Financing Your Forever Home: A Primer on New Construction Home Loans

When deciding between buying or building a new home, one question we hear often is, How do we finance it? Often people assume that they need a mortgage for their new-build home, and are surprised when we tell them about new home construction loans instead.  We asked the experts at Chicago Construction Loans (Associated Bank) to give a primer on everything you need to know about new home construction loans.

Tue, May 15, 2018
Rick Thompson

The Health Benefits of a Certified-Green Custom Home

The home is where the heart is, so it's best to make sure your home is healthy. How so? Green construction, or energy-efficient home building, is more than just being environmentally conscious and eco-friendly. The materials, technology, and practices used to build green is also healthier for your mind, your body, and your family. 

Tue, May 15, 2018
Scott Sanders

Choosing Your Neighborhood in Chicagoland: Western Suburbs

As the third largest city in the country, Chicago covers 234 square miles. But Chicagoland—the sprawling suburbs and towns surrounding the city—clocks in at 10,857 square miles. That’s a lot of space to cover, and if you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and turned around by the range and difference of suburbs.

Wed, Apr 18, 2018
Scott Sanders
The 10 most crucial questions to ask your builder  Get your building project started out right by taking time to save time with  this free guide to working with your builder. Download Now

There’s an App for That: How Buildertrend  Delivers Project Management & Peace of Mind

When building the custom home of your dreams, you know what you want, and what you don’t. That’s why it’s so important to be sure that everyone involved—from contractor and client manager to construction crew and designer, and of course, you, the client—is on the same page. One miscommunication can lead to an expensive delay, so you want to be sure that your home builder is using the best technology available to stay on task and on budget.

Sat, Mar 17, 2018
Alex Thompson

How a New Construction Home Can Improve Your Family's Health

If you're considering building a new home in the future, consider building a certified healthy home. What exactly does “healthy” mean when talking about new construction and eco-friendly homes? Let's take a closer look. 

"A whole-building approach to energy efficiency—including improving insulation, heating and cooling systems, lighting and energy-using equipmentcan reduce energy costs and support warmer, drier, more comfortable indoor environments. Both outcomes have been linked with direct impacts such as lowered risk of illness and with indirect physical health benefits." 

Tue, Mar 13, 2018
Rick Thompson

THE REIMAGINED EASY BUILD HOME BUILDING PROCESS

Building a home that fits who you are and lets you live your life the way you want to is easier than you could imagine. BrightLeaf homes are designed to save you time, money, and energy. Pick the area you want to live in, choose the right size for you, then customize your home to reflect your personal style for a perfect fit.

Thu, Dec 14, 2017
Rick Thompson
The 10 most crucial questions to ask your builder  Get your building project started out right by taking time to save time with  this free guide to working with your builder. Download Now

The Real Costs of Building a Green Home in Chicago

A lot of people are attracted by the idea of building an eco-friendly home but believe the green construction costs just don't make it a practical option for them. If you hold such beliefs, it's time to re-examine them.

Sat, Dec 2, 2017
Scott Sanders

Building a Home Should be Exciting, Not Exhausting

Most American's today associate the process of building a new home with feeling overwhelmed and spending more money than they intended, often leading them to scour the real estate market for pre-existing homes. It could take a long time to find the home you're dreaming of, or even worse, settling for one that isn't all you wanted.

Fri, Dec 1, 2017
Rick Thompson

What Does Green Actually Mean & What Are the Certifications All About?

Building a house is an exciting and emotional process – as well as one of the biggest decisions in a family’s life. The decisions to be made require both expertise and foresight – something a reputable and industry-leading builder will have no problem providing clients through the building process. The problem lies in builders who cloud the green, sustainable building industry with “greenwashing” a term used to describe when a company, government, or other group promotes green-based environmental issues but operates in an opposite and often more endangering way. Today’s consumers are more aware of sustainable green practices than ever before, but how can people looking to build or buy a “green” house be assured they get what they pay for?

Wed, Nov 29, 2017
Rick Thompson
The 10 most crucial questions to ask your builder  Get your building project started out right by taking time to save time with  this free guide to working with your builder. Download Now

The Pre-Close Building Process With BrightLeaf (Infographic)

There are many steps associated with becoming a homeowner and it undoubtedly can seem overwhelming. At BrightLeaf, we focused on our building process specifically from the client experience point of view. We wanted to provide a concise, easily-communicated pre-close process to highlight the necessary steps that take our families from securing a construction loan to breaking ground at the job site. Below is a visual narrative of our pre-close process.

Fri, Nov 24, 2017
Rick Thompson

The 150 Day Build Process with BrightLeaf (Infographic)

At BrightLeaf , our build process focuses on simplicity - but an intentional and effective simplicity. Our processes are intended to be transparent and straight forward with communication being the common theme woven through each thread of every step. Once the pre-close process is completed, it's time to get the home built. Our four distinct build phases provide clients with comfort and clear understanding of what they can expect once their project is up and running.

Wed, Nov 22, 2017
Alex Thompson

Green Terminology: What Is 'Comfort' & How Does It Relate To A Home?

Everyone wants their home to be comfortable. Comfort is walking around your home in bare feet no matter what season it is. Comfort is never needing to plug in a space heater because of an awful cold spot in the home. Comfort is not having to avoid sleeping in that one hot room all summer because it's stuffy temperature is unbearable. Comfort is each level of your home being a consistent temperature, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. Comfort is not constantly adjusting of the thermostat just to make sure everyone in the family is cozy. When it comes to green home solutions, comfort has significance.

You may not be aware that green homes and comfort go hand in hand. Here are just a few environmentally friendly features that can enhance the comfort of any home.

Wed, Nov 15, 2017
Rick Thompson
The 10 most crucial questions to ask your builder  Get your building project started out right by taking time to save time with  this free guide to working with your builder. Download Now

Understanding HOME ENERGY RATING SYSTEMS (HERS) INDEX & Home Energy Savings

Energy savings from your home can mean an extra night out, a family vacation, or a new toy in your garage. Quality materials, high performance features, and attention to every single detail play a huge role in passing along energy savings to homeowners. Here’s what that means to you.

Mon, Nov 13, 2017
Rick Thompson

How Building with BrightLeaf is Different (Infographic)

A big part of what our team does at BrightLeaf  is the general education of not only the homebuilding industry overall but how our company and process is different from standard builders. There's a lot of misconception about building houses because people have either had poor experiences or heard horror stories from someone who did. We see this as an opportunity to share our remedies to what commonly ails  people during the homebuilding process. Here's a quick visual of the areas of concern people typically have, and how we alleviate the pain for our clients.

Sun, Nov 12, 2017
Rick Thompson

7 Elements of a Modern Farmhouse Home Build

Farmhouses are a picturesque and iconic type of home in American culture that bring about feelings of wholesome comfort. However, the old non-energy efficient construction and high costs associated with upkeep often leave prospective home buyers looking for newer alternatives. Urban or modern farmhouse builds have sprung onto the housing scene as that perfect substitute, combining updated yet classic farmhouse design elements with the energy efficiency of a Zero Energy Ready Home.

Thu, Nov 9, 2017
Alex Thompson
The 10 most crucial questions to ask your builder  Get your building project started out right by taking time to save time with  this free guide to working with your builder. Download Now

A Guide to a Greener Chicago

Everyone wants to do what they can for the environment. Green choices are often fiscally sound – they save you money by decreasing energy usage – and they let you do your part in preserving a healthy environment for future generations.

Mon, Nov 6, 2017
Scott Sanders

Green Terminology: What Is 'Durable' & How Does It Relate To A Home?

These days, just about everybody is doing what they can to be more environmentally friendly. Sales of electric cars that use less fossil fuel are on the rise, and everyone's looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Wed, Oct 4, 2017
Rick Thompson

What Stands Between You & Your Forever Home

Many things can stand between you and the home you plan to live in for the rest of your life (and perhaps pass on to your children). But, over time, BrightLeaf Homes has found that the most common thing holding people back is themselves.

Fri, Sep 22, 2017
Alex Thompson
The 10 most crucial questions to ask your builder  Get your building project started out right by taking time to save time with  this free guide to working with your builder. Download Now

How a Shortage of Homes for Sale in Chicago Benefits You

Look through the Chicago real estate listings and you'll find pockets of homes that are old and battered down, a handful of over-priced houses in undesirable neighborhoods, and if you're lucky, a few houses that you feel okay about. But when you're looking to buy your forever home, you're not looking for a home that makes you feel “okay.” You want a spectacular home that makes you feel great every time you walk through the door - it's what you and your family deserve.

Fri, Jun 23, 2017
Rick Thompson

What is a Gut Rehab & Should You Consider One?

You may discover a property in an excellent location, or that it's the size you always dreamed of. There's only one problem - everything else about the house needs to be changed. A gut rehab removes everything but the "bones" of the house. You end up with an empty canvas for your home, allowing you to modernize older buildings or fix widespread problems. This type of rehab can be worth it, but you have a few things to keep in mind. 
Thu, Jun 15, 2017
Alex Thompson
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