Couple Finds Their ‘Cozy’ Forever Home in Kingston Hills

Ed and Mary Ann have their forever home.

In December 2020, the couple moved into Gallagher and Henry’s Kingston Hills community in Homer Glen. Choosing the Fremont ranch model that would allow them to age in place, Ed and Mary Ann have comfortably settled into their new home and neighborhood over the last year.

As the parents of two grown children prepare for their second Christmas in Kingston Hills, Ed discusses his and Mary Ann’s motivations to move, the custom changes they requested to personalize their home, and the process of building with Gallagher and Henry.

After selling their homes in Lemont and South Haven, Michigan, Ed and Mary Ann moved into a three-level lakeside home in Plainfield. “While the home and the land were beautiful, the house was monstrous and we actually found ourselves regretting the purchase.”

Knowing they wanted a ranch home with an open floor plan and a large lot, the couple began exploring the resale market in the southwest suburbs. “We were finding a lot of older homes and smaller lots.”

On a whim, Ed and Mary Ann visited Gallagher and Henry’s Farmingdale Village community in Woodridge. There, they saw the Fremont model and were smitten with the home’s open layout and spacious floor plan. “Everything we looked at after that, we compared to the Fremont – and nothing compared to the Fremont. When we found out we could build it in Homer Glen, that’s all we needed to hear.”

Ed and Mary Ann investigated available lots at Gallagher and Henry’s two Homer Glen communities, Kingston Hills and Goodings Grove, and quickly zeroed in on a Kingston Hills parcel surrounded by mature trees. The couple sold their Plainfield home in quick time – so quick, in fact, they had to temporarily move into their son’s basement. “We were eager to get our house built.”

Ed and Mary Ann worked alongside Gallagher and Henry sales manager Tina Plastiak to customize the Fremont plan to their needs and tastes. The couple upgraded the standard gas fireplace to one that resembled an authentic wood-burning fireplace and converted the buffet area in the kitchen into a beverage station for crafting coffee and cocktails like Ed’s famous Manhattans. They also combined the Fremont’s two islands into one mega island surrounded by seating. “That opens up the space even more and is perfect for entertaining.”

Ed and Mary Ann also opted to add a screened-in patio. Though there was no existing Fremont home with a screened-in patio, the couple put their faith in Gallagher and Henry to deliver. “It was a bit of a risk to do that because we couldn’t see what a screened-in patio would look like in the Fremont, but Gallagher and Henry did it just right. That’s probably our favorite room in the house.”

While Ed and Mary Ann had bought numerous homes before, this was their first experience with new construction. “Working with Gallagher and Henry was easy and organized. Since everything is done in stages, it never feels overwhelming. You start by picking the exterior you want before moving onto interior details. It’s smooth and streamlined.”

Last summer, a young couple exploring the neighborhood stopped Ed as he was outside his home. They inquired about the process of building with Gallagher and Henry and about living in Kingston Hills. “I had nothing but compliments to share.” That couple’s Kingston Hills home, the Briarcliffe, is now under construction about two blocks away from Ed and Mary Ann.

A year after his move into Kingston Hills, Ed calls his home and the community a “cozy and friendly place.” He and Mary Ann count some “wonderful neighbors” as friends and recently hosted family for Thanksgiving. “This is a great house to get old in and we couldn’t be happier with where we’re at.”

Behind the Build: Robbie Kolar

From sales staff and tradesmen to behind-the-scenes troubleshooters, dozens of personnel bring a Gallagher and Henry home to life. In “Behind the Build,” the Gallagher and Henry blog celebrates spirited members of our team.

Today, we introduce Robbie Kolar, a member of the Gallagher and Henry corporate office since 2016. An accountant who oversees the company’s payroll and key expense accounts, Robbie is more than the “numbers guy.” His diverse skill set has become prized at Gallagher and Henry’s home office in Countryside, where the Western Illinois University alum has emerged the in-a-pinch IT guy while also lending his creative sensibilities to advertising and graphic design projects as well.

What do you enjoy most about working at Gallagher and Henry?
It’s easily my coworkers. We all like to make each other laugh and I appreciate how reliable they are. I know I can count on any of my co-workers to get the job done. Plus, no day is the same as the one before. There’s variety here that makes the job interesting.

Gallagher and Henry’s home office is filled with people who have been with the company 20, 30, even 40 years. What’s that been like for you as a young professional?
At 29, I’m definitely the young guy in the office, but I love having all these seasoned professionals around me. They bring a focus and discipline to their jobs with endless wisdom to boot. There’s so much I can learn and do learn from them. It’s genuinely like a family here and I appreciate how they’ve accepted me.

Is there a specific example of that family environment you can share?
I recently purchased my first home and so many people rallied around me with guidance and encouragement. From the lender I used to the home inspection, so many of my colleagues were sharing insights as I went through the process and settled into my new home. There’s so much knowledge here and everybody was willing to share it with me. Honestly, I had no idea how much went into buying and owning a home, but no one here was going to let me go through the process with unanswered questions or make a silly mistake.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?
Sports is a major part of my life. I’ve been a bowler since high school and into college, so I enjoy hitting the lanes. When it comes to watching sports, I’m a huge Minnesota Vikings fan and love the White Sox and Bulls. I’m an avid video game player, too.

And when you’re hungry, what’s your go-to spot?
I’m born and raised in Lemont, so I’d have to point to two Lemont restaurants as my 1A and 1B. I’ll take the pepperoni pizza – well done, of course – at Turnabout Pizza any day of the week and you can never go wrong with a visit to the Lemon Tree on State Street.