August 2 2009

New Homes, Country Living Near Columbus Ohio

by jim

Is simple, traditional countryside living possible in a new home development? At one new community in Canal Winchester, Ohio, it certainly is. Located about 15 minutes from Columbus, Canal Winchester is known for its picturesque country charm. Inspired by the surroundings in this lovely town, MI Homes built Cherry Landing, a new community tucked into historic Canal Winchester. Often, new developments appear oddly out of place in quaint small towns of this caliber; with this in mind, the builders ensured that Cherry Landing would be the exception.

Classic architecture is the theme for Cherry Landing’s three models: Carriage, Hallmark, and the Towne Square Collection. Each boasts large front porches and other details inspired by the Craftsman period. And because a street lined with beautiful homes needs an equally beautiful streetscape to reach its full potential, each street was designed to blend with Canal Winchester’s surrounding preservation areas and traditional buildings. This means reserves and ponds on the nature front; and where the homes are concerned, alleyways behind the streets for convenient (and more visually appealing) rear-loading garages. Brick pavers? Yes! Old-fashioned street lamps? Indeed! 

Prices for Cherry Landing are very reasonable, ranging from $127,000-$195,900. The square footage of the homes are just right for the average family, at 1,264-2,535; not a big-box size, but certainly roomy enough to keep everyone close and comfortable. To admire Cherry Landing in person, visit them at 419 West Waterloo Street, Canal Winchester, OH 43110. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 11am-7pm, Friday through Saturday from 10am-5pm, and Sunday from 12pm-6pm. To inquire about a Cherry Landing property, please call (614) 920-9762.

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August 2 2009

Affordable Condos are Coming to Daytona

by jim

Affordable condos in Daytona Beach? Yep, it’s true! Tuscany Towns, a new condominium community from builder Mercedes Homes, is still in the unveiling process; which makes it even easier to get the new condo you want! Tuscany Towns has three models to choose from: the Diego, a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath with a family room, spacious dining area, and a study; the Christina, a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath with a large master suite and – get this – a 10x8 sq. ft. foot loft space; and finally, the Bonita, which offers the best of both. The Bonita is a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with a 10x16 sq. ft. master suite and an upstairs loft.  

Looking for upgrades? The options include stainless steel appliances, chrome fixtures, knockdown ceilings, tile in all wet areas, and lush wall to wall carpeting. Even without those additions, these homes are an attractive prospect for anyone seeking a reasonably priced Florida condominium.
  
Which brings us to that “affordable” part: All three of the Tuscany Towns homes are all in the same range ($150,000); specifically, the Diego is priced at $151,553, while the Christina is available for $151,990 and the Bonita can be yours for $157,990. To tour the Tuscany Towns models, locate them at Clyde Morris & Strickland Range Road
Daytona Beach, FL 32117; or, call (407) 281-5761.

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August 2 2009

New Homes in Cleveland, Ohio

by jim

It seems like many families are making a move to Cleveland, while others within the city are relocating to one of its outlying suburbs. Either way, it can be a great move. Because tributes to Cleveland, Ohio often appear in songs, on television, and in other pop culture outlets; those who have never visited often wonder what all the fuss is about. If you’ve never been to Cleveland, consider some highlights of this great American city: the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Museum of Art, and the gorgeous skyline along Lake Erie, to name a few.

As stated, downtown Cleveland has experienced a great deal of residential evacuation from the city to its surrounding suburbs – and that’s actually good news, at least for those who want to reside in Cleveland without committing to a metropolitan home. Many suburban housing options are now available right outside the city limits, primarily from two specific developers: Bennett Builders and Petros Homes, Inc. Although both builders have left their marks on several communities, each one has a neighborhood that stands out among the rest.

For instance, Petros Homes has created One Chippewa Trail, a luxury manor home community with only 13 sites. Exclusive living at its finest, One Chippewa Trail homes feature covetable extras like walk-out basements and wooded views. This elite community is perfect for the family of an executive moving to Cleveland for their downtown redevelopment efforts – close to work, but still a private retreat. Home prices begin in the high $500,000’s.

While Bennett Builders also offers high end communities, a more affordable option is available as well. Stonebridge Creek, a neighborhood of modest, but incredibly charming Midwest homes, starts at $199,000; with award-winning floor plans (as well as custom options), wooded lots, and a community center with swimming pool, Stonebridge Creek is a great place for the traditionally-minded family to call home.

To visit these outstanding new homes near Cleveland, find Stonebridge Creek on Conrad St. in Avon, Ohio, 44011; or call (440) 289-4284. Or, locate One Chippewa Trail in Brecksville, Ohio off Route 82 (across from the Metro Parks entrance). Petros Homes can be reached at (440) 546-9000.   Find more homes for sale in Cleveland in the Cleveland New Homes Directory.

 

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August 2 2009

Green Home Condos in New York City

by jim

New York New Green Condos For Sale

New York City is known for clinging to progressive ideals as much as it is known for its hustle and bustle. While said ideals are quite conducive with a green lifestyle, the aforementioned bustle and its resulting pollution is not. Despite this, there are still great housing options available to those looking for a green retreat in New York City.

One luxury residence that is making a name for itself is Kalahari, located in Harlem. Yes, Harlem! Today’s Harlem residents are an incredibly diverse bunch, and the community is becoming known as a great place to invest in classic New York brownstones and high rise apartments for a far better price tag than in other boroughs. Taking that into consideration, the team that put the plans for these 250 environmentally responsible units created what they call an “architectural tribute” to the history and character of the Harlem community. Sub-Saharan Africa was the inspiration for the design, both interior and exterior, of these green-friendly New York City apartments.

Better still, those who are long-time Harlem community residents are offered an even more affordable rate than the high $600,000’s cost for a Kalahari home. Another half of the units are sold at market rate. The builders find that this is a more “fair and equitable” method of doing business with green-minded consumers.

What else is green about Kalahari? Sustainable bamboo strip floors, large windows to encourage natural light instead of electric, and Energy Star appliances – to name a few features. Built to the U.S .Green Building Council's LEED Silver Standards, Kalahari is in a new category of “hybrid homes” designed with the goal of limiting impact on the environment – while still providing luxurious and modern resources, of course.

But what would a green home be without lush vegetation? Landscaped courtyards are one of Kalahari’s proudest features, and outdoor recreation options are within the amenities. In keeping with its socially-conscious theme, the building is home to a reputable Harlem afterschool program – making it a great option for families looking to relocate.

To check out Kalahari, stop in and request a tour at 40 West 116th St., Harlem, NY 10026; or, call (212) 348-0090 for more information.

 

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August 2 2009

Upcoming Events at Cordera in Colorado Springs

by jim

Things are happening this August at Cordera, Colorado Springs premier master planned community. It all starts on August 7, when Saddletree Homes at Cordera is participating in the 2009 Parade of Homes. For two weeks (ending on the 23rd), guests can stop in to the Cordera models and register to win a 40" LCD 1080P Flat Screen TV ($900 value) or a $500 gift card to The Promenade Shops at Briargate. Just stop into the Cordera Community Center (you can’t miss it; it’s 8,000 sq. ft.) to enter.

The annual Parade of Homes is no hum-drum affair; the Colorado Springs Housing and Building Association sells tickets for this event, which can be purchased at the local Safeway market for $10 (adults 18 - 64) and $5 (seniors age 65 and older). Even if you’re not looking for a new home in Colorado Springs, touring the models can be a great way to spend the day.

Finally, Cordera will be hosting its 3rd annual Jazz in the Park concert on the Cordera Grand Lawn on August 12th from 6:00-8:00p.m. In partnership with the Pikes Peak Jazz & Swing Society, the community is proud to present this fun, family-friendly event. Cordera is located at in Colorado Springs: To get there, take the I-25 to Briargate Parkway, just east of Powers Boulevard. The Cordera Community Center is located at 11894 Grand Lawn Circle. For more information on either of these events, please call (719) 266-8581.

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August 2 2009

Which Type of New Home Should You Buy?

by jim

Single detached home, attached product, one story, two story…most homebuyers already know what type of home they want before they start looking, right? Sure, most of the time. But for buyers with more eclectic personalities, it can be difficult to pin down the exact definition of your living style – making it more frustrating to choose the type of home you want.

Although this tip is normally reserved for first-timer home buyers, knowing what you want is just as important for seasoned homebuyers as well. When mulling over different styles of new homes, some buyers get overwhelmed by the choices available; especially when touring models, which are dolled up with trendy themed décor to make shoppers feel even more “at home.”

To avoid going into a la-la-land state, the best way to fend off buyer confusion is to make two lists: First, a list itemizing your needs; second, an inventory of your wants. What do you and/or your family need? Two, three, or four bedrooms? How many baths? Do you have pets, and how much room do they need? Although these have little to do with the style of a home, it will help you narrow your focus; for example, you are less likely to be seduced into buying a seemingly “perfect” condo or townhouse if you remain aware that its square footage doesn’t suit your family’s needs. After eliminating those types of dwellings from the discussion, you can move on to choosing between one and two story homes, traditional or contemporary estates, and so on.

Obviously, the “wants” list is trickier, as our desires are sometimes known to go over the top. To that end, let’s re-title that list to “wants – within reason.” Some of the most common wants among new homebuyers include fireplaces, swimming pools, and specific types of flooring. New appliances are also near the top of the list for some home shoppers (usually, those who intend to spend extended time in the kitchen). Those are only the usual suspects, though; how about extras like ceiling fans, walk-in closets, or bonus rooms? Many buyers forget how much they want those types of features – until they walk into a home and see them. Putting them on your wants list will help you remember to look for properties that feature those exact amenities.

Even the most open-minded buyers can benefit from doing their research on homes they plan to visit, using a self-written list as their guide. It can make the difference between moving into a house you like – or a home you love.  

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August 1 2009

Need to Move to Where the Jobs Are? Orlando May Be It

by jim

Need to Move to Where the Jobs Are? How about Orlando? Arguably the nation’s most popular recreation destination, Orlando, Florida no longer relies solely on its theme parks to support its stable economy. Today, life sciences, digital media, and healthcare markets are a hot ticket in this attractive inland city. In addition to the aforementioned fields, medical research is becoming increasingly concentrated in Orlando, as are entertainment subsidiaries (Which kind? Animation firms, of course!).

So where does someone looking to establish (or revamp) their career in Orlando live? There are numerous affordable housing options available, but MI Homes has one of the best deals Orlando can offer. Bella Vida, a community of single and two-story detached residences, currently has homes starting at $179,000. The builders constructed Bella Vida with young professionals and families in mind, so those seeking a new career in Orlando should feel right at home.

In a state notorious for its high-priced housing market, this is a convenient, affordable solution for those looking to transplant. But there are other options as well; Sawgrass, a MI Homes community located in South Orlando, is similarly priced. In keeping with the Florida landscape and ambiance, this neighborhood offers marsh-like community lakes, a park, and a clubhouse/pool. Like Bella Vida, singles, families, and even empty nesters/retirees can enjoy what Sawgrass has to offer. 

If you’re looking for a new lease on life in one of the most resilient local economies in the U.S., Orlando may be the place for you. For information on homes for sale in Orlando communities, call (407) 281-1131 (Bella Vida) or (407) 858-0309 (Sawgrass).

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August 1 2009

Top Green Building States

by jim

Green Living

Looking to move to a green home state, or wondering if the state where you currently live is green-home friendly? Data released by the State Environmental Resource Center (SERC) reveals which states have adopted green building legislation – and some of the findings may come as a surprise.

To start, we need to define some of the terms cited within the report. The data used two specific organizations to measure each state’s green friendliness; first, The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System; second, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The former encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of various tools and criteria, while the latter promotes energy efficiency through a model code system.

So, which states are to be praised for showing deference to the aforementioned systems? First up, those states who offer tax incentives for green buildings in compliance with the LEED rating system: Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. The higher the LEED rating, the more the tax credit. What’s more, two of these states, Maryland and Massachusetts, also offer tax incentives for green buildings that don’t check themselves with against the LEED ratings; so long as builders meet certain green criteria, a tax credit is still there for the taking. One additional state that passed similar legislation is New York.

NABH Green Homes

In some cases, there is no tangible reward for building green; many states are now requiring that certain structures abide by strict environmentally-friendly guidelines. Primarily, buildings that are subject to the mandates are those funded either partially or in full by the state itself; so, imposing green regulation on these specific buildings is not infringing on the rights of private citizens. In addition to many of the states listed above, states that have adopted these policies include Arizona, Connecticut, California, Georgia, Maine, Ohio, and Washington. Again, this does not affect private homes; however, green buildings affect communities in a positive manner, whether they are intended for round-the-clock living or not. 

How about that IECC system? This may come as a surprise: As far back as 2003, Kansas became the first state to designate the IECC as the thermal efficiency standard for new commercial and industrial buildings. While this did not specifically address residential homes at the time, common sense dictates that the newly built dwellings in Kansas may one day follow suit.

 

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August 1 2009

High Rise Living: Is it a Thing of the Past?

by jim

Chic, high rise living was once a standard-bearer for cosmopolitan populations in large cities. From Los Angeles to Miami to New York City and Toronto, everyone who was anyone chose a high rise over other living options.

Today, urban living is experiencing something of a comeback; however, it seems that townhomes and condos have become the preferred attached product of many single residents, couples, and small families. Home builders are no doubt capitalizing on this; while downtown, live-work spaces are indeed gaining popularity in a number of regions, they are also quite successfully edging out their predecessor: the big city high rise. 

If you hold on to a dream of high rise living, don’t fear: It is still possible! Need some guidance/inspiration? Some of the most impressive examples currently available in high rise homes are described here:

Little Tokyo Lofts, Los Angeles: Ever drive through LA and wistfully imagine that a historic structure would convert to an apartment building – so you could move in? Hammer Ventures had the foresight to do that very thing, opting to utilize the old Westinghouse building for Little Tokyo Lofts. The 161 living spaces range from 653 to 1,800 sq. ft., and the two-story spaces boast 30 ft. ceilings. Attractively priced, these lofts were designed with the artistic personality in mind. For more information, call (213) 626-6400.

111 Central Park North, New York City: Sure, you want to live in New York City…but the thought of looking out your window and seeing grass and trees (rather than cars and blinding lights) is appealing too. For that reason, Athena Homes erected 111 Central Park North, a gorgeous skyscraper that houses luxurious living spaces averaging at 1,900 sq. ft. If you’re looking for a quintessential New York lifestyle and you can afford a seven figure price tag (the view alone is worth every penny!), you may want to ask what 111 Central Park North has available. To learn more, call (212) 381-2671.    

Festival Tower, Toronto: A city that has grown leaps and bounds, Toronto is becoming a popular destination for those looking to plant their roots up north. For career-minded individuals those who make this move, there are few options more appealing than Festival Tower. Not only is the sight of the building spectacular, but the amenities – including a pool house, cinema, fitness center, lounge, terrace, and private club spanning two floors – make this an amazing place to call home. If interested, inquire at (416) 203-2020.

Is high rise living a thing of the past? It doesn’t look like it! The only way to find out if it’s for you is to take the plunge and tour one of their spaces.

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August 1 2009

Quaint Southern Living at Briar Chapel by M/I Homes

by jim

We’ve touched on the amenities of the MI Homes communities in Raleigh; however, one that warrants its own time in the spotlight is Briar Chapel. For buyers who value quaint features in a new home community, the beautifully-constructed bike paths and boardwalks boasted by Briar Chapel are only the beginning.

What else is so special about Briar Chapel? First off, nothing conjures a Southern charm atmosphere like a beautiful porch – and many of the Briar Chapel homes have them. Three of the home plans (Holloway, Harrison, and Hillcrest) feature lovely front porches that are perfect for snuggling, sipping, and sharing on a warm summer evening. Huge family rooms, various wood flooring tones, and gorgeous master bedroom paneling are just a few of the appealing features in many Briar Chapel homes.

Sure, home designs are a top priority – but how about socializing? If common gathering areas are important to you, Briar Chapel may be right up your alley. In addition to the outdoor features already mentioned, the neighborhood also offers a fitness facility, outside entertainment areas, and two sparkling community pools. For families who crave a place to meet up with friends, could there by a more ideal environment? In fact, the creators of Briar Chapel say that this peaceful, “mountain lifestyle” population can take part in activities specifically designed for residents of all ages. Although a majority of communities near Raleigh are family-friendly, that’s hard to beat!

For those relocating from another state, the built-in community support of Briar Chapel can be positively invaluable; however, even North Carolina natives can appreciate the serene, retreat-like ambiance of a friendly neighborhood tucked into rolling green hills. For more details on Briar Chapel homes, stop into their office at 1269 Great Ridge Parkway, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. Hours are Mon-Fri 12pm-6pm; Sat 11am-6pm; Sun 1pm-6pm. Or, call 919-942-1220 for more information.

 

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