A Day to Be Thankful: A House Becomes a Home

It starts when we’re “house hunting.” Or we’re “buying a new house.” But everything changes the minute we move in. It’s no longer a collection of lumber and shingles, plumbing and wire; floors and finishes. Once we move in, we give the house a soul. It becomes “home.” That’s why we “hunt for a house,” but always “head for home.”

All of the emotions and memories that bind families together radiate from the cornerstone of our lives: from our homes.

So, when all of the 90,000 families who live in M/I Homes gather to count their blessings, we count each one of them as a blessing of our own. We are eternally grateful that our calling is to create such a profound part of people’s lives.

From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from M/I Homes

Happy Thanksgiving from M/I Homes


M/I Homes Collects Over 100 Coats for CitySquare in Dallas, TX!

M/I Homes DFW Partnered with our local CitySquare program to collect coats to help former foster children stay warm this season. 

Over the past few weeks, M/I Homes of Dallas Fort Worth employees, vendors, and trade partners have worked together to gather children and adult size coats to benefit those involved with the CitySquare Program.  CitySquare is a local non-profit organization that helps individuals transitioning out of foster care and onto their own feet, with many going into temporary housing.

Together we collected more than 100 coats and are thankful to have had the opportunity to have made a contribution!

M/I Homes Collecting Coats for City Square

M/I Homes Collecting Coats for City Square

M/I Homes DFW has initiated a Community Crew team to continue to help out with other service opportunities throughout the holiday season.  Our next volunteering opportunity will be in December helping to bag food and toys for another local non-profit organization, “Christmas for Children.”

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

With winter right around the corner, it’s important to get your home in shape before the temperature drops and the rain and snow takes a toll on your home. We’ve gathered the top “must-do” items that homeowners should take into consideration in order to protect their home and their family.

  1. Check your Chimney

You may not realize it, but a wood burning fireplace can build up with creosote, a harmful combustible chemical that can form in your chimney.

Creosote is a black thick-like tar that develops in your chimney stack. If you don’t have your chimney cleaned every winter, the oil can catch on fire quickly, damaging your home and put your family’s health at risk. For these reasons, it is imperative that you get your chimney checked every fall. A chimney sweeper can make recommendations as to if you need your fireplace and chimney stack cleaned.

While you are thinking about your chimney, you may also want to consider adding a cap to prevent animal nests or homes from being constructed at the top of your chimney.

  1. Clean Out Gutters

Before the onset of the increased rain, snow, and ice, you’ll want to clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause serious home damage like foundation, structural, and flooding damage, and these home repairs can be costly.

If you are cleaning your gutters on your own, be sure to use proper ladder safety techniques. Always keep both feet and at least one hand when using a ladder. Consider laying a tarp on the ground to throw any debris from your gutters onto and protect your landscaping. After cleaning your gutters, you may want to consider installing a gutter guard, like Leaf Filter, to eliminate any future gutter hassles.

  1. Inspect Your Roof

If you are not privy to using a ladder, consider using binoculars from ground level to inspect your roof. Looking for loose or missing shingles that will need to be repaired. If you suspect any damage, you may want to get a professional to recommend courses of action. A repair might be a little costly, however, it will prevent any serious and substantial damage from occurring in the future.

  1. Store your Patio Furniture

Whether you are storing or covering your patio furniture, take the time to do a bit of cleaning and maintenance. This will increase the longevity of your furniture.

Remove all cushions and scrub all of the pieces with dish soap and a soft bristled brush. You’ll also want to make sure the cushions get a thorough cleaning too. While cleaning, take the time to inspect for any loose or missing screws. By tightening and replacing any loose screws, you will increase the lifetime of your patio furniture. If you don’t have any room for your furniture in your basement or garage, be sure to get some heavy-duty covers to protect everything from winter’s wrath.

  1. Stow Your Mower

When your mower is sitting all winter, fuel will begin to decompose and varnish the carburetor. When you go to start your engine in the spring, you’ll run into issues. To prevent any sort of issues, wait until the tank is nearly empty from use and run the engine outdoors to use up any remaining fuel. We also suggest checking your mower’s manual for any cold-weather storage steps that would be specific to your product.

Incorporate these five steps before the winter weather hits your area and your home should be in good shape!

Bathroom Vanities to Keep Interior Style Flowing

No matter your interior design style, it can be difficult to keep your chosen look homogenous throughout the home. This is especially true when decorating your bathroom.

You may be able to translate your tastes to unique elements and décor—installing a furniture-like vanity in the bathroom makes this easier by commanding stylish focus. A special vanity sink instantly updates the room and can easily incorporate the rest of your home’s style into the space.

We’ve chosen a few of our favorite furniture-like vanities to feature in your next bathroom project.

Sleek and Modern

Many contemporary vanity styles focus on clean lines and stark contrasts.  For an eclectic twist, choose one with a sturdy structure and a unique basin, or look for a washstand with metal details if your style is more traditionally modern.


Traditional and Craftsman

If you like displaying your prettiest china and creating lavish dinner party settings on your solid oak dining table, you might have a traditional eye for style. Craftsman and traditional designs feature elaborate detailing, intricate woodwork and sturdy composition.

To incorporate this style into your bathroom design, opt for a luxe vanity boasting sophisticated cherry wood with decorative molding. Embellish your traditional vanity with modern décor to lighten the room, or enhance the antique style with an heirloom soap dish and matching accessories.


Cool and Cottage

Cottage design sometimes evokes thoughts of Old World houses and outdated furniture. However, with a crisp color palette and neutral accessories, a cottage-style home can have a cool and contemporary design that’s easily transferable to any room in the house. Create a seaside cottage escape by fitting a freestanding vanity that features recessed panels, louvered doors and a cool granite countertop. Play up the antique vibe with rustic wood design elements and organic greenery sprinkled throughout the room.


Rustic and Refined

Similar to cottage, rustic style has a tougher, masculine element that plays well with bathroom projects. Select a furniture-like vanity with a weathered-looking body and a sleek granite countertop to balance grit and grace in your washroom. Choose metal-finish hardware for a slightly more urban tone, or opt for antique details to go full-out farmhouse. Finish accessorizing the room with plush linens and bright greenery to round out the look.


The right bathroom vanity can provide the perfect link between your home’s style and this often hard-to-decorate room. Once this key piece of furniture is installed, everything else seems to fall into place!

Written by: Kerrie Kelly, ASID. California interior designer Kerrie Kelly heads up Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, and is the author of the book Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. Kerrie has worked with many clients on bathroom design, and writes about her experience for Home Depot. A wide selection of Home Depot bathroom vanities, including styles reviewed by Kerrie, can be found online.


Moving Near Tampa: These Popular Neighborhoods May Suit You

If you’re considering relocating near the Tampa, FL area you’re likely wondering about your housing options. Luckily, in Tampa you’ll find prices lower than the U.S. median cost for both renting and buying. Across the country, renters can expect to pay $1,386 each month, while in Tampa they pay slightly less, $1,285. National home values are currently at $182,500 while in Tampa that value drops to $148,600. So, the first housing decision in relocating is to choose whether renting or buying is right for you.

Tampa Home Sales

In Tampa, it only takes 1.5 years for the costs of buying a home to break even with the costs of renting. So, if your move is scheduled to last at least 1 year and 7 months, then buying a home is financially a better option.

The next step is to decide where you plan to buy. Consider these two new constructions communities, both packed with amenities.

Starkey Ranch

At the convergence of Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and Pasco County you’ll find single family homes and townhomes within the community. The Starkey Ranch development will include retail shops, a park, pool and recreational facility with baseball, softball and soccer fields. The location provides quick access to Tampa Bay beaches, professional sports stadiums, theme parks and zoos. Plus, it’s within close proximity to major Tampa employers.

Eventually, Starkey Ranch will have 5,000 homes ranging in style. Some models include large front porches while others boast private backyards. These homes range in price based on the features you select to build out your personalized home, but they start at $257,990 or $331,990 depending on style.

The cost of these homes is a little more than the median home values in each of the three counties it resides in. However, all three counties are expecting upwards of 6 percent annual home value appreciation with forecasted lift throughout 2016. Therefore, the Starkey Ranch community could be a foot in the door, while costs are low, and a solid investment plan for valuable returns at resale.Tampa Model Home


Alternatively, in north Pasco County you may find a more affordable and suitable lifestyle fit at the Talavera community. The development includes a slightly farther commute but saves you about $50,000 on that final price tag. Homes in Talavera start at $199,990 and include 11 different floor plan options.

The community will have fewer homes than Starkey Ranch with just 750 homes, but includes excellent amenities such as a pool, playground and tennis courts.

Plus, if an eco-friendly home is of interest to you, Talavera may be your ideal neighborhood. Homes are built with M/I Homes’ Whole Home program, ensuring top-of-the-line energy efficiencies and use of local materials whenever possible.

Additionally, Talavera homes include a 15-year transferable structure warranty which is one and half times your average warranty. Such warranties allow buyers to sell their properties while still covered – a great benefit at resale. In this community, you should feel financially secure. Home values in Pasco County are rising at a rate of 6.3 percent year-over-year and are expected to appreciate at a more sustainable rate of 1.8 percent throughout 2016.

Tampa Model

Both Starkey Ranch and Talavera offer excellent community atmospheres for your new life near Tampa. Plus, buying a new construction home reduces the stress of purchasing an older property with unexpected, costly maintenance issues. Explore your options for both a comfortable daily lifestyle within your means while considering the financial reliability of the overall investment.

Written by: Tali Wee.  Tali Wee writes about finances, home improvement and interior design for Zillow and other partners.


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