HOMEARAMA® Comes to the City in 2020

HOMEARAMA® Comes to the City in 2020

Everything you need to know about Walworth Junction

Site of HOMEARAMA® 2020

The Highlights:

  • First LEED ND Certified Neighborhood – Greenest Neighborhood in the area!
  • 39 Luxury, Single Family Homes 
  • Site of HOMEARAMA® – July 2020 

For the first time in, well, ever, HOMEARAMA® 2020 is coming to the City of Cincinnati. We’re especially excited with this site as it’ll be one of the most impressive and ground breaking (literally) that we’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Why? Well because this happens to be an old railroad maintenance site that has been completely remediated by the developer and EPA to be the future site of 39 contiguous, luxury single family homes. It’ll be a one of a kind community in the City of Cincinnati for so many reasons…

Here’s what you need to know:

The History:

As a former railroad maintenance station, this site is rich in railroad history, formally known Pendleton Yards. Not to be confused with Pendleton outside of OTR, this yard and station saw it’s fair share of traffic and cars up to the mid 20th century. Over the summer of 2019, the developer in conjunction with EPA and Terracon, have been removing dirt to turn a former “brownfield” into a gorgeous new community!

The Developer:

East End Develepment LLC is comprised of two veteran developers, TJ Ackermann and Ralph Meierjohan. The two partners have developed countless communities over the years, including recent Citirama sites, Woodlawn Meadows and Springrose Meadows. Having decades of experience in development and building, they’re gaining national attention for Walworth Junction because of it’s site remediation, design and it’s location!

The Location:

Located just down the street from the Precinct Restaurant on Delra, it’s ideally located on the edge of Columbia Tusculum in the East End and around the corner from Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout. All 39 homes are walkable to Eli’s BBQ, Hi Mark, Allyns and Pearls, not to mention countless other little shops and watering holes. This is the draw of Walworth Junction. And better yet, it’s a hop, skip and a jump from Downtown Cincinnati.

The Amenities:

One of our favorite features of Walworth Junction is it’s own park. As you enter into the community, the park stretches hundreds of feet along Walworth and ends with a tunnel connecting homeowners and neighbors to Riverside Drive. Additionally, each home will have views of the River and the City of Cincinnati. It’s raised topography allows for these views from the 2nd and 3rd floors along with the rooftop decks, should owners go that route. AND…each owner will utilize the private drive, alley way for a rear entry garage, which means the front elevations and the streetscape isn’t dominated by garages on the front of homes!

The Taxes:

With all of the homes being LEED Gold by Green Building Council, the tax rate is locked in for ALL 39 homes. This is part of the LEED ND (Neighborhood Development) certification, making Walworth Junction the first community in Cincinnati with that designation! In addition, there is an additional TIF Assessment on all of the lots for the EPA site mitigation, which is still being finalized. Details will be released in the coming months on this..

The Builders

With HOMEARAMA® set for July 2020, the preferred builders have been set and homes will start coming out of the ground in Dec of 2019. Currently, the featured builders for Walworth Junction are:

Frazier Homes
JNB Custom Homes
Redknot Custom Homes
Somerset Custom Homes
Sterling Homes

 

The Green: 

Walworth Junction will be “the greenest” Homearama show ever! And did we mention, the first in Cincinnati to be LEED ND (Neighborhood Development) certified. Without getting too technical, this means ALL of the new homes will be LEED certified, there are points for the smart location and linkages being so close to the City, and due to it’s overall design. It will be the first subdivision that has mandated LEED Gold for every home…so you’re in good company as a resident of Walworth Junction.

So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to take a drive over to the community and meet with the builders so you can get your hands on one of the best lots!

Visit the Website at WalworthJunction.com or call us at 513-260-0424 and we’d be happy to set up a site walk!

Introducing the Meadows at Peterloon

Introducing the Meadows at Peterloon

Introducing the Meadows at Peterloon

New Opportunity to Build in Indian Hill

Every once in a while a new development comes around and REALLY excites us. The Meadows at Peterloon is one of those! With a proposed 42 lots in The Village of Indian Hill, right off Montgomery Rd, on storied ground, this new community will be sure to make a statement and has already garnered much attention.

Here’s why:

Located on 142 acres of ground still owned by a few of the descendants of the Emery family, the tradition and history runs deep. The development team is working to preserve this heritage and pay homage to it’s history by designing a community that their family would be proud of.

As you may know, Indian Hill has very distinct zoning districts, typically in 1, 3 and 5 acre zones. This acreage happens to fall into each of those. That means, there are lots as “small” as 1 acre and up to 5 acres. Over the 142 acres, there are sections of woods as well as open farm fields, many of which have sweeping views. In total, there are 42 lots in the entire community, 27 of which will be developed in the 1st phase off two cul-de-sac streets.

Situated on the northern portion of Indian Hill, this property has a few very unique selling features. Walkability it the one we’re most excited about. There aren’t too many areas in Indian Hill that you’re connected to sidewalks. Nestled up against the City of Montgomery, the entrance of Meadows of Peterloon is right across the street from the Montgomery City Building. This allows access for residents to capitalize on all of the sidewalks in the community as well as dozens of restaurants and watering holes! Pretty rare for an Indian Hill Community!

One less glamorous feature is the access to sewer and water! Indian Hill is often synonymous with on-site sewer systems because of it’s rural nature. But, there are NO on-site systems needed in Meadows of Peterloon! That saves buyers anywhere from $50-$75,000+ depending on the size of the home.

These are just a few of the reasons buyers are clamoring to get into Meadows of Peterloon. Many lots are already under hold as they begin to start the development. Although much is still subject to change, the layouts and designs are being finalized by the developer and Village of Indian Hill. The developer and their team tell us that they plan to have lots ready for building towards the end of the Summer 2020. That means you could be in by that time 2021…trust us, that’s not too far away.

If you’re considering building in Indian Hill, you owe it to yourself to consider this new community. And we’re happy to share information! Classic Living Homes and Sterling Homes are already working on plans for homes in the community and would be happy to sit down with you to discuss the options!!

Don’t wait as lots are being locked up as you read this!

Your Guide to Building A Home In Mason

Your Guide to Building A Home In Mason

Mason is a Hot Spot For New Construction!

We Break Down the Top 3 Options for Custom Homes

The Mason area continues to be a hot spot for new construction, and for good reason! With a top rated school district, an abundance of recreational outlets nearby, a wide variety of shopping and dining, and close proximity to I-71 and I-75, new home buyers consistently add Mason to their top choice for a new home. As the 2109 selling season goes into full swing, we wanted to give you a brief outline of three of the most popular New Home Communities in Mason.

Kensington

  • Site of Homearama 2019
  • Custom Homes from the $800s
  • Half Acre to One Acre Lots
  • Community Pool, Playground, and Gardens
  • Superb Location off of Fields Ertel Road

Vintage Oaks

  • Custom Homes from the $700s
  • Half Acre Home sites with Walkout Options
  • Water features throughout the Community
  • Mature trees & wooded views
  • Conveniently Location off of Duke Blvd

Long Cove

  • Prestigious Community
  • Custom Homes from the $800s
  • Elegant Clubhouse & Community Pool
  • Picturesque Waterways and Streetscape
  • Beautiful Entrances at Wilken and Snider

For more information, contact Mike Hines at 513.260.0424 or Jan Gerding at 513.608.3770 at Build Collective at Coldwell Banker West Shell. They can get you started on building your perfect home in 2019!

Allowances…. How Do They Work?

Allowances…. How Do They Work?

If you’ve built a custom home or are just thinking about building, you’ve probably heard the word ‘allowances’ thrown around. Typically, the term is used to describe one of the most confusing and overwhelming parts of the building process, but that shouldn’t be the case. I’m here to explain how allowances work and how to best capitalize on them with your builder.

So, what is an allowance? Well, just think of it as CASH!! What’s better than cash? When a custom builder prices out a home, there are several items that can’t be defined or selected up front. An example could be the cabinets or countertops. Since you can select virtual any item under the sun, a builder gives you a cash value that you can utilize to pick out items for your home.

Here’s an example: A builder offers you a $7,000 allowance for countertops. This could go towards whatever you pick: granite, quartz, cultured marble, soapstone…you name it! You’d head to a granite or countertop supplier, typically one the builder recommends (they tend to have preferred vendors), and make a few selections for them to price out.

 

 

 

 

 

A few items in the home that are often allowance based are:

  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Landscaping
  • Flooring (Carpet, Hardwood, etc)
  • Tile
  • Lighting
  • Closet Shelves
  • Appliances
  • Interior Trim
  • Plumbing Fixtures

IMPORTANT NOTE:  When reviewing if an allowance is adequate, try to do some research! You can hop online, but more importantly, go to the vendors and suppliers. They can provide accurate estimates that include labor, materials, design, etc. You can also compare builders to one another keeping in mind that it’s VERY difficult to compare apples to apples unless you’re looking at the exact same plan, spec and allowances!

The good news is allowances are often traded amongst each other. Think of all of your allowances as separate buckets of cash. You can take money from one to help pay for another. If you’d rather spend your money on a high end appliance package because you’re a gourmet chef, then take a little bit off a few other less important items like landscaping or lighting.

Tips for managing your allowances:

  1. If you know an allowance isn’t adequate, increase it! This can be through negotiating or adding cost to the contract. If you go over your allowances, you often have to pay cash at the end of the build. Why not increase it slightly and finance that amount. You always have the option of putting more cash down at the end, but at least you’re not backed into a corner!
  2. Ask your builder for a list of suppliers and vendors. Go and meet with them briefly to discuss what things cost. A few meetings can give you peace of mind in knowing where you stand.
  3. Tour Homes! Chances are your builder has a few recent homes that you can tour. Ask them what they spent on the kitchen cabinets, bath fixtures, etc. If it was built within the past year, those numbers should be relatively close.
  4. Watch out for the internet! Chances are most items are cheaper online. You can buy everything on Amazon, but do you really want to outfit your house on there? Local Suppliers and Vendors might be a bit more expensive, but your builder uses them because they more reliable, they include installation (most often), and you know you can call them if there’s an issue. Builders always dread the statement, “I found this cheaper online!” so beware!

ALTERNATIVES: If you’re not comfortable with Allowances, there are alternatives that builders can occasionally offer. They’re not as common in custom building and often a little more restricting, but some builders might offer packages of selection items. This is common in production or semi-production builders. They offer lighting packages, countertop packages, or potentially option A,B,C packages that you can choose from. This is easier to manage and keeps you for over-spending, but are limiting because you can’t select anything under the sun! There is a time and place for this type of selection process so try to know yourself before jumping into this type of situation.

If you’re still with me now, that means you’re an allowance expert and you have nothing to worry about! Chances are you’ve selected (or will select) a great builder and will do the necessary research to feel comfortable. If you’re still a little weary, reach out to a new construction specialist/agent in your area! They can save you TONS of money!

Happy Hunting!

Understanding New Construction Contracts

Understanding New Construction Contracts

If you’ve started to interview builders, you’ve likely started to see the difference on how they operate. They each have areas they thrive in and other’s not so much. But no matter their skill set or competitive advantages, you’ll ultimately get to the big step of reviewing and signing a contract with one of them.  Even though this might be months from the first day you meet with them, it’s important to start asking questions early on their contract!

I bring this up because we’ve seen deals fall apart after drawings are finished and bulldozers are at the site because the Buyer or Builder didn’t agree on some facet of the contract. So, don’t wait until your 2nd or 8th meeting with the builder to review the contract, start EARLY!

And when you do, you need to know about the different types of contracts! Forget about the fine print, the overall premise of the contract is what’s most important in the beginning. What I mean by that is, how are you paying your builder? Is it a cost plus contract or a fixed price contract? This is a VERY important item to ask.

Below are the types of contracts and how each works:

Fixed Price Contract – The cost of building a home is essentially the sum of all the parts from foundation to countertops! A fixed cost contract puts the risk on the builder to price out all of the items accurately to be sure he has ample cost and profit in the deal for him. When you execute a Fixed Price Contract, the builder bids out the plan (typically) to all of his vendors and suppliers, adds allowances for items you need to pick, adds his profit margin and then gives you a price. The profit margin might be fixed on his initial pro-forma (which they may or may not share), but ultimately it will slide up and down based on the cost of each non-allowance based item. The spec sheet guides his choices to be sure he doesn’t skimp on anything in the house.

Benefits:

  • The Builder’s responsible for any overruns (not caused by the land).
  • You know your price from Day 1 of contract signing!
  • Your bank can easily give you a loan based on a for sure number (minus allowance overruns)

Negatives:

  • The builder will try to save money where ever they can.  
  • It’s on you to stay in line with your allowances and be sure they’re adequate for your taste.
  • You might not see what your Builder’s profit margin is.

Cost Plus Contract –  The alternative to a fixed priced contract is cost plus where you see each and every item that is needed to build a home. The Builder will get bids for each item and then take on a fee for themselves. This fee can be a cost plus or a management fee. Examples might be a 15% cost plus or $100,000 management fee added to the cost. Sometime it can be both! They can be floating depending on how the scale of the build carries out. The responsibility is on the builder AND the client to review the bids to make sure they’re accurate and there is enough buffer to make sure you’re covered. These contracts can fluctuate in price drastically depending on how things go on the building site and how well your builder priced each of the categories.

Benefits:

  • Full transparency because you can see each of the costs
  • You know exactly what your builder is being paid!
  • You can influence each item if you care to.

Negatives:

  • Builder profit can be tied to how much YOU spend.
  • The builder is less concerned about keeping price under control.
  • The price is always moving – positively or negatively!

As you meet with Builders, be sure to talk with them about how they operate on this regard. If you have a preferred way to go about it, you’ll want to be sure you let the builder know that from the get go! No sense wasting your time if you and the builder can’t agree on the framework for a future deal!!

As a bonus, here are a few questions to ask your builder about their contracts…

  • What is the deposit and when do I give that to you?
  • How long does it take to build a home and will the delivery date be added into the contract)?
  • Ask about their financial capacity to pay subcontractors and how quickly they are paid.
  • If there are issues with construction, timing, execution, how are they handled?
  • Do you finance the construction or do I need a construction loan?

I  know this seems a bit overwhelming, but it’s important!  An as always, feel free to reach out to Build Cincinnati to help guide you through the new construction buying process.

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