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March 28, 2017
Rich and Amanda Clover always had it in their hearts to live someplace warm.
A little more than a year ago, the couple decided they were ready for a change and discussed the possibility of moving to Florida. As a sales executive for the Oracle Corporation, Rich travels a lot for work, allowing the Clovers to choose where they call home.
In March 2016, Rich and Amanda visited Lakewood Ranch with their three children —12-year-old Caleb, 10-year-old Avery and 7-year-old Carson — and never looked back.
“We thought if we’re going to do it, now is the time to do it,” says Amanda. “During our visit we thought, ‘This is it.’”
It was a whirlwind spring for the Clovers, who put their St. Louis, Missouri, home on the market, got an offer and accepted it all over the course of three months. In June, Rich and Amanda booked a return trip to the Lakewood Ranch area.
“We are going there to buy a house,’” says Amanda. “We decided to make this our new home.”
The Clovers toured several neighborhoods throughout Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch and saw several beautiful homes, but it wasn’t until Amanda walked into the kitchen of their River Wind home for the first time that she finally felt at home.
“I turned the corner and there was the kitchen,” Amanda says. “I turned around and said ‘It’s beautiful.’ Nothing we had seen had been prettier or more beautiful than this house. I knew this was the one.”
The Clovers officially moved into their new 2,896-square-foot River Wind home last July. Located off Upper Manatee River Road just before the Rye Road intersection, River Wind by Neal Signature Homes is unique in that it's near Lakewood Ranch but secluded and tucked away for those who want the serenity of natural Florida.
“We love it,” says Amanda. “It’s quiet. It’s quaint. We like the small feel of it. We feel safe here, and we love our new home.”
“I think we like the small neighborhood feel of River Wind,” Rich says. “It’s very personal, and of course, we love the home.”
River Wind comprises 62 homesites and features six luxury custom home designs inspired by Island and Mediterranean architecture. These spectacular homes range from 2,266 to 3,346 square feet with options for three-car garages and one-story or two-story designs to fit the homeowners’ lifestyle. The Clovers’ home, which was one of River Wind’s feature homes, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a pool.
Since moving into their new home, the Clovers have been enjoying all their new community has to offer. The family spends ample time playing outside or relaxing in their pool. The Clovers also have made their way down to the river a few times to throw rocks, watch the birds, and go canoeing and kayaking. Scenic walking trails and the lush areas of Rye Preserve make River Wind an appealing community for nature lovers.
Rich and Amanda also have made it a point to make sure everyone in the neighborhood feels welcome the moment they move in. Whenever a new family moves into the neighborhood, the Clovers walk over with a cute little paper bag of cookies or brownies tied with ribbon and a gift tag. They introduce themselves and welcome their new neighbors to the community.
“In Missouri, we lived on a more rural road. The houses were spread out and we really only got to know a few of our neighbors,” says Rich. “When we moved to River Wind, we wanted to make a point to know our community and have that sense of community.”
In addition to spending time in their neighborhood, the Clovers also are enjoying all Bradenton and the surrounding Lakewood Ranch area has to offer, including spending a good portion of the week bouncing back and forth between Caleb and Carson’s baseball practices at Lakewood Ranch Little League and Avery’s soccer practices. The children are also adjusting to their new schools. In January, Caleb started sixth grade at Inspiration Academy while Avery and Carson started fourth grade and first grade, respectively, at Bradenton Christian School where Amanda also works part time.