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What Matters Most

In the early 1990s, high-school sweethearts Philip and Mary Jo Veirs’ courtship included many visits to her family’s farm. Located in the heart of the bluegrass in New Haven, Kentucky the land and original farmhouse have been in the family since 1860.

“I used to take walks up here on the farm when we came over for a visit,” Philip says. “I’d shake hands and say hello, eat fried chicken and rolls with extra butter, and I’d take off out the door. I used to imagine building a house right up here on this hill.”

Philip has a knack for envisioning things, Mary Jo says. Little did the young couple know Philip’s vision would become their reality 25 years later.

Space for Everyone

The couple began thinking about a move to the country when they began running out of space for the vehicles Philip brought home from his local power sports business. They also realized a rural move could make one of Mary Jo’s lifelong dreams possible.

“We realized this move could help Mary Jo pursue a hobby she’s always dreamed of,” Philip says with a smile. “She’s always wanted horses. Ever since I’ve known her.”

Mary Jo’s dad, who grew up on the farm riding horses, was eager to share the hobby with his daughter.

“When we decided to move out here, the first thing my dad said was ‘We can put the fences back up and get horses,’” Mary Jo says.

The Veirs knew any home they built would need to be personalized. They love to entertain, so common spaces like the kitchen and living room needed to offer plenty of space and a welcoming atmosphere. The Veirs also wanted their grown children to feel right at home every time they came to visit, which meant incorporating bedrooms and bathrooms for their daughter and twin sons into the design.

Getting the vision right takes time. Philip admits he drew thirty or more house plans before they knew they had the right one. When plans for their dream home were finalized, the Veirs needed to find the right partners to bring it to life. That included working with a lender who understood the many nuances of building rurally.

That’s when they connected with Ginger Perry, a Senior Loan Officer with Rural 1st®, and member of their local community.

Bringing the Vision to Life

“It’s not a simple process to move from a metro area to a farm,” says Mary Jo. “Ginger lives on an operating farm, so we knew our story would resonate with her and she would understand our needs.”

The Veirs worked closely with Ginger to understand Rural 1st’s construction process and used the digital draw tool to track progress and manage their budget through each phase of construction.

“Rural 1st was great,” says Philip. “Everything was laid out and clearly explained to us. We were able to close and lock in our interest rate on the front side of the project. And because we used the digital draw tool, it was easy for us to keep track of where we were and what was next.”

“The Veirs were so organized and knew exactly what they wanted,” says Ginger. “Their plans were well laid out.”

All of that planning and preparation paid off.

“We had a lot of fun together, even when couldn’t stand up straight because we were laying our own floors and ordering our own brick and stuff,” Mary Jo says.

“I think the biggest surprise for us was how compatible we were at picking out things, and how much we were on the same page,” Philip adds.

Even after 20 years of working to meet the lending needs of rural customers , Ginger enjoys seeing the relief, pride and joy on her customers’ faces when construction is complete and it’s time to move into their home.

“Everything about the Veirs home displays their personalities,” she says. “It immediately felt like their home. Seeing Mary Jo’s dream of having horses come true made this project even more gratifying.”

Today, the Veirs enjoy evenings on the spacious front porch of their home on top of the hill Philip used to admire on his walks.

“It took a lot of work,” Philip says. “But when we finally found it, we knew it was right. The thing that excites us the most about coming home every day is getting to sit out here, catch up on each other's day, and catch up with our kids—even if it’s on Facetime. This certainly has proven to us that we can have time to reflect on and enjoy the things that matter most to us, instead of taking them for granted.”

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