My husband and I spent years trying to find the perfect house to purchase for our growing family and with the existing houses out there we couldn’t find the one that had everything we were looking for. As Generation X’ers we needed a down stairs guest suite for our aging Baby Boomer parents to stay in when they came in from out of town to visit. Finally we decided that the only way we were going to get what we needed was to build, but with whom? We spoke with countless builders in our area, but none of them were willing to customize a house in order for it to be the home we needed, that is until we found Lifestyle. We were leery about talking to a custom builder at first because we thought customizing a home was going to be way too expensive. Lifestyle doesn’t nickel and dime you like many of the other custom builders – they are very upfront with their pricing and are comparable to the “cookie cutter” builder’s prices, but their quality of work leaves those builders in the dust and you get the home you want the way you want it. Isn’t that the whole point of building anyways?
Michelle Altman was our Lifestyle agent and she actually listened to what we needed, she found a plan that had everything we wanted and even found a lot in a neighborhood we wanted, unfortunately, the people on the lot next to us were building the house the same house and we knew the HOA wouldn’t allow two identical houses next to each other. Chuck Carlisle from Lifestyle jumped in to help us though and helped us to customize an elevation that really stands out among the other houses in our neighborhood. Had it not been for both Michelle and Chuck’s hard work finding a plan and elevation we and the HOA could live with we might still be looking.
We signed the contract and HOA approved of the house, now the fun began as Karen Hicks, our design studio guru joined us on our journey of building with Lifestyle. She knew we were first time builders as we’d always bought existing houses, and she was so patient with us and knowledgeable about everything. My husband and I felt safe with her and listened to her recommendations when we bounced ideas off of her. She was so quick to reply back to emails and phone calls and really took her time with us when we had meetings with her. She was amazing and such a pleasure to work with. I don’t think I would have had as much fun building had it not been for her.
Last to join us on our Lifestyle team was our lot supervisor, Shawn Gillespie. Talk about someone that knows every aspect of building a house – I must tell you, other neighbors who were building in my subdivision had serious “lot supervisor jealous” issues with Shawn. He was on site watching and managing our build every day. Other sites would go weeks without their lot supervisor so much as do a drive-by of their house, but not Shawn. If I had a question about something I saw I would either call or email Shawn and within minutes he would be calling me back asking if I wanted to meet him at the lot, or answering my simple question after he went and personally checked what I was referring to. My husband and I have heard horror stories about building and we were always put off to the idea of it because of the stories we’d been told, but thanks to Shawn we never had our own story to add to the collection. He made this process seamless and enjoyable.
Within a week of moving in to our home there was a knock on our front door. We thought it might be a neighbor stopping by to introduce themselves to us, but it wasn’t, it was Kevin McNulty, the owner of Lifestyle. My goodness, what owner takes time out of their schedule to personally check in on their clients? The contract is signed, the check for the house is cashed, we have the keys to the house – you would think we’d be tossed to the curb since it was officially a done deal. Nope, not to Kevin – we’re still a customer of his and he wanted to personally stop by and check in on us and see what we think of the house. Never had we felt like we were just a customer during the process, but having Kevin come over really solidified that we chose the right custom builder to build our home, as they truly did care what we wanted and that at the end of the day, we were happy.
It’s been 4 months since we moved in and still my husband and I will comment about how much we love our home. There are so many builders to pick from to build you a house, but in our mind, only one builder is worthy enough to build you a home, and that’s Lifestyle.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and trust me when I say that Lifestyle won’t build you a house, they will build you a home, just like they built us our dream home.
- A. O’Donnell