The New American Home at the International Builders Show Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

The New American Home at the International Builders Show Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Happy New Year everyone! This year is starting off at a record pace — people are building a new home at record levels. There’s something about getting to be the first one to live in a home, and having the opportunity to choose your own tile, cabinets, etc., that’s like nothing else. But are all home building experiences the same? Unfortunately not.

As a Lifestylist® who has owned her own construction and design company, I’ve spent lots of time working with builders constructing new model homes, and helping clients build their homes. Recently we helped a client work with a builder and realized there were things that could have made the process easier if she had known about them beforehand.  We’ve come up with a series of articles listing things you need to do so that you can really enjoy this exciting time in your life, and end up with the home of your dreams.

The first step, of course, is finding the perfect builder and location. And it can be one of the most challenging.

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2016 homebuilding trends

“Barnitecture” is one of the big 2016 homebuilding trends, with elements like rough-hewn ceiling beams mixed with more contemporary elements. This home is by LRO Residential. Photo: Shoot2Sell Photography

The 2015 real estate market in Dallas-Fort Worth went down in the books as the best in three decades, and year-end housing construction numbers placed Dallas as one of the country’s top building markets.

North Texas is headquarters to some enormously talented (and busy!) builders. We’ve asked the best and brightest among them to tell us their predictions for 2016 homebuilding trends. They’ve also given us some gorgeous photos that illustrate how those trends are showing up in their work. You won’t want to miss this!

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TJCH Finally Home

What better way to show some love than to donate to a very worthy cause? We can’t think of anything that matches the feeling we get deep in our hearts when we help those who have sacrificed so much to protect our nation and freedoms. That’s why we’re spreading the word about Operation FINALLY HOME, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a home, free and clear, to our nation’s military heroes.

The organization, in partnership with Tim Jackson Custom Homes, is building a home for Sgt. Stephen Jackel, a decorated veteran who has received numerous awards including a Purple Heart, and ARCOM-4 for Valor, two bronze stars, and an Afghanistan campaign medal.

Jackel, who is originally from San Antonio, served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. When on patrol in Afghanistan in 2011, Jackel was in a convoy that hit an IED. Jackel was able to get his team to safety, but lost his legs in an attempt to put a fire out in his vehicle.

His amazing courage hasn’t gone unnoticed, and Operation FINALLY HOME is working to build a home for this hero and his family.

Jackel Family“It is an honor to provide a home for this brave young man and his family,” said Tim Jackson, president of Tim Jackson Custom Homes. “It means so much to be able to give something back to this local hero in appreciation for his service and sacrifice to our country.”

The nonprofit is trying to raise money for materials and furnishings for Jackel and his beautiful family, all of which will be provided free-of-cost. If you’re interested in contributing, RE/MAX Realtor Amy Hillock is hosting a “sign a stud” event on Feb. 13 at the Little Elm job site. Team Jackel is hoping to raise $5,000 by March, and this event, where for $5 you get to sign the studs of the home before the drywall goes up, should make a big dent in that number.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to help out a true American Hero and leave a little message or blessing for the family,” Hillock said.

Of course, Operation FINALLY HOME is accepting in-kind donations of materials and furnishings, so you have more than one way to contribute. Find out more about Sgt. Jackel and watch the progress of their new home on their Facebook page.