Building Your Dreams.

How to Choose: Condo or Single Family Home?

a brand new condominium by Cobblestone Builders

Few will deny that there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to living in a brand new condominium versus living in a single-family house. Much depends on the individual in question. 

Those homeowners having lived in both have their reasons for eventually preferring one over the other. Work and maintenance significantly influence the decision-making process for many individuals. Goals and lifestyle are additional considerations that could be determining factors.

So how is a buyer to decide? What will determine which is best for you – buying a condo or buying a house?

The Plus Side of Buying a Brand New Condominium

There are definite advantages to the purchase of a condo over the acquisition of a house. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Location, location, location – frequently, but not always, condos are built in a part of town that is close to clothing stores, hardware stores, restaurants, banks, grocery stores, and parks. Though commonly within walking distance, these businesses are, at the very least, reachable by a short ride on public transportation.

Excellent amenities – if you’re buying a new house and want a hot tub or pool, you have to consider their expensive price tag, as well as their care and upkeep. Pools, whirlpools, hot tubs, etc. are included with many condos, albeit in a “common area.” There can also be tennis courts, playgrounds, exercise rooms, game rooms, and shuffleboard courts. Also routinely offered are activities such as dances, parties, breakfasts, bazaars, game nights, movie nights, and more. 

Ease of care and maintenance – rather than maintaining and cleaning a large house, many would rather take walks, write, read, travel, etc. And whereas a lot of this ease of care and maintenance may have to do with the smaller size of a condo, you will likely never have to do the following: maintain or paint the exterior, repair shingles, replace a mailbox, mow the lawn or trim trees, etc. You simply have to take care of the inside of that condo in a manner that suits you.

Monthly expenses – the monthly expenses for living in a condo are usually lower than a monthly mortgage payment on a single-family home. And consider what you get for those monthly condo fees – i.e., exterior insurance, exterior maintenance, garbage pickup, sewer, water; and possibly natural gas, hot water, basic cable, pool, Jacuzzi, clubhouse, etc. Condo insurance, which includes the interior walls and everything contained within, is routinely less expensive than most homeowner policies, as well.

Overall price – it is not unheard of to buy a condo with a patio, appliances, washer/dryer, new paint job, tile floors or new carpet, etc. for under $70,000. A Bargain such as this will, of course, depend on location, among other things. Closing costs are additional and largely determined by whether or not you pay cash.) But it is unlikely that you will find a house in that price range. Luxury condos are an entirely different story, but you get what you pay for. Even with the upper echelon’s condominiums, the price will usually come in far below that of an equally high-end single-family house.

Additionally, square footage is a consideration for many. Condos routinely offer less living space, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Each buyer must determine how much space they require to live comfortably. Most homeowners today have more room than they need. And let’s not forget that with a lower price in general, mortgage payments will be lower for a condo than for a single-family home. It only stands to reason.

Now, granted, if you are a rule breaker or you love to buck the system, condo living may not be your cup of tea. There are, after all, lots of restrictions and rules that apply to condo residents. The HOA may dictate what you can or cannot put on your patio, where you have to park, what kind of changes you can make with or without prior approval, whether or not you can have a pet, etc. 

cat on condominium patio

Some condominium living situations also have an age requirement (retirement communities) and a stipulation as to how long children can stay as guests – if at all.

And if privacy is an issue, remember that condominiums are either directly on top of, right next to each other – or both. Then again, some neighborhoods containing single-family houses are an astonishingly tight fit as well. The choice is yours when it comes down to it. Condo or single-family house? Which will you choose? Learn more.


Top 6 Reasons to Move to Washington County Wisconsin

Washington County WI

You could have been contemplating a change of location for a while now. Let’s face it, not everywhere we live is great, and sometimes, we just have to accept it and make that big move… to move.

Before moving though, you do have to make a lot of considerations. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up in a similar place as the one you’re coming from. No matter what it is you want in your new place – fun, friends, quiet, culture, food… you name it – Washington County, WI is ready and prepared to fulfill your every need.

If you have never been to this area before, you don’t know just how much you might be missing out on. Think we’re kidding? Well, how about we dig into some of the reasons why a move to Washington County, WI is perfect for you?


  1. The Schools are Great

If you were wondering about the educational impact and success of Wisconsin, you suddenly have one less thing to worry about. The University of Wisconsin is known for its great Campuses and Freshman/ Sophomore colleges, both of which they have 13 of. When it comes to research in the field of biotechnology, this school happens to be one of the leading in the whole country.


  1. The Fun is Even Greater

All work and no play… you know the rest. Wisconsin is known for its high work rate, but that does not mean they don’t know how to throw a wicked party too. Asides from the daily fun you’ll get from the friendly neighbors, Friday nights (and Saturdays too) are always a litter of great parties.


  1. Beer Everywhere

If a bill was ever passed for changing the name of this region, something tells me they’ll change it to Beer-topia. When German immigrants (alongside their various brewing recipes) were coming into town, this city welcomed them all.

Now, that is paying off with about 3.9% of the state’s overall GDP coming from beer. Enough of the technical terms. Do you know how much fun beers can be? And just how happy are you that you can get various brands and brews of beer, all in the same place now?


  1. So Much Milk, So Much Cheese

Just because you can’t order a bottle of beer for your kids, Wisconsin has provided them with the option of milk. This place was not nicknamed the “Diary Capital of the World” for no reason.

If not for California, it would really have been the largest producer of milk in the world.

With great power comes great responsibility, they say. At Wisconsin, with ample milk comes marvelous cheese. Producing more than 20% of all the cheese products in the country, you’re missing out on a lot if you’re yet to taste this.


  1. Summerfest

If you’ve never been to Summerfest, you have no idea what the phrase “outdoor music concert” means.  Summerfest is held in Milwaukee every year and is recognized as the “Worlds Largest Outdoor Music Festival” by the Guiness Book of World Records.


  1. Quality of Life

There are a lot of things we could say here, and none of them alone would justify the quality of life of people in this region. Indoor water parks were a first to come out of Wisconsin. These days, they have been optimized so well, you can get even more fun underwater as you would on land.

The state is also home to nearly 500 golf courses. That lumps it up there with other states which boasts an awesome statistic of golfers to available courses.

The state is still sounding like a fish story….oh… speaking of fish story, did we mention fishing is awesome in Wisconsin? Yes, it is all there for your taking. It is a great place for just any kind of individual. 

Seniors would also enjoy the serene life coupled with the wonderful scenery and fun moments. Lest we forget, did we tell you this is the home of the famous Harley Davidson bikes?

Are you considering a move to Wisconsin? Washington County is just the place to plant your roots.   You can find beautiful lots to build your new home in Crosswind Farms (in the town of Jackson) and the Twin Creeks (in the village of Jackson). If you are looking for a great home builder in Washington County, WI, we have got you covered when it comes to well built single family homes and brand new ranch style condominiums


Home-sites Waukesha County

New Home Construction Waukesha County

Home sites waukesha countyChoosing where you live is as important as choosing the house you want to live in. You may find your dream home, but if it isn’t in the perfect location, is it your dream house?

When visualizing the ideal place for you and your family, you want a place with great schools, parks, fun for your children, and an excellent neighborhood.

Well “mirror mirror on the wall, where is this place that has this all?” Waukesha County!

Waukesha County is home to 77 lakes, beautiful parks, great schools, and possible future home for your family. It’s located in the southeastern part of Wisconsin and happens to be Wisconsin’s third most populous county! This county has a great sense of community and plenty of opportunities for you and your children to succeed!

There are great places to live in Waukesha County too!

Waukesha County Subdivisions

The lots for homes are very desirable to families because of how excellent of a location it is.  Home sites in Waukesha County go quickly. However, there are lots available for sale in Christman Park, in the Village of Menomonee Falls and The Shire, located in the city of Brookfield.

Christman Park has fully improved lots that are 1/3 acre in size positioned within a park-like environment.  This beautiful subdivision offers excellent amenities including outstanding public schools and great places for you and your kids to explore.

The Shire of Brookfield is located in a beautiful area full of woods and nature and located near a park making it another great place to raise your kids.

So now what? You’re hooked on wanting to live in Waukesha County and want one of these supreme lots?  Well then, it’s time to call Cobblestone Builders. Not only are they award winning home builders who create well built, cost efficient, custom homes for your family, they will do anything they can to bring your dream home to life while also trying to build more environmentally friendly.

 Cobblestone Builders has strong principals that have helped transform them into the successful company it is today. They believe in honesty, integrity, trust, and performance to carry out their mission every day.


What Does Your House and Smoking Have in Common?

Brand new condo

5 Advantages of Owning a Condo

So you are interested in moving into an apartment, condo, or a new house. Good for you!

So, when I say, “Milwaukee Apartments,” what comes to mind? Probably a few things. A large cramped building with a discolored brick exterior that looks like a page out of the “Industrial Revolution” chapter of a history textbook. On the inside of the apartment, there is a stained carpet that hasn’t been replaced and cabinets that look like they are made of plastic from a distance.  As for the landlord, well if you get a bad one, it is similar to having a bad next door neighbor, except if that neighbor were to have control over your $1200 security deposit that you knew deep down you were not going to get back.

What about when I say “a new home in a metropolitan area.”? Money. Money. Oh and I almost forgot, more money! Let’s not forget about the beautiful Wisconsin winters. As you peacefully wake up one December morning, you are fully prepared to give that big presentation at work that you spent hours working on the night before. When you go to turn on the coffee maker, you see 14 inches of snow swallowing your Honda Civic. 

What about a condo.

Ewww, aren’t condos an expensive way to live near young and obnoxiously loud first-time buyers? That statement is very similar to the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot; it is a myth! According to, demographically, the age of a typical condo buyer is between the ages of 40 – 55, is married and has children still at home or in college.

Here is why buying a condo is the right move.

  1. Buying a condo is the right move because you are “buying” a condo.

You are not renting a property anymore. “Goodbye landlord, have fun spending my $1200 security deposit after finding a scratch on the countertop!” So what does that mean? It means that your condo is an asset that can build equity and allows you to take advantage of tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes. Some financially savvy people buy condos as an investment. Condos tend to appreciate more slowly than single-family homes, which gives you the opportunity to make a significant profit in the right economic climate.

  1. You cannot buy time, but you can buy a condo.

Do you love shoveling snow, bathing in your own sweat after mowing the lawn, and destroying seven pairs of jeans after painting one side of your house? If you said “of course I do!”, Then I would not want to be in a cage match with someone as crazy as you! However, most of you probably have a slight nauseous feeling sweep over you after you think about those things. Don’t worry though; this stuff only takes up hundreds to thousands of hours over your tenure in your home. What if someone could wave a magic wand and make all of that disappear. Well actually, that is exactly what happens when you buy a condo. The maintenance is handled for you!

  1. Strong community

While this is not a guarantee usually condos, have a very strong community. In fact, many condominiums even have planned social events. Obviously, there aren’t stats to back this up; condos are just generally known to have more of a tight knit community. You can even join your condo association many times, and be seen within your community as a helpful contributor.

  1. Goodies!

Many condos come with included amenities. I am not implying that there will be a private water park in your backyard next to your all inclusive private spa, but many condos do include security, barbecues, clubhouses, golf courses, tennis courts, fitness facilities, and even saunas. See if any local landlords include any of in you are rent bill!

  1. The best (or better) of both worlds

Well if what I said above, then condos have to be exclusively for Bill Gates and Jay-Z, right? Well not according to the University of Minnesota Extensions. They found that condos, on average, are less expensive than renting an apartment or a townhouse!

Let’s add the sprinkles on top of the cake!

At Cobblestone Builders, our process saves the planet, and it saves you even more money! If you have viewed the rest of our website, then you know that we are leaders in the industry when it comes to green building and efficiency. Our process is environmentally friendly, which isn’t a common trait of homebuilders these days. Ok so we like to preserve the natural resources of the earth, that is great but how does that directly affect you financially? Our energy conservation and efficiency methods significantly reduce your utility bill! So have fun kicking back in your new condo while some people are still looking for their Honda Civic in a sea of snow.

Energy Efficiency: Not All Home Builders Are Created Equal

Many potential home buyers, looking to buy new homes in particular, assume that every new home is built equally. When you read articles about energy efficiency of new homes, a home buyer is going to assume that every new home they tour is going to have the same energy benefits as the top energy efficient homes. That’s simply not true.

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) asked home builders how often they build homes that are certified as energy efficient by an independent program run by State or local jurisdiction. Surprisingly, a whopping 48% said they “NEVER/ALMOST NEVER” get their homes certified. That means that over half do certify their homes, right? Wrong. Only 22% “ALWAYS/ALMOST ALWAYS” gets their homes certified.

What this means to you, a potential new home buyer, is that only a quarter of the homes out there are build to energy efficiency standards that you are expecting. These new homes that aren’t certified as energy efficient might look well built, and feature finishes that are impressive on first glance. However, once you move in to your new home and get your first energy bill, you might be surprised to find that you are spending a lot more than you were expecting.

At Cobblestone Builders, we’re proud to be included in this group who build energy efficient homes that are certified. We know that in special climates where weather is a huge factor, like Wisconsin, our clients expect us to build a home that is not only top quality but also not going to come with a huge energy bill.

Green Home Building: The Importance Of Insulation

Ice Dams and Quality InsulationWhen building a home in Wisconsin, it’s incredibly important to think about the weather. With our winter weather dumping piles of snow and dropping temperatures into the negatives, having an energy efficient home is crucial. At Cobblestone Builders, we pride ourselves on building energy efficient “green” homes that help our clients save money and live comfortably during these extreme weather conditions.

One of the most important aspects of building energy efficient “green” homes is insulation. Properly installed, quality home insulation can save money and headaches for homeowners in Wisconsin.

How does energy efficient insulation help?

First and foremost, quality insulation does what you think it does. It insulates. Preventing all that cold air from seeping into your home during the winter, while also keeping all the cool air inside your home during the warmer months. With an estimated 50% of your energy bill coming from heating and cooling, energy efficient insulation will save you money and keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Insulation will also help with lowering noise issues throughout the home.

There are also less commonly known ways that proper insulation can help your home. During the cold months, it’s common to see icicles handing off of homes. While they definitely look nice, icicles are a clear sign that some potential issues exist. Ice dams form when heat from your home escapes through the attic. When the hot air reaches your roof, it begins to melt the snow that has accumulated. If temperatures stay below freezing, this melted snow re-freezes into ice, causing those ice dams and icicles you see. If left untreated, these ice dams will cause water to build up on your roof, seeping into your home. This causes bucking floors, warped windows, and potentially collapsing drywall. Properly sealing around ceiling penetrations and quality insulation can help prevent this warm air from escaping into your attic.

Better air quality is another benefit of proper insulation. Pollen and dust can enter a home that’s not properly insulated. Also, insulation can help prevent the growth of mildew and mold. Your family’s health is incredibly important, and using energy efficient, quality insulation can ensure you have zero worries.

We know the importance of great insulation!

Cobblestone Builders is one of the best green homebuilders in Southeastern Wisconsin. Homes built by our team is 40 – 50% MORE energy efficient than standard new homes. We promise that with a Cobblestone Builders home, you are getting the most energy efficient home you could ask for, built with quality components by building experts!

Want To Remodel Instead Of Buying A New Home? Be Careful!

Home remodeling costs add upWith the rise of home improvement reality TV shows featuring actors and actresses making remodeling look simple, homeowners have romantic notions of remodeling their “fixer upper” to be exactly what they want. The truth is, when these owners buy their home and begin to pull together the costs of making this older home exactly what they want, they begin to realize that it’s really costly and perhaps they bit off more than they can chew. Also, they don’t understand that there is a point in which the money you put in your home will come back to haunt you when you sell.

When Is Remodeling A Bad Thing?

For most people, the “fixer upper” home is not their final home. This is maybe their first home, and down the line, they’ll want to upgrade into something a little bigger or in a better neighborhood. If that’s the case, be cautious with how much you upgrade your home. It’s awfully tempting to put thousands of dollars into remodeling your bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. Maybe you’ve seen TV shows that talk about how doing these projects will lead to a profit when you sell the home down the line. While there’s a little truth to that, that’s definitely not always the case.

The general rule of thumb is to never spend more than 20% of your home’s value on renovations. Why that number? It’s simple. Frankly, you don’t want to have the most expensive home in your neighborhood. When you go to sell this home, your potential buyers are going to compare your listing with those homes in the same area. If they see that your home is way more costly than others, they’re going to use that to negotiate against you. That’s when you see your profits disappear, and suddenly you’re spending more than you got back.

Building A New Home Can Be The Best Investment

When you look at the costs of a new home and think that it’s a little out of your price range, you should think twice. Buying an older home and upgrading it down the line seems like a decent idea, but there’s always things that can affect that. Maybe your projects never get done and you end up living in a home you’re not happy with. Perhaps those projects go vastly over budget, leaving you in debt more than you are comfortable with?

With a new home, you know the costs. You decide what goes into it before you build. You know you’re getting the home of your dreams because you worked with a builder at the beginning and planned it out. Finally, you know that the home you’re building is in a neighborhood with similarly priced homes that will attract buyers willing to spend top dollar to buy your home.

Build Your Dream Home Today

At Cobblestone Builders, we strive to make sure our clients get exactly what they want. We want you to have the home of your dreams now, and not down the line. We don’t want you to stress over looming costly home improvement projects. You deserve the home you’ve always wanted, and Cobblestone Builders is here to help!

Building An Energy-Efficient New Home Is The Smart Choice

Cobblestone Builds Energy-Efficient Homes

When making the decision between building a new home and buying an older home, potential homebuyers will often look at the cost as the deciding factor. They see the possible higher costs of a new build as prohibitive. However, those buyers aren’t taking into account a major difference between new builds and older homes, energy-efficiency. The bottom line is new homes are more energy-efficient.

Older Homes Aren’t Efficient

Older homes come with lots of efficiency questions. Are the windows drafty? Are the appliances older? Is the insulation up to par? Was the house built to efficiency standards? Many buyers will gloss over these questions because the price tag of the home might be less than a new build. Unfortunately, these questions will prove costly over time. In the excitement of moving to a new home, these buyers have no clue they are potentially wasting thousands of dollars a year because they went with an older home.

Why Build A New Home?

Building a new home is, without a doubt, the most energy-efficient solution. From the ground up, your homebuilder can detail exactly what design and products can be installed that will lead to the most energy efficiency. This doesn’t mean that you have to install solar panels and the like to be efficient. No, this goes to using the best installation, quality appliances, windows, and heating/cooling units, which all can save money instantly.

What Savings Can You Expect?

It’s said that an energy-efficient new home can save 3,449 kWh of power per year. What does that mean? That’s enough energy to power your TV for 11 years, your washer for 4 years, and a coffee maker for 32 years. Also, there are monetary benefits outside of savings. There are potential tax deductions and mortgage benefits when building a “green” home. On top of all of this, building an energy-efficient home will also greatly increase your resale value. So, down the line, if you decide to sell your home, you can expect a much higher value than an older home.

Trust The Experts

At Cobblestone Builders, we build the best energy-efficient homes. Period. A home built by us is 40-50% MORE EFFICIENT than a standard new home. When you choose Cobblestone Builders, you are ensuring you get the best quality and most energy-efficient home possible

The Role Of The Building Inspector In Residential New Home Construction

Building a new home is a complex process involving many different trades and engaging a variety of building codes.  One of the building codes that we are governed by in the State of Wisconsin comes from the Department of Safety and Professional Services, Chapter 321, Construction Standards or as it is also known as Comm. 321. 

Comm. 321 has been adopted so that now all new residehome-inspectionntial construction homes throughout the state are compliant with these codes before an occupancy permit will be issued.   It is the role then of the local building inspector to make sure that all new homes are built to these standards or above.

There are very specific times during the process of building a new home that the inspections are made and the work is inspected which then must pass or exceed the building codes.  The first inspection is made is just prior to the footings for the concrete walls being poured.  The next inspection deals with the rough framing of the structure.  Following that is an inspection of the plumbing, HVAC and electrical.  Once the approval of this work is completed the home is ready to insulate.  Approval of how the insulation was installed and how much is in place must occur before the next step of dry walling the interior walls will be allowed.  Lastly at the very end of the home build the inspector comes back to make absolutely sure that everything has been built to code and only when he or she is satisfied that all is correct an occupancy permit is issued allowing the home to receive occupants.


Obviously, the role of the building inspector is a very important part of the process so that the checks and balances are in place to make sure your new home is built to standards that make it safe and habitable.



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