I started my home search in late 2014. At the time, I was living downtown, so that’s where I began looking before turning my attention to the western suburbs where my children live. When I wasn’t finding much I liked there, I expanded my search a bit and wondered about new construction, in particular. One day, I took a ride south toward Lemont and that was the first I heard of 5th Avenue. I looked at their base floor plans online and went into the sales office a few days later to meet with Chris.
The number one thing I wanted was the opportunity to customize my home and that’s where 5th Avenue separated itself. They had the custom homebuilding background and were open to just about anything I wanted to do. Over 2-3 months with Chris, who was really patient and helpful, even showing me different projects 5th Avenue had done over the years, we firmed up all of the details.
From modifying the home’s roofline to create a front porch to adding a one-foot knee wall to raise the profile of the home, there were a lot of major architectural changes and 5th Avenue executed them all just as Chris and I planned. We expanded the kitchen, enlarged the first-floor study, and expanded the powder room into a 3/4 bathroom. We also expanded the master bathroom, added a Jack and Jill bathroom, built a window seat in one bedroom, and changed the formal living room into a home office. It was a lot and 5th Avenue showed their vast experience as a custom homebuilder capable of personalizing a home while also being mindful of the budget.
Overall, it was just a fabulous experience with a company that was organized, genuine, and professional.
Cambria & Mike Dudiak
Moving back to the Chicago area after living out of state for a few years, we knew the exact area we wanted to be in – right down to specific schools – and that meant we only had a few communities to choose from in Plainfield. Honestly, it was pure luck we were able to get into 5th Avenue’s Stewart Ridge community because there were only three homes for sale unless we wanted to build, which we didn’t have time for.
Our Realtor had worked with 5th Avenue about a year prior, and her experience provided an extra shot of confidence that led us to buy the model home. From the cabinetry and flooring to the paint color, the home itself fit our personal tastes to a T, though we did end up working with Frank to customize some areas. We added some built-ins, installed a locker unit in the mudroom, redesigned the master closet, and finished the basement.
From beginning to end, it was a seamless experience working with 5th Avenue, which was exactly what we needed being out of state. We went online often to review and approve selections, while Taylor gave a number of great suggestions when we did visit the 5th Avenue showroom. Even during the final walk-through before closing, 5th Avenue proactively identified things that needed to be addressed. Everyone was responsive and helpful and that made for a pleasant experience.
Terese & William Burns
We were living in Oak Park and wanted to move back to the southwest suburbs so we could be closer to family. We started looking at the resale market, knowing exactly what we wanted, but not finding it with older homes. As we continued researching online, we stumbled upon 5th Avenue and the Glens of Connemara.
We first met Chris in fall 2016 and got the general bearings of the neighborhood and 5th Avenue. Touring the community and seeing the newly constructed homes, our wheels started turning. We saw the potential.
In January, we decided to build with 5th Avenue and began modifying the Carna plan to our exact vision. We knocked out the formal dining rooms walls to make the first floor more open. We added a Jack and Jill bathroom upstairs and turned the plan’s second-floor hallway bathroom into an en suite for the second bedroom. We extended both the kitchen and master bedroom four feet as well.
Taylor guided us through the design process, helping us to feel confident in our decisions and to visualize spaces. We also used the online Buildertrend software to follow the construction process, monitor our budget, review options, and favorite things we knew we wanted.
From start to finish, it was a wonderful experience and 5th Avenue was with us throughout. They were prompt and transparent and it’s wonderful to have an ally like that when you’re jumping into the deep end and buying a new home.
Dinora & Manuel Flores
When we began our home search, we didn’t know what we wanted so our real estate agent took us to a local builder’s new home development. We never imagined we’d ever build our own home, but immediately fell in love with the idea and were convinced we found the right home.
By chance, we drove to the Glens of Connemara after visiting that first homebuilder – honestly, still convinced we were going with the other builder – and met Chris. He greeted us with a smile and stayed well beyond the office’s closing time answering our questions.
We were still leaning toward the other builder, but when we started to compare the two, we saw 5th Avenue had far more options to customize the home along with brick construction. It’s nerve-racking to make a decision like this, but Chris gave us the time and space to make the right decision. He was constantly available to answer our questions and never pressured us.
We chose the Carna model and made it our own. We enlarged the kitchen and opened up the first-floor study, so the main level is now one big, open space. We moved laundry up to the second floor and expanded the master bath. It really was a fun experience and we appreciate the home more because it showcases our choices, our vision. Everything worked out perfectly and we couldn’t be happier with our decision. This is our dream home.
– SUNI & TREVA SHAMAPANDE
In the summer of 2014, we were driving to a golf course in Lemont from our home in Oak Lawn. Lemont wasn’t an area we knew much about and it impressed us.
When we got back home, we searched realtor.com for homes in the area and saw one of 5th Avenue’s models online. We called Chris and stopped by the following weekend to tour the model.
From the beginning, we were always treated as legitimate buyers. Before signing the contract, we met about six times with Chris, Frank, and even Taylor to talk about design options.
Going with 5th Avenue felt like the right choice, but we’re thorough people. We spent about 3-4 months looking at virtually every other development in the area, but kept coming back to 5th Avenue. We loved the high-quality design of Frank’s homes and the level of customization we could do. We purchased the Carna plan, but the home was basically a blank canvas for us. We expanded the kitchen, moved a staircase, and enlarged our master bedroom closet.
Manny and Brian and the entire construction crew were helpful throughout the process. We sometimes made decisions on the fly and they accommodated them. We never felt nickel and dimed.
We moved into our new home on June 12, 2015. You would think you’d close on your home and would lose access to the builder, but Frank has remained available and accessible to answer our questions and solve any issues. From beginning to end, the service has been first rate.
– JOE & MELISSA LA MARGO
We were living in an Orland Park townhome and with a baby on the way – one that would bring our growing family to six – space was only going to get tighter. We started looking at single-family homes, but found little fitting our needs and budget.
We stopped at The Glens of Connemara on a Sunday near 5:00 p.m. and were shocked to find someone there – Frank – who welcomed us in. The model home had everything we wanted, but was beyond our budget. That’s when Frank asked us if we had considered building on our own lot, something he assured us could be more economical. Until that conversation, we thought a custom project would be way out of reach.
Frank immediately used his industry contacts to help us find a lot in Orland Park. Then, it turned to the home plans. We loved the craftsman style, but also wanted an open concept. We must have had 10 revisions of the plan. The 5th Avenue team was accommodating and patient with every change and that just heightened our level of comfort and confidence.
From beginning to end and months beyond the closing, we can’t say enough about the personal touch 5th Avenue gave to our home. We wanted a certain type of floor and Frank went out and found samples. We wanted espresso-colored cabinets and Frank tracked them down. He wanted us to be happy. When it came to design, Dina laid everything out for us. She helped us make confident decisions and validated those choices. The entire team made sure we got what we wanted.
It didn’t matter our budget. Frank and Patrick were working with us and respecting our concerns and wishes. They were caring and calming every step of the way, immediately answering any questions we had and detailing where we were in the process and where we were headed next. In the end, 5th Avenue made our vision come true.
– TIM & CINDY MROTEK
We had a townhome in Naperville and were happy there. Even with a second child on the way, the townhome still had enough room and would have continued meeting our needs. But our long-term vision involved a single-family house, so we put the townhome up for sale and began the home search.
As we looked around Naperville, we couldn’t find a single home with everything we wanted. It became frustrating, even disheartening. After one long day of looking at 7-8 houses, not one of which captured our interest, we headed toward Lemont. We actually stumbled upon The Glens of Connemara. We walked into the model home and it was beyond what we ever could’ve wanted. Then, we learned it was for sale, was in our budget, and we could close within two months. Everything came together.
As beautiful as the home was, we still wanted to change some things that gave the home our touch. Side-by-side, Frank and his team worked with us to make everything come to life, even offering suggestions we hadn’t considered to make our house a home.
We extended the patio, finished the basement, fenced in the backyard, and installed outdoor lighting. We added a kitchen backsplash and under-cabinet lighting. We changed room colors and added closet organizers. The 5th Avenue guys even mounted our TVs.
The process of buying a new home and moving was as painless as it could have possibly been because of 5th Avenue’s customer service. Everything they did was done with quality in mind. All throughout, we felt 5th Avenue consistently wanted us to be happy and held our best interest at heart.
– JOHN & AMY CAPRILLA
We sold our Chicago condo in July 2011 and then began looking for a home in the southwest suburbs so we could be near family. From the beginning, we were looking for the home in which we would settle long-term and grow our family.
We began looking at fixer uppers, thinking we’d get a deal in this market, but we also tried to keep an open mind to everything that was available. We swept suburban towns looking at homes and drove through the Glens of Connemara one summer day. Coming from the city, we wanted space. We saw the golf course and the nearby forest preserve and that piqued our interest.
A week later, we returned to the Glens of Connemara and met Jamie in the sales office. From the get go, dealing with 5th Avenue was relaxing and comfortable. We always felt it was an open, honest dialogue. In October, we connected with Frank to really investigate what we could do. The numbers looked good and we could get precisely what we wanted from the beginning – no long renovation projects necessary. The opportunity was ours to take and everything was in motion by Thanksgiving.
We love to entertain and the Carna’s open floorplan was ideal for that. We were admittedly particular about what we wanted in our home. We wanted a bedroom facing the golf course, so we could put a deck off of it. We moved the laundry room to the second floor, something the team fit in while adding a full bathroom in one bedroom. We added windows throughout the home, even lifting the entire home one foot so we could fit windows in the basement. We even requested additional windows after framing. All along the way, 5th Avenue accommodated us. There was no question they were going to get things done.
We moved in June 21, 2012 and we look upon the experience as a regret-free one. If we were to ever build new again, it would be with 5th Avenue.
– MATT & SUZIE MOSHER
After having our Chicago condo on the market for a while and then living temporarily in Indiana, we began looking for a home that was either new or already updated. We didn’t want to live through a renovation.
When we met Frank at the Glens of Connemara, we hit it off with him immediately. He was down to earth and opened up to us about the industry. We liked his models, but Lemont wasn’t where we wanted to be. He then told us that if we could find the lot, he could build the home.
When we found this vacant lot in LaGrange at a good price, it was an ah-ha moment for us. Frank had his architect draw the plans. We marked them up a bit, but he really captured everything we wanted from the start: an attached garage; an open floor plan; lots of windows; and four bedrooms, so we could grow into the home and have space for out-of-town guests.
The entire process with 5th Avenue was one of the easiest things we’ve ever done. Everything was transparent. When Frank or Patrick told us something was going to be done, it was – and at the cost they said it would be. They were easy to deal with and so accessible, even to the point that when we were standing in the store and wondering about appliance dimensions, we sent Patrick a text and he got back to us immediately.
The day before we moved in, Patrick took us on a tour of the home and he noticed how our washing machine on the second floor extended out just a touch from the wall. It was still functional, so we were content. Patrick wanted it perfect though. The next day, he had a crew out here to cut, tape, patch, sand, and paint. That wasn’t something he had to do, but he did. From beginning to end, 5th Avenue gave us nothing short of a professional, high-quality experience.
– MIKE & SHANNON HERBERT
We were living in a city condo and expecting our second child. We had both grown up in the southwest suburbs, so this is where we wanted to settle down.
We started looking at existing homes, but weren’t blown away by anything. The idea of building a new home sounded nice, but we honestly didn’t think it was possible. Could we afford it? Were people even building homes anymore? Eventually, we thought, ‘If we’re going to invest this much, why not build new and get exactly what we want?’
When we walked through the 5th Avenue model at the Glens of Connemara, we were immediately impressed by what we saw. We met with Chris and others at 5th Avenue numerous times thereafter. We liked so much, but hesitated to pull the trigger. Then, someone put a deposit on the lot we wanted. When we realized how much that disappointed us, it was a sign of how much we wanted to be at the Glens of Connemara. Fortunately for us, that deal fell through and we were able to get our preferred lot.
When you’re going through the process of building a new home, it’s stressful because everything is so new. Everyone at 5th Avenue was always available to talk with us and explore different possibilities. We made changes like moving our laundry to the second floor, which altered some bathroom and bedroom layouts, and converting the planned laundry space into an office. Whatever we wanted, 5th Avenue drew up options and the final product is everything we hoped it would be.
– BARBARA, MATT, & KYLE SWANSON
We were living in a townhome community in Darien, but wanted to get into a single-family home. Though we started by looking at the inventory of existing homes, we quickly decided we wanted to buy new. We wanted a home built to our family’s wants and needs, not someone else’s.
When we came to the Glens of Connemara, we immediately liked the custom look of the homes. Chris took the time to discuss floor plan and lot options with us – we picked a lot overlooking a lake that we love – while Frank and Patrick were very helpful, even directing us toward a beneficial and seamless financing option.
As buying a new home was completely unchartered territory for us, we appreciated how the 5th Avenue team broke down the process for us in an approachable way. There are so many decisions to make, but it never seemed daunting or overwhelming. From one stage to the next, we were eased into things and the home grew before our eyes.
Right down to receiving a housewarming basket of gifts at the closing, working with 5th Avenue was a universally positive experience. They were fair and reasonable throughout and we’re incredibly happy with the final product.
– JAMIE & BRANDON STRAUSS
We were living in Chicago for nine years, but began renting a suburban townhome when we were expecting our second child in 2013. When our landlord decided to put the townhome on the market, that was our to begin looking for our long-term house.
We attended an open house at the Glens of Connemara and were drawn to the open layout of the Carna plan, especially when we were told we could open things up even more. That was important to us as we have big families and enjoy hosting get-togethers. The other thing that impressed us was the quality materials that were standard. Granite countertops, James Hardie siding, and a brick exterior weren’t things we needed to add in because they were already in the base price.
The process was so orderly and always respectful. We started with structural and exterior selections, such as the elevation and brick, and progressed toward more detailed selections like paint colors, which, honestly, might have been the hardest part. We had two hours for each meeting, so we never had this experience of ‘Hurry up and pick.’ We had time to digest things and make the right decisions for us. In between these meetings, then, we could go back and look at items on the 5th Avenue website and play around with different options to see how they impacted the final price. Eventually, we decided to add plumbing for a future half-bathroom in the basement and to reconfigure two bedrooms to accommodate a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.
If there’s been any little issue due to the home settling, we’ve called up 5th Avenue and they’ve been Johnny on the spot taking care of the problem. We’ve appreciated how sincere and responsive they’ve been.
– LISA & BRANDON HEROLD
Washington, D.C. had been our home for more than 15 years, but my husband’s employer gave us a 90-day notice to move to Chicago. Neither of us knew anything of the Chicago area, so we started searching houses, zip codes, and school ratings and eventually narrowed it down to 13 suburbs.
Over one weekend in March, we drove to 13 different addresses, one in each town, before hitting the Glens of Connemara in Lemont on Sunday, our final day in town. We looked at the Dunhill model and were immediately attracted to the wide-open layout and two-level Colonial look with big windows and dark wood.
We sat right across the table from Frank and Chris and told them what we wanted. We were operating under a time crunch and didn’t have time to go back and forth in negotiations or wait for a home to be built. We needed a sure thing and agreed right there to buy the model with some modifications.
Though we were 800 miles away, we tracked the progress of our home on the 5th Avenue website and felt a part of the process each step of the way.
When we moved in July, the home was ready for us as promised. We couldn’t be happier with what the 5th Avenue team delivered for us.