There are plenty of reasons to build new when your family is ready to buy a home. We’ve been sharing the home building experiences of real families like yours in each of our Parade of Homes Guidebooks. This spring, Mark and Karen, who are featured on our cover, told us why they love their new construction home.
The Key to Building a Perfect Family Home
Mark and Karen spent years hunting for the perfect home for their family. Once they decided to take the leap and build new, they were able to create the perfect layout for their family in their dream neighborhood. Now, surrounded by beautiful parks and great neighbors, they wouldn’t have done things any differently.
After moving back and forth from the Northeast to the Midwest, Karen and Mark decided Minnesota was the best place to raise their family. And as their sons, Brian (14) and Sean (10) got older, they realized they wanted to put down roots closer to the boys’ high school. After years of searching for the perfect home, they realized building new would give them the flexibility to customize a house to fit their lifestyle that an existing home just couldn’t. But that wasn’t an easy decision to make. At first, Mark and Karen were nervous to build new because they were unsure of how the process would go.
“I thought I wanted to buy something established because I didn’t want to live in a rental between stages,” said Mark. “Plus, we wondered if we would end up spending more money than we intended in upgrades and wanted to make sure we found a reputable builder.”
Once they met with Lou Ann Dvorak from Key Land Homes, they felt an instant connection. And when they couldn’t find quite what they were looking for in a model home, she helped them land on the idea of building a custom home.
“The relationship and the level of comfort we felt with Key Land was wonderful,” said Karen. “It can be a scary journey to think about embarking on, and she just put me at ease.”
“She was supporting my efforts in finding the best home for my family,” added Mark. “And that is exactly what she did.”
The entire process took about five months—finishing up ahead of schedule—and the family was able to transition into their new home without having to rent.
“We almost feel guilty for how smooth and easy the build process was,” explained Karen. “Our house was completed months ahead of schedule, and we were fortunate to be able to move in directly from our previous home to the new one, no rental needed.”
“The lead project manager for our home, Troy Fedorko, was amazing,” said Mark. “He was always right on top of things, and every time we stopped by to see the progress the workers were friendly and welcoming.”
Karen and Mark stayed realistic about what their must-haves were and what changes they would make in the years ahead. Asking lots of questions kept them informed whenever they had a tough decision to make.
“Visit different model homes. Take pictures of what you like and don’t like,” said Karen. “Envision what you want out of your home long term.”
When it came to choosing different design elements, both Karen and Mark had similar opinions on the fixtures and finishes they liked, but they worked independently when making choices. The guidance from Lou Ann on what was most important to focus on helped steer their plans.
“Mark’s schedule is flexible, so he was able to pick out most of the carpet, paint and flooring on his own. I just rolled with his choices and agreed with them … most of the time,” Karen smiled. “We made most of those decisions separately, but it all came together in the end.”
Mark and Karen agree that they would build new again, but stress the importance of developing a strong relationship with your builder. Confidence and trust go a long way.
Now, everyone in the family loves their new home. Brian and Sean are able to play with their friends every night, Mark created his ideal home office so he could work from home, and Karen loves being close to all the walking trails and parks. Plus, they’ve created tight-knit relationships with all the neighbors in their area.
“The beautiful thing about building new and being in a new neighborhood is that everyone here is looking to build new relationships,” Karen explained. “At the end of the day our house is perfect for our family.”