Richard Womack was 11 when he first laid eyes on Cindy when she entered his father’s church in Scottsdale one Easter Sunday. He was smitten with the blue-eyed girl he saw from his front-row perch. The athletic tomboy, all of 9, wasn’t the least bit interested in the preacher’s son.
The Womack family moved frequently, but Richard returned to Arizona when he was 19 and reunited with Cindy. They married in 1991 following an 11-year courtship.
Today, a framed photograph of them snapped that Easter Sunday hangs in their family room, honoring the serendipity that sparked their journey.
Finding just the right home for the couple also was a journey.
Their first home was a HUD property near Cindy’s grandmother’s home, where daughter Lucy was welcomed. Richard didn’t love the home, but understood Cindy’s desire to be near the woman who helped raise her.
The next decade brought a move near the congregation Richard was assigned pastor. The home wasn’t Cindy’s cup of tea, but she understood that commuting across town would not serve Richard or their congregation effectively.
By summer 2011, Richard and Cindy Womack were on the hunt for a home destined to be theirs. Priorities called for a big yard. A guest house would be the icing on the cake.
While viewing a listing near 67th Avenue and Cactus Road in Peoria, Cindy noticed a realty sign on the house next door. She was immediately taken with it; charmed by its architecture and saddened by its abandonment.
Both listings in the Thunderbird West neighborhood came with nearly an acre of irrigated property, but the Victorian had a captivating front porch, bay windows, a detached three-car garage and a guest house. Neglected for two years, it also came with dead trees, a green pool and the inevitable challenges that come with short sales.
Richard described walking through the front door that first time. He took in the orphaned beauty from where he stood, turned to Cindy and said “We’re home.”
That moment marked the beginning of the Womacks' love affair with their new home.
Eeeeerk, plot twist. The couple would learn another offer already was accepted on the property. They were devastated.
The adventure of house-hunting was reignited, but Cindy was pulled back to the Victorian doll house often. A "for sale" sign continued to hold sentry in the front yard during wistful drive-bys. The Womacks pestered their Realtor to stay on the selling agent.
Cindy’s constant prayer was, “Lord, I don’t need this house, but I really love this house. If you want this to work and if this is for us, you will make it happen.”
Richard and Cindy received the call at 5 p.m. on a Friday advising the original contract had fallen through, and if the Womacks were still interested and submitted their offer and letter of guarantee by noon the following day, it could be theirs.
They cleared the noon deadline with hours to spare.
The Womacks closed escrow on their Victorian home 15 days later and walked through the Queen’s front door as new owners in May 2012.
The Womacks' 3,900-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath home was built in 2000. The home was erected using steel-joist construction of concrete and metal for outstanding strength-to-weight ratio and high durability. The home is heated and cooled via the floors, making the two-story structure extremely energy efficient.
A detached guest house offers an additional 800 square feet of livable space and is situated just east of the pool with its own extended patio.
The Victorian is poised on a .88-acre lot with low-cost irrigation.
FOR SUBSCRIBERS: PV mansion with a well for its rose garden is for sale: $8.57M
The Womacks are the fifth owners. “If there is a sixth, it would be in their best interest to be my size, because I’m leaving everything behind — furniture and clothing," Richard joked.
White oak hardwoods are present throughout the first-floor parlor, the formal dining room and Richard’s expansive home office, his second favorite space in the home, with views of the front property.
Six-inch baseboards, crown molding and decorative door casings pop the walls in varied tones throughout the home. The office, parlor and dining room are fashioned with paned glass French-styled pocket doors for an eclectic nod to the Victorian era.
The Womacks have brought their home back to life inside and out.
Sixteen mature trees were planted in the front and back yards, half of them fruit bearing. The backyard and pool area received a complete remodel.
An aerial photograph from the home’s early years unearthed from a closet speaks to the before and current improvements to the home.
Inside, painting was in order.
“We are not morning people, and the walls were painted an obnoxious yellow. They had to go," Cindy said.
Goldenrod yellow walls were replaced with softer hues throughout.
Last year, the Womacks' curb appeal was stepped up with the addition of a four-tier stacked paver wall and expansive paved steps leading to a large fountain ahead of the circular driveway and enviable Victorian porch.
A set-back three-car detached garage is at the end of an oversize linear driveway at the east side of the property and intersects with the circular drive.
The backyard holds claim to both Richard and Cindy’s favorite space. The makeover extended the pool patio, created an outdoor kitchen that includes a pizza oven, smoker, and stainless steel appliances.
They also added a gazebo and two fire pits in the remodel.
The restored pool/spa combination features a Baja entry. Richard’s collection of lighthouses is present throughout their home. Two are situated atop the pool’s rock waterfall feature at midpoint, symbolizing welcoming icons to family and friends.
A 4-foot-high gabion wall provides a striking backdrop to the pool and entertainment area while creating a natural separation between the grassy back property and future site of their organic vegetable garden. Cindy and Richard succeeded in the intention to bring a Hamptons feel to their back yard sanctuary.
Cindy’s second favorite space in their home is her artist cove located in the second story master bedroom.
Cindy's art extends across several mediums — a seamstress and chef extraordinaire. Her company, WearableByCindyWomac, is available on Etsy and Instagram and features her one-of-a-kind Converse creations.
The master suite is complete with a large balcony overlooking the rear and side yards.
Know of a unique home in metro Phoenix that is not on the market that should be featured? Email [email protected]
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.