Fall Homes Tour: Areas top builders showcase new construction

2013-09-21T08:00:00Z Fall Homes Tour: Areas top builders showcase new constructionMichelle Krueger Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
September 21, 2013 8:00 am  • 

Meet the Builders

Get ready to check out the latest building trends! If you simply like to see what’s new or want to make a move before the holidays, next weekend’s Fall Tour of Homes is for you.

Featuring 28 brand new homes in 25 different neighborhoods across Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, 17 of the area’s top builders are looking forward to showing off their dynamic floor plans, fine craftsmanship and special design features. Loaded with exciting new amenities and the latest in energy efficiency, there’s plenty to choose from with prices that range from the $150s to the $600s – and the best part is that most of them are available and ready to welcome you home!

The following participants will have homes open during the Fall Home Tour starting next Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29 from 12noon to 4pm daily (look for the official tour map in The Times and online at nwi.com next week):

Aldred Homes has been building distinctive custom homes that reflect the company’s unique sense of style for more than 30 years.

“We’ve been busy. We’ve got one home in Hawthorne that were just finishing up, three homes in Wild Rose and another in Arbor Lakes with two more getting started out there. Our model homes have been selling within 30 days of completing them. The finishes inside and the fact that they all have finished basements make a big difference for buyers. We spend a great deal of time on our designs and try so hard to come up with unique designs. It’s how we set ourselves apart and people are really noticing. Our workmanship is the icing on the cake. The home in Arbor Lakes is a great example. It’s a little more contemporary, and we have another three pre-solds from that one alone.”

-- Aryl Aldred

Blum Construction has been committed to excellence, designing and building custom homes that provide a solid investment, since 1993.

“The summer has been a very busy one, our busiest year on record since 2006. Thanks to our overall workmanship and caring, coupled with the record low interest rates, we are having a building boom at Blum Construction. We have four families living in Phase II of Arbor Lakes already with two more pre-solds underway. At Blum Construction we build your home as if we were building our own with quality you can see just by walking through the door. We build custom homes, so we take the time to work with you to get your plan designed to your needs along with generous allowances to help keep your mind at ease during the building process.”

-- Don and Heidi Blum

Bucher Construction is a hands-on family-operated company with a long-standing tradition of merit in custom home building that dates back to 1985.

“Business has been good – it’s been hard to keep inventory models with all the pre-solds this summer. People definitely recognize quality materials and quality work. They also like our bright, fresh designs and many memorable features. Big kitchens with islands are a continual hit with buyers who visit our models (Valparaiso). That’s where our pre-sold business has been coming from. People appreciate the fact that we completely custom draw their plan with them so it’s uniquely theirs. They also like knowing that we will be here to take care of them in the future – we’ve been around for a long time.”

-- Dan Bucher

Coolman Communities has been developing neighborhoods and building homes for “active adults” since the late ‘70s.

“Our traffic has been amazing with the empty nesters and the baby boomers. All six of our ‘active adult’ neighborhoods (Valparaiso) are designed to minimize maintenance, eliminate stairs and maximize space. Some of them are exclusively 55-plus and some are not. Some people prefer the social aspect of living with people going through the same season of life while others want their needs met in a neighborhood where all different kinds of people live. Our goal is to offer something that works for everyone – no matter what the price range – and because we are a leader in energy conservation and ‘green’ building, the investment you make in a new home today will pay you back over and over again.”

-- Carol Carden

Crusader Homes designs and builds expertly crafted custom homes with beautiful personal touches that enhance everyday function with style

“Whenever we build a spec home, we customize it like we we’re going to live there. A lot of thought goes into the design, and there are always quite a few handy built-ins. We’re a large family with a home-based business so organization is important. As the exclusive builder in Executive Park (Valparaiso), which is conveniently located across the street from Hawthorne where we live and have built nearly a dozen custom homes, we are enjoying the challenge of coming up with new plans that include great details like stone accents, custom paint color, granite tops and stainless appliances, wood floors with wide trim, columns and arches plus an outdoor deck at a price point that appeals to both younger buyers and empty nesters looking to downsize.”

-- Matt and Lovelyn Palm, parents of 9 children

DR Horton – where Donald R. Horton had a vision over 35 years ago . . .

“Of livable and affordable new homes built with unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. Of family traditions passed on to new generations. Of a business that would grow by making customers’ dreams a reality. That philosophy of creating value every step of the way was the company’s signature focus when Horton unveiled his first neighborhood in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area over three decades ago. As the company grew from a local homebuilder, to a regional homebuilder, to ultimately the largest homebuilder in the US, that philosophy has never wavered. Today, D.R. Horton continues to demonstrate its leadership in residential development through design innovation, superior craftsmanship and responsiveness to the needs of its customers. The simple vision that began over 35 years ago represents years of value and security when you choose America’s Builder to make your dreams come true.”

Homes of Distinction is a family-owned business with two generations building homes of superior craftsmanship throughout northwest Indiana for 30 years.

“Business has picked up quite a bit this year with customers who are truly interested in building coming out just about every day – that hasn’t happened in many recent years. One gentleman that came out to see what we’re doing in Parrish View (Hammond) liked the home so much, he wants us to build the very same one on a lot he owns in Dyer. This is our second home in Parrish View this year. The City of Hammond has done a really nice job out here and buyers appreciate the option of an affordable new home with programs for tax abatement, College Bound and HOMEBOUND. We’re also working in another development in Robertsdale and starting a couple of models in Renaissance (St. John).”

-- Brandon Smith

Eenigenburg Builders has been dedicated to constructing affordable unique homes in a variety of local neighborhoods for more than 20 years.

“Everything is going pretty well right now, it’s a nice, steady pace. The consistency is good. We’ve got homes going in Renaissance (St. John), Ellendale Farms (Crown Point), Schmidt Farms (Crown Point) and Tara (Schererville). Two of those are specs and two are pre-solds. I think people like dealing with the same person for sales, selection and project management - one person who they can count on to be there throughout the entire process of designing and building their new home. It comes down to the quality of the home, and my experience from 20-plus years of building in northwest Indiana. They also know we’ll be around if they need anything after closing.”

-- Kurt Eenigenburg

Meyers Development has been involved with residential and commercial land development and building in the area for 45 years.

“On Golden Pond (St. John) was established 12-15 years ago with approximately 50 homes. Since that time the demand for that neighborhood has remained high. It’s a great community, lavishly landscaped and meticulously maintained. We recently added two paired townhome buildings and have just one unit left. We’re also in the planning stages of a further expansion that would include 12 four-unit luxury condominium buildings plus another two prime commercial locations in Lake Central Plaza. We are really enthusiastic about the potential. It hinges on adding turning lanes on US 41 outside Lake Central High School which would help make a smooth in and out for residents, especially when turning south.”

McFarland Homes specializes in building homes that are easy to live in and maintain, with over 1,500 established in neighborhoods across Lake County.

“We’ve been super busy in Peninsula Point (St. John) this summer, and that’s encouraging since it’s a higher-end subdivision where the brick and walkout basements appeal to buyers. Then just done the road a bit, we’re getting ready to start a new phase with 22 lots and 44 homes in Monastery Woods (Cedar Lake). It’s the first time we’ll be putting road in over the last six or seven years. It’s exciting and refreshing to turn the corner. Right now, if I could recommend only one thing for a potential new homebuyer, it would be to research builders. Go to their existing and previous subdivisions - look at the product, look at how the homes weathered over time, look at the landscaping and driveways and talk to the neighbors.”

-- Ron McFarland

Nardo Builders has built and developed over 350 new home sites, with an additional 183 platted and ready for future development in Porter County.

“It’s certainly exciting to see people getting back out to look at new homes again, and most of them are getting serious about making a purchase. We recently revamped our models in Timberland Estates (Valparaiso). We’re doing a whole new craftsman style inside and out with some great front porches. People seem to really like those as well as our nine-foot basements and standard features such as granite, hardwood, Energy Star rating and landscaping right now. They’re also surprised by the location – it’s wooded and serene with all natural surroundings yet we’re just two minutes from the toll road and 45 minutes to downtown Chicago, with Duneland schools and city services.

Ridgemoor Builders has been dedicated to creating communities and homes where you can work, play and live life to the fullest since 1990.

“Our location makes it super easy to commute to Illinois so we’ve been seeing a lot of buyers from out that way. Ridgemoor Builders is the sole developer for 3 of the 4 corners at St. John Road and 77th Ave., dedicated to building single-family homes first in Ridgemoor, next in Saratoga and finally Tara (Schererville). Each neighborhood is set off with signature 2-rail white vinyl fencing, and has been a labor of love for the family-owned and operated company. All three neighborhoods feature rolling hills with winding streets. Tara is on the southwest corner. Home and lot packages start in the $230s, and we have a great variety of plans to choose from with the option of customizing to meet unique individual needs.”

-- Jerry Kulik

Steiner Homes is with you every step of the way – from creating your custom design through each unique selection and groundbreaking to delivering your keys.

“We’re currently building all over – from Cedar Lake all the way to Lakeshore Drive in Michigan City. When you travel around, you see a lot of nice opportunities for buyers all over. There’s builder activity going everywhere. It’s very encouraging for our industry. As a custom builder, we work closely with our clients to create the perfect plan for their new home. We’ve done a lot of ranches this year – for all age brackets – definitely more than years before. We’re also finishing more basements as people are looking to maximize their space. When you have a walkout, daylight or nine-foot basement you can add a nice rec room, an additional bedroom, bar area and full finished bathroom for a lot less when you’re doing new construction.”

Snemis Construction has been creating and standing behind its personalized custom homes that take a client’s vision from idea to reality for more than 20 years.

“We’ve been working with several different clients this summer, with quite a few empty nesters. Everyone’s needs are different, and the challenge for us is to match them with the right homes and the right lots. Right now we have three houses in the work spread across Porter County. We’re definitely excited to show of the one in Sagamore since it’s a newer plan for us. It’s very Craftsman style with quite a few features from that genre such as 3-panel solid wood doors, wainscoting with special trim and a great deal of exterior detail including a great front porch. This home is five-star Energy Star Plus rated, about the highest it can possibly be, and we’re very proud of that.”

-- David Snemis

Sunrise Scipio is a beautiful setting in Kingsbury/LaPorte where you can choose a homesite and build the new home of your dreams.

“We’re surrounded by woods and ponds, a county park on one side and horseback riding on the other, with 5 lakes nearby so there’s really a lot going on in the area. We named the neighborhood after the township in LaPorte County, which honors an Indian tribe that lived there years ago. It’s the perfect location to build a new home, right across the street from the Kingsbury elementary school at the corner of 400 South and 75 West with 15 acres of green belt and 85 developed lots, including a great selection large wooded lots with established trees. Plus, there are three ponds for fishing that are currently being stocked and maintained, as well as plenty of new, well-established trees and landscaping.”

-- Louis DeYoung

Superior Construction invites you to experience LaDolce Vita – a lifetime of privacy and distinction in Brigata Hills (Valparaiso).

Reminiscent of the rolling Tuscan hills, the exquisite custom-built luxury homes of Brigata Hills are complimented by an open rural feel, mature trees and impeccable landscape. Boasting a unique combination of pristine natural woods and peaceful open spaces, Brigata Hills is conveniently located in Center Township, with dependable Valparaiso city services and quality Valparaiso schools, including the city’s namesake top-tier University. Located just five minutes from Valparaiso’s lively downtown, Brigata Hills offers some of the most spectacular home sites in the area. Look for the stunning new homes that artfully blend old-world craftsmanship with the latest technologies and building materials.

Wilcox Communities is a national builder/developer who currently builds over 20 communities in seven states across the Midwest and Southeast.

“This summer was full of sales and construction at the Courtyards at Pepper Creek and Villas at Vale Park (Valparaiso). We are selling houses almost as fast as we can build them. Our homeowners love the close-knit feeling that comes from living in our maintenance-free neighborhoods. Many are very active in the community and they work together and with us as a builder to plan events and get-togethers all throughout the year. There are going to be a handful of quick delivery houses available come fall that will be able to close this year. Our quick delivery homes go fast, though, so we recommend you reserve one as soon as possible, or you may have to wait until spring to move.”

--Ember Ferrantino

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