Homes By Dickerson is blessed to have amazing homeowners-individuals and families who appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail we put into every home. They understand that our goal is to build them The Home of Their Life! When our buyers sign a contract with us, they are securing our partnership and placing their trust into our hands. Nothing could mean more to us as a company or as a family! We would like to give you a little more insight into what it is like to buy or build a Homes By Dickerson custom design with the below interview! The following is a conversation between our Sales Associate Chuck Belden and Chris Ciccone, one of our valued homeowners in Wendell Falls:
[ Chuck: “One of my favorite parts of being a new home sales consultant in Wendell Falls is learning the stories of our homeowners. I love building relationships in the community and connecting the dots to see how each person’s journey has taken them to Wendell Falls. It so much fun for me and definitely one of the perks of the job. Every person, family, home, and experience is different. It’s custom. Never the same home and never the same family. A few days ago I got to sit down for a coffee at Grounds Café with one of our newest residents Chris Ciccone and talk to him about his family, his move to Wendell Falls and how they chose the perfect home for the needs of their family.”]
Chuck: Hey Chris. Thanks for grabbing a coffee with me and for the chat. So, ya’ll have lived in the neighborhood for about 3 months now. Is that right?
Chris: Yes that’s correct but it feels much longer. One of the benefits of moving to this community and working with Homes By Dickerson is that we integrated ourselves before we moved in. I was working from The Farmhouse during the build process and Aimee and the kids had already made many friends, so it feels longer from a community stand point.
Chuck: Have you lived in a planned community like Wendell Falls before? How is this similar or different from your last community?
Chris: Our previous neighborhood in Virginia was similar in how it was laid out but it didn’t have that social aspect that we have here in Wendell Falls. People actually talk and interact with each other here. We genuinely wanted to be part of something like this.
Chuck: Sounds like it’s been a good fit for your family. With so many great neighborhoods in the Triangle how did you end up choosing Wendell Falls over all others?
Chris: I had lived in Virginia my whole life and my wife Aimee moved there from California when we were married. Virginia was a big change for Aimee from California but her parents lived in Raleigh. We would visit often and I had an opportunity to work remotely, so over the course of a year or two I did a lot of research on Wendell Falls. During Thanksgiving of 2016 we came down and toured some other areas. That night I searched online for new communities and Wendell Falls popped up. I saw some of the homes on the website, bookmarked the site and life went on. I forgot about it for over a year and in December 2017 we ended up moving here and started the new home search again. We thought we wanted a bigger piece of land but couldn’t find the community feel that we were searching for with the bigger home sites. I started looking online again and there it was, the Wendell Falls bookmark popped up so we came and took another look. I fell in love with all of things that initially caught my eye online over a year before: The Farmhouse, the fishing pond, the look and feel of the community. There was something unique that fit the needs of our family and was unlike anything else we saw all over The Triangle. There is a bit of soul here that no other area had. Something is done right here. While touring the neighborhood and letting our kids play on the playground we met somebody, started to get to know each other and she actually became our neighbor later down the road. While the kids played, my wife, who really wasn’t totally on board yet, and her talked for an hour and it was the tipping point that proved we had a great opportunity here.
Chuck: So the neighborhood clearly felt right. Did you have the same feeling when you chose your builder? There are 6 different builders to choose from in Wendell Falls. How did you decide on the perfect home for you and your family and ultimately on Homes By Dickerson?
Chris: We had a semi-custom home in our previous neighborhood, so we came in a little bit picky. I wanted to feel like we could work with a builder that would actually build “our home” and not just a home. I researched all of the builders and I felt good about Homes By Dickerson. We toured some of the other neighborhoods that Homes By Dickerson builds in to see finished products and we spent a lot of time on your website learning floor plans. We liked that you were a local builder that wasn’t super small or too big and the fact that you’re custom is what we wanted. While touring all the other builder models, the Homes By Dickerson homes just felt different. And we really liked the interactions we had with the Homes By Dickerson team as a whole. Jenn, your VP of Sales, took copious amounts of notes and remembered things that I didn’t even remember saying. She asked so many questions about our family, how we wanted to live and grow in the home and what came out of it was “here is what we can do for you in a Homes By Dickerson home.” At first we toured the model and Aimee wasn’t feeling it but she kept warming up. We knew we could make changes, but we didn’t realize the level of attention and customization that we would have with Homes By Dickerson in a planned community. And once we realized it, it’s what solidified that Homes By Dickerson was the right choice for our family.
Chuck: Have you felt good enough about your decision to move here and build with Homes By Dickerson to refer any other people to do the same?
Chris: Yes, actually! While we were building I had a question about our HVAC system that I had forgotten to ask in an earlier meeting with Lea, the project manager. I wanted an independent third-party opinion so my wife asked on the local online mom’s group if anybody knew an HVAC expert. Somebody responded that her husband could help and he took my call right away late at night. He said the exact same thing that Lea, the project manager, was saying which gave me even more confidence in Homes By Dickerson. I then suggested that he and his wife give Homes By Dickerson a look and they are now building with you too! This community attracts special people and it makes it easy to be an active member of the community.
Chuck: In your approach, how do you let others know that there is something for everybody here?
Chris: It’s new and it’s exciting and there’s a level of energy that is out here. It’s close to downtown Raleigh which is important. Some people can get lost in the fact that we are in Eastern Wake county and not “Cary” or “Apex” but I went to downtown Raleigh last night to have dinner with a colleague and I was in the middle of the city in 15 minutes. We take the kids to Marbles Kids Museum all the time and it’s super easy and convenient. It’s also convenient to North Hills. We were just there last week. That place is impressive, it’s like a little town center there now. We are also really close to Cameron Village where we like to go often. Then we have what we have right here. I love The Farmhouse! It’s not very often you have a planned community where you can walk to a coffee shop, have a beer or something to eat. The diversity of the different homes out here is also very appealing.
Chuck: Let’s talk numbers for a second. This neighborhood is still young at just 15 to 20% complete and I see a major investment opportunity here for future homeowners with so much appreciation in front of us. You’re a sharp guy. Did you guys consider that before committing?
Chris: We did for sure. You can find a lot of info online regarding property values and growth, so I spent a lot of time researching. I felt getting into here early was going to be better than waiting. Plus, there weren’t a lot of home sites available so that created some urgency. If you look at Cary and Apex and surrounding areas, we weren’t going to get what we wanted out of our home in our budget in those areas. You get way more for the money here. We didn’t feel buying here was taking a chance, we felt it was a wise decision.
Chuck: My kids absolutely love it here! Every day can be a new adventure. What do you think your kids love most about Wendell Falls?
Chris:Well, they are 5 and 3 so they love everything but generally speaking they love the nature trail around the actual falls. They love playing on the rocks. It’s like a fantasy land. They love the parks! You’ve got parks everywhere. And you’ve got the amphitheater being built. Now that they are riding bikes they love riding bikes around here. That makes me so happy because I remember doing that as a kid and now I get to do it with them. It’s safe and it’s fun and then I get all the time “Dad, are we going to go to The Farmhouse?”. They love coming up here and running around. I remember one Friday night before we decided to move here. We had decided to have dinner at The Farmhouse. It was a nice night and it was busy. The kids just met a whole crew of kids their same age and took off playing while the parents sat and got to know each other. It’s a social environment for them too which is great. We can’t wait for the pool to open. That’s going to be high on their list. High on the parents’ list too!
Chuck: I totally agree. It’s pretty easy to pick out things we like about living here but I think we are just getting started. Newland as a developer has an incredible vision for what Wendell Falls will be and we are so lucky to already have all of these amenities. Now, of course, nothing is certain until it’s certain but based on what Newland is hoping to bring to the neighborhood, what are you most excited to see coming here?
Chris: Definitely whatever is going to happen with the mixed-use retail and shopping in Treelight Square. That will have such an impact on the rest of the community, not too mention the entire area. It’s a game changer as it’ll be walkable from all of our homes. Hopefully, it will add some things like new restaurants or local shops with additional flavor. I’m excited to see what’s happening across the parkway as we grow. I’m excited for The Grove Park. I want to be an early adopter of the hammocks. We moved from a 100-year-old town in Virginia and I’m excited to see how our 100-year-old Town of Wendell grows with us. I’m also excited about the potential that a company could call Wendell Falls home for it’s corporate headquarters in our mixed-use space. I’ve seen it happen in an area just like this back in Virginia and everything around it benefits.
Chuck: That’s a great point! I was told in a meeting recently with the developer’s team that Wendell Falls made the short list for Amazon’s future headquarters but it didn’t work out. However, they were very excited to be considered and confident that another company of that caliber will give us a look sometime in the future.
Ok, final question. Many Homes By Dickerson home buyers have purchased homes previously, like yourself, and know what they are looking for and what truly matters in a new home. However, many first-timers might not have that guidance or expertise as somebody that’s been through it before. In your opinion, why would a first-time home buyer choose to build with Homes by Dickerson in Wendell Falls?
Chris: Number one, you’re going to get a house that you want because Homes By Dickerson is going to talk with you about it and through it, which is important. Especially for a first-timer that may not know what they don’t yet know. It’s likely the most expensive purchase you’ve ever made and there is something to be said about working with a custom builder that gives confidence and value. The list price may appear to be higher but there is inherit value in all of the included features you offer, the superior quality you build to, and the high-performance features you include as standard. First-timers may not realize that and only consider square footage and price per square foot. I looked at it less as total square footage and more as livable area and not wasting space. Maintenance costs too. Some homes I toured from other builders I just knew would cost more in upkeep and maintenance over the years than the higher quality Homes By Dickerson product. Homes By Dickerson recognized the emotional experience that building and buying a home is and helped us navigate through that. We enjoyed everybody we worked with along the way. We felt every person with Homes By Dickerson cared about us and our needs. Starting from Jenn in sales to Lea as the project manager and Susan the designer to Marc the VP of Construction. We all worked together to communicate and resolve issues. Actually, here is a great example: When we met with Marc, the VP of Construction, we told him how we wanted the upstairs space to layout based on our needs for an office and the bedrooms for the kids. Any typical builder would have just went with what we said and had the drawings done, sent to engineering and that would have been that. But one of the things Marc did was when the drawings were done he explained to us that because of the custom front elevation we created we ended up with some extra storage space on the front of the house that would be off of my office. It would have been just a small knee wall with some tough to access little storage that we would have been happy with and any other builder would have allowed us to be happy with that but Marc didn’t do that. He said, “I think we have a better idea for you and here is what I would like to do.” So, he adjusted the entire top level differently which allowed for us an entire attic in the back of the house which ultimately turned into a home school area for our kids. This worked because they understood how our family wanted to use the home and I would have never thought of that. First time or not, any home buyer should have that level of care.
Chuck: That’s awesome! I can feel the emotion in that. And I lied. Last question now. Anything you would do differently?
Chris: Nope. Not a thing.
For more information on how you can find “The Home of Your Life” in Wendell Falls or any of our other communities, please contact Whitney at 919-917-3132 or Whitney@HomesByDickerson. We would love to make you a Homes By Dickerson Homeowner as well!