As a homeowner in Maples at the Sonatas, I am, of course, a member of this Wilcox community in Woodstock, Illinois. But I am also part of a larger group of homeowners comprising all of the Wilcox communities scattered throughout the Midwest and Southeast.
With 20 active communities in the fold, that adds up to a whole lot of neighbors. I’ve met only a handful of people from the other communities, but the ones I have, I like. They don’t feel like strangers thanks to the bond of our shared experiences.
Now, in an ongoing series, I would like to introduce you to some homeowners in other Wilcox communities. It is my pleasure to do phone interviews with these individuals and write their stories for the blog, Homeowner Spotlight, on the Wilcox Communities website.
Here, with permission, is the first in the series. Meet Judge Bobby.
Bobby Bynon is a charming Southern gentleman whose conversation is peppered with colorful phrases. He also just happens to be a district court judge in Birmingham, Ala. For the past three and a half years, he and his wife, Judy, have lived in Cornerstones at Oxmoor Valley, a Wilcox community in Birmingham.
So what is the judge’s verdict on his home and community?
“It’s a little piece of heaven,” he said, when I spoke with him by phone. “I’m like a rabbit in a briar patch.”
Bobby—which he insists on being called—wants none of this “your honor” stuff from the folks in his community. “I’m Bobby,” he says. “I remember where I came from.”
Bobby admitted, with a chuckle, that in the beginning, he didn’t want to move at all. But after their daughter left home for college, Judy wanted to downsize. So she began house hunting. For two years, she took him around to see potential properties. He found something wrong with every place they saw.
But then they visited Cornerstones at Oxmoor Valley. “When we came here the first time, I knew this was it,” Bobby said. “Just like I knew she was the one the first time I saw her.”
The couple chose a Canterbury right across the street from the clubhouse and pool. Because it had been a model, the home came with loaded with appealing upgrades. Bobby said, “This place has everything but bullet-proof glass, and fortunately, we don’t need that here.”
Though their Canterbury is 1200 square feet smaller than their previous home, it never felt too small. It was, in fact, surprisingly large, he said. Their former house had gigantic rooms, along with a gigantic yard that he had to maintain. So he had no regrets leaving it for a new, no-maintenance way of life at Cornerstones at Oxmoor Valley.
The community’s location was another plus. It’s a 10-minute drive to major stores and just 20 minutes to his job. That is important because Bobby has no intention of retiring. “I’ll work until they put me in the grave,” was how he put it.
Bobby loves the people in his community, too. His neighbors are a good mix of retirees, those still working, and young folks. He was also very complimentary about the Wilcox staff members on site.
But what sealed the deal for Bobby is what’s outside his home, especially the nearby golf course. “If you saw the view I’m looking at right now, you’d understand,” he told me. “I’m less than 75 feet from a fairway. I can see the #4 green and the #16 green. There’s a pond beside the house with ducks and geese in it. I can watch deer on the golf course.” Actually, he added, there are three golf courses surrounding the community and a PGA one just up the road.
But it’s more than the golf course views that Bobby loves. The landscaping is beautifully designed. Birmingham has four seasons, and there is something blooming all the time.
One of Bobby’s favorite places is his patio. He said, “It’s nice to sit out there, especially in the early spring and late fall when the humidity isn’t too bad, and have a cup of coffee in the morning or a drink in the afternoon. There are birds flying around. You can watch the wild turkeys…”
The verbal pictures he paints make it easy to understand why Bobby believes he has found his own little piece of heaven. And he’s such a delightful person, I couldn’t help but be happy for him.
This series will continue with another homeowner next month.