Why a New Home Might Be the Most Affordable Home

Don’t look now, but the most affordable home might be a newly built home.

The last year has witnessed one of the most competitive real estate markets in history. Low supply and high demand for single-family homes ignited home prices, shrinking the price gap between existing properties and new construction homes.

Meanwhile, escalating renovation costs combined with the higher purchase prices have made it far more costly for homebuyers to modernize their property and bring up to speed.

Toss in the added purchasing power delivered by low interest rates and the draw of new construction has never been so great.

Supply, Demand, and a Hungry Market

Low inventory is driving the present-day’s heated real estate market. According to Realtor.com, available home inventory at the close of February 2021 was nearly 50 percent lower than February 2020.

Amid slim supply, there are also more house hunters in the market. The number of first-time homebuyers scouting properties has climbed in 2021 while move-up buyers, particularly those trading their spot in multi-unit dwellings for a single-family home with private spaces, have entered the market as well.

The mix of low supply and high demand has spurred a rather predictable consequence: elevated prices. Home prices are up more than 10 percent year over year, according to CoreLogic, and rising at a pace not seen since 2006.

And there seems to be little relief on the horizon, as forecasters expect prices to climb throughout 2021 and into 2022. Researchers at Zillow predict that the nation’s median home value will rise about 10.5 percent over the next year, while Freddie Mac’s researchers anticipate a more modest, yet still significant gain of 5.4 percent.

In the meat of the market – homes priced $300,000-500,000 in metro Chicago – buyers have flocked to existing properties, including some eager buyers making above-ask offers on the spot. The aggressive tactics then elevate the market on comp homes. Many sellers are asking themselves: If my neighbor sold in one day for $400,000, then why shouldn’t I list my similar home for $425,000?

Even for those who land an existing property, the price to modernize and renovate that home is bringing some sticker shock. Supply chain issues have made it expensive and challenging to secure materials like lumber while many contractors, flooded with job opportunities, have raised their prices as well.

Personal finance expert Sam Dagen told homeowners they should “expect everything to cost 50 percent more and take 50 percent longer.”

The Appeal of New Construction

The combination of low supply, high demand, and rising prices to purchase and renovate a home has placed a bright light on new construction.

Some house hunters are not only turning to new construction to escape the frenzied environment of the resale market, but because more and more see it as a feasible and smart investment, especially given mortgage interest rates.

At the start of 2020, the national average on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage rate sat around 3.75 percent. Then, it fell and fell and fell again, setting more than a dozen record lows over recent months. In June 2021, the 30-year national average hovered at 3 percent.

Today’s 30-year mortgage rates are down more than 50 percent from 2000 and about one-third lower than they were in 2010, a time in which “historically low mortgage rates” generated hefty headlines as the nation crawled out of the Great Recession.

Lower rates have given homebuyers increased buying power. Consider this: a homebuyer with a 30-year interest rate of 2.75 percent gains more than $23,000 in spending power compared to one holding a 3.25 percent rate.

Beyond the low interest rates, those buying new construction also avoid any immediate renovations, including the costs and hassles that come with remodeling and repairs.

This has all heightened the appeal of new construction.

With a new Gallagher and Henry home, for instance, you will pick your own flooring, cabinets, finishes, and more while the newly built home will feature all new materials and mechanicals to minimize maintenance expenses. Gallagher and Henry’s ENERGY STAR-certified homes, meanwhile, ensure lower costs and enhanced comfort.

New construction, once something a qualified homebuyer might have mistakenly overlooked, is now a more real and attractive reality, so don’t be afraid to dive in and explore the possibilities with Gallagher and Henry.

Couple Sees New Construction as the Clear Choice

With a clear eye on what they wanted in their next home and confidence in Gallagher and Henry as a homebuilder, Sarah and Dan pegged the family-owned homebuilder to construct the couple’s new home in Woodridge’s Farmingdale Village community in 2020. Sarah discusses the couple’s hunt for a new home, choosing new construction over the resale market, and putting faith in Gallagher and Henry.

Sarah and Dan began looking for a new home in the summer of 2020. “We were outgrowing our townhome in Naperville and were eager to set deeper roots with a single-family home of our own.”

The couple began their home search by exploring the resale market. “We didn’t know exactly what we wanted, but we knew what we didn’t like. We found so many homes needing a lot of updating and the thought of living through a renovation and having to invest in that wasn’t terribly appealing.”

Rather quickly, Sarah and Dan pivoted to investigating new construction with Gallagher and Henry at Farmingdale Village in Woodridge. “When we sat down with [Gallagher and Henry sales manager] Sandie Kanakes, we realized the advantages of building new and the choice became pretty clear. We hurried to sell our townhome and set up a contract with Gallagher and Henry.”

The Gallagher and Henry name was especially familiar to Sarah. Not only had about 10 family members worked for Gallagher and Henry over the years, including her grandfather, but Sarah grew up in Farmingdale Village. “I always wanted to stay in the area, so building with Gallagher and Henry in Farmingdale Village was the obvious choice.”

Still, the couple did their research. They scoured online reviews and queried family members with construction industry backgrounds. “And everything checked out. Gallagher and Henry was so highly recommended for the quality of work they do.”

A large, open kitchen was at the top the couple’s new home wish list. “Dan likes to cook and I like to bake.” The couple also wanted a basement, a large backyard, and lots of windows for natural light.

Initially drawn to the Calysta, the largest of Gallagher and Henry’s six Lifestyle Series home plans, Sarah and Dan fell in love with the Briarcliffe upon touring the model at Lemont’s Covington Knolls community. “With the open two-story foyer, the staircase, and the natural light pouring in, the Briarcliffe immediately caught our attention. Then, when we got into the kitchen and saw how it opened to the entire first floor, that really sealed the deal.”

Yet, the couple had some specific requests and wanted to explore modifications to the Briarcliffe plan. Sarah and Dan requested an extra one-foot ceiling height in the basement, a fireplace, and the addition of flagstone to the home’s front exterior. “Sandie got us pricing on those things immediately and we were able to move forward.”

Though friends warned Sarah and Dan of a complicated process when building a new home, Sarah calls her dealings with Gallagher and Henry “completely seamless” and free of stress. “I’m a second guesser by nature, but Sandie and [superintendent] Ed Holmquist were so reassuring and responsive and worked with us every step of the way. Having people who were super friendly and kind was the cherry on top of being able to build our home together.”

After selling their townhome in October, Sarah and Dan spent the next six months living with Sarah’s parents a block from their soon-to-be completed home. They visited the construction site daily and closed on the purchase March 23, 2021. “When the home was officially ours, it was actually kind of strange to have the keys all to ourselves and no one needing to lock up behind us.”

Now settled into their new home, Sarah and Dan look forward to a lifetime of making memories in Farmingdale Village. “It’s the perfect place for us to grow into.”

Construction of New Homes Is Rising. Here’s Why.

The construction of new homes in the U.S. is hitting levels not seen since 2006.

With construction starts on single-family homes rising at a double-digit rate throughout the spring and building permit applications climbing alongside them, the United States could host as many as 1.75 million new homes by the close of 2021.

So, what’s behind this new housing boom? There are four key factors driving house hunters to new construction:

#1: Limited Supply of Existing Properties

In the Chicago area and in many markets across the country, the number of existing properties on the market sits well below typical norms. In the nine-county metro Chicago area, for example, active home listings are half of what they were before the pandemic struck in March 2020. The slim supply of existing home inventory is fueling bidding wars on properties, pushing homebuyers to make fast decisions, and creating unsettling experiences.

In choosing to build a new home, you can avoid the chaotic resale market, a rushed process, and pricing ambiguity. Gallagher and Henry, for instance, is fully transparent on its pricing and has a defined, streamlined, and time-tested process for bringing your new home to life.

#2: Low Interest Rates

Yes, it’s true that low interest rates apply to an existing property just as well as they do to a new home. But rather than selecting a fixer upper or starter home – and dealing with that home’s inevitable updates, renovations, and repairs – buyers are taking advantage of historically low interest rates to get into their forever home now.

Combined with new construction’s lower maintenance costs and improved energy efficiency, buyers see taking advantage of current low rates to purchase a newly built home today as a savvy long-term financial play as well as one that gets them into their dream home.

#3: Convenience

After a year marked with inconveniences brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, house hunters aren’t much interested in additional disruptions and hassle. Many look to their home to be a place of serenity, not strife, and don’t want their home complicating life.

In building a new home, you get new mechanicals, new windows, new appliances as well as a home built in your image. That means no haggling with contractors about renovation projects or repairs and no long days spent hunting for a new oven or refrigerator at retail stores.

#4: Control

With so much out of our control over the last year, even seemingly pre-determined things such as kids being in school, so many people stand eager to regain control. New construction enables just that.

With Gallagher and Henry, you select your lot and your home plan. Then, you can customize the home to your needs and tastes, selecting colors and finishes while also working with the Gallagher and Henry team on any modifications to the existing floor plan. Whether it’s extending a flex room, a finished basement, or adding another full bath to the second floor, you have the ultimate say so on how your home looks on day one.

Join the New Construction Party

The surge in new home construction has not happened by accident. More and more homebuyers are rejecting the resale market and choosing to build a new home because of the clear financial and lifestyle benefits new construction provides.

Gallagher and Henry invites you to build your own home in eight different communities across Chicago’s southwest suburbs. With luxury elements and in-demand features like open-concept floor plans, three-car garages, and flex spaces engrained in its Lifestyle Series home plans and a track record of high-quality construction running across eight different decades, Gallagher and Henry offers an exciting solution to your home search.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, But They Both Want Updated Kitchens

Maybe men and women aren’t so different after all.

In Zolo’s 2021 Home Buyers Survey, both men and women identified an updated kitchen as one of the most desirable features in a home.

Two out of three men (67 percent) named an updated kitchen as a top priority, trailing only private outdoor space as the most prominent wish, while 64 percent of women wanted an updated kitchen. Among women’s top preferences, only updated HVAC (73 percent) and a patio or deck (65 percent) eclipsed an updated kitchen.

In a move sure to please both men and women, Gallagher and Henry’s six Lifestyle Series home plans feature gourmet kitchens packed with modern elements and high-quality materials designed for contemporary living. With its open-concept floor plans, the Lifestyle Series ensures the kitchen captures its title as the heart of the home.

A Focus on Function

We ask a lot of our kitchens these days. While the kitchen’s core purpose revolves around cooking, baking, and eating, kitchens also serve as family boardrooms, workspaces for children or adults, and social hubs. Gallagher and Henry designs its kitchens with these diverse everyday activities in mind.

In its Lifestyle Series home plans, Gallagher and Henry prioritizes functionality by mixing thoughtful layouts with usable space, extra seating, and ample storage.

  • In home plans like the Briarcliffe and Calysta, oversized kitchen islands offer additional workspace and seating, while the Fremont ranch plan hosts a second island for even more versatility.
  • The Amberwood, Briarcliffe, and Fremont plans include a walk-in pantry for hidden, yet easily accessible storage.
  • Both the Eden and Danbury have long kitchen walls dedicated to hosting various cabinetry configurations. This design offers exceptional storage solutions while also providing some visual design punch.
  • A chef’s desk in the Fremont provides another semi-private workspace, ideal as the home’s “back-office” nerve center for paying bills, crafting schedules, and other home management tasks.
  • A butler pantry in the Eden provides additional storage space and a side prep area away from the main kitchen.

In addition, Gallagher and Henry includes ENERGY STAR-rated kitchen appliances in every home. ENERGY STAR appliances use less energy, which benefits the homeowner’s pocketbook and the environment.

Delivering on Design

Alongside its clear focus on functionality, Gallagher and Henry understands homebuyers’ interest in aesthetically pleasing spaces. By blending durable materials with prudent interior design, Gallagher and Henry’s Lifestyle Series plans create style for the long haul.

You select your particular style and color of wood cabinets, a Moen faucet to sit above a double-bowl stainless steel sink, and your choice of granite countertops while countless options allow for one-of-a-kind customization.

A diverse array of hardwood flooring options, a standard feature in all Lifestyle Series home kitchens, also contributes to the overall look.

Finally, pendant lights illuminate kitchen islands and a chandelier hovering over the dining space serve a functional role while also adding a touch of distinctive style.

Kitchens for All

Pairing careful attention to detail with a mindful approach to kitchens that addresses both function and design, Gallagher and Henry’s Lifestyle Series home plans provide efficient, cozy kitchen spaces crafted for the needs of today and tomorrow.

And that’s something both men and women should enjoy.

How to Tackle Spring Cleaning with a Little Marie Kondo Inspiration

Spring is in the air, a time of blooming flowers, warming temperatures, and two words frequently uttered in homes across America: “Spring Cleaning.”

Celebrated organizing expert Marie Kondo champions a simplified, thoughtfully arranged environment as central to a serene life. Her much-ballyhooed KonMari method encourages a hands-on approach to home organization that begins with removing items that no longer belong in the home.

The KonMari method is the perfect complement to spring cleaning, where a commitment to tidying up, a focus on the essentials, and a work smarter-not harder approach can help you tune up your home and reduce the anxiety that a cluttered, messy home can induce.

Begin with a good decluttering escapade. If you can declutter first, you will capture some early feel-good spring-cleaning vibes and can more easily discern your next steps. Clear out any excess or out-of-season coats, shoes, umbrellas, purses, and other personal goods. Trash, recycle, and donate accordingly. Keep what you must and, in the spirit of KonMari, vanquish everything else.

Organize with a purpose. Everything you keep should have a place and then be in its place. In kitchen cabinets and the pantry, for instance, think like a grocery store merchandiser and stack items in a neat, orderly, and logical fashion for quick discovery.

Corral your cleaning supplies. To maximize efficiency, gather all your cleaning supplies together at the onset. Some must-have household items for spring cleaning: an all-purpose cleaner, a multitude of rags and paper towels, glass cleaner, gloves, a duster, and a sponge. Assemble the goods in one portable bin so you have what you need as you travel from room to room.

Enlist the help of the kids. Though few kids will volunteer for cleaning, it is important to make them a part of the solution – albeit with realistic expectations – so they are contributors to a well-kept home. While kindergartners might do little more than place items in a donation bag, that alone saves you some time and energy. Give one simple instruction at a time and perhaps outfit younger children with a “uniform” – gloves and an apron, for instance – to help them feel more engaged in the project.

Hit one room at a time. Adopt the baby-steps philosophy. Rather than thinking you must clean and organize the entire house in one motivated whirlwind of activity – a monumental, if not impossible task – focus instead on tidying up one room at a time, which is much more doable. Yet more, savor a sense of accomplishment when you leave that room sparkling and can move onto the next as opposed to having a series of in-process projects.

Slow and steady with the vacuum. Resist the need to hustle with the vacuum. In fact, the slower you go, the more dust and allergens you will remove.

Cap off the adventure. Find a candle or air freshener with a pleasing scent and let it run. Or, better yet, grab some fresh, fragrant flowers and place a vase on the dining room table. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

The Suburban Single-Family Home Surge

After years of homebuyers showing a preference for urban living, including multi-unit housing, the COVID-19 pandemic has put an intensely bright light on single-family homes in the suburbs.

In mass media and industry forums, mortgage brokers and real estate agents across the Chicago area and many other U.S. big cities have shared tale upon tale of city folk turning their eyes upon suburban homes. Some observers, in fact, have called it the latest urban exodus, the first of which occurred in the 1950s alongside the mainstream adoption of cars.

The appeal of dense, urban living has declined for many considering the novel coronavirus pandemic. With concerns over public health and safety, the city’s inherent allure – shorter commutes for downtown workers, public transportation, cultural events, and the city’s overall bustle among them – has withered.

More and more, urban dwellers are targeting the suburbs for a single-family home purchase, including never-before-lived-in new construction homes. Here are the top five reasons why.

#1: More Space
With homes doubling as workplaces, schools, recreation centers, and gyms throughout the pandemic, many urban residents have realized their homes are too small inside and out to accommodate such diverse needs. People, and particularly those living in space-constrained multi-unit housing, want more elbow room, more freedom of movement, and improved access to outdoor living. Quite naturally, that has spurred an increase in online searches of single-family suburban homes.

#2: Shifting Work Routines
Remote work soared amid the pandemic – and it is likely to exist well into the future for many Americans. While the swelling work-from-home reality has driven urban dwellers’ heightened interest in larger homes, including those with a dedicated workspace, the ability to telecommute has also empowered many to redefine their criteria when searching for a new home. With daily commutes reduced, if not eliminated, workers do not consider a close-to-city residence as critical.

#3: Affordability
Even the most ardent urban dwellers admit it is a challenge to get larger, economical homes close to a city’s downtown. That has fueled interest in the suburbs where homebuyers can often secure more bang for their buck.

Consider this: the median selling price of a single-family home in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood hovers around $1.5 million, while condominiums in the North Side neighborhood sit over $500,000, according to Chicago area real estate data. In Gallagher and Henry’s Covington Knolls community in Lemont, a new 2,604-square foot Danbury home – a brick 4-bedroom home with 2.5 bathrooms and a three-car garage – runs less than one-third the median cost of a Lincoln Park single-family home and even less than a Lincoln Park condo. The Danbury at Covington Knolls starts at $488,700 with plenty of luxury features baked into that base price.

#4: Changing Dynamics of City Life
With its cultural events and hip restaurants, the urban lifestyle compelled many to trade space and affordability for the action outside their doors. Amid COVID-19, however, museums, ballparks, theatres, and restaurants closed, putting a dent in the urban lifestyle that is only now begin to relent.

Yet more, the pandemic has increased awareness around healthy home environments. Those who may not have thought twice about a shared elevator ride or a communal fitness center in a high-rise condo before the pandemic are now more attuned to the potential risks such spaces carry.

#5: More Focused Eyes on the Future
For many, the anxiety, stress, and uncertainty of COVID-19 prompted reflection about what they really want in their overall life, including their home. And as pandemics have happened before and could certainly happen again, individuals are increasingly open to making more permanent changes, including opting for larger homes in suburban communities.

Behind the Build: Pam Rybarczyk

From sales staff and tradesmen to behind-the-scenes troubleshooters, dozens of personnel bring a Gallagher and Henry home to life. In “Behind the Build,” the Gallagher and Henry blog celebrates spirited members of our team.

Today, we introduce Pam Rybarczyk, the Jill-of-all-trades at Gallagher and Henry’s home office in Countryside. Over 21 years with Gallagher and Henry, Pam has represented the firm at hundreds of closings, addressed warranty issues, handled estimates on customer-requested changes to home plans, quarterbacked open houses, and even pinch hit for sales staff at community offices.

How did you come to join Gallagher & Henry in 2000?
I had worked in residential real estate for about a dozen years at a great family-owned homebuilder and really enjoyed it. The owner of that company, though, was going to disband the company and move elsewhere. He is actually the one who found the job opening with Gallagher and Henry in the newspaper and urged me to apply. He said they were a well-known and long-standing community builder with a great reputation.

What were you hired to do?
I was originally hired to help in the closing department, but quickly moved into customer service. My primary responsibility was to start up the customer service department and to centralize all the different customer service-related efforts going on across the company. At the time, we had 300-400 homes in progress, so there was quite a bit to coordinate and we did it in baby steps. Among the first things was streamlining the warranty process for customers and making that piece as seamless as possible for our homeowners. Any warranty issues came through me and I then worked with the supervisors and service technicians to make sure warranty issues were addressed in a timely, professional, and efficient manner.

Today, you touch so many different areas of the customer service process beyond the home warranties. What do you enjoy about that?
I really enjoy the diversity. I don’t concentrate on just one thing, but rather get to have my hands in so many different things and that means I’m always learning. It’s exhausting at times, but I’d rather be busy than twiddling my thumbs.

What makes your day special?
Over the last 20 years, I’ve attended countless closings. While the sales staff get to know the homebuyers from day one, I typically enter the picture as we move closer and closer to the closing. When we finally reach that day, the voice becomes the face when I get to meet them. The room is generally filled with a lot of positive energy, gratitude, and – before the pandemic turned everything virtual, at least – hugs. I’d say that’s pretty special.

What has kept you engaged and invested over these last 21 years with Gallagher and Henry?
It’s really the people. There’s such camaraderie in our company and we’re constantly working together toward a common goal, which is to make sure our homebuyers get the house they want. Each person we build for is such an individual and I love meeting them and playing a part in bringing their new home to life.

What fills up your time outside of work?
I love sports. My kids – now 20 and 25 – were so involved with baseball and softball for years, that it’s in my blood. I’m a massive Blackhawks and Cubs fan.

In the Spotlight: Kingston Hills

Gallagher and Henry entered new territory when it unveiled Kingston Hills. After initially making its mark in Chicago neighborhoods and collar suburbs in Cook and DuPage Counties, Gallagher and Henry ventured into Will County for the first time with Kingston Hills, a massive 410-acre site in southwest suburban Homer Township.

Today, Kingston Hills continues leading the charge in Homer Glen. With average lot sizes of 75-by-150 feet, Kingston Hills exemplifies Homer Glen’s village motto – “Community and Nature … in Harmony” – by providing its residents a slice of suburban privacy alongside the amenities and conveniences of modern life.

    • Prices for new single-family homes in Kingston Hills start at $441,800.  
    • Find Kingston Hills: The Kingston Hills community is located immediately east of Bell Road on 151st Street.  
    • Sister Communities: Kingston Hills is one of two Gallagher and Henry communities in Homer Glen. Its sibling community, Goodings Grove, sits approximately one mile north.  
    • Way Back When: Gallagher and Henry first opened sales of Kingston Hills in 1993 with a first phase consisting of 105 homes and capacity for some 800 homes. Early buyers could select from 17 different floor plans with base prices starting at $165,590.  
    • A Mature Community Today: Given Kingston Hills longstanding roots in Homer Glen, the community is fully developed with streetlights and parkway trees as well as the Kingston Hills Park and a community biking trail.  
    • A Homeowner’s Perspective: “Living in Kingston Hills, we’ve gotten the best of both worlds: a peaceful feeling in a quiet community and a vibrant neighborhood with friendly neighbors and access to everything we need,” Joan K. says.  
    • Lifestyle Series Launching Pad: In 2010, Gallagher and Henry tabbed Kingston Hills as the host site of its first Lifestyle Series home plan, the Amberwood ranch. Developed from extensive market research from prospective homebuyers as well as its current homeowners, Lifestyle Series plans include the most sought-after amenities, including open-concept floor plans, three-car garages, brick construction, and substantial storage solutions. Five additional plans have joined the Amberwood in Gallagher and Henry’s Lifestyle Series portfolio, including a second ranch plan called the Fremont.  
    • Fast fact: According to geologists, the rolling hills so prevalent around Kingston Hills owe their presence to the Wisconsin glacier that stalled some 10,000 years ago in this particular patch of northern Illinois.  
    • Super Schools: Kingston Hills families have access to accomplished public schools. Both Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C, which serves some 3,800 preK-8 students, and the 3,800-student Lockport Township High School District 205 outpace state averages in English Language Arts, Math, and Science proficiency scores.  
    • Happy in Homer Glen: In its most recent National Citizen Survey, more than 90 percent of Homer Glen residents rated the village as a “good” or “excellent” place to live and raise a family. Residents also gave the village stellar marks for safety, ease of travel, K-12 education, and the natural environment. Nine out of 10 residents, meanwhile, reported they would recommend living in Homer Glen to others.

Interested in learning more about Kingston Hills? The sales office is open Thursday-Sunday from 9am-5pm. To schedule a visit or to request additional information, please contact the Kingston Hills sales office at (708) 301-1999.

Why Winter is a Winning Season for Your New Home Adventure

Winter might not seem like the best time to begin the new home construction process – and it’s an understandable assumption. Frigid temperatures and snow piles, after all, do not necessarily conjure up images of an active homebuilding scene in the Chicago area.

But truth be told, there are some significant advantages to launching the homebuilding process during the winter season. By kickstarting the effort in wintertime, you can line up scheduling, permitting, and design, immediately initiate construction when the weather does break, and enjoy your new home before the cold air returns.

Advantage #1: Beating the Rush
Spring generally brings a flurry of activity into the market from eager buyers. By starting the home buying process in winter, however, you beat others to the punch. You get an early jump on securing the lot, home plan, and exterior design you want; minimize the risk of permit delays; and stand at the front of the line when the weather enables excavation and foundation work to take place.

Advantage #2: A Pinch More Planning Time
A winter start allows you to firm up plans and finalize details before construction even begins. This way, you avoid wasting the best months for construction on planning and selections. You have a bit more time to consider materials and finishes as well as any custom features you desire.

Advantage #3: A Smoother Process
With plans and selections in hand, Gallagher and Henry can order and secure materials for install. Once temperatures allow for a multi-day stretch, crews can begin site work, including excavation and installation of the foundation. Thereafter, the trades can work in earnest, capitalizing on spring’s mild weather to move forward with construction with the help of added daylight.

Advantage #4: An Autumn Move
The typical Gallagher and Henry home takes 6-7 months to build from the time you sign your purchase agreement. Beginning the new home process in winter positions you to celebrate fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving in your new home. With a fall move-in, you can also settle into your new home and the community at a time in which you can still be outdoors, walking the neighborhood and meeting neighbors.

Blending Design and Function to Maximize the Kitchen

For good reason, the kitchen is considered the “heart of the home.” A common convening spot for meals, entertaining, family discussions, and an assortment of other life endeavors, the kitchen is the home’s premier multi-purpose, memory-making space.

Given how much we demand of our kitchens, we need to consider function and design simultaneously so the kitchen can deliver. In its Lifestyle Series homes, Gallagher and Henry fosters this through thoughtful planning and savvy interior design that makes the kitchen a beautiful, functional, and safe space. Here’s how:

Workspace Solutions

For adults and kids alike, the kitchen has long been a common workspace for paying household bills, tackling a work project, or completing a homework assignment. In its recently released ranch plan, the Fremont, Gallagher and Henry emphasized workspace with two kitchen islands as well as a semi-private chef’s kitchen. Having multiple workspaces in a common area of the home has become even more critical given the rise of remote work and e-learning in the COVID era. Notably, the Fremont’s dual islands provide added storage space and seating.

Savvy Storage

Speaking of storage, it’s critical to a kitchen’s functionality. Without generous storage, a kitchen can easily become a cluttered mess that leads to inefficiencies and a frenzied atmosphere. In its Eden home plan, Gallagher and Henry prioritized storage in the kitchen area with a full wall of cabinets extending some 11 feet, a kitchen island, and a butler pantry. As assortment of upper and lower cabinets in varying configurations, meanwhile, can accommodate different servingware, gadgets, and kitchen aids.

Lighting the Way

Given how many different daily tasks take place in the kitchen, lighting cannot be an afterthought. In Gallagher and Henry’s Danbury plan, a window over the sink and nearby sliding glass doors flood the kitchen with natural light, while recessed lighting ensures a bright environment that illuminates the entire kitchen area. Gallagher and Henry also installs additional pendant lighting over the kitchen island and a chandelier over the dinette space to bring added flair and practicality to the kitchen.

Functional Style

With its Lifestyle Series homes, Gallagher and Henry have amplified opportunities to merge design and function. Consider hardwood flooring. While hardwood flooring certainly contributes to an overall design aesthetic, adding texture and warmth to the kitchen, it must be durable enough to withstand the rigors of kitchen traffic and daily use. By making hardwood flooring a standard feature in its Lifestyle Series home kitchens, Gallagher and Henry enables homeowners to select a style that suits their tastes while ensuring homes have a practical, purposeful solution for everyday living.