The Blog

2013 Is Your Year!

Categories: Peoria-Dunlap, Uncategorized | Posted: October 2, 2013





Here’s great news! 2013 just may be the perfect year to purchase a new custom home! According to an article by, homeowners are finding that 2013 is becoming the smartest time to finally say “yes” to owning the home of their dreams. Here’s the top seven reasons they say purchasing a new custom home in the Peoria-Dunlap area could just be the best decision you’ve made this year!

  1. Mortgage rates are still dropping. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate loan is 4.50 percent at the time of publication. While this is a 1.15 percent increase from the historic low of 3.35 percent at the end of 2012, it’s still an attractive rate for prospective homebuyers. The housing sector is getting stronger and inflation rates are low, which promotes low mortgage rates.
  2.  It’s still cheaper to buy than rent. If you live in a metropolitan area, it may make more financial sense to buy a home than rent a house, condo or apartment.
  3. Home prices are relatively low. Housing price trends vary significantly by location and even by neighborhood, but the average housing price trends across the country look promising for prospective homebuyers. The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas increased only 1 percent this past season, so 2013 could still be a great time to buy.
  4.  It may be easier to get a mortgage. Credit unions and banks may be making it easier for some prospective buyers to qualify for a mortgage. Less stringent requirements and qualifying criteria may help some people finally get that home loan. If you have good credit and some savings available for a down payment, you might just be able to get a loan for your dream home this year.
  5. Less competition from home flippers. Investors looking to buy and flip houses can’t move as quickly as they did in recent years. Housing prices in some markets are increasing, making house flipping less attractive. This gives prospective homebuyers more inventory to choose from and the benefit of having less pressure to close a deal because of another pending offer.
  6. Avoid the cost of rising rent. A buyer’s market means it might be time to say goodbye to renting for good. If you’re tired of rent increases at your current location or want to move but will experience a spike in rent, consider the benefits of buying a home instead.
  7.  Invest in your future. Buying a home gives you a chance to start building equity, and you are investing in your future. Even if you end up selling your home in five or 10 years, you could profit from the sale and invest that money elsewhere. If you’ve been dealing with rising rent or the hassles of costly moves for the past few years, settling in to a home can stabilize your housing expenses – especially if you get a fixed-rate loan at a great rate. You won’t have to worry about your monthly housing expenses changing significantly for a few years, and you will pay for something that has more value than a rental property. Consider the benefits of making this type of contribution to your future month after month.

Whether you’ve been paying the monthly rent, or are a family who has been hesitant to put your house on the market, 2013 is your year to fulfill the dream of custom home ownership! Contact us today at (309) 275-9292 to discover even more benefits of becoming a custom home owner.

Buying New Vs. Buying Used

Categories: Bloomington-Normal, neighborhoods | Posted: August 16, 2013

It Just Makes Sense!

As America’s housing market finally trickles back, potential homeowners have a choice, should they buy a used home or should they look for something new. Sadly, prospective homebuyers often times only look at the selling price difference between a new and used home and not the associated costs or benefits that each offers. Don’t make this mistake.

The cost saving are numerous when selecting a new home vs. a used one. A higher resale value, lower taxes over the first two years, lower homeowner’s insurance, lower upkeep costs, and smaller annual maintenance costs all point to the significant benefits of owning a new renovation-free home. Housing experts found that used homes built just 10 years ago will have annual maintenance costs that are 580% higher than their new home equivalents and an energy efficiency level 30% lower than that of a home built today. Don’t let an old roof or an outdated kitchen suck up all the savings you could be spending on things you and your family enjoy.

Also remember that “Time is money.” Many new home-owners are finding that owning a new home vs. used is not only saving them money, but also their time. According to studies, homeowners who built new saved an average of 58 hours per year compared to those whose homes were built only 10 years ago. That’s a lot of time saved to do what you want to do. One can see that the time and costs spent repairing a home, in the long run, will be significantly more than simply starting fresh and buying new. New home ownership IS an attainable dream, and one that O’Neal Builders can help you achieve. If you would like to leave the worries and costs of used home ownership behind you then contact us today or visit our website at!

Your August Summer Events Calendar!

Categories: Bloomington-Normal, neighborhoods | Posted: August 8, 2013

oneal builders custom home builder Bloomington Norma area august summer events

There’s so much going on this summer around the Bloomington-Normal and Peoria-Dunlap areas! From farmer’s markets to county fairs, there’s something for everyone in the family. Check out O’Neal Builders’ list of local events in and around the Bloomington-Normal and Peoria-Dunlap areas and let us know on our Facebook page if you and your family were able to make it to any of these fun summer events!

Downtown Bloomington Farmer’s Market [Every Saturday in August] – Enjoy the sights and sounds of local artists and farmers as they bring their fresh baked goods and home-grown produce to the historic square of downtown Bloomington. There is a variety of organic and chemical-free produce. It’s all fresh, original, and guaranteed to come from your own community right here in the heartland! BUY FRESH! BUY LOCAL!

Peoria Riverfront Market [Every Saturday in August] – Every Saturday morning, June 1-September 28, 2013 from 8am-noon. Liberty Park on Peoria’s Riverfront features local produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, flowers, and local hand-crafted arts including jewelry, pottery, wood-turned items, and much more!

Sweet Corn Blues Festival [August 24th – 25th] – Do you enjoy corn, whether it be corn on the cob, kettle corn, or corn dogs? Well, Uptown Normal has the event for you. August 24th and 25th Uptown will be holding the annual Sweet Corn Blues Festival. On Saturday the festival will go from 10 am to 4 pm (or ‘till the corn runs out.) And on Sunday the festival will be celebrated from 11 am to 4 pm.

Illinois State Fair [August 8th – 18th] – Grab your family and head to the largest fair in Illinois! The Illinois State Fair is located a little bit outside of Central Illinois in Springfield, but it is worth the hour and a half trip. From shows and artists to rides and games there is enough at the State Fair to keep your family busy for more than a day. Open 7am – Midnight every night the fair is perfect place to enjoy the Illinois experience!

As a custom home builder in the Bloomington-Normal and Peoria-Dunlap areas we love seeing our communities so vibrant with activities for families! Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the DETAILS happening around Central Illinois!

Bloomington-Normal Ranks as One of America’s Fastest Growing Cities!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 22, 2013

House sold sign

According to the newest survey out by Bloomington-Normal rated 11th in the fastest growing cities in America! Measured by population, employment, and income growth. 475 cities from all across America were analyzed to determine those that offered its citizens the most attractive and successful growth. Some of the cities topping the list included: New Orleans, Louisiana, Gainesville Florida, and Fargo North Dakota.

This is the exciting news O’Neal Builders loves to hear! Many of the custom homes we build are for incoming families new to the Central Illinois area, and this influx of new families continues to fuel the local economy by providing for more and more employment and Custom home building opportunities. We love being a part of this exciting new construction cycle, and are proud to be living in such a fine community as Bloomington-Normal.

From the exciting downtown atmosphere, to the superior shopping and school districts; Bloomington-Normal offers: the friendliness of a close-knit community, a highly attractive, and sought-after, education, and employment opportunities that O’Neal Builders looks for in a Central Illinois Community.

Learn more about how you and your family can call this vibrant and welcoming city home, by visiting us at Congratulations Bloomington-Normal!

Thank you trades and vendors!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 26, 2013

At O’Neal Builders, premier custom home builders in the Peoria and Dunlap area; bringing attention to detail, quality, and to every phase of the construction process, is our goal. The beautiful Central Illinois new homes we present our customers would not be possible without the faithful dedication and superior workmanship of our trades and vendors. Their attention to service and ability to follow along with O’Neal Builders’ mission for “One Detail At A Time” is what helps to create the home of your dreams. Our trades exemplify superior quality and deliver a stand-out performance when performing their work. We would like to spotlight these trades and vendors and thank them for their dedication to detail!

  • Clayton Sales Company
  • Organic Cleaning Machine
  • Residential Steel Services
  • Boitnotts Lawn and Landscaping
  • Reeves Concrete Construction

If you ever see these businesses on our jobsites of custom homes, you know that excellent service and satisfaction are being delivered to our clients and their new homes in Peoria and Dunlap, Bloominton-Normal, and Champaign-Urbana areas. These companies receive the O’Neal Builders’ stamp of approval, and deserve a great thank you from not only our company, but from the many pleased homeowners of our custom homes in Central Illinois, which they served.

Thank you for your hard work and service!

Two Beautiful Homes, One Exciting Event!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 18, 2013

O'Neal Builders - custom homes available at the Peoria Parade of Homes

O’Neal Builders, custom homebuilders in the Peoria and Dunlap area; is excited to announce that two of their custom homes in the Peoria-Dunlap area will be featured in the 22nd annual Peoria Parade of Homes! Join us June 22nd & 23rd and June 29th & 30th from 1 – 5 P.M. and view the latest designs of our Peoria-Dunlap custom homes from the O’Neal Builders team. Walk through two gorgeous custom homes located in the Waterstone development just off of Trigger Road, and see what your next dream home in Central Illinois could look like!

Both of these new custom homes feature gorgeous wooded lots with walk-out basements, exquisite exterior brick and stone detail, and a host of other features including:

  • 6-bedroom open floor-plans with kitchens opening to the great room
  • Main floor master suites w/custom tile shower and tub
  • Finished basements with wet bar, exercise room, and theatre room
  • Hand scraped Hickory floors with distressing
  • Stunning maple cabinetry w/beaded inset doors

In an O’Neal home you will find craftsmanship and attention to detail that meets your standards and surpasses your expectations.

Please join us at this exciting event and see why O’Neal Builders is dedicated to the details!

2013 Spring Cleaning Tips

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 3, 2013
Custom Home Builders and spring cleaning in Peoria Dunlap

It’s that time of year again!


Spring is the time of year when everyone comes out of hibernation and the excitement of finding new perspective in our surroundings starts greets us around every corner. Being surrounded by new growth, fresh air, and warmth awakens a need in all of us to purge our homes of the old and create a fresh start in our environment that’s as refreshing and light as spring itself. Hence “Spring Cleaning”! Whether you’re staying in your current home or you’ve been looking for a custom home builder in Peoria-Dunlap to really start off fresh this spring, there’s nothing like a clean home to bring winter-weary families together in an age old tradition.

Here are some helpful tips that will hopefully make your spring cleaning a successful one! Remember: dedicating yourself to the details is what will make your results shine. That’s what helps us stand out as a Peoria-Dunlap custom home builder and will make your home stand out as clean and pristine.

1.        Make a List

Yes, this sounds like the most obvious step, but making a list of each room you would like to tackle and listing out every task, especially those not normally done, can be incredibly helpful. This list will not only keep you organized, but will also allow those helping you to know what needs to be done. Plus, who doesn’t like to cross something off a list? This small act can keep you motivated to accomplish items until the whole list is nothing but scratches and scribbles!

2.        Get All the Right Supplies

This may seem like another obvious pointer, but it’s important to make sure you start with everything you need. It’s never fun after all your helpers are there, the list is made, and you’ve cranked up “The Eye of the Tiger,” to find out that you don’t have any paper towels and need to run to the store.

3.        Take Your Time & Take Breaks!

Speeding through a spring cleaning is recipe for missed corners and an unfinished product. Take your time and really put some elbow grease into those smudges. Your home and later satisfaction will thank you even if your shoulders don’t! Also, take some breaks. Cleaning, believe it or not, is actually quite the workout. Make sure you are well rested, eat some hearty meals, and don’t be afraid to take some time to play around on Facebook. Just remember to get back to cleaning eventually! 😉

4.        Declutter  

Spring cleaning is a great time to look through those old boxes and closets and find things you don’t really need. Making “keep,” “toss,” and “donate/sell,” boxes is a great way to take the plunge and get rid of those old Meatloaf albums!

5.        Start From the Top Down

Vacuuming the floor before dusting the fan blades is not the greatest idea. When you first tackle a room, start with the light fixtures and walls. Then move down to the tall furniture, shelves, and lamps. Once those items at eye level are spic-and-span, head to the sofas, chairs, coffee table knick knacks, etc. Lastly, hit that floor with everything you can muster because you’re almost done!

Hopefully these tips have given you some motivation to head to the closet and pull out that dust mop. Let us know if you have any creative ways of completing your spring cleaning on our Facebook page, and remember, “Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don’t do it!”

Happy Cleaning!

Elegant New Home In Peoria, IL

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: March 13, 2013
New home in Peoria-Dunlap area

The rendering of our new home in the Peoria-Dunlap area

New home in Peoria-Dunlap area.

3100 St. Charles in progress!


O’Neal Builders is excited to introduce our new home in Peoria, IL,  3100 St. Charles Place. This open and luxurious floor plan boasts custom designed cabinetry, granite countertops, stone backsplashes, hand-scraped hickory floors, and exquisite exterior façades with brick and stone detailing. With its eye catching angled garage design and location in the renowned Attingham Park Subdivision, we know that 3100 St. Charles Place will be one of the most coveted homes in the Peoria-Dunlap area for 2013.

See the full list of details and features of this home here, or contact us today to request more information about 3100 St. Charles Place and other new homes in Peoria-Dunlap, IL from O’Neal Builders, Central Illinois premiere custom home builder.

3100 St. Charles Place, a true example of how O’Neal Builders is Dedicated To The Details.


Meet The Team: David Current

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: February 22, 2013
Peoria Custom Home Builder Professions

David Current and his wife, Julie

It’s time for our monthly “Meet the Team” blog post! This month we are highlighting David Current, our hardworking draftsmen and estimator that helps bring our Peoria Custom Homes to life. David graduated through ISU’s construction management program in 2007, and has been working with us since he graduated. David exhibits a passion for designing high quality custom homes in the Peoria area filled with details and the O’Neal Builders touch.

David has been married to his wife Julie for two and a half years, and on February 22nd they will be expecting their first child! David was kind enough to answer a few questions so that you could get to know him better. Check them out!

So David…

What is your favorite part of the job?

Probably the fact that every day is different. From drafting, to purchasing, to estimating, no day seems to be quite the same as the previous one!

What is your favorite room in the house?

The kitchen, for sure.

What is your favorite color?


What would your dream home look like?

A rustic log cabin.

What is your favorite thing to do in the spring?

Being outside doing something athletic, or working in the yard.

What is your favorite quote or piece of advice?

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Do you like light or dark cabinets?

Dark cabinets.

What is your dream vacation destination?

Where my wife and I went for our honeymoon, Jamaica.

Whether you’re building a custom home in the Peoria – Dunlap area or the Bloomington – Normal area, David will be right there to help you design the beautiful  custom home of your dreams – One Detail At A Time.

Join us next month as we spotlight the owner and president of O’Neal Builders, Jim O’Neal. He’ll answer some of our questions and tell us what inspired him to center O’Neal Builders around detail.


Peoria Custom Home Building – Markets Are Making A Strong Recovery

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: February 6, 2013
Custom Home In Peoria

Peoria Custom Home Available For Sale


Great news!  According to housing and real estate experts 2013 is going to be an excellent year for home sales and housing prices, which means that if you’ve been sitting on the fence about building your Peoria custom home, it’s time to take action. The U.S. housing market in 2012 proved to be the most successful stimulator to the national economy above all other sectors.  Economists expect the housing market to continue improving this calendar year.

Because of this uptick in home sales, other industries begin to see growth, in what we like to call the “trickle-down effect.” Every time a new home is built or sold, industries such as furniture manufactures, department stores, and restaurants profit greatly. When the demand for homes increases, the local and national economies feel the effects.  Higher home values give customers and builders more confidence to go out and spend money or make investments, which also stimulates the real estate market and broader economy.

Know that when you build your custom home in Peoria, you’re helping stimulate the economy at local level, with a family company who loves everything about building new homes in Central Illinois. Discover the difference between a house and a Peoria Custom home – you’ll find that it’s all in the details.