suit up. Before visiting your home site, be sure to stop by the Shea sales office. A quick check-in ensures that Shea is aware of every customer onsite. Then they’ll help you gear up appropriately with a hard hat, high-visibility safety vest, and protective eyewear. Be sure to wear flat, closed-toe shoes to keep your feet safe.

2) Follow the buddy system. Monday through Saturday, all site visitors need to be accompanied by a Shea Homes representative. Sunday is our “fun day” (no Shea buddy necessary), but check-in at the sales office is still required.

3) Scope out the situation. Is the site muddy? Icy? Are there rain puddles you’ll want boots for? It’s smart to assess site conditions before stepping foot onto the property.

4) Keep your eyes on the prize. Always walk in the direction you’re looking. Backing up to get a broader view is tempting but dangerous, as you just don’t know what conditions exist behind you. Avoid open-hole areas altogether, as well as any areas where you might fall.

5) Stay together. If you’re touring in a group (after all, it’s fun to share the experience with friends and family), make sure you stay together. It’s also wise to designate one person as “safety lead,” keeping an eye out for the whole group. In general, children should not be onsite, but if they are, responsible parties must keep them by their side.

6) Leave rooftops to the professionals. Sure it may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Never access the roof under any circumstances.

Construction safety Shea homes colorado

Here’s an extra tip, too: Take lots of pictures. Besides the joy of sharing the progress of your new BackCountry home with friends and family, photos will remind you of this potentially once-in-a-lifetime event. And besides, how often do you get to pose in a hardhat?

And don’t forget to share your photos with on Instagram or Facebook! Tag us @BackCountryCO and use the hashtag #BackCountryCO.

Two months, eleven parties

by | May 26th, 2015

Ten days after Larry and Val Hay moved into their new BackCountry home, while most of us would be struggling to unpack, they hosted their first party. And within two months—from November 1 to January 1—they had hosted eleven parties.

What’s that all about? While you’d never accuse these two of being introverts, apparently there’s something about BackCountry that makes people want to throw parties.

Friends at BackCountry

Val says, “We were never this big on entertaining before. But BackCountry is extra-friendly. It’s gated, so you know everyone you see is a neighbor. It’s just so easy to say ‘come over.’”

Larry agrees. “People walk by all the time, or we’ll just wave when people drive by and half the time they’ll stop to chat. Before you know it, we’ve invited them in and we’re sharing a beer or a glass of wine.”

a spacious Sunshower kitchen

Their home itself has also contributed to their entertaining ways. The Hays bought The Sunshower model, with an open flow between kitchen, dining room, and great room that allows for “lots of conversations going on,” says Val, and parties of up to 50—so far, anyway.

The kitchen itself is key, too. The Hays have an extended island—nine feet long, five feet wide—that they can fit lots of chairs around, plus three ovens and “a microwave that talks to you,” says Larry. This kitchen is a true playground for Val, whom Larry describes as an instinctive cook who can whip up anything from whatever’s in the spacious pantry.

Sunshower kitchen

But perhaps the biggest factor is the view, which is always the first thing they share with guests. Their home looks west into the mountains, giving them an epic, 45-mile view that includes Waterton Canyon, the Flatirons, Golden, and beyond. Fittingly, their kids gave them a telescope for Christmas. In fact, it was the view that sold them on the place.

One day, Val got a phone call at work from Larry asking if she had her checkbook. “Come over right now,” he said. He was standing on the site of their future home, gaping at the view. They reserved their lot that day, and then set about building a house to suit the spot. Which happened just as seamlessly.

Another Hay party

“We had a great experience,” says Larry. “We had lots of interaction with the superintendent and workers. Any concerns we had, they’d address right away. So by the time of the walk-through, our punch list was basically done.”

Val feels the same way about the design process. This was the first time she had a new home built and found it to be fun selecting among “so many selections.” She says, “Julie [the designer] was so helpful. We kept her running with our changes, but everyone was very patient. We are so happy with the way it all turned out.”

BackCountry entertaining

Now that spring is here, their parties can move out to the oversized patio, where guests can ogle at the views, sit around the firepit, and listen to the waterfall the couple had installed. If two months of winter inspired that many parties, can you imagine what summer will bring?

Three common homebuilding myths, debunked

by | May 11th, 2015

Never bought a brand-spanking new home before? Well, there’s no denying that you’ll notice a difference between buying new and resale homes. But before you decide what’s right for you, make sure you’re not falling prey to misinformation. To give you a clearer understanding, we asked a few Shea Homes associates to share the most common myths they encounter among first-time buyers.


BACK COUNTRY WATER DANCE  5012 IMG# 1

Myth #1: “Buying a new home takes too long.”

If you’re comparing an existing home to one that’s just a twinkle in your eye then, yes, buying a resale home can be a speedier proposition. But keep in mind that new homes are available in all stages of construction, from idea-on-paper to partially-built to all-wrapped-up-with-a-bow—and landscaping. Keith McCann, a Shea Homes Lead Superintendent, notes that building a typical home from digging the hole to final touches takes only about 140 days (weather permitting, of course).

If you arrive later in the construction process, there can be little to no time difference between moving into a new or a resale home. A new home doesn’t require the previous owner to move out—which depends on their next home’s availability. The good news about entering the process a littler earlier is that you’ll have lots of possibilities for tailoring the home to your tastes. Not an option with a resale home. (Hello, stressful and expensive home renovation.) Which brings us to Myth #2.

Myth #2: “Choosing all your finishes is overwhelming.”

“One of the main reasons why people purchase a new home is they can pick everything that goes in it. Then the home is a reflection of them, of their personal taste,” says Scott Beaumont, a Senior Community Representative at Colliers Hill in Erie. Buy someone else’s home and spin the wheel. More often than not, their tastes won’t mesh altogether with yours. Which means that adapting the home to your preferences and lifestyle will happen after move-in. (If you don’t think that’s overwhelming, talk to anyone who’s just navigated the minefield of a kitchen renovation.)

With the right builder, selecting your finishes shouldn’t be overwhelming, but exciting, rewarding…and nicely assisted.

Shea Colorado New Homes Design Color Scheme

“At Shea, we all have design backgrounds,” says Senior Interior Designer Melanie Best. So when people come to the Design Studio, “they don’t have to go through every single tile—unless they want to. Once we nail down the buyer’s style, we can just bring out things we think they will like.” In fact, it can all happen in one or two 2-hour sessions—or as many as you want.

As Amy Baumert, a Senior Community Representative at BackCountry in Highlands Ranch has seen with her customers, “It means the world to people to visit our design studio and become part of the process in capturing and implementing what they’ll be calling home.” For a further breakdown of the design process, read this past interview with Melanie.

Myth #3: “Home builders are all alike.”

Jeff Palumbo, Shea’s Safety and Environment Manager, believes that “one common myth is that all builders are ‘Big Bad Builders’ who cut corners to save a buck. Really, that’s what separates Shea Homes from the rest. Being a Shea homeowner myself, I can reflect back on our process and it couldn’t have been a better one.”

Sadly, as in every industry, there are vendors who cut corners and those who are committed to creating quality products. Scott Beaumont encourages people to ask each builder, “What differentiates you as a home builder? Is it price? Features? Building process and construction?” While adhering to your budget is critical, make sure that a builder’s low price doesn’t translate to low quality. After all, this isn’t choosing between a generic and brand-name box of cereal. A home is an extremely complex project that uses constantly evolving materials and techniques, plus the expertise of more than 60-70 individuals.

Shea homes construction and development

Which raises a couple of other questions to ask: How long have you been in business? What kind of turnover do you have on your construction crew? Shea Homes, for example, has been in business since 1881. And its workers stay on longer than average, which leads to greater expertise and efficiency, says Keith McCann, who points out that his framing contractor has been on the job for 15 years and his foundation crew for six.

A home is likely your largest financial investment ever—usually at least 10 times the price of a car. So protect yourself by checking out reputations online and with real human beings. Get details on the warranty program. And find out the truth behind any other myths that could keep you from buying the home that’s right for you.

BackCountry, then and now.

by | April 14th, 2015

Hard to believe, but it’s already been eight years since BackCountry’s grand opening. Back in 2007, Shea’s master plan was inspired by the magnificent views and commitment to conservation of the adjacent wilderness area. The concept was to build a community that preserved thousands of acres of natural beauty, encouraged an active lifestyle, and nurtured a deep sense of community. As residents eagerly tell anyone who will listen, mission accomplished.

Enjoy these photos, which show how our community has grown over the years and promise a natural beauty that only increases over time.

Sundial House

Sundial House Bird's-eye view

Sundial House Progress

Sundial-Side-Exterior-Crop

Images of the Sundial House, built in 2009. From an idea taking shape out of bare dirt to an elegant and award-winning heart of the community.

Flying kites in Reflection Park

Fun in the pool

Easter Egg Hunt 2015

A few intrepid kite flyers in Spring 2009. The Kite Festival was the predecessor to BackCountry’s highly attended events of today: pool parties, movie nights, concerts, egg hunts and so much more.

Reflection park early days

Reflection Park 2015

Reflection Park, opened in 2008. These pint-sized trees have grown into shade-giving beauties. (Come on summer!)

Discovery Park BackCountry

BackCountry Discovery Park

Discovery Park has come a long way since 2009, and it’s a beautiful barometer of the changing seasons.

BackCountry Spirit Trail home

Somerset model home BackCountry

A model home from the early Spirit Trail Collection. Good design is timeless, but compare with today’s Somerset model, sporting a cooler palette and cleaner lines.

Beautiful BackCountry Open Space

BackCountry Open Space overlook

View of the 8,200-acre Backcountry Wilderness Area just behind us. Hasn’t changed a bit. And best of all, it never will.

Take a peek inside the Shea Design Studio

by | March 23rd, 2015

When it comes to making a house feel like a home, it’s all in the details. The little touches that express your unique individuality can make two homes with the same floor plan feel wonderfully, beautifully different.

In Shea communities, you can enjoy a dinner party at any neighbor’s home without that awkward sense of déjà vu, thanks partly to the unusually large amount of choices available in the Design Studio. Located in Highlands Ranch (and with a smaller studio in Erie), the Shea Design Studio is where buyers meet with designers to create their home’s unique style.

Shea’s studio is more comprehensive than many other builders’, notes Senior Interior Designer Melanie Best. For instance, other builders might offer just one national brand of tile, granite, and natural stone. But Shea offers selections from Dal, Arizona, Emzer, Capco, and Glenrock.

A sample of many available choices at the Shea Design Studio

A sample of many available choices at the Shea Design Studio

“We like to give our clients lots of choices,” Melanie says. And that’s what she and Shea’s other six highly experienced and educated designers love about their work. “With so many kinds of materials, we can get very creative.”

Which leads to this question: Can the design process feel a little overwhelming? “Even if it doesn’t start out fun, it ends up fun,” Melanie laughs. “We really try to minimize that overwhelmed feeling. We all have design backgrounds, so people don’t have to go through every single tile—unless they want to. Once we nail down the buyer’s style, we can just bring out things we think they will like.”

Figuring out your style is just part of the process, which breaks down like this:

Preview Meeting
Before you sign a contract, you can catch a one-hour group meeting at the Design Studio to see what selections come standard and what upgrades you might decide to include. A designer will answer questions and give you a tour of each section of the studio, including four completely decorated kitchens; tile and carpet; wood for flooring and trim; natural stone; cabinetry; and a granite room.

First Meeting
This two-hour meeting will be one-on-one with your designer. First up: getting clear on your tastes. Through a series of questions and looking at samples together, you’ll clarify your style. (Feel free to bring ideas, though. See the tips below.) You’ll start with cabinetry to set the tone of the house, then move onto kitchen and floor choices. A spreadsheet of your picks will help you keep track of your budget.

Second Meeting
At this two-hour meeting with your designer, you’ll move on to choices for your master bathroom, laundry room, and secondary bathrooms. Samples are portable, so each time you meet, you’ll see all your choices assembled on one of the kitchen islands like an inspiration board. This way, you can make sure you’re still loving everything you’ve chosen and see how it’s working together.

An interior designer and a new homeowner choose samples

An interior designer and a new homeowner choose samples

Subsequent Meetings
While some owners will complete the process in one or two sessions, others may take five to seven. No pressure—the pace is really up to you.

Wrap-up
Once you’re comfortable with the plan, you’ll sign off on final selections. But do consider the Design Studio as a lasting resource. Long after closing, many homeowners email the staff for design insights—which Shea designers don’t mind at all—and provide feedback about how much they love their new homes.

“When it’s a year later and we hear how happy people are in their home, with the design and function of it, that’s a great feeling,” says Melanie. “It’s where you come home every day, so it’s important to have everything just the way you like it.”

Melanie’s tips for prospective buyers:
While Shea’s staff of designers is experienced enough to sleuth out anyone’s style, you can speed up the process by doing a little homework before your first Design Studio appointment. Spend some time on design websites like Houzz.com where, perusing their 5+ million photos, you can create idea folders of your own. Buy some home decorating magazines and dog-ear your favorite photos of kitchens and master baths. Just defining those two areas can help drive the design of the entire house. And finally, watch some HGTV. Melanie says just spending an hour a day thinking about design can make a huge difference in choosing something you’ll love for the long run.

A professionally designed kitchen showcases many available options

A professionally designed kitchen showcases many available options

SIDEBAR:
Save the date—July 19th—for the Shea Design Studio annual fundraiser for the Inner Circle Foundation, which supports those diagnosed with rare-aggressive cancers and their caregivers. This silent auction offers hourly giveaways and the chance to take home items like tile, area rugs, signed footballs, spa gift certificates, and more.

Seven years. No itch.

by | March 9th, 2015

It’s been seven years since Roxie Mountain-Weed and Rick Weed moved into what was then a brand new community named BackCountry. And back then, in the days before the Sundial House, Discovery Center, or even a single model home, when all there was to see was a trailer and some drawings, this was a leap of faith.

But when they saw the views of the Front Range and downtown Denver and understood the vision for the community, they both instantly agreed: “This is it,” Roxie recalls saying. “It was kind of wild. But because of Rick’s work in land development, we knew Shea’s reputation. We wanted a Shea home, and we loved all the open space that was going to be attached to the community.”

new homes oudoor space colorado

Over the years, Rick, Roxie, and their three children (now in college) have logged quite a few miles on those trails in the 8,200-acre Backcountry Wilderness Area. Still do. One of Roxie’s favorite activities is taking a walk at sunset with her walking stick, “Moab,” and watching the deer and other wildlife come out. Other tried-and-true favorites include concerts and movie nights.

“There’s something wonderful about lying on the grass, under the stars, and watching a fun movie with all the little kids running around. And now you can run into Indulge [at the Sundial House] and grab something to drink. It’s just so cool here. Sometimes I just think…‘pinch me’!”

BackCountryCo.com

Seven years later, Roxie still speaks enthusiastically about their decision, noting how well the community has evolved. “We’ve lived here long enough to know that Shea keeps its promises and does everything well. The Sundial House turned out so beautiful and high-end, so far beyond our expectations. And I can’t say enough about the landscaping.” Their home still makes them happy, too. It feels a little big with the kids gone, but Roxie says she can’t see herself moving. “Actually, I should probably get out more, but I just love to be home!” The indoor-outdoor living features are among her favorites, with a wrap-around deck that can handle a party of 50, plus French doors off the morning room that create a huge extension of the house. Perfect for the Colorado lifestyle.

So, no, they don’t plan on leaving BackCountry any time soon. “I am so happy that I live here,” says Roxie. “Even after all this time, I still feel like I’m on vacation. It’s like I have a mountain home, but in the city. I just can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Here’s a video of Roxie and Rick sharing their thoughts on BackCountry back in 2012.

They came back to the Ranch.

by | February 11th, 2015

But this time, to BackCountry.

When Sadrian and David Alderson found out they were moving back from Arkansas to Colorado, choosing Highlands Ranch was a no-brainer.

“There was no question,” recalls Sadrian. “I love Highlands Ranch. The four state-of-the-art rec centers, activities, safety, and the strong community feel make it a wonderful place to raise kids.”

And Sadrian’s hardly a newbie at evaluating communities. Although they are a young family, the Aldersons have lived in Louisiana, Illinois, Arkansas, and now twice in Highlands Ranch. But this time around, they discovered BackCountry and instantly fell in love with it. “Lured in,” Sadrian says, by the 8,200 acres of protected open space behind the community.

“We love to hike and mountain bike with the kids,” who are ages 6 and 1, explains Sadrian. “With small children it can be hard to drive the two hours into the mountains, but here we can just walk to a trailhead and hike as much as the kids can handle.”

The Alderson family exploring their home during construction.

The Alderson family exploring their home during construction.

After moving into their new home in August, Sadrian found even more confirmation of the smart decision they made. They love Stone Mountain Elementary, where their older daughter attends, citing its excellent instruction, administration, active parent support, and enriching curriculum.

“While other schools are cutting back, ours gets lots of support from BackCountry,” says Sadrian. “So they can provide lower student-teacher ratios and extras like choir, band, a STEM lab, and Creativity and Tinker Labs, which my daughter loves.”

Sadrian finds her connections growing, meeting other families at school, in the neighborhood, and at the Sundial House. “The Halloween party was fabulous,” she says. “We’ve also gone to the Sundial House for drinks. It makes a lovely date night to sit outside next to the roaring fire pit, looking out at the Backcountry.” Even closer to home are her neighbors, some of whom she describes as “almost instant best friends.” Out of every family on her block, only one came from in-state; the others moved here from Georgia, Texas, California, and Montreal, Canada. “It’s very friendly here,” she reveals. “Everyone’s excited to live in Colorado. It’s nice to have a team of people who are all discovering the area together.”

The Alderson children pose in their new home at Christmas.

The Alderson children pose in their new home at Christmas.

But a simple day at home can be very sweet, too. The Aldersons live in the Somerset model from the Shadow Walk Collection, chosen for its open flow. Upstairs, the bedrooms open up to a loft, so there’s no place in the house where the girls are out of earshot. That’s important when you have little ones, and to keep everyone connected as the kids grow older.

The Aldersons are pleased with the quality of their home. While it can be daunting to buy a brand new home, she points out, “We’ve been so happy with Shea. They don’t skimp on quality.” In fact, Sadrian says that they hired a certified electrician to come double-check the work. She notes, “He said the work was flawless, couldn’t be better. We feel that Shea’s quality of construction is outstanding.”

That’s a good feeling, once you’ve put down roots and plan to stay a while. And with so much of Colorado to explore—starting with the wilderness just beyond BackCountry—the Aldersons plan on doing just that.

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