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Meet the Owners of Our Fall 2022 Parade Home

At Heartland Builders, we love helping our homeowners customize their dream homes! So much so that every year when the HBA Parade of Homes comes to the Greater Grand Rapids area, we’re more than happy to participate.

The Parade of Homes is an event that allows us to showcase our home building expertise. We start by selecting a work-in-progress home to feature, and then we interview the homebuyers to learn more about their experience. As a custom Michigan homebuilder focused on making homes as unique as their owners, we always look forward to hearing their feedback about the process.

Today, we’ll be featuring an interview with homeowners Brad and Molly who are building their dream modern farmhouse. Let’s go!


Part One: Easy (Custom Designing a New Home)

How easy was it to make the customizations that were important to you?

It was very easy! Along with Holly, the designer, we got to play around with a 3D model to see our customizations in real time. It was impressive and fun!

What part of the entire process was easier than you expected?

Some say the homebuilding process is stressful and that you’ll fight with your partner, but with Heartland it went way smoother than we expected. Getting to make selections ahead of time gave us peace of mind that after signing the contract we wouldn’t be spending more than we anticipated. Throughout the process we kept saying, “This has been really easy. Heartland is very organized.” We felt confident we would be what we wanted.

Which aspect of the build process was most helpful?

The 3D model along with Buildertrend was incredibly helpful. Being able to see real time changes and prices for everything really helped us make design decisions while staying within budget. For instance, we didn’t love the stair placement originally but after working with Holly and the team, we redesigned the home to change the placement of some windows, the stairs, and the entire upper floor.


Part Two: Fun (Working with an Interior Designer)

Of all the customizations you made to your home, what was the most special or important to incorporate and why?

We have 5 acres of woods and wanted to take advantage of that. In our master bedroom, we put windows on the side, and it’s perfect because it looks out into the woods and it’s gorgeous. We knew early on we wanted arches in our design, so we incorporated them in 3 rooms, borrowing the look from another Heartland floor plan.

Tell us about a moment or experience that was super fun so far!

There have been several. We really liked going through the selection process. Working with Jen, the Interior Designer, in the design center was fun because we got to play around with the finishes and see for the first time how everything would come together. Going to the granite store was also a really fun experience. We both really enjoyed going out to check on the progress at every stage of construction from breaking ground, excavation, framing, drywall, trim work, and final finishes. Each time we went out it was exciting to see the work that had been completed and see our dream come to life.  

How would you describe you or your home’s style/vibe?

We would describe our style as country craftsman/farmhouse. We wanted a warm and cozy feel so we chose a few rustic elements such as stone for the fireplace, natural wood accents throughout, earth tones, and matte finishes for the backsplash and counters in the kitchen. 


Part Three: Fast (The Homebuilding Timeline)

From start to finish, how many months will it have taken to complete your home?

We met with Cindy in July 2021 for the first meeting. We signed the contracts in August and broke ground in February. We’re scheduled to be done at the end of September. Then, we’ll move in after the Parade of Homes in October!

Did any part of the process go much faster than you expected?

Breaking ground was a big worry because we were working against frost laws. But Heartland worked through it seamlessly. They impressed us and our neighbors with how quickly they laid the foundation. They had a short window of time to get everything in and out and they did it without any trouble.


Concluding the Homebuilding Process


Give future homeowners the inside scoop! What can people expect when working with the Heartland team?

This was our first time doing this, so it was super helpful how organized everything was. From the first meeting to choosing selections in the design center, they had a process in place and stuck to it. For people who like to look at everything without feeling overwhelmed, the design center had just enough options to choose from.

If you had to describe the entire experience in one word or phrase, what would it be?

Molly says, “Organized.” Brad says, “Straightforward.”

Is there anything else you would want to say to someone interested in building?

It’s a process, so you need to be patient, open, and do your homework. We would recommend Heartland because they have an organized process and excellent communication. The entire Heartland team made what is inherently a stressful endeavor much easier by always responding to our many questions, concerns, and requests promptly and thoroughly. Also, invest in some Muck boots…you’ll need them!

Working with these two has been such a pleasure, and we can’t wait to show them their finalized home. You can learn more about the Heartland process on our website. And when you’re ready to build the home of your dreams in West Michigan, please don’t hesitate to contact us!