Happy Homeowners: The Lehman Family

IMG_5175Our newest “Happy Homeowners” blog brings us to Colin and Sarah Lehman, who recently built their new home in Raleigh, NC. Sarah and Colin began their journey by choosing their lot and plan, and have shared with us their experience of the whole building process and living in their new M/I home.  Take a look at their experience!

M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?

Sarah & Colin: Yes, this is our first M/I home, and our first home. Initially, we were intrigued by the location of our neighborhood. We were looking to stay in Cary, and stay close to the greenway system and parks. We truly feel we found the best location of townhomes and best quality townhomes in all of Cary.

M/I: Are you happy about how your home turned out?

S/C:  Yes, absolutely!

M/I: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

S/C: Our floorplan is the Fairview (3 bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom end unit). We love everything about it. Some of our favorite things are the tons of windows, walk-in master shower with bench, huge closet space, built-in bench in the entryway, fireplace, and screened-in porch!

M/I: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes. Did you pick your lot and floor plan to build the home, or was the home already started for you?

S/C: We had an extremely positive experience with M/I Homes. We picked our lot and the floor plan. We were the first ones to purchase in our community, so we were able to pick whichever lot we wanted. It was great to get in early, because we ended up getting a HUGE lot for a townhome!

M/I: Do you have any fun memories from building process?

S/C: We loved going over to the building site every Sunday to check out the progress. Going to the design center was also a lot of fun. A little overwhelming at times, but we tried to keep things simple and stick to our budget.

M/I: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

S/C: My husband would say the 2-car garage and open floor plan. But honestly—for me, it was the doors and the built-in bench.

M/I: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

S/C: It’s been fun to be the first ones in the neighborhood—we get to greet everyone as they move in. We’re looking forward to having more units close and having an established community.

M/I: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

S/C: Get in now with mortgage rates the way they are!

M/I: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

S/C: Ahhh- we have so many already! Since this is our first home, some of my favorite memories so far are working together on projects to make it feel ever more like home. Just last weekend we set up a small patio space for a grill. I also loved having our first overnight guests (we’re coming from a small 1 bedroom apartment), and having a house warming party.

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M/I: What is your favorite space in your new home?  Do you have any pictures of that space that you would like to share?

S/C: These are our favorite things:

  • Large, open kitchen made to entertain
  • Open family room where our dog loves to romp
  • Screened in porch to relax after a long day at work
  • Big backyard

M/I: What was something that surprised you the most with building a new home?

S/C: I think the most surprising (and one of the best!) thing was that you didn’t have to break your budget with add-ons in the design center. With M/I Homes, your starting point is such a higher quality in comparison to other builders we found. They don’t trick you into a low base price and unrealistic expectations at the design center.  We got everything we were looking for at a reasonable price.

M/I: Any suggestions you would give for someone building a new home with M/I Homes?

S/C: Enjoy the process!

 

**Sarah and Colin are high school sweethearts who just celebrated their 3 year wedding anniversary. They are originally from Philadelphia, PA but have lived in Cary for the past 3 years. They have a sweet 1 year old dog named Kona who is there favorite running and mountain biking buddy.

Happy Homeowners: The Lawrence Family

This new “Happy Homeowners Interview” features Nichole and Jason Lawrence, who bought their home in Cincinnati.  The Lawrence family shared their experience of the entire homebuilding process with M/I Homes, from choosing their homesite to making interior design choices and were excited to share their experience with us!

View More: http://marialynnphotography.pass.us/lawrence

M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?

Nichole: Yes, this is our first M/I Home. The quality of an MI Home is what really stood out to us. Some of our family members have built custom homes and we felt that M/I’s quality felt custom. We would choose M/I again and again.

M/I Homes: Are you happy about how your home turned out?

Nichole: We could not be happier with our home!! We are so thrilled with how easy the process was and how beautiful our home turned out. Its better than we imagined.

M/I Homes: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

Nichole: We built the Sorrel Classic floorplan. We love how open the kitchen is to the family room and the morning room. We also love the loft on the second floor. It’s a great place to watch movies and hang out as a family. And of course my personal favorite is the fact we have TWO walk in closets in the master bedroom. I love all the space and storage in this home!

M/I Homes: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes. Did you pick your lot and floor plan to build the home, or was the home already started for you?

Nichole: Our M/I experience was fantastic! Everyone we worked with was top notch! We picked our lot and the floor plan and we built the home. This was our first time building a home and M/I did a great job communicating the process and answering any questions we had.

M/I Homes: Do you have any fun memories from building process?

Nichole: We loved the Design Center experience. Being able to go to M/I’s beautiful Design Center and picking out our options was so much fun. We also enjoyed seeing the house progress every week. My husband and I would meet after work every Friday at the house to see what was done that week. It was so cool watching the house progress and taking photos. We have a great photo gallery of our house being built that we will be able to look back on.

M/I Homes: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

Nichole: We saw our floorplan as a model home in one of M/I’s communities in Lebanon. We fell in love instantly. As soon as we walked into the model I could see our family in that home and I knew at that moment I wanted to build.

M/I Homes: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

Nichole: We were the first ones to move into the community. Its been so great watching the community grow and getting new neighbors! The location of Greenshire Commons is one of the best features. Its so close to the highway and to our family and friends. Also, the view is stunning. We have seen some beautiful sunsets since we have moved in.

M/I Homes: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

Nichole: Think long term. My husband and I know we will be in this home for a long time, so when we were building and choosing our options, we tried to think about what we will need in the future so we don’t outgrow the home too quickly.

M/I Homes: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

Nichole: We had my son’s 2nd Birthday party at our new home a couple weeks after we moved it. It was so great to be able to fit all of our family in one space!

M/I Homes: What is your favorite space in your new home?  Do you have any pictures of that space that you would like to share?

Nichole: One of my favorite spaces is our kitchen. I love our huge island and our double oven. The kitchen has so much space and storage room. We love it!

Lawrence Kitchen

M/I Homes: What was something that surprised you the most with building a new home?

Nichole: How easy the process was. M/I was a great builder to work with. I expected it to be more stressful but everything went smoothly and I felt like M/I did a great job taking care of us through the entire process.

M/I Homes: Any suggestions you would give for someone building a new home with M/I Homes?

Nichole: As I said before, think long term and ENJOY the process. Building our home was so much fun and it was a great experience. There will be hiccups along the way, but M/I does a great job at explaining the process and getting things taken care of that may go wrong. At the end of the day, we have a beautiful home that our family will create a lot of memories in for years to come.

***Nichole and Jay have been together for 14 years, married 8. They met while they were working at Penn Station Subs together. They have a 2 year old son named Aiden and a boxer named Kimi. They were both born and raised in Cincinnati, on the West Side! They lived in Chicago for a couple years after graduating college, then moved back home to be close to family (like true west-siders). They both enjoy running and biking and they try to compete in a couple races a year.

Lighted Mirrors: Get Ready for Your Close-Up

By Kerrie Kelly, ASID

Though not traditionally viewed as the most glamorous room in the home, the bathroom has become a personal oasis—a haven for health, beauty and general rejuvenation. A lighted mirror is a small addition to the bathroom that instantly elevates its functionality and style. Whether your intended purpose is added safety or a dose of glamour, a lighted mirror provides ample luminosity and tons of style. Here are a few reasons why we love this bathroom addition.

  1. Decorative Lighting

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If you’re a non-traditionalist, look at a standard mirror paired with sconces on either side. This decorative option leaves you plenty of room to personalize your bathroom with accent lighting. Incorporate additional task lighting by installing a magnifier with lighting to get up close for daily details like applying makeup or shaving. Opting for an additional magnifying mirror may also serve as a helpful aid to any guests with limited vision.

  1. Extra Storage

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One of our favorite aspects of a lighted mirror is that, more often than not, it is accompanied by extra storage. Mirrors with added lighting are typically also medicine cabinets, with hidden shelving tucked behind a beautifully lit mirror. That extra storage can go a long way. If you have kids, keep medicine and things they shouldn’t get into on the top shelf of your cabinet. Use the shelving for toiletries and your favorite beauty products to keep all your bathroom needs in one safe place.

  1. Electrical Access

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With interior design and furniture companies diving into the innovative world of technology, we’re seeing more and more sleek electrical elements being worked into our favorite bathroom furnishings. With an outlet tucked just to the side of the mirror, you can charge your phone and plug in your styling tools in the morning and switch a nightlight on when you’re ready to turn in for the evening. Some lighted mirrors also come with dimming effects for customizable ambiance and de-fogging mechanisms that help keep your mirrors clear of shower steam.

  1. Integrated Lighting

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Another fabulous aspect of lighted mirrors is a feature known as integrated lighting. Often comprised of LED light strips, integrated lighting in the bathroom means that you can easily control the size, style and shape of the lighted mirror. Homeowners can create a mirror that is uniquely theirs and touches on all of their bathroom needs, like extra lighting around the border of the mirror, more storage or a bigger mirror.

When looking into adding a lighted mirror to your bathroom, make sure to measure your space to see just how much room you have to work with. Next, identify your needs. Is this strictly decorative? Will you need extra storage space or hidden shelving? After choosing a mirror that fits your style and function needs, accessorize the rest of your space to match your new piece. Keep accessories to a minimum and let your lighted mirror truly shine.

**Kerrie Kelly is the driving force behind her California interior design firm, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Kerrie is a renovation and decor expert who writes for The Home Depot. To view a selection of mirrors, including styles that Kerrie mentions, you can visit the Home Depot website here.

 

Happy Homeowners: The Fenno Family

This “Happy Homeowners Interview” brings us to Megan Fenno, who recently purchased her new M/I home in Cincinnati with her husband and 5 year-old son. Megan has shared the experience of building her new home with M/I Homes!

FennoFamily

M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I over another builder?

Megan: This is our first M/I home. There were a lot of factors that contributed to our decision to move and build with M/I, but criteria that topped our list was location, a sense of community, a good school district, and a home builder that had a variety of options and floor plans to choose from. As my husband and I both work in creative fields, the last thing we wanted to do was build a uber traditional ‘cookie cutter’ home, which is often what is available when building new. Megan wrote more about how she chose her lot and what factors played a role in the decision here.

M/I Homes: Are you happy about how your home turned out?

Megan: The home exceeded our expectations. The little things and attention to detail made us appreciate the experience that much more. For example, since our house is facing west, we wanted to add a covered porch off of the kitchen to help block some of the evening sun. We were very surprised when we started to see it being built and all it included — such as recessed lighting, metal rails, etc.

Megan_Fenno_Happy Home Owner

M/I Homes: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

Megan: We originally were going to build the Sorrel, but after my husband modeled that floorplan and the floorplan for the Cooke, we decided the Cooke was a better option for us.

We liked that the plan was so open and had the ability to remove the fifth bedroom, which is what we decided to do.

The plan works for us because we are both able to have our own office space upstairs, a large master bedroom, and a bedroom with a walk-in closet for our 5 year-old son. Plus the open main floor is great for entertaining! Mean wrote more about how she chose her layout and floor plan on her blog here.

M/I Homes: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes? Did you pick your lot and floor plan to build the home, or was the home already started for you?

Megan: Because we were one of the first to build in the neighborhood, we had a lot of options when it came to the selection of the lot and style of our home. Our experience was great, honestly.

When I’d tell people that we were building a home, I’d often get comments about how time consuming and hard it must be. While it can be time consuming up front, the process was smooth from start to finish.

Happy Home Owners - Megan Fenno - 2

M/I Homes: Do you have any fun memories from the building process?

Megan: On Christmas day, we took a photo to share on social media of the three of us standing in front of the new home captioned, “First Christmas in our new home.” I got a lot of laughs.

In all seriousness though, our son probably enjoyed the process just as much as us, if not more. He loved seeing all of the changes each time we went on weekends to see the progress. I know it will be something he’ll remember the rest of his life, like the first time he was able to walk into HIS room!

M/I Homes: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

Megan: All of the space! This isn’t our first home, but before deciding to build, we tried out the urban living scene and had lived in a small apartment in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. While it was a LOT of fun, we missed having space to spread out. The next thing I thought about was all of the DIY projects I could do with extra space and places to spread out. Needless to say, I’ve been busy!

M/I Homes: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

Megan: The neighborhood is unique to Cincinnati’s westside and there isn’t anything quite like it anywhere else. I like that there won’t be any through-traffic and that most of the people that are moving in tend to have a lot in common. Most have one or two young children, so I can see a lot of new friends and playdates galore in the near future!

M/I Homes: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

Megan:  It’s not something you want to jump into. It’s one of the biggest purchases of your life, and just as you would do research before buying a larger item, such as reading reviews, doing the same when looking for a new home is important.

Here’s what we did: We sat down with a pen and notebook and made a list of what we’d want if we could have any home. From there we prioritized the list and decided on what’s most important. For us it was finding a home we could stay in long term with the ability to build equity. Other things that topped our list were being in a good school district and having a sense of community in the neighborhood.

M/I Homes: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

Megan: The day we moved. It was means to a fresh and new beginning and I will always remember walking in shortly after closing and thinking, “I can’t believe this day is FINALLY here!” After planning and daydreaming for so many months, it’s surreal to finally move in.

M/I Homes:  What is your favorite space in your new home?

Megan: Our favorite space is probably the back deck. The sunsets are spectacular!

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M/I Homes: What was something that surprised you the most with building a new home?

Megan: All of the options to customize our home. I mean, we had the ability to pick everything from bigger aspects, like the brick color, to even the tiniest of details, like the knobs on the bathroom vanities.

M/I Homes: Any suggestions you would give for someone building a new home with M/I Homes?

Megan: Have an idea of what you’re looking for prior to starting the process. I think that helped us a lot when picking the floorplan and during our design center trip. Pinterest is a really helpful tool when looking for design inspiration!

**Megan lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband John and her 5 year-old son. She is a blogger at meganfenno.com and also works as an accessory designer. She and her family have moved from downtown Cincinnati to their new M/I home in the city’s suburbs.

Happy Homeowners: The Cohen Family

This new “Happy Homeowners Interview” features Merrill and Karen Cohen, who bought their home in Maryland.  The Cohens shared their experience of the entire homebuilding process with M/I Homes, from choosing their homesite to making interior design choices and were excited to share their experience with us!

Cohen

M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I over another builder?

Merrill: Yes, this is our first M/I home.  There were three builders in the development where we wanted to purchase a new home.  One builder’s homes were too large; the other builder’s home plans were too small.  The M/I home was just right!

M/I Homes: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

Merrill: The floorplan is called the Picasso.  We especially enjoy the large kitchen/great room area.  It’s perfect for hanging out and entertaining.  We also enjoy the loft area which has turned into a mancave.

M/I Homes: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes? Did you pick your homesite and floorplan to build the home, or was the home already started for you?

Merrill: We picked the lot and floorplan.  We especially liked working with Chris and using the design center to choose all the options to personalize the home to match our decorating vision.

M/I Homes: Do you have any fun memories from building?

Merrill: Our prior house was nearby and we visited the site regularly to watch the progress.  We  enjoyed seeing the home develop from a hole in the ground to the finished product.  We brought our dog over before the house was finished to let her see her new home.  She immediately marked her territory!

M/I Homes: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

Merrill: The kitchen/great room area immediately caught our attention.  We spend most of our time there and the room was exactly what we were looking for: a large, but informal space for hanging out and entertaining.

M/I Homes: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

Merrill: This is a new development which includes retail and restaurants along with residential areas.  We like being able to walk around the neighborhood or walk to the restaurants and bars.  The neighborhood also has great access to the highways and is very convenient.

M/I Homes: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

Merrill: I would advise someone buying a new home to look for a builder that will encourage communication and will easily resolve issues that will inevitably come up.  This is the third new home we have bought.  There are always problems and issues.  It is important for the homeowner to be vigilant and ensure that the home is properly built.  We found M/I to be very receptive to any issue that we presented and resolved problems without hesitation.

M/I Homes: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

Merrill: We particularly enjoyed the process of turning the house into our home.   From watching it being built, and participating in the design, to the final decorating process.  We also enjoy watching the neighborhood turn into a community.  One particular memory that stands out was during the blizzard of 2016 (36″ of snow).  From walking down (and closing) the neighborhood bar with a few neighbors, to helping neighbors shovel their driveways, to watching the plows come dig us out (while our old neighborhood was still snowed in!).

M/I Homes: Any additional comments?

Merrill: It was great working with Chris.  She is a real asset to the company.  We also particularly like working with Joe from the service department.

**Merrill and Karen Cohen live in a new community in Gaithersburg, MD. They have downsized from a large single family home to a new M/I townhome in a smart urban living community, which provides a city living experience without all the city living inconveniences. They enjoy taking advantage of all the shopping and dining that are just a short walk away. Life is good!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about new homes in Maryland, please contact us today!

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