Timing has been everything for Richard and Chrissy Pena.
It’s been almost seven years since they walked into the office of Claudia Wilhelm, a new home sales associate with Neal Communities, and, the time had finally come for the New York natives to move into their Florida dream home.
As the Penas opened the front door of their new home in Silverleaf, Chrissy’s eyes welled with tears. After countless setbacks and disappointments, their prayers were fi-nally answered.
“When we walked through and I saw my house for the first time, I was so over-whelmed,” says Chrissy. “I felt like this was truly a gift from God. For us to come and see such a beautiful masterpiece was like a dream come true.”
On Nov. 13, the couple closed on a new 2,147-square-foot home. The Penas’ home features three bedrooms and a den, two bathrooms and a two-car garage.
“I loved being a part of their dream home,” says Claudia. “They are special to me, and I know what this means for them. She cried of happiness! It was the best compliment to me. Nothing can make me happier and prouder of what I do as a professional.”
The Penas were first introduced to Neal Communities in 2011 while visiting their good friends Jesse and Grace Silva in River Plantation.
The Penas visited the Lakewood Ranch community of Central Park and immediately wanted a Neal home. That’s where they first met Claudia, their new home consultant.
“There were other builders in Lakewood Ranch, but I told my husband ‘I don’t want to look at anything else’, said Chrissy.
The couple signed a contract that same day. It was everything the Penas could have wanted.
Richard and Chrissy were ready to leave their life in New York City behind and begin a new chapter in Florida, but once they were back home, doubt began to set in.
After several sleepless nights, the Penas decided to take a step back.
“We didn’t have this peace about it,” says Chrissy. “I remember telling my husband ‘I don’t think it’s the right time.’”
Chrissy called Claudia and broke the news.
“She understood and told me maybe it’s not just time yet. She told me to keep her number and call her when we were ready. That’s one of things I loved about her.”
A couple years down the line, in January, 2014, Chrissy found the folder with all of the information on their dream home. With both of their boys now grown, Richard and Chrissy thought it was time to reach out to Claudia to discuss a move.
However, those plans were put on hold when Chrissy was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
After seven months of treatment, Chrissy’s scans came back clear; and in January, 2015, Chrissy resumed her new home search. A year later, following her mother’s passing, and as Richard was coming up on his 25th anniversary with the New York City Police Department, the Penas were finally ready to make the move.
The couple decided to drive through Silverleaf, a community Chrissy read about online. As luck, or fate would have it, Claudia was now working in this community, and the couple and she were reunited in their pursuit to find their dream home.
By the end of the day, the Penas were sold on the community and the Blue Sky 2 floor plan.
The Penas broke ground on their new home in July, and by October, their dream home was complete. The couple left New York permanently, and since then, they’ve been enjoying everything their new community has to offer.
“I’m one happy camper right now,” says Chrissy. “It was an amazing experience and we finally feel right at home.”