Almost a year ago, my husband and I set out to find our first home. We looked at the variety of home builders around the area, and after researching the companies we decided to build with M/I Homes. The other big builder in central Ohio is Dominion Homes, but they were being investigated at the time for steering people and basically lying about the financial process which led to tons of home foreclosures. We wanted nothing to do with that so I recalled working with a woman a few years ago that had used M/I to build her first home and was very pleased with the outcome. After looking through floor plans and visiting models, we knew that M/I was right for us. The sales associate was extremely friendly and very helpful. He answered all of our questions right away and didn’t try to pressure or steer us into a certain house. After making deposits and signing a contract we got to see the house transform before our eyes. The entire process went very smooth, and everyone at M/I from the sales associate to the Construction Manager to the Financial advisor, was extremely helpful.
So who is M/I Homes? M/I Homes, owned by the Schottenstein’s, is based out of Columbus, Ohio but also builds homes in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Washington D.C and Virginia area, Baltimore, Charlotte, Raleigh, Tampa, Orlando, and West Palm Beach. They also have 2 other lines of homes named “Showcase Homes”, which are luxury homes built in central Ohio and “Shamrock Homes”, which are premier homes built in Lake County Florida.
So what is it that sets M/I apart from the other builders, and what do they offer the potential homeowner? Upon searching online for complaints and problems with home builders, I found only a handful of “issues” with M/I, whereas other builders had too many to keep track of. They are also a member of the Better Business Bureau. M/I has also been building homes since 1967 and has built approximately 67,000 homes for eager homeowners. They are constantly keeping track of trends in home design, inside and out, and offer a very wide range of floor plans and options. M/I has a large selection of communities to choose from, depending what area of the city or even the country you are looking to live.
When we first spoke with the sales associate, we expressed our concerns on finding a community that was away from the city and had a very good public school system. He automatically gave us a map of the outlying communities, as well as the state ranking for the schools in the areas. With this information, along with the floor plans, we were able to find the community that was perfect for us and our children.
Besides having a great selection of houses and floor plans, they also have a good variety of add-ons and upgrades. When we signed the contract for our house, they were having a promotion. They deducted $15,000 from the base price of the house, which we could leave as a deduction or use to add features and upgrade appliances. We decided to add on a couple features and upgrade some of our appliances, which we would not have been able to do without the initial deduction in place. In the end we got more house for our money, especially when they offered to drop the house price even more when the housing prices dropped.
So what amenities do they offer to the potential homebuyer, besides variety? With every house you receive a 30 year structural warranty, which is transferable if you ever sell your home. Before closing you do a final walk thru, which is where you take note of anything that needs fixed or replaced. But it doesn’t end there. 90 days after closing, they return for a 2nd walk thru where you can point out any other items that need fixed or replaced. Also, if you would like, M/I will also schedule a one-year appointment to check the drywall in the house. Besides having a great warranty program, they also have a very educated staff and top notch construction supervisors. Our construction supervisor made sure we knew exactly what was going to happen along the building process when we met with him prior to breaking ground. Along the way we were also able to contact him via e-mail or phone with any questions or concerns that arose.
On top of all of this, you can also add in a free Brinks home security system, high quality materials and appliances (such as energy star appliances), the ability to walk through your home during any point of the building process and see the “quality control card” which shows what point they are at with the build, and a great bonus of what they refer to as a “worry-free mortgage plan”. The worry-free mortgage plan kicks in once you have owned your home for 60 days. If for some reason you are involuntarily unemployed within the 16 months following the first 60 days, they will help pay up to 100% of your P&I. There are limitations such as the amount can’t be more than $1,250 per payment and it can’t be for longer than 6 months, but it is a nice thing to have for some kind of safety net.
In the end when the foundation settled and the paint dried, we were extremely happy with our new home and actually enjoyed the entire building process. You always hear horror stories about the amount of paper work involved and how hard it is to buy a new house, but M/I made it seem very simple. They made the experience so comfortable, it seemed as if they were doing all of the work for us and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the experience. We love our home and our community, and we would definitely use M/I homes to build another home for us in the future.