Spring 2017 Parade of Homes Cover Features Local Home Buyers

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The Parade of Homes Guidebook once again presents the story of a real family’s new home adventure as its cover feature. This Spring, we showcase three brothers and their families who each decided to build with Robert Thomas Homes to be able to live near one another in homes they love.

All in the Famiiy: Three Brothers, One Builder
By Laura Marrinan

Brent, Corey and Casey were no strangers to living close together. After growing up in Rochester, the three brothers lived together in Brent’s Richfield home for more than two years while Corey went to graduate school and Casey finished up college. Once Brent married his wife, Tara, Corey and Casey went on to buy condos in the Twin Cities.

As all three brothers’ families began to grow, they realized they needed more space and bought new homes with Robert Thomas Homes.

Brent & Tara

Brent and Tara were excited to find the perfect home for their growing family. They decided more space in a growing community was the best way to go. New construction allowed Brent and Tara to focus on finding a community with families where their children, Madison (4) and Luke (2), would be surrounded by new friends.

“We realized maybe we could build what we actually want rather than finding a house and feeling like we have to make all these changes,” Tara explained. “It was about finding the house we wanted to be in for a really long time.”

Tara and Brent started their hunt for a new home when they found out they were expecting baby number two. Tara got in touch with Robert Thomas after visiting their models on the Parade of Homes, and as soon as she compared them to the family’s other options, she knew a new home gave the family exactly what they were looking for.

At first, Brent and Tara weren’t sure about moving the extra few miles outside of the city. But after actually making the drive they realized the tight-knit community in the Spirit of Brandtjen Farm in Lakeville was worth the few extra miles. They closed on their Birchwood floor plan in December 2014.

“We didn’t want to be too far from the city, but it was still that neighborhood feel that we were looking for,” said Tara. “Everybody is so friendly. Everybody is so helpful. Anyone would do anything for anyone.”

When Brent’s two brothers followed suit and built with Robert Thomas Homes, it really wasn’t a surprise. “Everyone travels in a pack with these guys,” Tara joked. “One goes one place and everyone has to go with.”

All three brothers chose different floor plans that suited their personal tastes and fit their individual needs.

Corey & Aileen

Corey and his wife, Aileen, wanted live on a wooded lot and be closer to their work in the Twin Cities, but they couldn’t shake the value of Robert Thomas Homes. With a newborn daughter, Molly (17 months), they started developing plans to build a single family home, but still thought they were about a year away. Once they discovered there was one last lot available in Argenta Hills they jumped on the opportunity.

Robert Thomas pulled their plans to build a model on the lot, and moved forward with Corey and Aileen’s St. Croix floor plan. They closed on their Inver Grove Heights home in April 2016.

“We were hesitant to build with the same builder as Brent and Tara at first because we didn’t want our houses to look exactly alike,” Corey said, “but with the number of floor plans and different finishes available at the design studio, we were able to purchase a unique home with our own sense of style.”

With a second child on the way, having a family-friendly floor plan is invaluable. “The floor plan we chose was perfect for our growing family with walk-in closets in all the bedrooms and a Jack and Jill bath,” said Corey.

Corey and Aileen saw the benefits of the high-end features Robert Thomas included such as granite counter tops, LP Smartside siding and stainless steel appliances. “They had the most value in their standard options,” he said.

Casey & Hana

The youngest brother, Casey, and his fiancée, Hana, wanted to find a home where they could start their family. When they started their search they noticed they were constantly envisioning making changes to the homes they toured. Building new gave them the open floor plan they were looking for right from the get-go.

“We would normally walk out of a tour and think about all the walls we would want to tear down,” Hana said. “Our home search started in Minneapolis, but there wasn’t a lot of space that we could get for the cost. As our search moved further out, we thought it would be best to be in the same area as family.”

Once they started looking into new homes, they knew that was the best option. They began interviewing builders and looking through model homes and were impressed with the quality of Robert Thomas Homes.

“You could just tell the quality workmanship in their homes,” said Hana. Watching Brent and Corey’s experiences reinforced their decision. They were so confident in moving forward, they put a deposit down before Hana had even visited the home. They brought things back to the Spirit of Brandtjen Farm and closed on their Jamison floor plan in October 2016.

Staying in communities south of the Twin Cities kept the three brothers close together, but also brought them closer to their sister and parents back in Rochester.

Living so close together has allowed the families to relax and be a part of one another’s lives without having to be so planned. “Before you know it we’ll have 17 people in our house eating pizza, and it’s no big thing,” said Tara. “It’s nice to get to be spontaneous.”


The 2017 Spring Parade of Homes is sponsored by The Tile Shop.