Ahhhh, Wisconsin. America’s Dairyland. A wonderful place to live, work, play, and raise a family. With its excellent schools, expansive park system, winning professional sports teams, various cultural offerings, some of the best home builders Waukesha County and an excellent standard of living, why would you want to live anywhere else?
More specifically, why live anywhere else but Waukesha County, Wisconsin? Waukesha County is less than a 40-minute drive directly west of the city of Milwaukee – the largest metropolis in the state. The county’s rolling hills and charming countryside are dotted with an array of farms, villages, and towns, making it a favorite spot to live in Southeastern Wisconsin. Many Wisconsin residents look to Waukesha County when they decide to settle down and buy a home. This corner of the state hosts a richness of culture, history, and natural beauty, as well as a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, and steady employment.
No Lakefront, But Lots of Lakes and a River
Although Lake Michigan can’t be seen from Waukesha, it’s not too far of a drive if you need time at the beach or want to attend one of the many festivals at Henry Maier Festival Park (also known as the Summerfest Grounds) in Milwaukee. However, if you love being near water, but prefer to stay closer to home, you’re in luck. The entire county is filled with lakes, both big and small – a total of 91 of them, to be exact! The southern area of Waukesha County features Big and Little Muskego Lakes, and Lake Denoon; to the north is Lake Keesus and North Lake; and due west, you’ll find Lake Nagawicka, Oconomowoc Lake, Pine Lake, and so many more. If you enjoy fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, water skiing, watching wildlife, or just relaxing on the water, recreation and entertainment opportunities are plentiful. For example, every Wednesday evening, the Muskego Waterbugs perform a water ski show on Little Muskego Lake all summer long. It’s a must-see production!
Additionally, the Fox River rolls through the town of Waukesha, then heads south through the county. As shoppers stroll along the Riverwalk, they can treat themselves to the relaxing sounds of nature – bubbling water and singing birds – while stopping for a cup of coffee at the local café.
More Outdoor Activities
Waukesha County has virtually unlimited activities if you love being outdoors. The entire region is blanketed by open trails available to walkers, hikers, cross-country skiers, and cyclists. Paths are safe, well-groomed, and can be used all year long. For golfers, whether a duffer or a pro, there are more than a dozen golf courses to try. For example, in the town of Pewaukee, Naga-Waukee is a highly rated public course. It overlooks Pewaukee Lake and boasts large greens, ponds, sand traps, towering trees, and dynamic views; it’s a well-hidden gem with stellar conditions. The towns of Menomonee Falls, Sussex, Oconomowoc, and Hartland also provide excellent courses for golf fans.
Beautiful parks are everywhere throughout Waukesha County, with baseball diamonds, playgrounds, basketball courts, and picnic areas. You can spend the day enjoying the weather, either in the warm sun of summer or while making a snowman in January.
A Former Bedroom Community
Once upon a time, Waukesha County was considered just a bedroom community of Milwaukee. That means residents commuted into Milwaukee for work, shopping, doctor’s appointments, and dozens of daily activities. However, over the past two decades, the region has grown significantly. Towns like Oconomowoc, Menomonee Falls, Delafield, and Waukesha now offer professional performing art centers (presenting everything from classical music to rock-n-roll), art galleries and history museums, specialty shops, trendy restaurants, huge shopping malls, corporate headquarters, large factories, and small businesses.
There are also several well-regarded colleges and Universities in the community, such as UWM – Waukesha, Carroll University, Waukesha County Technical College, and Wisconsin Lutheran College. Frankly, residents of Waukesha County never have to leave the area if they don’t want to! You can live and work in a small town with its homey feel and neighborly activities but still have all the big city amenities you want just moments away.
Villages and Towns in Waukesha County
With the size and scope of Waukesha County, it may be challenging to choose where you and your family may want to live. Here is a description of a few towns and villages that might help you decide.
Muskego is the fifth largest town in Waukesha County, with a population of approximately 25,000 residents across 36 square miles. As mentioned earlier, there are three lakes within its borders: Big Muskego Lake, Little Muskego Lake, and Lake Denoon. Although Big Muskego Lake spans more acreage, in most places, it averages only four feet deep. Both Lake Denoon and Little Muskego Lake offer much better fishing, boating, water skiing, and other activities because they have depths of 55 feet. There are lots of great schools in Muskego, as well as outdoor recreation, restaurants, and shopping. It’s an area with both modest homes and higher-priced neighborhoods.
Farther west is Oconomowoc, with a population of about 16,000 people living within 12 square miles. This town offers easy access from I-94 to both Milwaukee and Madison, the state capital. It began as a summer resort town for wealthy families from Wisconsin and Illinois to the south. Large vacation homes were built around the shores of Lac La Belle and Oconomowoc Lake. With its country clubs, golf courses, high median incomes, and impressive resorts and spas, Oconomowoc has maintained its reputation of being a playground for the rich. However, there are also several neighborhoods in town with mid-range priced homes as well.
In the southeastern corner of Waukesha County is a small village called Big Bend. It is located along the banks of the Fox River. Big Bend was named by the first settlers for the change in the river’s direction from east to south. At last count, the population was only 1,378 and spread over just 3.15 square miles. Big Bend is surrounded by open farmland, rolling hills, and natural beauty. It is an undiscovered gem with plenty of space, peace, and quiet living to raise a growing family.
Another cozy place to check out in Waukesha County is the quaint village of Elm Grove. Named as one of America’s best suburbs in October of 2014 by Business Insider, it has a population of just over 6,000 residents in a total area of 3.29 square miles.
Right across the border from Milwaukee County, Elm Grove is surrounded by four major roads: Bluemound Road, North Avenue, 124th Street, and Pilgrim Parkway, giving it excellent access to all the amenities of the city of Milwaukee. However, similar to Oconomowoc, the median income for this village is over $100,000, making it an area of high wealth and large homes.
Tucked away in the southwestern corner of Waukesha County is the tiny village of Eagle. The population of 2,072 is nestled into 1.39 square miles. The majority of people living in this area are young, with the median age being 35.3 years; 68% are married couples, and 45% of the population has children under age 18.
With its wide, quiet streets, plenty of parks with mature trees, and a low crime rate, this is a great place to raise a family. They recently built a new fire station, and “downtown” Eagle hosts a handful of stores and repair shops. Neighborhoods span everything from modest abodes, to farmhouses, to high-end custom homes.
The third-largest city in Waukesha county is Brookfield. The estimated population of 38,770 lives within 27.5 square miles. It’s one of the fastest-growing areas of the county because the headquarters for both Fiserv and FedEx’s SmartPost business unit are now located here, as well as numerous other small and mid-sized companies. Easy access to Milwaukee is also boosting its growth.
Brookfield offers shopping (Brookfield Square and along Bluemound Road), elegant and casual dining, the Wilson Center for the Arts, a farmer’s market at City Hall on summer weekends, and many local community celebrations. Out of doors lovers can hike in the parks and nature preserves, golf at several nearby links, and sail, bike, and play without needing to go far.
Notable residents of Brookfield are as follows: Caroline Ingalls, mother of author Laura Ingalls Wilder and Al Capone (who owned a home in Brookfield where he made and sold moonshine during Prohibition). Other well-known names include professional athletes John Anderson, Joe Panos, Bob Long (NFL); Tom Dougherty, Doc Hamman (MLB); Kip Carpenter, speed skating Olympian; Kenny Harrison, Olympic gold medalist in track and field; and many more.
There is a wide range of neighborhoods in Brookfield with many sizes, styles, and prices of homes. Buildable lots are also available to match your budget or wishes.
The Village of Sussex is located toward the northeastern corner of Waukesha County, and about 19 miles from Milwaukee. The population totals nearly 11,000 residents, all living within an area of 7.6 square miles. As you can tell by the name, the first settlers here arrived from England.
The largest employer in this community is Quad/Graphics, a prestigious printing company (Time, People, Sports Illustrated, etc.). Its headquarters is in Sussex, with more than 39 additional locations in the United States and around the world.
The Mayor of Sussex, the police department, and the village staff is dedicated to maintaining a small-town, friendly atmosphere and improving the safety, quality of life, and welfare of their residents. They are doing this by providing inexpensive and responsive public services, offering economic opportunities for both existing business owners and future entrepreneurs, attracting new businesses with high-level jobs for residents, and ensuring an adequate amount of quality housing.
Today’s Energy-Efficient Homes
You’ve decided to move to Waukesha County, and now you’re thinking about building a new home instead of buying an older house. Is that the right choice? Of course, it is! Today’s custom homes are built with much more energy efficiency compared to older structures, even when you put the time and money into remodeling. To try to match the efficacy of new is incredibly pricey when retrofitting old buildings and probably not worth the trouble, time, or expense.
In new homes, to maintain interior temperatures, a reputable home builder will install energy-efficient windows with up to three panes of glass. To keep the house airtight, thick insulation should be sprayed or rolled between exterior wall studs, in the attic, and inside finished basement walls. Proper insulation will stop air from seeping through cracks. New, efficient HVAC systems can be regulated to cool or heat separate zones for different times of the day and at different temperatures. With older homes, insulation can be too thin, not installed properly, or even be “found items” such as rolled or wadded up newspapers or fabric rags – making it a fire hazard as well.
Also, in new home construction, open floor plans in Waukesha County have become relatively standard. Large multi-purpose rooms create a better flow between areas in the house. Several small rooms, as in older residences, are more challenging to keep clean, heat, cool, and don’t function as well. All too often, a formal dining room or spare room sits unused, yet it must be heated or cooled throughout the year.
Another benefit of an open floor plan, especially with lots of large windows, is that it lowers your utility bills. Windows allow the natural sunshine to light and warm your home, saving on electricity and heating. But remember to keep blinds and curtains closed to block the sun during the summer to keep things cool.
Deciding to Build Your Dream Home
You’re convinced – Waukesha County sounds like the ideal location for you and your family to live. With its wide-open spaces and room to breathe, yet still close to amenities, it’s both beautiful and convenient. You’ve also decided that building a brand new, custom home is the right choice for you. But before you purchase a parcel of land or start to design your dream home, here are some questions to ask yourselves first.
First: Have you always dreamed of owning a house with a lake view? Or do you prefer rolling hills? Do you want a large lot without any neighbors to block the scenery? How much land is enough? Would you prefer a plot with large, mature trees or something flat and open to play soccer or baseball? Do you enjoy gardening and taking care of the lawn – or are you hoping for a more natural landscape? Would you like a subdivision with a neighborhood feel? Someplace where your kids can ride their bikes and make friends? Or does your family want something more secluded? Would you like to live close to a larger town with some conveniences? Or live in a small quaint village?
Talk with your family first and narrow down the list of what you want before shopping for a buildable lot. Don’t waste time and energy before you’ve even agreed on what you’re looking for.
Second: What kind of house are you contemplating? Do you want a single level ranch or a two-story home? What style of architecture do you prefer? Craftsman? Colonial? How about Cape Cod? Or have you always wanted a Victorian Painted Lady? Do you dream of a sleek, contemporary style? Are you interested in a large front porch? Or would you like a deck in the back?
Then you need to think about the interior: How many bedrooms and bathrooms you will need? Would you like one for everyone, plus a guest room? Is a home office a requirement? A three-car garage with room for your workbench? Is there a possibility of elderly parents moving in with you in the not-too-distant future? Will you be adding to your family and want the room to grow?
The final yet most important topic: What is your budget? Are there things you won’t compromise on – like granite countertops, roofing materials, or triple-glazed windows? Would you prefer a finished basement when you move in – or will you save that for a later date?
There are so many things to consider! While you don’t have to answer every question ahead of time, it’s essential to have a conversation with your loved ones to get a starting point. Then talk to a home builder. A custom home builder in Waukesha County will be able to take your wish list and turn it into reality by asking the right questions, listening carefully, and making suggestions.
Jewell Homes – The Best Builder in Waukesha County
Now it’s time to find the right builder. But how do you choose?
With its headquarters in Muskego, Jewell Homes is one of the best home builders in southeastern Wisconsin. Having lived in this area their entire lives, John and Jamie Jewell founded their custom home building business, knowing the community and understanding their customers’ needs. John and Jamie’s focus is on their company mission: To enhance the lives of every family they meet.
It all started when John and Jamie Jewell became incredibly frustrated by trying to find an honest, reputable builder to construct their own custom home. They were always confused by what was included – and what was NOT included – in the package price. After too many negative experiences, the Jewells realized that they could do it better. Their idea was to design and build custom homes presenting excellent customer service, with less exasperation for their clients, and to give honest and direct pricing. So, in 2005, Jewell Homes was created!
Partners in the Real Estate Community
The professionals at Jewell Homes can assist you in finding the perfect piece of land for your dream home. They work with realtors everywhere throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and will help you choose exactly what you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s vast acreage with mature trees, a simple ¼ acre lot, in a subdivision, or on a secluded street – they’re there for you throughout the process!
Also, Jewell Homes has 15 plots of land for sale at The Waters of Lake Denoon subdivision. If you’ve dreamed of owning a home overlooking a beautiful lake, sitting on your deck drinking coffee while watching the sunrise, or having a boat, now is your chance!
All fifteen lots for sale are a half-acre or more and have private piers, private lake access, and a private trail to Denoon Park. It’s like being on vacation every day.
“No Surprises” Pricing
To fulfill their mission, the Jewell Homes staff lists everything that is included in every home and is candid and straightforward with their pricing. There are never any negative surprises with Jewell Homes! This transparency creates an environment of honesty, trust, and fosters the understanding of “what you see is what you get.” Both their homes and their reputation is built on integrity.
Unlike other new home construction companies in the area, Jewell Homes won’t nickel and dime their customers. Their price covers everything pertaining to the home’s construction, including honest pricing for the HVAC, cabinetry, countertops, electrical systems, flooring, light fixtures, etc. They also include allowances for gravel, sewer, and grading the site.
The Jewell Homes’ professional staff are confident in all their guarantees because they mean what they say and say what they mean. In the home building industry, confusion, mistakes, turmoil, and surprises tend to be standard operating procedures. But, because everyone at Jewell Homes believes that honesty is always the best policy, their customers are never left in the dark.
Treating Customers with Respect
Jewell Homes is a family-owned company, and the Jewells believe all families should be treated with dignity and respect. The entire staff makes sure that everyone who works with Jewell Homes gets excellent customer service and honest, direct pricing to eliminate frustration. John and Jamie want every client to have a positive, happy experience from start to finish and believe that building your dream home should be exciting, not overwhelming.
To ensure that the finished product is what the customer wants, the designers listen to the customer’s needs and wants, then the builder implements the final plans into their dream home. Jewell Homes’ core belief is that they don’t just build houses – they build homes. Homes where children grow up, family memories are made, and futures are formed. That’s why they give every client the best products they can, with the best installers, all at a fair price. Everything Jewell Homes does is backed by the best warranty available.
Because they are custom home builders, Jewell Homes is dedicated to creating the perfect residence for each customer. Whether they want an easy access ranch-style home or a spacious two-story floor plan, Jewell Homes looks out for the best interests of their clients. Jewell Builders will always make sure that every new custom home reflects the entire family’s lifestyle to ensure function, convenience, and lasting beauty.
Additionally, the essential components of construction that you don’t see (e.g., framing, HVAC, insulation, electrical systems, plumbing, etc.) is what makes Jewell Homes even better than other custom builders in the community.
Only High-Quality Products
Jewell homes are not only built with high-quality products, but also with efficiency and the bottom line in mind. Their experts will help you choose windows, roofing, a floor plan, the right HVAC and electrical systems, and more, to save energy and money in the long run. They know how to choose the best products at reasonable prices.
However, Jewell Homes’ staff also knows that their clients desire a home that has superior craftsmanship using high-quality products. Jewell Homes’ clients understand that getting the best value is often significantly different than choosing the lowest price. You get what you pay for! But in return, Jewell Homes will consistently exceed your expectations. When your home is completed, it will be eco-friendly, well built, comfortable, perfect for your family, and on budget. And in the end, isn’t that what matters the most?
Call Jewell Homes and get started on your dream home today!