When something doesn't come easy, it's easier to appreciate.
Following that logic, Shannon and Shun Frazier couldn't appreciate their new Cordova home more.
"When we started, we just wanted a house," Shannon said. "Just some stability. We'd been in apartments forever."
By the time the young family's home search ended, they'd seen enough houses and learned enough hard lessons about how the homebuying process worked to know exactly what they wanted.
And they got it.
But it wasn't without a fight.
The Fraziers began their home search in fall 2008. They first called Realtor Kimberly Newsom with Crye-Leike's Cordova branch and got pre-qualified with a national mortgage lender.
"We thought we would qualify for a THDA (Tennessee Housing Development Agency) loan where they help with down payment assistance," said Shannon, who, at the time, was a licensed practical nurse and in school to become a registered nurse. Husband Shun works in law enforcement. "We went through the process and got approved."
With Newsom's help, the Fraziers started looking and found what they thought was the right house. They made an offer and were almost to the closing table when they learned they no longer qualified for a THDA loan.
"We were younger then, about 27, and we didn't have a whole bunch of money saved," Shannon said. "So we ended up having to just pretty much walk away, because we didn't have a tremendous amount for a down payment.
"That was a lesson learned."
The Fraziers waited more than a year before resuming their search. In the meantime, the couple saved for a down payment, and Shannon finished her nursing degree and landed a job at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. When they thought the time was right, they re-entered the market.
That happened around October 2009. With Newsom's help, the Fraziers found another house they loved, and they quickly made an offer.
"She accepted," Shannon said of the seller. "Then the day before closing, we received a call saying she would not be able to close on the house."
At this point, Newsom felt so sorry for the Fraziers she was ready to do whatever she could to get the family into the perfect house.
"I wanted to go above and beyond the call of duty to get these people in a house," she said.
So she asked them if they'd considered new construction. Because they were trying to close in time to take advantage of the federal first-time buyer tax credit, they had not. But when the tax credit deadline was extended late last year, it suddenly became an option.
"So we went through Regency (Homes) and had a house built in the Sutton Place subdivision," Shannon said.
Construction started in January, and the Fraziers finally closed on their new home in March. The family -- which includes daughter Kamaryn, who just turned 7, and a miniature schnauzer named Roxy -- purchased the three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,900-square-foot home for $165,995.
"They're in their brand new home and they are so happy," Newsom said.
Shannon loved that they were able to choose the finishes they liked.
"We got to get what we wanted; we picked the countertops and cabinets and paint," she said. "When buying new, you can kind of customize."
She's also thrilled with the home's open floor plan.
"It's an open concept in the great room, kitchen and dining area," she said. "I like that it's open and you don't feel closed off. If I'm in the kitchen, I can keep an eye on Kamaryn in the living area watching TV or working on something."
She's also happy with the home's location.
"We wanted to get a house in the same school district where Kamaryn was already attending school," she said. "That's probably the No. 1 reason we picked this area. But I love the neighborhood. It's really quiet; it's in the county and there's not a lot of traffic and not a lot of noise."
Inside, the house has wood floors throughout the main living area. The great room is decorated in a warm palette of beige, red and olive green, with a beige chenille sofa, chair and ottoman facing a corner fireplace with a TV mounted above.
The nearby kitchen features a large island with two barstools, dark cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. An attached breakfast area contains a marble-top table with four leather chairs.
The master suite, with its spacious bath that includes a split vanity, whirlpool tub and large walk-in closet, is separated from the home's other bedrooms, which are in the front of the house.
Off one hallway, Kamaryn's room has space for a large wooden bunkbed. Across the entry, a second bedroom serves as a home office. And a stairway in the center of the house leads to a large bonus room above the garage the family eventually plans to turn into a playroom.
Out back, a fireplace is built into one corner of the covered back patio. All that's lacking, Shannon said, is a fence, which the Fraziers plan to add soon.
"They have a little girl with her own backyard," Newsom said. "They have a brand spanking new house and everybody's happy."
Source: Commercial Appeal