For Matt Paxton and his wife, Monique, the home buying process wasn’t just an opportunity to build a new home; it was a chance for them to simultaneously bring their new family together and build a close-knit community around them—Aria at Esencia was just the place, and this is their residential love story.

We recently spoke with Matt to learn about their home buying journey and uncovered a beautiful story along the way. Enjoy this residential love story of one family’s life at Aria. It starts with a new home, and ends with a whole new take on tradition that would make anyone want to be the Paxtons’ new neighbors!


The Paxtons eagerly watched their home being built from the ground up.

He was a football player. She was a cheerleader…at the same high school.

But that’s not where their story begins. Even better—it happened on Facebook, years after graduation. As it turned out, Matt and his two daughters had been living just blocks away from Monique and her son in Ladera Ranch! They met again, fell in love, and so began their new life adventure.

After a stunning wedding in Hawaii, they realized it was time for their combined family to come together under a new roof. “We knew we wanted a single-family, detached home,” said Matt. “It was important for us to make sure our kids knew this is it; we’re all here together! We wanted our new home to be a special place for them.”

Matt Paxton shares a video of their kids jumping for joy in front of their new home at Aria.


After months of searching, the Paxtons chose to move to Aria, one of TRI Pointe Homes’ two neighborhoods in Esencia, the newest village at Rancho Mission Viejo. Down the street from Ladera Ranch, Esencia offered an abundance of activities for their family from large-scale neighborhood events, to three community farms, hiking trails, resort-style pools and more.

For this party of five, Esencia’s social life left nothing to be desired, but ultimately they said it was Aria’s design and floor plans that inspired them to make the move. “We chose TRI Pointe because of the high-end design. For us, we love the feeling of the great room and being able to have everybody together in one area,” said Matt. “It’s a big deal for us, so that’s why we were so drawn to Residence Two.”

The Residence 2 at Aria

The Paxtons’ single-family home had the private yard that Monique always wanted.

Their new home at Aria was Matt’s first time building a home, but with two other homes under her belt, Monique was a new home pro. She knew exactly what she wanted—especially a backyard!—and Aria definitely delivered.

Aria offers 3- to 4-bedroom homes in a courtyard arrangement. With floor plans ranging from 1,763 to 1,948 square feet, each home also features private rear yards that extend the living space for indoor-outdoor entertaining.

Matt and Monique also loved the neighborhood’s close proximity to the future K-8 school planned to open in the fall of 2018. “Our little guy will be in 6th grade when the school opens, and he will be able to walk to school. We couldn’t ask for a better location.”


The Paxtons made their home special from the ground up.

While the home was being built, the Paxtons were able to personalize more than just their home’s new finishes. In fact, their family made their mark all the way down to the studs.

“Once the home was framed, we gave our kids Sharpies® and let them write messages on the exposed wood in their future rooms,” said Matt. “Monique and I also wrote ‘Ohana’ throughout the entire home, which is the Hawaiian word for family. Now, that we’re living in our home, our kids love pointing out where they remember writing the name of their favorite band or drawing a picture. It’s been a really good transition and nice for our kids to see our family’s home constructed from the ground up.”


There’s never a dull moment at Aria with the Paxtons as neighbors!

Beyond their home’s design and neighborhood’s close proximity to nearby amenities, the Paxtons are thrilled about the people they’ve met since moving to Aria. All of their neighbors moved in around the same time, so there is a heightened level of bonding they feel they wouldn’t have gotten with a resale home. They get to start fresh and build their street’s culture together.

One of the reasons the Paxtons love their home at Aria is the neighborly courtyard. “We sit on it every night after work. We bring out our chairs, relax and just hang out with our neighbors,” said Matt.

One of the unexpected benefits of Aria’s unique courtyard setting is that it keeps neighbors connected. Whether they are sitting around a fire pit, swapping landscape and design ideas, or watching the game together, the Paxtons have quickly seen their home become a hub of activity—a reality that Matt says reminds him of fond childhood memories.


“Driveway sitting” looks like fun to us!

Matt’s parents have lived in his childhood home since 1975, where they started a tradition they call “driveway sitting.” According to Matt, his parents dedicated an area of their front yard, put in pavers, and set up umbrellas and chairs. They would simply spend time out there and the neighbors were welcome to stop by whenever they wanted…no invitation necessary.

“What’s funny is that when we had people over for Labor Day last year, we had a fairly sizeable crowd. People were enjoying the fire, there were bikes and scooters everywhere, and I put a picture of it on Facebook. My dad commented with the word ‘Tradition,’ and I told him, ‘Yeah. I got that from you.’”

“Driveway sitting is the best because that’s how you get to know your neighbors, or how strangers from down the street become friends. It’s a place to shoot the breeze, or just sit and let everybody else talk; you don’t have to say a word. If you’re having a bad day, good day, whatever, it’s just a place built for community. So, I can see we’ve started something my parents did and continued the tradition in our own unique way.”


Now that the Paxtons live in their new home, they said they still have “pinch-me moments” all the time. They told us they love their home, the design is everything they imagined and the Rancho Mission Viejo community is unlike any other. They can’t say enough about the unique atmosphere they’ve created, their exceptional neighbors or the unbelievable life they are now living at Aria.

Come see what life at Aria is all about!

Priced from the mid $600,000s, Aria at Esencia presents a beautiful selection of floor plans set amidst modern ranch living. Homebuyers will find 3 single-family, 2-story designs with 3–4 bedrooms, 2.5–3 baths, a great room and kitchen, as well as private yards. Homes range from 1,763 to 1,948 square feet. Call (866) 890-1110 to learn more.


It’s a little like love at first sight. You walk through the front door of a model home and you’re swept off your feet. You may not even know how many bedrooms it has, but you’re ready to decla...

Read More


HOW TO MIX PATTERNS AND SOLIDS DESIGN TIPS FROM A TRI POINTE EXPERT When it comes to interior design, you know what you love—the colors, the patterns, the artwork that reflect your style and pe...

Read More

We're Open!

TRI Pointe Homes’ New Home Galleries and Design Studios are open. Face coverings are required.