Few neighborhoods in the East Valley are as quiet as the ones Barbara and Rick Tucker live in right now. The again, it makes sense given they happen to be the only people who currently reside in the Eastmark community in Mesa, although that situation will change in the very near future.
Going back to before they moved into their home within the Mattamy portion of the development, the Tuckers first decided to move to the East Valley from the North Valley after a death in the family last winter. Barbara, who is a native Arizonan and works at CenturyLink, has family that lives in this part of the Valley, and decided to check out Eastmark’s grand-opening event at the end of May.
“We were there on a mission to find a new place to be,” Rick said.
The husband, who is a carpenter at Banner Desert Medical Center, and wife did a little research prior to their visit to the new community on what turned out to be a rather hot afternoon. They had three builders in mind, and met 66 percent of their goal during their tour of the development.
“We never did make it to the third builder,” Barbara said.
They instead fell in love with the Mattamy model, and took out their checkbook to put down a $5,000 deposit on their future home amid the madness of the event.
The couple’s new home was built a few months later, and the Tuckers officially moved in the middle of September. It was a bit of a party, Barbara said, with a ribbon cutting, balloons and fireworks — the normal pomp and circumstance when anyone moves in to a new home. Mattamy has taken to calling the couple “The Originals” — a label that conjures images of doo-wop bands for Barbara.
Once they moved in, an event that came on Friday the 13th, they found themselves all alone in their new neighborhood. They jokingly compare it to the works of horror novelists like Dean Koontz and Stephen King — The Overlook Hotel from “The Shining” was referenced about four times — but, for the moment, it’s actually a pretty nice situation for them.
Having no neighbors means they can play their bass and piano — Rick plays the former, Barbara the latter — as loud and frequently as possible, and the silence emphasizes one of the benefits of moving into Eastmark.
“It’s quiet, but the city is right there,” she said.
The quiet zone is a rather temporary state of being — Barbara said they’ve already met three of their impending neighbors —and the long-term outlook for that part of Mesa already includes two colleges in ASU Polytechnic and the incoming Grand Canyon University, as well as the planned expansion of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Both are well aware of what their neighborhood will look like in the future, and both anticipate the neighborhood will build up around them within the next few years. This, they said, is their last home, and it could also be the best home they’ve ever had.
“We’re living in a house I never thought I’d live in,” Rick said.
For Rick, the attractions include the home’s half bathroom, an expansive kitchen and the garage that’s large enough for him to create his airbrushing projects for friends.
“One of the things I always wanted was a place to do it, and now I have it,” he said.
Barbara’s partial to the size of the place, which she said will allow her to entertain and host holiday celebrations — although Halloween will probably be a little quiet this year — as well as host the kids for extended visits.
“It sounds corny, but it’s true; I’m a big family person,” she said.
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