Happy Homeowners: The Gluckson Family

This new “Happy Homeowners Interview” features The Gluckson Family, who built their new home in Charlotte, NC. Read below to hear about Gluckson’s homebuilding journey with M/I Homes!

GlucksonFamily

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

Robert & Ann Gluckson: Well, this is our first home from M/I Homes and we looked around at several builders all over the Charlotte area, and the thing that impressed me the most is how tight the house is. The Energy Star ratings are very important to us, trying to save money and the reduced rate from Duke Energy and electric and utilities are very reasonable. The house stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer the energy ratings are some of the most important issues. Also the sales person Jay, was excellent at explaining how everything worked throughout our experience. Since we were in Florida for a lot of the process it was a huge help.

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

AG: Yes, we love how our home turned out even though we didn’t build it. It was an inventory home and we fell in love with the floor plan. The layout of the house is exactly what we were looking for. The master bedroom on the ground floor was a must for us, and the upstairs is there so we can use it if we want. We have our grandchildren come often so they have their space upstairs and we have ours downstairs too. But if we want to use the upstairs we can turn the rooms into anything we want, there’s so much open space.

M/I: What is the name of your floor plan and what features of your home do you especially love?

AG: The Hathaway with the open, its wide open flow. I think my kitchen is my favorite, it’s very easy to entertain, the island is tremendous and you can put all of your food out. I can even cook and still feel like I am with my company because of the open feeling from the kitchen to the family room. I like the brightness of the house too with all of the natural lighting. Bob’s favorite spot is right here in the family room with the fireplace, it’s very comfortable and very homey. He’s used to living in condo so it’s a lot more spacious. We also have construction all around us and this house stays clean, very little dust surprisingly even when we open the doors nothing comes in. And we do entertain a lot with the grandchildren and family, it’s easy to maintain by yourself and to us that’s very important.

M/I: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes? Did you get to pick out your homesite and the floor plan you wanted to build, or had the home already been started?

AG: We are more than happy even though we didn’t get to build our home and found this beautiful inventory. Jay did a great job at picking everything out, it’s like he knew everything we liked and what would be perfect for us. We obviously like neutral colors we love the white cabinets. When he sent us pics we knew we loved it. Especially the shower we love the stone and how it’s a walk in shower, but if we want to use the tub we still have that.

GlucksonKitchen

M/I: Did you enjoy your home building process?

AG: We enjoyed the process so much, things always come up when buying a home but we actually didn’t have any issues. We did use the mortgage company and they were very responsive, literally in ten minutes they would call back or email back immediately. If I had issues they made it smooth, it was a very smooth process. The closing went beautifully. Alan, the division Vice President, was even at our closing which is something that’s very rare so it made the process more personal. They did everything they promised. This isn’t out first run around with a new home, so we know things aren’t perfect, but everything they promised they fulfilled. Jamie Chapman, our Construction Manager, still stops by to see how we are doing or if we need anything, which we love. He came by last week just to say hey, he has been so helpful with everything.

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

AG: I loved the flow of the home and the floor plan, it was a pie shape lot. We didn’t have a house in back of us. I’ve always wanted to have a front porch and back covered and we got a bonus of the extra porch in the back. That’s what I have always wanted and I got it, we couldn’t be happier. As soon as you walk in to the house it’s very open. It’s not like walking into the house with walls secluding the rooms. We also have the skylights upstairs, it has so much beautiful and natural light.

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

AG: The trails are fabulous, we have such a good time. As they complete the different sections, we use them. How they hook into each other is great. The community center and activity coordinators are phenomenal too, there’s always something going on. The pool area is amazing, our kids come to visit and think the community center is a country club. The kids love to come for a week in the summer and call it camp MillBridge. We love how there are so many different events, it’s great and a lot of fun for us and the family. They made Christmas like a winter wonderland when they lit up the lumineers, it was beautiful.

GlucksonBedroom

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

AG: Buy an M/I home! You’ll be satisfied with your decision, if you want to do something, they aren’t a track builder. They give you options, almost like a custom builder. You will get whatever you want or anything you are looking for. M/I Homes was the only builder we looked at who offered lawn care, which was a plus for us. They stand by everything they said they do, which is so important when you are buying a home.

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

AG: Definitely spending the holidays with the family. Everyone came and we took the grandchildren walking throughout the trails for 3 hours. They had a blast, not one of them complained. We stopped at the clubhouse and they got hot chocolate and we continued walking through the trails on the bridge, it was great.

M/I: Anything else you would like to share with us about your M/I home buying experience?

AG: The New Home Consultants will work with you. Jay listened to what we wanted and found our perfect home. What’s really nice is this is our fourth home that we have lived in and you never speak to the executives and everyone was a part of it, it felt personal. Alan Beulah was here and will listen to your feedback. They want to know what the people’s needs are to make sure their homeowners are happy. They’ll even admit if they make mistakes but then make sure to fix it. Buy an M/I Home!

Happy Homeowners: The Landrio Family

This new “Happy Homeowners Interview” features The Landrio Family, who built their new home in Charlotte, NC.  Read below to hear about Landrio’s homebuilding journey with M/I Homes!

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M/I Homes:  Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?
Jessica Landrio:  This is our first M/I home.  We had built previously with another builder and we knew we wanted to build again. We had looked at a large number of builders, but the floorplans and our neighborhood (Blume) are what sold us.

M/I: Are you happy with how your home turned out?
JL: Yes, very happy!

M/I: What is the name of your floorplan and what features of your home do you especially love?
JL: Our floorplan is called the Wilson.  We especially love the open concept of the first floor and love having the loft and bonus room upstairs because it gives a separate place for kids and adults.   We both have our own spaces to play!  I also really love the tandem third car garage. image4

M/I: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes?  Did you get to pick out your homesite and the floorplan you wanted to build, or had the home already been started?
JL:  We came out and met Steve, the New Home Consultant in the community.  We decided to walk the Wilson floorplan, but we weren’t 100% sold on it yet.  Once we saw our lot, we told him we would give him the deposit today!  We have a big pond in the back, and we got to pick out the Wilson model floorplans, which we knew was just perfect for us.

M/I: Do you have any fun memories from the buying / building process?
JL: I was super pregnant and couldn’t wait to move from the house we were in.  We would come almost every day to see the progress!  It was fun to be able to the home go from street rock, to a structure, and to imagine the kids rooms!  It was so fun planning everything out.

M/I: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?
JL: The yard with the pond and the kitchen!  I couldn’t wait to have our family over. We put a spare bedroom downstairs so we were excited to have family come stay with us.  We just knew that we would be much more comfortable in this house!

M/I: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?
JL: I love the location!  It’s convenient to the highways and both of our work offices.  We also love our neighbors.   It’s a very family friendly neighborhood and we have become very close with them.

M/I: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?
JL: Be really smart with which floor plan you pick.  Make sure to think about the functionality of the home for your lifestyle, not just the beauty of the floor plan.  Our floorplan was the perfect fit for us because it’s functional and works with us and our kids.  It’s definitely beautiful and we love how it looks, but it’s functional first!

M/I: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?
JL: Thanksgiving!  We had family from Florida, Virginia, and New York all visiting.

M/I: What is your favorite space in your new home?
JL: I love the openness of the kitchen to the living room- I can be cooking , we can be eating, or the kids can be playing,  and we can still be in the kitchen. I love that we can all be together.

M/I: Anything else you think we should know about your experience or your home

JL: Most builders if we had any issues it would be hard to get them fixed or take forever because most of the builders are going to take your money and forget about you.  However, after we closed with M/I Homes the Customer Service has still been outstanding.  Joy comes whenever we need something.  They’ve gone above and beyond to make sure we are happy.

*Jessica and Joshua Landrio are happy homeowners in our Charlotte, NC market.  They have a family of four with a little girl and boy!  Jessica is a production scheduler and Joshua owns a waterproofing company.

Happy Homeowners: The Mullis Family

This new “Happy Homeowners Interview” features The Mullis Family, who built their new home in Charlotte, NC.  Read below to hear about Mullis’ homebuilding journey with M/I Homes!

Mullis 3

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

Adam and Katie Mullis: Yes, the biggest factor was location with this particular neighborhood. We love Cornelius. We loved being close to the greenway and knowing that nothing would be built behind our property. As a realtor myself, while showing clients this neighborhood, I got to see all of the different floorplans and I fell in love with the wide range of options.

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

A&K: Yes, we love our home and are very satisfied with our decision.

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

A&K: Witley C. We were anxious because we didn’t get a chance to see a model of our home before building. We only had the collateral to look at so we took a big leap of faith when choosing this floorplan and we’re so glad we did. This floorplan is perfect for entertainment.

Wiltley

M/I: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes?

A&K: Our overall experience was positive. Our closing date was later than expected but being in this business myself, I understood that it happens. Most importantly, when we did have any concerns we were able to express them with our New Home Consultant and our Construction Manager and they turned everything around. Having open communication was essential during the building process.

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

A&K: We loved the design center experience.  It can be overwhelming because though M/I Homes is not a custom builder, it feels like it is at times because there are so many options to choose from. You have to have an idea of what you want before walking in because there are so many options.

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

A&K: I was ready to move in after the design center appointment. It really gets you excited to see your home. You have all these ideas in your head and saved pins from Pinterest but you still wonder how everything is going to look when it’s put together.  Another moment that excited us was when the drywall came in. Even when your home is just in framing you start getting the visual.

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

A&K: Location-which includes the greenway. Towards the end of the building process, we found out Katie was pregnant. With a baby on the way, the schools were a major plus and aside from that the resale value is phenomenal. We also loved that the size of the community is smaller, and not having a pool was actually a positive for us.

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

A&K: Seriously, we recommend M/I Homes. Aside from that, remember patience is a virtue. Keep an open mind because it is a process. Go look at models, pictures, magazines and figure out what works for you. You can go into a model that looks amazing but you need to consider your lifestyle.

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

A&K: We stressed to our Construction Manager that we had to be in our new home before the holidays and with a week to spare, he did just that. We were able to host both Thanksgiving and Christmas. A huge moment was when we revealed to our family that Katie was pregnant.

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

A&K: Our top two spaces are the kitchen and backyard porch. Our kitchen is absolutely beautiful with white cabinetry, quartz countertops, and gray ceramic tile backsplash. And the view from our backyard porch is the perfect place for relaxing or entertaining. Our future favorite space is the bar that we will be building. It is going to be amazing.

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

A&K: The number of decisions you get to make was surprising. It felt like we were building a custom home.

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

A&K: Trust that M/I Homes has good intentions. Be patient and honest. There were bumps in the road for us, but instead of showing up angry or yelling, we expressed concerns and always found a solution. It’s a team effort between you, the buyer and M/I. We feel that M/I truly wants to make the customer happy.

M/I: Any additional items / stories you would like to share about your new home?

A&K:

  • When you get hardwood floors, you’ll have to sweep a lot.
  • Keep in mind you’re the first to move into your home which is great, but you’re also the first to test everything and watch the home go through seasonal changes.
  • The speaker upgrade is worth it. Everyone that comes through from the neighborhood wishes they would have gotten it. We use it every day.
  • When you sign the closing contract, you’re not on your own.

 

*Adam and Katie Mullis are happy homeowners in our Charlotte, North Carolina market.  Katie is a Real Estate Agent and Adam is a Brand Manager in Charlotte.  They are excited to be expecting their first child in July!

If Your Kids Could Have Their Way, Where Would They Move

Young professionals without kids have the freedom to move based on personal preference, financial reasons, and job opportunities. Often, high-paying jobs and seemingly endless amenities for entertainment, dining, and sightseeing draw people to bustling, costly cities on the coast. Parents, however, operate under a different must-have list where high priority is given to finding family-friendly neighborhoods with ample outdoor space.

To define the best areas for kids, Zillow analyzed 100 of the nation’s largest cities, grading them on commute times, child population, and kid-friendly amenities like theme parks and playgrounds. Consider the following four cities that made the top 10 kid-friendly cities list.

Fort Worth

Out of the top 10 cities for kids, Fort Worth holds the highest percentage of youngsters at 16.1% of the total population. In addition, 13.8% of homes listed for sale in Fort Worth include kid-friendly terms such as “playroom” and “custom treehouse,” which helps relocating parents narrow their scope. Fort Worth holds four parks and 0.02 theme parks per 10,000 residents, while the median yard size is a comfortable 5,742 square feet. M/I Homes’ Creekwood community in Saginaw, located just north of the city, is representative of Fort Worth family living. Creekwood holds recreational fields, lake access, and green space. Various amenities, including a duck pond, fishing pond, biking trails, playgrounds, and swimming pools, are fundamental for families with children. Plus, close access to I-35W minimizes driving time to and from work for employed parents.

 San Antonio

At no. 4 on the best kid-friendly cities list, San Antonio kids make up 14.6% of the city’s population. House hunters with kids might have an easier time finding the perfect place given 14.3% of listings depict kid-friendly amenities. What San Antonio lacks in accessible public parks – two per 10,000 people – it makes up in yard size at a median 6,211 square feet. San Antonio also holds one of the higher theme park proportions of the top 10 cities at 0.04 per 10,000 residents. If you’re searching for family-friendly homes near San Antonio, consider the Waterford Park community. Waterford Park includes a community pool, playscape, open space and cabana for both adults and children to enjoy. This Alamo Ranch new construction community is located within the highly-rated Northside Independent School District, which feeds into several distinguished elementary, middle, and high school public facilities.

 Charlotte

Charlotte is the sixth best city for child rearing, based on its large kid population (14.3%) and numerous tot-approved listings (8%). With four parks and 0.03 theme parks per 10,000 people, Charlotte doesn’t lack profuse amusement. Still, Charlotte’s distinct attribute is the city’s sizable backyards at a median 10,549 square feet. Avery Park, a new home site in Cornelius, is a prime example of kid-friendly living near Charlotte. Avery Park offers easy access to Lake Norman, parks, playgrounds, a community garden, and dog park. Residents benefit from a convenient location, just 20 minutes north of Uptown Charlotte, facilitating faster commute times throughout the work week.

 Dallas

Dallas comes in no. 10 of the best cities for kids with 15.7% kids and 7.6% of homes listed with kid-friendly terms. Dallas offers three public parks and 0.02 theme parks per 10,000 residents. The median yard size of 7,133 square feet designed to satisfy any energetic toddler proves everything truly is bigger in Texas. Castle Point is a prime community for single-family house hunters. Located in Garland, northeast of downtown Dallas, Castle Point is a few miles away from George Bush Turnpike and minutes from major highways. In addition, Castle Point is within walking distance of Springfield Park and the Rowlett Creek Preserve, while the greater Garland area holds thousands of acres of green space and nature trails.

While kids are destined to enjoy green space and neighborhood amenities, parents are wise to weigh job opportunities, local schools and real estate prices alongside family must-haves. Luckily, many of these major cities fit everybody’s best interest – regardless of age.

**Jennifer Riner writes about rentals, home improvement and design for Zillow Blog.

Happy Homeowners: The Randolph Family

This new “Happy Homeowners Interview” features Gary and Cheryl Randolph, who recently built their new home in Charlotte.  Read below to hear about Randolphs’ homebuilding journey with M/I Homes!

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

Cheryl and Gary: Yes, this is our first M/I home. We had our realtor take us around to see existing homes, but there was nothing that met our price/feature preferences. We soon noticed that some builders stuck houses wherever they saw a spot of land and had no thought of an overall community design. One place actually had someone’s front door opening out to the side of their neighbor’s home.

Once we started looking at new builds, we saw many different neighborhoods. Driving along Poplar Tent Road, we saw three developments in a row and we checked out each one. It was sort a Goldilocks experience. The first place we looked at was nice, but you were given a very limited floor plan selection, and there was no ranch style. The second place we looked at was M/I Homes. We fell in love with the neighborhood and the quality of the homes, but we did not think we could afford a home in this area. So, we went to the third development. Styles were limited, but not as much as the first neighborhood we saw. Prices seemed doable and we were willing to settle for a house that was not exactly what we wanted – no ranch style available there either though.

A couple of months later, we visited Charlotte again (we’re from Buffalo, NY). We had eliminated most of the developments we had visited earlier and had pretty much settled on the development on Poplar Tent. We actually picked out a home and the options we wanted, and were almost finalizing the buy on the last day of our visit.

We had three hours before we needed to be at the airport to return to Buffalo. What the hey, let’s just stop and talk to Wendy (M/I Homes) one more time before we fly home. We gave Wendy our budget and told her that we loved the Cambridge model but we don’t need the second floor. Wendy worked with us to see which (of the many) options we really wanted. Two and a half hours later, we were $9,000 over our budget. The thing is, we loved what we had drawn up much more than we disliked the $9,000 overage. The difference between what we would settle for and what we loved was huge. At this point it was a no-brainer. Wendy became our best friend.randolph-family1-1

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

C/G: Oh yeah, very happy. To save money, we decided to go with the standard lighting fixtures, no garage door openers or ceiling fans, so we were pretty busy picking those things out online and installing them. We did save a lot of money, and the electricians’ prewire work did make the installs very straight-forward. Our home is everything we had hoped for.

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

C/G: Our floorplan is the Cambridge without the second floor. Our favorite room is the bedroom. That bay window extension is beautiful.

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

C/G: We have worked with at least three other builders on previous homes. This has been our best experience in home building. And yes, we picked out everything. Having lots of choices is both a blessing and a curse, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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

C/G: Well, working with Wendy was fun. But our day at the Design Center was the most challenging. We picked out exterior colors, brick, fireplace stone, cabinets, countertops, toilets, kitchen upgrades, and so much more. We loved that Kelly was an expert at her job. She knew the colors of each neighbor’s home and guided us in picking out colors that would look great alongside them. Kelly was very skilled at helping us think about various aspects of each feature as we made our choices. Helping us think is much more beneficial than stating an opinion. She knew that.

Soon after the design center visit, we met John, the person supervising the construction of our new home. John made us feel comfortable when construction began but he was still an unknown to us at that point. As time went on, we realized that John really did mean it when he said that he builds each home as though he will own it. He kept things moving, kept us informed, and would not accept poor quality work. I guess that’s not really a fun memory, but it makes us really happy now.

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

C/G: We like that it was clearly planned. We also love that it has curbs. That may sound silly, but our previous neighborhood had no curbs and there were always tire tracks on the lawns, unless the snow plows had completely destroyed the lawns. Then there were tire tracks in the mud.

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

C/G: That depends on where the person is in their life. A young couple wants a starter home. We are at the opposite end of that. We wanted our last home. We wanted to get exactly what we wanted, so we would say now “don’t settle for something.”

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

C/G: We could not pick just one because we are so happy with the layout. It has a large, well-planned kitchen space, the master bedroom with the extension looking out on the woods is so romantic and cozy, and the family room with stone fireplace is also our favorite!

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

C/G: Wendy, John, and Kelly really listened to us, and really understood what would make us happy. They over-delivered and made this a home even better than our dreams. The upgrades, the wooded lot, the attention to our timeline, our budget needs – everything came together in our dream home.

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

C/G: Take advantage of the opportunity to look at online pictures of other homes going up in the neighborhood! You can see how your neighbors put together different options to help you determine what you like and don’t like before heading to the Design Center. I know of no other builder who provides this view of their homes as they are being built. It was invaluable, especially because we were building our home in North Carolina while still living in New York.

** Recently retired, Gary and Cheryl Randolph moved from Buffalo, NY to Charlotte, NC in order to be near their grandkids and enjoy a moderate climate. Their retirement is an active one as they both love to bike and run. Cheryl has run a marathon and Gary completed a full Ironman (Lake Placid) at the age of 60.

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