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.

Happy Homeowners: The Carter Family

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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?

Tom & Maureen: Yes, this was our first M/I Homes experience. We worked with a Realtor to help us find our ideal retirement home. After seeing several homes, we preferred the open floorplan of the Newport more than any other we had seen. Also, the New Home Consultant Michael Colo and later, Beth Vogl, were great. They were very nice, helpful, and informative.

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

T & M: Yes, the home has worked out well for us. There are some items that we will have to go back and do on our own but we are very impressed with our home overall. The space has worked out well; we have our things laid out where we like them. We purchased some new furniture and we were able to put our own touch on it so that it is different from the place we came from and it is very enjoyable.

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

T&M: The Newport– We loved this ranch plan immediately. It was perfect because we knew we did not want a two-level home. We are able to get around well but wanted a home that was prepared for 15+ years down the road. We loved the open concept of the kitchen flowing to living room. We came from a condominium so space was very important to us. It was also great to have the master bedroom on one side and the three secondary rooms on the opposite side of the home.

 

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?

T&M: Our overall experience was positive, our community had some restraints on interior design choices at the time but the individuals made up for it. Customer service was and continues to be spectacular. Kelly in the Charlotte Design Center was able to make a lot of our interior desires happen and she was very professional, Dax, our Personal Construction Manager had great communication with us, and Beth was the helping hand along the way. We were able to pick a homesite and we chose one that backed up to woods.

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

T&M: Our homebuilding experience was probably different from most because we were relocating from Boston. We only came down to Fort Mill twice and that was the Design Center appointment and Closing. Everything else was done remotely. Dax would walk through the house with his iPhone showing us the progress. Once they began construction, we could visit the website and see the progress which was helpful.

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

T&M: We really liked the Newport floorplan and the community. The floorplan flows from the kitchen, to the great room, out onto the deck giving us maximum space when entertaining. Nobody feels overcrowded and if guests want to step outside, they can do that.

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

T&M: We had two sets of friends that moved to the Fort Mill area before us. When we came to visit them, we loved the area and started looking at the quality of homes that you could get for your money and decided this was the community for us. It isn’t a huge community which we liked and we also liked that it was new. It has made it easy to make friends and know everyone in the neighborhood. There is another couple in Sutton Mill that we have become close to and several others who are friendly acquaintances. The people have been very friendly and daily walks with our dog, Savannah, have allowed us to meet many people. We love that the community is diverse and that there are young families, retired families, and everyone in between.

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

T&M: Take in consideration the lifestyle you’re looking for as far as location. It is important to see what surrounds you and if it matches your interests. Also, make sure it fits not only your current needs but your potential needs in the future.

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

T&M: Getting all the rooms painted was very exciting for us. We painted ourselves and it gave the home a nice personal touch.

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

T&M: There are a lot of them. The deck is lovely. We asked for and got permission to put in a larger deck as part of the construction process. So it is quite large and it looks out onto the woods. It’s really quite nice, especially as the weather gets a little cooler. We sit out and eat breakfast and dinner out there a lot.  It is also good for entertaining, which we do a frequently.

 

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

T&M: Aside from assessing your individual needs and making sure the location fits your interests, figure out what you want interior-wise and make sure that the homebuilder and community you choose offers it. We dove in head first and fortunately it worked out in our favor. Also, take a look online to figure out what you like because the Design Center consultation can be an overwhelming experience. We narrowed down our options before our appointment to ensure we could pick everything out in a day.

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

T&M: We’ve been very happy in the home. The space has worked out well for us. Now that we’ve got everything laid out, we have our own touch on it so that it is different. We’ve explored the area and there are a lot of good restaurants.

 

**Tom and Maureen Carter recently retired from Massachusetts to South Carolina.  They are very pleased with their decision on relocating to the Fort Mill area. They spend time hanging out with friends, trying local restaurants, walking their dog Savannah, and Maureen has a passion for designing custom jewelry, which they have dedicated a room in their home to.

 

M/I Homes Interviews Kay Green Design, Inc.

M/I Homes takes pride in our models. They are one of the first impressions for a homebuyer touring our new communities. Well- merchandised models give potential homeowners the feeling of being at home, along with great ideas for their own homes.

Kay Green Design, Inc. based in Winter Park, Florida, was the key interior design firm for the Aberdeen and Bradford models in our Bellington community. The company has been working in the model home merchandising industry for nearly 40 years.

Jerry Collin, vice president of Kay Green Design, Inc., was gracious enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions about interior design.

M/I: What is trending now and how is that used in each of the models?

JC: We are seeing two particular cabinet choices becoming the most popular – white cabinets paired with white back-splashes, and dark espresso or Kona-colored cabinets. Another trend is a flex room that we’re showing as “fem dens” or spaces for moms.

We also see families wanting multi-use spaces that the entire family can enjoy at the same time. They are using a den as an additional TV location. In the kitchen, buyers want kitchen islands that are all on one level, instead of having a raised bar.

M/I: What was your inspiration for the colors used in the Bellington models?

JC: The latest color trends are moving towards a more neutral color pallet of beiges or warm, soft gray tones, and then adding pops of jewel tones. Jade and gold in the Aberdeen and royal navy and raspberry in the Bradford are good examples of what homebuyers are leaning towards.

 M/I: What did you like about each plan?

JC: The Aberdeen offers a first-floor master bedroom, which is always a hit with homeowners. At Bellington we carried the Mullican Hickory Champagne wood flooring throughout the main level to help add some upscale luxury to the space. The second floor loft, with double doors that open to a shared office, helps keep the family together. There are also a lot of great outdoor spaces, including a side porch off the kitchen area.

The Bradford has a very appealing feature in the optional kitchen extension that can be used as a morning sitting area. The angled entry door is stylish. An oversized fifth bedroom with the extra-large walk-in closet creates another flex space that can be used in many ways. We chose to make this space another multi-use room for the entire family. This plan offers a lot of great natural light as well.

M/I: What was the best room to merchandise?

JC: We always find the master bedroom one of our favorite spaces to merchandise by creating a sanctuary for homeowners, offering them a retreat any time they need a relaxing getaway from the day’s activities.

M/I: Why do you like merchandising new homes and models?

JC: One of best parts of being in new construction is staying on top of the latest trends in floor-plan function, interior lighting, the growing home animation systems, kitchen appliances and new home finishes.

 M/I: What inspired you to be an interior decorator?

JC: I have always had a passion for touring builders’ model homes, which lead me to the business. Katie Trentley, one of our senior designers who was also instrumental in Bellington, has wanted to be a designer since she was 5 years old.

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Electrolux Chooses M/I Homes of Charlotte for Settings of New Videos

When you need several attractive homes in a variety of styles, where can you turn?

For Electrolux Small Appliances North America, the answer was M/I Homes of Charlotte. Electrolux chose M/I model homes in Huntington Forest, Creekshire Estates, Cureton, and Hawk’s Creek neighborhoods as the settings for a series of new product demonstration and assembly videos.

Electrolux shot more than a dozen videos that will be featured on www.electroluxusa.com/floorcare and www.eureka.com.  Some of these videos play in Walmart and Target stores and on Amazon to highlight product features and assembly.  Product packages also incorporate QR codes which shoppers can scan to watch videos on how to assemble their purchase.

“We wanted to feature a stylish and comfortable home environment in the instructional videos we create for customers, so we can replicate their cleaning experiences in their own homes,” said Steva Sazama, senior brand manager for Electrolux Small Appliances, North America. “Partnering with M/I Homes allowed us to choose exactly the right settings for our product videos.”

M/I Homes is able to offer us a variety of looks for our settings,” says producer Frank Schwartz with LEC Media. “The houses look different from neighborhood to neighborhood, which is a real advantage.  M/I has been so customer-service oriented and made it so easy, we couldn’t think of doing it anywhere else.”

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Some of the videos can also be seen on YouTube!  Watch and see the different homes that Electrolux choose to feature.

M/I Homes of Charlotte Hosts “Business After Hours”

It was a memorable afternoon of networking in a gorgeous home.  Actually, make that two gorgeous homes.

M/I Homes of Charlotte was proud to host Business After Hours, a casual event with fun, food and networking sponsored by the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  About 50 Chamber members mingled and toured models of M/I’s new Hanley and Preston home plans in the Hawk’s Creek community in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

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“The homes were beautiful,” says Alisha Rosenthal, communications manager for the chamber.  “And just like at any party, guests congregated in the kitchen and living room.”

The model homes provided a relaxed, intimate setting for making business contacts.  Hosting the Chamber event demonstrated how well the two-story Hanley and Preston plans work for entertaining and family living. Attendees enjoyed the chance to win door prizes including a $100 Target Gift Card.  Adding to the festivities were treats from Melanie Rowe Catering including fruit tarts, citrus meringue tarts, chocolate decadence bites, and butter rum melt-aways.

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Several potential homebuyers dropped by and got to see the home plans in action.  “At this Business After Hours event, it almost felt like you were at a friend’s house,” says M/I Homes Sales Associate Paul Eagle. “Everyone had a really good time.”

Learn more about Hawk’s Creek here.

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