Accessible Home & a Love Story

Real Estate Agent with Access Homes NC


    Every fall, Wake county has the Parade of Homes where the builders put out there very best examples of their work for the public to come out and see. The homes are judged by the Home Builders Association and win prizes. The majority of these homes are for sale (95%). This fall there was a very unique & beautiful home that was featured on the Parade. This home was not for sale, in fact it was built specifically for a couple with unique needs. This home was not your average home in that it was valued at 2.5 million dollars. It also was not just an average home because it had an amazing story behind it.


roll under counters high end roll under dual sinks

Through my coworkers at Go Realty, I was  lucky enough to meet the owners and learn the heart warming  story behind the home. Because of my specializing in accessible homes they knew I would want to meet them. The home was built for Shane and Jennifer who both have Cerebral Palsy from birth. Shane uses cruches to help him walk and Jennifer does not need canes but still has her struggles. The home was build & designed with many Universal Design elements in mind. There isr an elevator fom the 1st to the 2nd floor. The doorways are at least 36 inches wide. The halls are extra wide. In the master bath room there are roll under sinks and a roll in shower.

zero threshold roll in showerzero threshold shower with built in Bench & hand held shower head

There are several zero step entries into the home. There is a ramp outside from the screened in porch out to the pool. All the rugs are recessed into the hardwood floor to prevent trip hazards. In all my years of specializing in accessible homes, I had never seen this! The hardware throughout the house is the easy grab and lever type. The tub in the master is an air tub rather than a whirl pool Jacuzzi type because it is healthier to circulate air rather than old water that remains in the tubing inside the tube. Not much was over looked.

rug inset into hardwood floors

So back to the heart warming story behind the house. It was actually Shane's  dad who built the house for them. Shane and Jennifer have only been married one year. They met in church.  Having both grown up with CP, they had alot in common, they connected and fell in love.


   It is true that not many newly weds get such an amazing gift of a 2.5 million dollar home built specifically for their needs. Shane is an only child and his dad who was a high school drop out and had a sever stuttering problem built a printing empire and sold the company for an amazing profit. He wanted to give something of meaning to his son & daughter in law. What better than a custom home? Home is where the heart is!


There is one more twist to this love story. Jennifer had been a special ed teacher in Wake county for many years. She also has always loved dance and grew up taking lessons  and performing despite her  disability  or maybe because of it. She now would like to teach special needs children to dance and there is a studio in her new home where she can do just that!  

                                                                                 dance studio with collection of dance costumes for decorationDance studio another view

Comments (15)

Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Karen, what a wonderful story.  I feel inspired to stop whining about my aches and pains!

Oct 21, 2011 01:53 PM
Karen Barbour
Access Homes NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC ePro

Thank you Patricia! Yes I know what you mean! It is a great story all the way around!

Oct 21, 2011 02:52 PM
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

There are so many thoughtful adaptations in this home - thanks for sharing the story behind it!

Oct 21, 2011 03:04 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Karen!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.   Have a great Sunday!

Oct 23, 2011 06:23 AM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Wow, Karen. That's a heart warming story for sure, and a beautiful home to boot. I love the dance studio!

Oct 23, 2011 07:00 AM
Karen Barbour
Access Homes NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC ePro

Thanks Rose for Noticing. Thank you so much Pat for including my post in your weekly favorites and Lottie I agree! it is a heart warming story.

Oct 23, 2011 03:36 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

This property seems lovely as the people who own it!  The features are wonderful and blend in so well with the owners special needs. 

Oct 24, 2011 07:32 AM
Karen Barbour
Access Homes NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC ePro

Hi Carla,


Yes ...a accessible home no longer has to look sterile or uninviting!

Oct 24, 2011 12:07 PM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

What a sweet story and truly special characteristics to their home. I loved seeing the home!


Oct 24, 2011 03:33 PM
Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Hi Karen.  It is a love story on a few fronts.   Glad you shared as it is the kind of story that starts the day off right!  

Oct 25, 2011 12:54 AM
Karen Barbour
Access Homes NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC ePro

Thanks Gretchen...yes the house is beautiful and the story behind it makes it even more spectacular!


Thanks Cal and I'm glad we connected.

Oct 25, 2011 01:15 AM
Edward D. Nikles
Ed Nikles Custom Builder , Inc. / Nikles Realty , Inc. - Milford, PA

Karen , great home & even greater story ! My 9 year old son has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy & my wife happens to be a High School Special Education Teacher , so I can relate to the story . I'm so glad this home was on The Parade of Homes to show a fine example of an Accessible Homes to the general public . The best features are almost invisable to the average person , as they should be . Ed

Dec 17, 2011 06:41 AM
Karen Barbour
Access Homes NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC ePro

Thanks for commenting Ed!  Yes you get it!! My youngest son BTW has autism so I'm very connected to the DD community here in the Raleigh area.

Dec 17, 2011 11:13 AM
Lynn Ashley-Rohovit
Suwanee, GA
Suwanee, Johns Creek, Rivermoore Park Realtor

What two awesome and inspiring stories.   The father who was a high school drop out and created an empire and the son and daughter-in-law and their fortitude.  

Jul 10, 2013 08:19 AM
Karen Barbour

Thanks for commenting Lynn.....YES in today's world we need all the good stories and news we can gather!

Jul 10, 2013 09:01 AM