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Rick Thompson

Idea-generator, Realtor, and The Guy Who Will Help You Start

Recent Posts

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." 

Fri, May 31, 2019
Rick Thompson

Why All Homes Are Not Created Equal: Breaking Down True Cost of Ownership

When you’re in the market for a new home, there are a lot of decisions to make. A common misconception that new homeowners make is comparing homes based on their purchase price.

 

The problem with this is that the initial costs fail to take into account the quality, your experience, and the true cost of ownership beyond the initial price tag.

Sun, Apr 7, 2019
Rick Thompson

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, Jan 22, 2019
Rick Thompson
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

Understanding Cost Per Square Foot Pricing From Your Custom Home Builder

We often get asked what our price per square foot is and our answer is “it depends”. This is not a cop-out, it’s the truth. With our model of working towards a fixed price agreement through our integrated design approach, the price per square foot truly depends on what kind of home you want, where you’re building it, when you’re building it, and what the interior and exterior finishes are like, to name a few of the key, often overlooked factors.

Thu, Jan 17, 2019
Rick Thompson

Reasons to Build A Custom Home [infographic]

 

Buying an older, ready-made house is an excellent option for people like you who are finally in a position to acquire their dream home. However, you might want to consider building a custom home instead. Many would-be homeowners are now leaning towards custom homes for the following reasons:

 
Thu, Aug 23, 2018
Rick Thompson

Illinois' only 2017 Department of Energy Housing Innovation Award Winner

On October 10th, Scott Sanders, our CEO, flew down to Atlanta for the High Performance Home Summit 2017 to accept BrightLeaf’s third Housing Innovation Award from the Department of Energy.  

Thu, Feb 22, 2018
Rick Thompson
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

Building a Home Should be Exciting, Not Exhausting

Most Americans 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 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
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

Seven Creative Ways to Save for a Down Payment

Real estate and buying a home comes with a lot of uncertainty, advice, and general … fear. It will likely be the largest purchase and decision of your life, so those feelings are completely founded. You’ve probably heard most about the cost associated with becoming a homeowner – and just how large of a process (and seemingly impossible) it is to secure the down payment. I’m here to tell you it’s not impossible. Here are some creative ways to save for your forever home’s down payment.

Mon, Nov 20, 2017
Rick 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

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
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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

THE MANY BENEFITS OF GOING SOLAR AT HOME

The good people over at the Renewable Energy Corporation have made it simple to understand how solar power technology has advanced and the cost has plummeted. If you haven't started considering the benefits of solar energy for your home, maybe it's time you did? Learn about the economic benefits of going solar at home, the performance benefits, and the global benefits. 

Thu, Oct 26, 2017
Rick Thompson

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
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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

2017: How to Buy a House in a Seller's Market

If you're searching for a home in Chicago this summer, you're going to run into competition. It's a seller's market around here, with Curbed reporting a 9.3 percent increase in houses sold and the prices going up by 12.4 percent compared to last year. Here's what to look for and know about buying a house in the current market.
Mon, Jun 5, 2017
Rick Thompson
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