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Meet the Owners of Our Spring 2021 Parade Home

Each year, Heartland Builders is thrilled to participate in the HBA Parade of Homes in Grand Rapids, MI! We’re immensely proud of the work we do and love to share it with the community. The Parade of Homes is an opportunity for us to showcase the planning, detailed design, master craftsmanship, and pure joy that go into every home we build. 

The event also gives us the chance to do something even more important – give our homeowners the floor and let them explain, in their own words, why they love their new Heartland home and the building process behind it. For each Parade of Homes, we choose one home that we’re in the process of building to be our featured home, and we interview the owners to learn more about their experience. 

For the Spring 2021 Parade, we interviewed Liz and Andy about the unique 2-bedroom, 2 bath home they’re building in Comstock Park, MI. This ranch-style home has such a special style and personal customizations, and we can’t wait for you to learn about it!


Which floor plan did you choose and why?

Andy: We chose the Albert. It was a contemporary style, and it was the right size for us. We’re downsizing from our current home and wanted a smaller ranch with a nice flow for a 2-bedroom layout.

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

Andy: Almost every aspect!

Liz: The design meeting with Jen (Heartland Builders’ interior designer) stands out. She walked us through the design process and had everything laid out. Andy and I were very aligned in what we wanted the finished look to be, so it didn’t take us long. Jen said it was the second fastest anyone had picked everything out!

Andy: This is our first new construction home, so we’re newbies and leaning on Cindy (Heartland Builders’ new home specialist) to walk us through the broad picture and help us focus on the minor details when we need guidance.

Did you find it easy to make customizations to your home that were important to you? How did that process work? 

Andy: At the architectural design meeting, we floated the idea of adding a covered patio, and that took about 10 minutes to design. Then Liz wanted to expand some walls and the 3D tools Heartland is using helps visualize it. You can see the immediate impact of the changes during the conversation. 

Liz: We also added a linen closet to the owner’s bath. Holly was screensharing and we could see, in real time, her moving walls so we knew we were on the same page.

How easy was it to choose Heartland? You went to a Build N Brew event and got all your questions answered – was it that simple?

Liz: Heartland was the only builder we looked at. We had looked at some properties, but Heartland had what we were looking for and the price seemed reasonable – it was a no brainer.

Andy: Yes, it was decided at that event!


What was the most fun/special part of the whole process?

Andy: We live a little more than a mile away from the new house, so we’re there every other night, seeing it come to life true to the renderings and plan. Yeah, that’s pretty fun. Cabinets getting hung last night, that was fun.

Liz: We’ve seen everything come to life!

What was it like working with Rich, Cindy, and the team?

Liz: Everyone has been friendly and excited and helpful. As we’ve moved through the process we’ve interacted with different people, but it has all felt seamless.

Andy: Heartland’s crew has been authentic; they’re just as excited and invested as we are. It’s a cool project!

How did you bring your personality into your home?

Liz: We wanted indoor/outdoor, minimalist style. We wanted all the spaces to flow together.

Andy: It comes back to this being our first build. We’ve always lived in someone else’s house, but Heartland is making this our vision.

Cindy: Everything is unique but appropriate to their house. Jen says she can sense their style throughout the home. Their personality came out in the details they chose. It’s a little different, which is AWESOME. That gets us excited because we want it to be your home.

Tell us about the home’s style.

Cindy: Scandinavian, minimalist. When Liz and Andy sat down with Jen, they said they wanted their home to be designed as if they were Swedish people who moved to northern Canada. They wanted it to be modern and minimal, with lots of natural elements – a definite Scandinavian feel. Tiles for under the fireplace are Liz’s favorite part – very industrial.


From start to finish, how many months will it take to complete your dream home?

Andy: Buying the land took longer than it should have, but by the time that happened, some of the pandemic craziness had settled down, and there haven’t been any delays since then. It’s taking 16 months total but a big chunk was lockdown, the bank, and closing on the property. March through September was spent closing on the property, but once we closed, everything rolled right along.

Cindy: They signed their contract with us on June 1, 2020. So it will take one year total for the design, financing and building process. 

Which part of the process went much quicker than you expected?

Liz: The walls going up! We drive past the property on the way to anywhere, so we’ll drive by and be like, “OMG there’s the foundation, there’s walls!” Everything was so different each time we saw it.

What surprised you most about the journey from start to finish?

Liz: We didn’t know anything about what we were getting into. In our first meeting they told us we could afford to do this, so that was surprising!

Andy: If you’re not in the industry, everyone’s exposure to homebuilding is HGTV. On TV it takes forever – there are all these delays and the design process is horrible. At no point during our build with Heartland did we get a call to say, “There’s a horrible problem.” We give their process a lot of credit.

Liz: Nothing went wrong!

Andy: Everything was smooth and easy.


Would you recommend Heartland Builders to someone looking to build on their own lot?

Liz: YES! Especially as first-time builders. They guided everything throughout the process – it was very comforting.

Andy: You stick with people who do you right!

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

Liz: Personalized.

If you had to name your home, what would you call it?

Liz: Throughout the design process, if black was an option, I wanted it to be black. I wanted a Rolling Stones theme, so we talked about naming it “Loren.” The Rolling Stones have a song called, “Pour More Wine Sophia Loren.” I also drink a lot of wine!

Is there anything else you would like to add that we didn’t ask?

Andy: What we’re really looking forward to is feeling like we’re on vacation every time we’re home.

We’re very proud of our 2021 Parade Home, and can’t wait for Liz and Andy to move in and experience “Loren” first-hand! Building a new home with Heartland Builders is easy, fun, and fast(er than you think)! To learn more, please contact us at 616-205-5430. We can’t wait to get started on your dream home!