Zarina Stanford didn’t mean to move to Austin or to buy three Brookfield Residential homes, but when she found a good thing…
In 2018, the marketing executive had just finished a corporate assignment in Singapore. Ready for a vacation, Zarina had come to visit a friend in Leander and felt a rekindled love for Central Texas. Her friend encouraged Zarina to check out some new homes being built by Brookfield Residential, around the corner at The Cottages at Crystal Falls, and Zarina knew she was home. “I saw the gate for the community and the amazing views, and I literally bought a home on the spot,” Zarina says. “It was all about timing.”
With her corporate office still in Boston, Zarina intended for the Austin home to be her part-time escape. “I bought it thinking it would be my lock-and-leave; I love that feature,” Zarina says. Amy, her New Home Counselor, kept her updated on her home’s progress as things took shape. “When we started, it was just a piece of land,” Zarina says. “Amy was sending me pictures; she was really amazing. She’s like a friend now. She was giving me a hard time when I was picking options; she was thinking for me and telling me, ‘You’re adding too many options.’ I just love that.”
Zarina’s home was finished in September of 2019, and she soon added a huge deck with a hot tub to take advantage of the panoramic views of the falls outside her back door. She was able to come around once a month – until the pandemic hit in early March of 2020. With her work transitioned to all remote, Zarina hunkered down in her Austin dream home. “I really wasn’t here full time until Covid,” she says. “And it was the right place to be. There are only 52 homes in this gated area; it’s just such a cozy community. We say we’re like a deck of cards!”
When Zarina moved in, there were only a few lots remaining in the community, and she decided to buy the lot across the street to serve as a guest house for her two sons, who live in New York, and her sister and nephews, who live in Dallas. “I wanted a place for them to stay when they come,” Zarina says. “The boys have only been here once, because of Covid, but my sister has come a number of times. It’s really fun to go across the street.”
Zarina’s sister ended up liking the community so much that she bought one of the remaining homes before the community closed out!
Through that process, Zarina became friends with Lou, the Brookfield New Home Counselor who had helped her sister, and Lou told Zarina about Kissing Tree, Brookfield Residential’s 55-plus active adult community in San Marcos. “Lou said how cool it was and that we should look at it,” Zarina says. “So my friend Elaine and I went down to check out the neighborhood. We came home that day and said, ‘We should really do this.’ I had been thinking about getting a place in San Antonio, because my new office is there. And the funny thing was, my girlfriend was there just to help out! Her husband wasn’t even there with us! But she absolutely loved it, too.”
Excited about the prospect of living in Kissing Tree, the friends went back and met with Marc, who helped them choose lots and floorplans in the neighborhood’s newest section, Bonnell. “You know it’s not about product, it’s about people,” Zarina says. “Marc fit us in and took us around, and we picked lots on the same street. I picked the Albany floorplan, in the modern farmhouse style with the metal roof. I also added the golf cart storage in the garage.”
Zarina’s home in Kissing Tree won’t be finished until spring of 2022, but she’s excited to become a part of that growing community. “I’m keeping my cottage at Crystal Falls – that’s my city home. And then Kissing Tree will be my country home and where I stay when I’m working in San Antonio. And when I retire, I can have fun there!” Part of the appeal of Kissing Tree was all of the resort-style amenities. “I love, love, love what they did in the gym; I will make total use of it,” Zarina says. “We already met one of the personal trainers. And the two pools, indoor and outdoor – stunning! And we’re going to learn to play golf!” It’s no surprise that Zarina is already trying to get her brother and sister to look at homes in Kissing Tree as well.
At Brookfield Residential, it’s our goal to do such a good job with both our homes and our customer service that you’ll come back to us when you’re ready to buy your next home—we call it creating customers for life. And Zarina’s story is a great example. “I love Brookfield,” she says. “They build good homes. I’m really amazed at the selection of product. But I have to give a shoutout to the people: Amy, Lou, and Marc. It’s almost like consulting—they’re very advisory. That’s the very best kind of sales practice. You don’t feel like you’re being sold; you’re treated as friends and with respect, and that’s really important. I give Brookfield the credit of hiring people of that caliber.”
Aww, thanks so much, Zarina! We can’t wait to see you around Kissing Tree!