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Minnesota family praises JMB team for making fast move memorable, not miserable

Keck family use

The Kecks – Dana and Larry, daughter Amanda, and their dog Gina – in their Sanmar Drive kitchen. The Kecks chose a Brady plan in Wade’s Grove when they relocated from Hugo, Minn.

SPRING HILL — When you have 42 days to find a new home 900 miles away, the pressure can be overwhelming.

The Keck family of Hugo, Minn. felt that pressure in March when upon arriving back home early from a spring break trip to Florida found potential buyers inside the 4,300-square-foot custom home they built 10 years ago on the outskirts of Minneapolis.

They had planned for it to be listed the day after their return but their real estate agent had so much early interest, he scheduled showings. Within days, Dana and Larry Keck had multiple offers.

This upped the ante even more for couple, who after several trips to and through Middle Tennessee over the past few years had decided Williamson County was where they wanted to relocate and downsize.

As soon as all contingencies on their accepted buyer’s part were cleared, the couple and their daughter Amanda, 15, drove to Tennessee to begin the house hunt. With prices quickly escalating and inventory low, they discovered finding the perfect home fast wasn’t going to be easy.

They spent most of their first day – just over one month before the Minnesota closing — looking at existing homes around the county; none fit their needs or their budget given necessary updates. So they turned to new construction. That’s when they found John Maher Builders’ Wade’s Grove development in Spring Hill.

Late on that Saturday, “We just happened to roll in here and Van was working,” said Larry of JMB/Exit King Realtor Van Woody.

Van showed the family several homes slated to be completed by the Keck’s May 1 deadline. Though several met their “must have” list, they weren’t ready to commit.

They returned on Sunday. That’s when Van showed them an all-brick Brady plan home scheduled to be completed May 5.

“Amanda fell in love with the upstairs, and the small loft area adjacent to the large bedroom which would become her own,” Dana said. The first-floor front bedroom/office with its cathedral ceiling and ceiling fan were perfect for Dana’s home office. Her position with the Mayo Clinic was unaffected by the family’s move. She also loved the view of the street and the large closet.

The Brady’s first-floor master suite and walk-in closet checked off another “must-have” for the couple. They loved the lot and back patio, which are  big enough for barbecues and their dog Gina to run but a far cry from the five acres of lawn Larry maintained on their 20 acres in Hugo.

But it was John Maher Builders’ construction quality that really sold the family.

“It felt strong; it felt sturdy,” Dana said. “It felt like a well-built house.”

Brady flyer floorplan DRAFTLarry, who built their Minnesota home, didn’t just go by feel.

“I spent some time out there crawling around in the houses in various degrees of completion,’ he said of Wade’s Grove. “I loved being able to see how they are put together,” noting the crawl space foundations, stick-built construction and other aspects not typically found in houses in JMB’s price range.

They asked Van if there was anyway the four bedroom, three full bath, 2,600-square-foot home could be ready to close on May 1. Van immediately called Eddie Savage, JMB’s construction manager.

“We should be fine,” Eddie told Van without skipping a beat.

And it was. “They did everything they said they would,” Larry said.

“We were very happy we got Van. He’s just so down to earth. He just oozes his love for working for this company and this community. He truly is a southern gentleman,” said Larry, a Wisconsin native.

Amanda, a Summit High sophomore, can walk to the nearby school. She’s training for the SHS cross country team. She loves the Wade’s Grove swimming pool. As for the food, “it’s way better down here.” Favorites so far include Jack of Hearts Barbecue, Frankie’s Pizza, Chick-fil-a and Steak ‘n’ Shake.

The family also loves the Southern hospitality it has experienced.

“I’ve had more conversations with strangers here than I did with my friends up there,” Dana said. “No one in Minnesota would stop and talk to you like that.

“This house has changed our lives.”

Her husband concurs.

“Things just keep getting better,” Larry said. And, he added, “you only have about two weeks of winter here!”

For more information about John Maher Builders, Wade’s Grove and our current inventory, visit