Building Stories with the Kennedy Family
New Carmel residents, the Kennedys, share what life on the Monon in their new custom home is like.
How did access to the Monon Trail influence your move to Sunrise on the Monon?
Kristina: That was one of our top three things that we were looking for when we wanted to buy a new house is access to the Monon. We’ve spent a lot of time on our bikes and running and walking on the trail over the years and location near the Monon was one of our top 3 criteria for sure.
Sean: I agree, we lived in Broad Ripple and Meridian Kessler area and that was always important to us the Monon and everything around it and it was top 3 criteria when we chose Sunrise.
What are your favorite places to go off the Monon Trail and how close is it to your home?
Kristina: Well the trail itself is about 30 seconds from us, but our favorite places to go, we like to go south into Broad Ripple and the different restaurants and taverns and things along the way. And then north to the Monon Center, it’s only 8 minutes away from here.
Sean: Big Lug right there at 86th street and then Nora Plaza, the Target and Starbucks is right there and Huddles Ice Cream. Kind of our old places Monon Food Company and Broad Ripple Brew Pub and then going into Carmel Center we got the Monon Center we’ve got Bub’s and Bazbeaux and that whole area so it’s great.
Can you discuss the difference in your lifestyle before you moved to Sunrise on the Monon and how your lifestyle was affected after?
Sean: One of the biggest reasons we wanted to build, we were in Meridian Kessler before and we had a great little bungalow 80 year old home, but it just wasn’t built for entertaining and having people over. The most you could have comfortably was about 9 or 10 people. So from the time we moved in this house in April, we’ve had something going on almost every weekend. So we really enjoyed entertaining and having our family over. We plan on doing a big Thanksgiving this year with maybe 30 people and this house is more than accommodating enough with the space and the way it's laid out to do that.
Kristina: We’ll finally get to host the holidays. That was really important for us with a 2 and half year old we wanted to be able to have all the grandparents over and the aunts and uncles and be able to fit everyone comfortably. So that was the biggest change in our lifestyle, because otherwise we lived on the Monon before and we live on it again so that hasn’t really changed, but the ability to entertain in the home has. And I would also say that playing in the neighborhood and having a safe place for her to play. We were in the Meridian Kessler area, we were living on central ave and she couldn’t go out and ride her tricycle or big wheel outside. And here we’ve got the park we’ve got the cul-de-sac and the neighborhood is just fantastic so we feel she's got room to grow and have her childhood years here in this neighborhood.
Could you describe the feeling when you both walked into your finished home?
Kristina: We were just elated. We were able to live close enough, a few hundred yards away while it was being built so we were here everyday watching the build. Sometimes Sean was here multiple times a day keeping an eye on things or just seeing how it was coming along. It was amazing to watch it from a hole in the ground and we thought, "How are we ever going to get finished?" and then closing day when we might’ve had 30 to 35 people here for our closing party. It’s just surreal. It was just, oh my gosh so exciting!
Sean: It wasn’t necessarily walking in for the first time. That was all anti-climatic because I took the last week off of work and was here all the time working with the folks from Old Town to get things done. It was that first night being in here and sitting on the couch. Basically, that Friday we moved in we had the furniture up and going and that night just sitting here and just sleeping in the house for the first night was amazing.
What do you like most about your new home?
Kristina: The location. With proximity to the trail, I drive downtown to work everyday so it added just a couple of minutes to get downtown, but we are so close to so many things we can be up in Carmel in a matter of minutes or we can be down in broad ripple in a few minutes. The park area and the access to the trail. I don’t know that I could pick one thing or even a couple. We just love our space. We put so much time and effort into designing this and getting exactly what we wanted and we did.
Sean: The outdoor living area is great, we love that. We were out there last night with friends for hours. You open up and there's the kitchen and the great room and the closets compared to what we had before, oh and the shower, awesome shower.
What are the neighbors like and do you often see them using the trail?
Kristina: Oh yea, everyday. I can stand here at my kitchen sink and look out the window and people are out walking their dog, their on their bicycles and their out for a run. It’s constant, which is exactly what we love; the camaraderie and the friendship here in the neighborhood. We know every single person who’s moved in or bought a lot. We joke that when you go out in the evenings for a walk it can't be a 15 minute walk. It turns into an hour and half because you stop and chit chat with all the neighbors along the way and we see people coming and going to get onto the trail on a daily basis. We just like to sit outside and talk and see who’s going to go by next.
Sean: We thought we might be isolated back here, but we didn’t really think that everyone has to go by our house to get to the Monon Trail. We are the welcoming committee for the trail.
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
Sean: A lot of times people have bad experiences building houses. Everything wasn’t perfect, but one thing Old Town always did was if it wasn’t perfect they made it right. There’s always going to be bumpy moments, but as long as everyone was willing to work together and get it right, the process was great.
Kristina: Yea, and it was a team effort. We got to know the construction side, the interior designers, the office staff, the sales staff, everybody. We feel like we became a part of a family. We loved it and that’s the kind of people that we are and that was the experience we were looking for and we got it and then some. We couldn’t be happier with our choice to go with Old Town. We were watching them actually for a while before they purchased this land. We really loved the style of home that they built before we even knew anything about the quality and the thought and the effort that they put into everything. It was a team effort and I really felt like we gained 30 new friends throughout the process. It was important to us.
The Kennedy family found the home design and location that was right for them. Make the move and write your own building story with Old Town Design Group at our newest Monon community, Sunrise on the Monon, in the heart of Carmel.