Posted by Karen Schieb in Houston, Home Buying

​If you’re considering M/I Homes to build your new construction home, you probably have some questions about our process and what makes us special.

​Luckily for you, plenty of other buyers have had similar questions, so we took the time to answer the 10 most frequently asked questions we receive! Don’t worry, though: if you still have questions not covered here, I’m always glad to help.

1. “What does the 'M/I' in M/I Homes stand for?”

​M/I Homes stands for Melvin and Irving Schottenstein – two cousins from Columbus, Ohio that previously developed thousands of apartments, and pioneered the development of one of Central Ohio’s first golf course communities before they entered the home building business.

2. “How long has M/I Homes been building new homes, and what areas does M/I Homes build in?”

​M/I Homes was founded in 1976 in Columbus, Ohio. In the 1980s we expanded to Tampa and Orlando, Florida, Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana. In the 1990s we established an operation in Virginia and Maryland. Then in the early 2000s we expanded our market into Chicago. Finally, in 2010 M/I Homes continued to grow and excel, expanding into the Texas markets of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Austin, followed by the addition of Sarasota, Florida and Minneapolis, Minnesota. All together we build in 17 different markets across the United States.

3. “What stands out with M/I Homes versus other home builders?”

​A lot stands out to me as to why M/I Homes is different than any other builder. The number one thing I can think of is we care about our homes as if they were our own. We build our homes with pride, integrity, and exclusive building standards that are constantly evolving, bringing the benefits of the latest in building science to every home we build.

4. “What is a ‘Smart Home’?”

​With M/I Homes’ Smart Series, you get the energy efficiency, design, and warranty that comes with building a new construction home at a lower price. To deliver an affordable new home, our talented team of designers created design packages where you can choose your favorite fixtures and colors without having to go through an extensive design selection process. In short, our Smart Series creates a smooth and quick process, allowing you to move into your new home sooner!

5. “How long does it take to build an M/I Home from the ground up?”

​Our Smart Series homes take about 4-6 months to build, and our other Series of homes take anywhere from 6-8 months. We even created a handy construction schedule you can use to follow closely along with your new home’s progress!

6. “What is your favorite thing about M/I Homes?”

​My favorite thing about M/I Homes is the values and standards that our company lives by. When our co-founder, Irving Schottenstein, was asked what he thought our most important core value is, he replied, “Always remember to treat my customers right.” As a result, honesty, integrity, and treating our customers right guide each and every one of our actions.

7. “What credit score is needed to qualify to purchase a home?”

​There is no one answer to this question, but we do have our own in-house lender, M/I Financial (MIF), to assist you with any credit score questions you may have. We also have a program called Welcome Home Club that offers free credit counseling services for potential M/I homebuyers. Our Counselors will personally work with each buyer to help them obtain the best credit score possible.

8. “How much of a down payment is needed?”

​Again, there is no one answer to this question, but with their copious experience helping home buyers with financial questions, MIF assists with a variety of loan options, including 0% down programs, VA, FHA, and Conventional loans.

9. “Will I be able to pick my exterior brick and paint colors and interior selections?”

​If you are building your house from the ground up, then yes! In our Smart Series communities we have a range of curated designer packages to choose from and others our buyers can benefit from during a one-on-one appointment with one of our highly experienced designers at our Design Studio where we have thousands of samples!

10. “Do M/I Homes come with a warranty?”

​We have one of the best warranty commitments in the business. Our One-Year Customer Care Coverage is supported by a team that's exclusively dedicated to any concerns you might have about the way your home is built or is operating. We don't stop there. We also provide a Home Builder's Limited Warranty for Construction Defects. And we go one step further. We also provide one of the industry's leading long-term transferable structural warranties. And, of course, you get the manufacturer's warranty coverage that comes from all the quality consumer products we build into your new home.

​As you can see, plenty of M/I homeowners just like you have the exact same questions you encounter while searching for your new home! One of my best pieces of advice is to ask all the questions you have, since no question is a stupid question—just ask our homeowners!

​So, without further ado, let’s talk! I’m looking forward to helping you navigate your home search getting answers to each question you might have.


Karen Schieb


Karen Schieb has been with M/I Homes since its entry into the Houston market. As an Internet Sales Manager and a Houston native, Karen is an expert on new homes in the area and genuinely cares about finding the best homes for her clients. With a keen eye for detail, Karen also has excellent taste and a wide breadth of knowledge on all the latest home designs. When not helping M/I prospects find their dream homes or tackle their next DIY home project, Karen is either in LA visiting her daughter, Natalie, or can be found playing pool.

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