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.

 

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 Zeis Family

This month’s “Happy Homeowner Interview” brings us to Lauren Zeis, who bought her new home in Cincinnati with her husband, Mike, in March of 2012.  Lauren shared with us some of her favorite memories of choosing and living in her home.

 

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

Lauren: This is our first M/I Home. We bought a house that was already built. We liked the house, the neighborhood and the location.

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

Lauren: Overall, the experience with M/I was great! We choose a home that was already built. As first time home buyers, it was a great initial experience.

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

Lauren: We loved the set up of the house, the neighborhood, and the location.

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

Lauren: I like the quiet neighborhood, sidewalks, and neighborhood parks.

M/I Homes: What is your favorite memory so far in your M/I Home?

Lauren: We have had so many great memories in our new home already!  We loved bringing home our first Christmas tree, enjoying summer cookouts with friends and family, and bringing home our baby girl!

M/I Homes: Would you purchase another M/I Home if you had the opportunity?

Lauren: Absolutely. We would love to build our next home and would choose M/I Homes if it was in the right location.

M/I Homes: What were some of your “must haves” when you were looking for a new home?

Lauren: We were looking for a good neighborhood and a home with a large yard for a dog.  We needed extra bedrooms, plenty of space for entertaining and a garage.

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

Lauren: Enjoy the experience of looking for a new home and take it all in!  Make sure to choose something that will work for you and your family on a day to day basis!

M/I Homes: What features of your home do you especially love?

Lauren: We love the bonus room upstairs and the upstairs laundry!  It’s really convenient for us with a one year old!

**Lauren Zeis and her family live in the Cincinnati area. She is a kindergarten teacher and her husband Mike is a print service specialist. They have lived in their home since March of 2012 and have a beautiful baby girl, Peyton, and a fun and energetic dog named Marino.  We love having them as a part of the M/I Homes Family!

 

Happy with M/I Homes Customer Story

At M/I Homes Indianapolis, we want customers to do more than just sign on the dotted line; for us, it goes beyond a sale. We want our homeowners to love their homes for years to come and we make it a goal of ours to ensure that happens!

Scott and Luann Luck have been in their M/I Home for about six months. The couple,along with their two boys aged eight and ten, are some happy new homeowners whom we wanted to check in with to see how they like their M/I Home.

 1.       What neighborhood/town do you live in?

Hickory Ridge (Hickory Stick community) in Greenwood

2.       Is this your first M/I Home?

Yes

3.       When did you move in?

December of 2011

4.       What made you want to build as opposed to buying an existing home?

We really didn’t see anything on the market that we liked in our price range and we realized we could get the home we wanted with M/I Homes. We were looking fora ranch-style home with a basement and there simply weren’t many of those on the market.

5.       How much shopping around between home builders did you do before deciding to go with M/I Homes?

 Honestly,we really didn’t do a lot of shopping because M/I had such a good reputation in our community and we heard a lot about the company through word of mouth. Also the location of their Greenwood community was right where we wanted to be.Those factors cut out the need to do much comparison shopping.

6.       Are you pleased with your M/I Home?

Yes!We are very happy here!

7.       When working with M/I Homes’ sales staff & team, how were you treated?

Everyone from M/I’s Indianapolis division was very kind and helpful and we really didn’thave any problems. It couldn’t have gone any better really!

 8.       What is your favorite thing about your home?

That is tough, but definitely the floorplan is great and really fits our family.We’ve also been very pleased with the overall quality of the home.

 9.       Is your house somewhere where you envision yourself living for years to come? Why or why not?

Absolutely!We are hoping we’ll be there for years and years! Right now we have two young boys, and the layout works great. But with the home being a ranch, we know once the kids are off to college, it will make for the perfect home for the two of us as well.

10.     Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just that we had such great experiences with M/I team members. We worked with Sheila; we’ve been working with Amber, Corey and Kevin. The posture of that team has been to do whatever it takes to make us happy from the beginning. We just really felt that they cared and appreciated that fact. The whole team was very conscientious; the effort didn’t go unnoticed!

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