The COVID-19 epidemic brought unexpected adjustments for many, including homebuyers and the builders trying to meet their needs. Eagle Custom Homes, a local family-owned business with 27 years of experience in homebuilding and remodeling, has found ways to turn the latest challenges their clients are facing into chances to creatively incorporate features that offer better and more beautiful everyday living.

Remodeling Boom

“We’re seeing a lot of remodeling right now,” says Stephen Feagles, project manager at Eagle Custom Homes. “We’re a homebuilder who also does home renovations, which I think really distinguishes us. Since we build homes first and foremost, we have the tools of the trade to also perform renovation jobs that are heavier lifts.”

In the current housing market where existing homes for sale are scarce and often snatched up quickly and over list price, it’s no surprise that many homeowners looking to upgrade and expand are choosing to renovate what they have rather than move. Feagles says that lately his family’s company has had to turn down smaller jobs in favor of larger projects, which are increasing in number. “For example, in Anderson, we’re doing a whole-home makeover, basically doubling the size of our client’s house,” Feagles says. “The homeowners love the area and want to make it work to stay.” 

Two Types of Homeowners

Of their clients preferring to build new, Feagles says he’s seeing two types emerge: the live-leave-lock homebuyer and the self-sufficient homeowner. “It’s a maintenance-free lifestyle,” Feagles says of the first type. “You don’t have to worry about mowing or doing other things homebuyers typically have to do. Coffee shops and grocery stores are within walking distance. In 10 minutes, you can lock it up and leave it.” These homeowners typically own and split time among multiple homes, Feagles says. Eagle developments like The Overlook in Madeira, consisting of nine 3,000-square-foot luxury townhomes, appeal to them. “In the last two months, we sold four homes there,” he says.

The self-sufficient buyer is seeking sustainability and space similar to what can be found at Porters Heath, another Eagle development of seven homes located in Marienville. “They want two to five acres, and features such as solar panels and water-capture systems — things that make a home more efficient but which are sustainable, too,” Feagles explains. “A private retreat in a small community, where they can function without outside reliance for a time if they need to, or want to.” 

Committed to Customization

With a larger number of people working from home and spending more time there in general, Eagle Custom Homes is also evolving with homeowners’ changing needs. “Kids are sitting at the kitchen island, doing schoolwork,” Feagles says. “So, we’re implementing wireless charging into the countertops. We’re installing fiber optics where available, so you have faster internet access that can handle a heavier load.”

Because Eagle Custom Homes is a smaller company, they can focus on personalization more than other larger builders who may be limited by production constraints. “A lot of builders can design a pretty home, but we really get to know our customers as far as functionality as well,” says Feagles. “When you enter the house and your hands are full, where do you set your keys? What path do you walk to the kitchen? We want to make it more efficient and easier for everyday living, while also leading in design.”

Top Trends

  • THE RETURN OF THE HOME OFFICE. “A lot of our clients are executives or high-level employees used to working at the office,” says Stephen Feagles, project manager at Eagle Custom Homes. However, with more working at least some of the time from home, many want a dedicated workspace that’s completely separate from other areas of the house. “Not right where you walk in,” Feagles says, “but out of sight, or upstairs or downstairs.”
  • NO SPACE UNUSED. “We’re doing away with dead space,” Feagles says. “For instance, the space underneath stairs can be used for storage, dog kennels, a butler’s pantry or key drop spot.”
  • ADDITIONAL INTERIOR DOORS. “Closing off spaces within rooms can keep them looking neat,” says Feagles. “In a mudroom you could have a barn door that conceals the laundry area so that people passing through don’t see clothing or kids’ shoes scattered on the floor.” 
  • PACKAGE DROPS. Thinking ahead provides opportunities for designing smarter spaces. “People worry about porch pirates nowadays,” Feagles notes. “We install Ring security cameras, but we also create package drops so that deliveries aren’t left in plain sight.”
  • HEALTHIER LIVING. Homeowners are embracing antimicrobial Cambria countertops and even UV blacklights where they set their phones at the end of the day, to help keep germs at bay. “People want clean homes,” Feagles says, “so we’re seeing that more.” 
  • EXPANDING OUTSIDE. Spending more time at home has more homeowners wanting to make it their oasis, inside and out. “Pools are huge right now,” says Feagles, “along with back porches and outdoor living areas.” They’re also bringing the outside in, via sliding glass doors with a view and living plant walls that boost air quality indoors. “When you see green,” Feagles says, “it’s better for the environment, and your state of mind. 

Eagle Custom Homes’ headquarters is located at 411 West Loveland Ave., Suite 202, Loveland, OH 45140. For more information, call 513.965.0455 or visit eaglecustomhomes.com.