Mike and Julie Shelton join us in SaddleBrooke from Wilmette, Illinois just north of Chicago. They are not new to SaddleBrooke— they’ve been coming here for years. Let’s learn a bit about one of our second generation SaddleBrooke families.

What brought you to SaddleBrooke?

Mike and Julie have enjoyed visiting family in SaddleBrooke for 20-years. Mike’s parents started renting in SaddleBrooke and then bought a home here. To this day, Mike’s mother Carol lives in unit 8A with a beautiful mountain view from her back patio. Over the years, Mike and Julie have explored many different floor plans by venturing into open houses during their visits. In previous years, they just looked, but 2020 was different. Julie said, “I think we always knew we would buy here, but we had retired, planned to travel before buying, but because of COVID-19 that pushed up our timeline.” So, they visited a few open houses and then started their formal search for their SaddleBrooke home. Mike said, “We absolutely love SaddleBrooke, didn’t look around at other places, we decided that no place was as good as this— especially for the community!”

What keeps you busy while here?

The Sheltons have filled their days here in SaddleBrooke. “We are shockingly busy!” said Mike. They enjoy playing Bridge together— a lot of Bridge. They have been in several SaddleBrooke Bridge groups over the years. It has been something they have enjoyed for over 10-years during their visits to SaddleBrooke. Now, they are expanding their participation as snowbirds here for six-months a year. During COVID-19, they were able to continue playing with the Northwest Tucson Bridge Club by playing online.

Mike has been spending time in their pool doing exercises. This is particularly ironic— as they had said they did not want a home with a pool. Mike laughed, “But now, I’m in the pool almost every single day. And I’m going to continue that way— I love exercising in the pool.”

Julie has started playing pickleball. This sport is new to her and she’s having fun working on her game. And she also enjoys using the fitness center regularly.

How have you been meeting people?

Their first year as residents in SaddleBrooke has been constrained by COVID-19, making it a little tough to meet people. “Walking Wrigley has helped, because people will talk to you out in the open,” said Mike. They can be found taking walks with Wrigley in the neighborhood or out on the golf course after hours. In addition, Unit 21 has started hosting social gatherings again. So, just before leaving for the summer, they were able to participate in Unit 21 parties and connect with their neighbors. In addition, they have enjoyed attending unit 8A gatherings with Mike’s mother Carol.

Any surprises now that you are residents here?

It has been wonderful having family nearby and it has also been fun to branch out and meet people through our new activities like pickle. “We definitely feel that we are starting to create new connections to the community. Everybody has always been very friendly— and that continues,” agreed Mike and Julie.

Any new experiences?

Going out and checking out new places has been a lot of fun. They have gone exploring Oracle and San Manuel and Catalina State Park. “A great surprise is that we can walk three blocks and get out onto trails connected to 1.7 million acres of National Preserve. That’s nuts!” said Mike. They have also explored Summer Haven. “Another enjoyable outing was hiking at Oracle State Park and then lunch at The Patio— it was delicious,” said Julie.

Any wildlife?

They definitely have seen lots of javalina and really enjoy all the hawks, but most impressive are the two bobcat cubs that were frequenting their next-door neighbor’s backyard. Wonderful to watch— but Wrigley was definitely not allowed out in the backyard unsupervised!

How about a favorite meal?

They enjoy Pork tenderloin or steaks on the grill— especially when Julie does the grilling! They agreed, “Grilling just keeps it simple and fewer dishes to wash!”

Do you have a favorite travel memory? And future travel plans?

Mike and Julie have fond memories from their trip to Bellagio, Italy spending time for their anniversary on Lake Como. “Open your doors from the hotel and there are the Alps! It was gorgeous, and good food, too.” said Julie. They love to take cruises and look forward to cruising again in the near future. This fall they plan to do the Appalachian trail during the fall colors to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary.

We had fun with the “rapid fire” choices:

Snowbird or full-time? Snowbirds.

Salsa or Guacamole? Guacamole (Mike), Salsa (Julie).

Taco or Burrito? They agree - Fajitas!

Coffee or Tea? Coffee.

Appetizer or Dessert? Appetizer.

Read or watch TV? Read.

Cable or Satellite or Streaming? Streaming!

Deer or Coyote? Deer (Julie), Coyote (Mike).

Hawk or hummingbird? Hummingbird (Julie), Hawk (Mike)

Saguaro or Ocotillo? Saguaro.

The Sheltons found their new home in Unit 21— they purchased a fully open great room Montana floor plan. And when asked what captured them about the house: “the view, the pool, the great room!” They have talked about the potential of adding a casita in the future.

The most helpful part of the process they felt was aligning with the right Realtor. It is critical that you and your agent work well together. Communication and responsiveness are critical!

Whether you are thinking about buying or selling, be sure to leverage the expertise of a local REALTOR® to help you navigate the process— preparing the home to sell, establishing an accurate market value, and getting the fastest information about listings on the market.

Reach out to Helen via email at helen@theIDEALhabitat.com or call (303) 902-6633. Her website is HelenG.LongRealty.com.

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