The magnificent view of Seminary Woods, the undeveloped We Energies land and the proximity to Lake Michigan are what makes Teri and Jeff Jankowski's newly constructed three-bedroom ranch their "dream home."
"The view is just gorgeous," Teri said.
The Jankowskis are the first to move into the Trestle Creek subdivision, located in the 3200 blocks of Koenig and Crawford avenues.
Until construction on neighboring lots begin, the two will enjoy the vast natural setting surrounding their new home.
Jim Siepmann of Siepmann Realty said 10 of the 24 lots in the subdivision have been sold.
When Jeff heard about Trestle Creek, he was "pretty aggressive" about securing a lot there, he said.
"There are not a lot of lots in the city that are open," he said.
Convenient for job
Because Jeff is a St. Francis firefighter, he was looking to purchase a lot within city limits. His former home was in Milwaukee, about five miles from St. Francis.
Every six months for the past eight years, Jeff had to submit a letter to city officials requesting a residency extension.
"Now, I've been taken off the list," he said with a smile.
Despite an ailing real estate market, the Jankowskis were able to sell their Milwaukee home after it was on the market for eight months, Teri said.
They were relieved when their old home sold.
"It was perfect timing," Teri said.
As soon as the necessary paperwork was signed approving the residential development, construction of their home began within a couple of weeks.
"We were very pleasantly surprised that it went smoothly without delays and that's probably because of the economy," she said.
Because there were not many houses being built, many companies were ready and available to work on their new ranch, Teri said.
Back porch fire
The only horror story the two encountered while building their home was when someone started their back porch on fire. The arsonist was never caught.
"I had just gotten off duty that morning and was heading home," Jeff said.
All of a sudden a fire call came in and it was listed to Jeff's new address.
"That was the worst feeling," he said.
Luckily, the fire was contained to the rear deck and the damage was minimal.
Now that their home is ready for occupancy, the Jankowskis are excited to move in.
They have already met several of their neighbors.
"The neighbors are very, very nice," Teri said.
Jeff plans to host "many" housewarming parties, celebrating their move into the neighborhood.
"We've been waiting a long time for this," he said.
Chantel Balzell can be reached at (262) 446-6602.
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