Working with the Brooks at Vale Park and Steiner Homes: Flexibility, dedication, quality

Working with the Brooks at Vale Park and Steiner Homes: Flexibility, dedication, quality

Finding a place to call home is essential to living a fulfilling life. The ideal home is somewhere that provides for you and yours with community, opportunity, and the promise of peace. Winfield Resident Steve Buchelt found that in the Brooks at Vale Park.

Buchelt is a pastor in Valparaiso who was looking to be closer to the community he served. Unfortunately, when Buchelt and his wife began looking for property in Valparaiso, there wasn’t anything that met their needs.

“We wanted to be around the people we serve and love,” Buchelt said. “We recognized that we needed to make a move, but there was a lack of options within Valpo proper, and we didn't want to get too far away from downtown because that's the whole point of moving here.”

With no property fit for Buchelt, he had to either commit to making an hour commute every day or begin looking for work closer to home. While trying to decide, Buchelt, his wife Diane, and some friends found the perfect answer on a walk through Vale Park and the area that would become the Brooks before any development was underway. There, Buchelt discovered exactly what he was looking for.

“Diane and I, along with some dear friends, were walking along Vale Park and then up through what is now the Brooks. I remember looking off to the left and seeing this gorgeous little stretch of woods; we thought that would be a perfect place for us to build a home,” said Buchelt. “As it turned out, that very lot is what we ended up purchasing to build our home. I think we have the best lot in the Brooks, and I wouldn’t trade it with any other lot.”

With a lot selected, Buchelt began the process of getting a home built. He began collaborating with Steiner Homes and together with the builders worked out everything from a design to labor costs. Then, with everything ready to go, the COVID-19 pandemic appeared.

“We were together, the numbers all worked, and we were ready to go; then, COVID hit,” Buchelt said. “All of a sudden, we couldn't get labor and prices were all over the map. For a couple of years there, we sort of held onto the whole thing loosely and felt like it wasn't going to happen.”

Once Buchelt began working with Steiner Homes, however, it became clear that the builder wanted to see the project through no matter how long it took. As a result, Buchelt and his wife are able to get the home they wanted on the lot they wanted.

“I’m really grateful that Steiner Homes stuck with us in the midst of all kinds of turmoil trying to work through whatever issues we were having. We kind of gave up the idea many times over the couple years of uncertainty and economic forecasts, but they stuck with us and worked with us every step of the way,” Buchelt said. “I am so grateful for their flexibility.”

Buchelt and his wife are currently in the final stages of construction of their new home, but it’s already helping them become more involved in the Valparaiso community. To add the finishing touches on the home, Buchelt and his wife added Bible verses important to them to the home before the drywall went up. It was a moving experience for more reasons than one.

“While we were doing that, three people from our church just came by; they were just walking through the neighborhood and saw our car,” Buchelt said. “That is exactly why we're moving in: to be able to be a part of people's lives. That was an example of us spending just a couple hours with the house and having three different people drive, pull in, engage in conversation, and enjoy each other’s company. To be in a place where we have a community already established is super wonderful for us.”

After his experience working with the Brooks team and Steiner Homes, Buchelt would happily recommend both groups to prospective homebuyers or builders.

“We’re really pleased with how the Brooks worked with us to get the lot wanted and how Steiner Homes really worked with us to get the home we wanted,” Buchelt said. “The team has been phenomenal and flexible; they've accommodated every request we've had, and they've been wonderful to work with. I would gladly encourage anybody to work with the Brooks or with Steiner Homes. I have nothing but good things to say about the process.”

To learn more about the Brooks at Vale Park or to begin your home building process, visit