Find the Ideal Walkable Community with New Homes Guide

Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

Family Walking Along Street With Shopping Bags

When it comes to living in the DC metro area, driving and commuting usually come with the territory. But if enduring a long drive to get to and from work or nearby amenities doesn’t sound enticing, you’ll be glad to know that there are still plenty of options for walkable, accessible living in our area.

In a walkable community, you’ll have unparalleled access to the places that matter most. Shopping, dining, entertainment, recreation, mass transit — it’s all right at your fingertips when you choose a home at one of these accessible destinations.

Because you’ll be spending less time getting to the places you want to go, you’ll get to spend more time actually enjoying them. In some cases, you may even decide owning a car is optional because of all the transportation options that become available to you. That’s why we recommend these communities to young families with tight schedules, busy professionals or people who are just looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle.

Finding a walkable community with the help of New Homes Guide is easy. Many of our featured condo listings come from accessible, urban communities. But you can also pinpoint the exact location and home style you’d like by using our powerful search tools.

Simply visit and start your search by entering relevant information in the “Search for Your New Home” section at the top of the page. And once you’ve entered the necessary information, select “+ Search Options,” and you’ll be presented with the list below.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 2.10.59 PM

From there, select “Walkable Living” to filter your search results. You can also select “Metro Accessible” or any of the other amenities you’d like to have in your new community to narrow your search further.

There are so many great walkable communities to choose from on our website, and today is the best day to get your search started. And don’t forget, you can always find more information about all of the communities in our area in the latest issue of New Homes Guide.

Find the Perfect Move-In-Now Home with Our New Supplement

Posted: February 7, 2017 at 10:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

Young Couple Moving In To New Home Together

This is the ideal time to be shopping for a new home. Prices and interest rates are at historic lows, and many of the region’s top builders have an incredible selection of Move-In-Now homes to choose from.

With a Move-In-Now home, you don’t have to wait to get the home you’ve been looking for — with all the features, finishes and upgrades you’ve always wanted. And our new supplement, Move In Now, will help you find one of these homes to call your own.

Featuring hundreds of listings organized by geographic area, this new supplement provides a glimpse into the beautiful condos, townhomes and single family homes that are ready right now — from the DC metro area to the Eastern Shore. And when you find the listing that piques your interest, you can visit our website to get an even closer look at the home.

Move In Now is included for free within the latest issue of New Homes Guide, so all you have to do is pick up your copy today at Safeway, Harris Teeter or your local newsbox. And, as always, you can order your free copy online now!

Design Encyclopedia: Know Your Home’s Roof

Posted: January 30, 2017 at 11:54 am by: NewHomesGuide

The roof is one of the most fundamental elements of building. Beyond “keeping the rain out,” it also has a big impact on the appearance and style of your home. We’ve compiled this brief summary outlining the various conventional roof types found in residential construction. Use it as a guide to orient yourself in your next home purchase so that you can better understand how your home performs and achieve the right look for the style you desire.


Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

The gable roof is iconic – beginning with the first illustrations we make of our homes as children, the simple triangular shape is one of the most universal images of “house” we can imagine. In essence, its functional merits also provide a clear visual for the design – a single ridge and sloped sides that shed water and snow, while providing attic space on the inside. The gable is simple and effective, which is one of the main reasons why it is so prolific in residential building. It is also one of the most versatile roof types, in that a slight change in pitch (steepness or slope) can give your home a completely different appearance, denoting a key trademark of a particular architectural style. Here are a few examples:

Photo Credit: Tom Fields Photography

Photo Credit: Tom Fields Photography

Craftsman style homes are often characterized by a wide, single gable with a very low slope. The wide roof overhangs can be traced back to the style’s origins in the western United States, where shading the coastal sun was a key design consideration.

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

A steeper slope can give your home a more Contemporary flair. In this example, its simplicity makes a bold statement.


Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Hipped roofs are sloped on all sides, terminating in either a pyramid-like point or a ridge that spans one direction across the house. Like gabled roofs, their simplicity is a key facet of the design – water sheds evenly to all edges of the roof, making it easy to distribute downspouts around your house and control water drainage on your lot. Because of their shape and assembly, hip roofs tend to be lower and, thus, limit available attic space. The hip shape also limits the amount of exterior finish material needed on your house – if you imagine the “triangle” shape of a typical gable roof being replaced with a hip, you can eliminate all of the siding or brick required to cover that wall surface.

Just as with gable roofs, a change in pitch and overhang can alter the character and style of your home. These variations below are classic takes on the hip roof:

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects

Prairie style homes exude low, horizontal lines. Their roots in the flat plains of the central United States are indicative of the solid, grounded feel these homes possess.

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Georgian style homes lie on the opposite end of the spectrum with large, sweeping hip roofs. Their height gives the appearance of grandeur and anchors the symmetrical openings on either side of the central front door.


Photo Credit: Maxine Schnitzer Photography

Photo Credit: Maxine Schnitzer Photography

Another variation on the hipped roof is the mansard. Its popular origins are derived from French architecture in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the government levied property taxes based on the number of stories a building had. The mansard roof was born as a response, tucking a habitable attic space under steep “roof” planes (which function more like walls) that cap the top of the building. Now, mansards are found most typically in urban neighborhoods in an evolved form with ornate details categorized under the Second Empire and Chateau styles. These roofs function just like a hip roof, but have two sloped portions with differing pitches on each side of the home.


Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

The most straight-forward and distilled option in roofing vocabulary is the shed. Every component of the design is rooted in a particular function or consideration – from light and heat, to loads and structural assembly, to interior space and acoustics. Shed roofs are ideal for maximizing ceiling height, natural light throughout your home, and the efficiency of your heating/air conditioning system. They can offer the greatest amount of exposure where you want the sun to hit the house and reduce the heat that’s lost through surfaces on the cold, dark side. In terms of style, shed roofs make their appearance in more Contemporary applications, but were originally seen in the earliest, most humble forms of architecture.


Image Credit: Maxine Schnitzer Photography & W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

This classification is actually a bit of a misnomer, as roofs really can’t be “flat” and still effectively function as a means to distribute water off the top of your home. As we’ve explained, roofs rely on a positive slope to prevent the pooling of not only water, but also snow, ice, and leaves. The flat roof is a mainstay of Contemporary architecture, expressing the purest, most minimal way to terminate the walls of a building. In reality though, it is actually one of the most sophisticated roof types in residential construction – requiring multiple complex considerations of the way materials, edges, openings, and loads perform together. In the example above, a small wall around the entire perimeter of the home (parapet) conceals a network of subtle ridges that channel water to several deliberate openings (scuppers) that drain off the roof. The result is a hyper-clean look with only a few carefully curated materials and a shape that is equally bold.

Guest blog courtesy of W.C. Ralston Architects, an architecture and planning firm that has built an enduring reputation for design excellence in homes, neighborhoods and communities across the Mid-Atlantic region. Learn more at

Use New Homes Guide to Find Your New Home This Year

Posted: January 20, 2017 at 9:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

New Homes Guide

The hardest part of a New Year’s resolution is sticking with it and seeing it through to the end. If finding a new home is on your list of resolutions this year, however, it’s a lot easier than you might think — you just have to have the right tools to help you out.       

That’s where New Homes Guide comes in.

With our powerful set of online search tools and, of course, our trusty print guide, we’ve been helping new home shoppers just like you find their dream homes in communities across the Mid-Atlantic region for more than four decades.

No matter what stage of the home shopping process you’re in, and no matter what you’re looking for — a Move-In-Now Home, the perfect condo or even the ideal builder for your new home — we have the resources to help you get the home you want sooner and more confidently. And with a wide variety of additional supplements to choose from, you can get even more focused in your new home search. Here are a few of our free supplements to consider adding to your New Homes Guide order:

  • The Relo Guide — Moving to a new area? We have all the info you need to make a smooth transition.
  • Best Floorplans — Get the inside scoop on the homebuilders designing the best, most innovative floorplans.
  • Interiors — Need some interior design inspiration for your new home? You’ll find it here.
  • Planned Community Lifestyle — Looking for a resort-style community? We’ll help you find the top master-planned community in your area.

We firmly believe that your new home shopping experience should be fun and rewarding, and we think you’ll love earning a gift card while you shop for your home. To learn more, check out our Rewards for Shoppers — it’s easy, and it’s free.

Ready to cross that new home resolution off your list? Start your search on, or order your free copy of our latest issue online today. Happy house hunting!

Our Cover Builder Wants You to Experience “A Life Well Lived” in 2017

Posted: January 17, 2017 at 11:43 am by: NewHomesGuide


A new year. A new issue. A new cover homebuilder.

We’re excited to unveil our latest issue of New Homes Guide, which features Winchester Homes, one of the area’s most admired homebuilders, on our front cover.

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Winchester Homes has solidified its status as a premier builder of new homes in the Mid-Atlantic region, in large part due to its emphasis on award-winning craftsmanship and sound environmental building practices.

This year, Winchester Homes wants you to treat yourself to the home and the lifestyle you deserve so that you can experience “A Life Well Lived.” It won’t be hard to design your dream home, either, because Winchester puts extra emphasis on personalization, promising to build Your Home. Your Way.™ This commitment to building homes that truly reflect their homebuyers means that you can get the high-quality home you’ve always imagined.

You can find a beautiful, personalized new home from Winchester Homes at an ideally located community in Maryland or Northern Virginia, as well as homes and communities from other top builders, in the pages of our latest issue. Order your FREE copy of New Homes Guide or pick up our new issue at your local newsbox, Harris Teeter or Safeway today.

Design Forecast: 4 Big Ideas for 2017

Posted: January 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm by: NewHomesGuide

A new year is upon us! As we leave 2016 behind and set our sights forward, we’ve compiled our list of the top residential design concepts that are ready to make an impact in the year ahead.

1. Clean & Modern

When it comes to home exteriors, this sentiment represents the preference of the overwhelming majority of prospective homebuyers. While one’s interpretation of “modern” seems to differ from person to person, this tends to suggest a couple key elements: clean lines and many (often large) openings. As general concepts, these are not exclusive to the contemporary style and can enhance the appearance and quality of any home.


Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

As a prime example, Modern Farmhouse is a prolific style that is inherently both traditional and progressive. With roots derived from humble rural vernacular of the American South, these are simple houses with subtle detailing. The monochrome color palette, minimal trim, corrugated metal roof, dark windows, and mitered siding all give them a refined edge while preserving the qualities of their forebearers.

Homebuilders That Gave Back in 2016

Posted: December 6, 2016 at 10:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

The holiday season is all about giving back, and we want to recognize just some of the homebuilders that donated time, expertise and resources to essential charitable projects in our region this year. Take a look back at how builders gave back to the community in 2016.

Christopher Companies


Working in partnership with HomeAid Northern Virginia and Pathway Homes, Christopher Companies and several partners committed over $11,000 to update a home for women recovering from mental illness. Photo courtesy of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

M/I Homes


In September, M/I Homes, 15 trade partners and HomeAid completed a $35,000 renovation of a three-bedroom townhome for Fauquier Family Shelter Services’ Vint Hill Transitional Housing Program. The newly updated home will help a single mother and her three children transition from homelessness to independence in a safe and stable environment. Photo courtesy of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Toll Brothers


“The Brenda House,” a 5,000-square-foot home for girls in crisis, was made possible from contributions by Toll Brothers as well as 64 trade partners and HomeAid Northern Virginia. Under the direction of Youth for Tomorrow, this home will provide a safe haven for dozens of girls who have been victims of sexual or physical abuse. Photo courtesy of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Van Metre Homes

$85,000. That’s how much Van Metre Homes was able to raise through its Cornhole Challenge event in October. The proceeds from this fun event will help combat homelessness with the help of Final Salute, which has dedicated itself to ending homelessness among women veterans. In partnership with HomeAid, Final Salute will be able to use these funds to provide housing for up to 10 veterans and their children. 

Winchester Homes


Also working together with HomeAid Northern Virginia and Final Salute, Winchester Homes is leading the renovation of a home in Fairfax County, VA, which will provide housing for up to ten homeless women veterans and their children. The renovations are expected to top $330,000, more than half of which will be funded by Winchester Homes, HomeAid and participating trade partners. Photo courtesy of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Although this list is far from comprehensive and represents just a small portion of what homebuilders gave back to their communities in 2016, we would like to thank every homebuilder that dedicated time and funding to help families in crisis in our region this year.

Choosing the Best Homebuilder for Your Dream Home Just Got Easier

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Miller & Smith


The smartest home shoppers know that finding the perfect community and ideal home style is only the first step towards getting their dream home. They know that among all of the homebuilders in the area, some stand above the rest as the best partners in the homebuilding process.

When it comes to homebuilders, there are many options to choose from. It can be overwhelming, but with the right tools, you can make an informed, confident decision about which company you’ll entrust to build your new home. And if you’re looking for the best tool to help you get to that point, look no further than our Building Leaders 2017 supplement.

Filled with profiles and insights on the area’s most accomplished homebuilders, Building Leaders 2017 makes it easy to understand which builders in your target area provide the best design, construction principles and service by highlighting industry affiliations, awards received and more.

If you’re ready to take your new home search to the next level and become the most informed home shopper possible, order your free copy of our Building Leaders 2017 supplement today, as well as New Homes Guide and our other great supplements.





Tricks of the Trade: Creating the Ideal Exterior Palette for Your Home

Posted: November 27, 2016 at 2:44 pm by: NewHomesGuide

As the dark and dreary days of winter begin to bear upon you, a feature on color is just the remedy you need. We’ve put together the following ideas and tips on everything you need to know when selecting the exterior materials and finishes for your home.

1. Site & Landscape

It’s important to consider factors that are beyond your immediate control – the land around your home typically falls into the category. When approaching or passing your home from the street, what effect do you want to convey? Is it more muted and nestled within the landscape (like the home below) or do you desire a stark contrast to the home’s surroundings? Color is a decisive factor for this consideration – adjusting the brightness and darkness of the hue will affect its visual impact among trees and other plantings.


Photo Credit: Hoachlander Davis Photography

If you live in an area that experiences a dynamic range of seasons, you’ll find that this decision is one that should be made with a variety of conditions in mind. The creamy almond color of the parged brick on the home below is well-suited to “pop” against lush green grass, vibrant oranges and red leaves in fall, and a stark white, snow-covered yard during winter. (more…)

Speed Cleaning After Thanksgiving

Posted: November 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm by: NewHomesGuide

 Dining Room Table


If you think cleaning before Thanksgiving is stressful, doing it afterwards can be a total nightmare. As much as you try you can’t handle everything while you have guests in the house. The only thing you can do during their stay is wash dishes and change towels or empty trashcans. This is the limit of your cleaning chores which are enough considering all of your duties around the people you have at home. We know it can be fatiguing and the last thing you want to do once after you have them left the house, is cleaning. Nevertheless, it’s necessary. But it is not necessary to take you a lot of time. Follow these simple steps and give yourself time to relax.

For speed cleaning the first important think is to schedule your chores. Make a list and set definite time you’ll need to do it. Try to stick to the schedule. If you have time left and you’re not tired, you can do some extra work.


Start Room by Room

Guest room. Look around for something left by your guests. After that, pick up everything from the floor and put it in order. Change the sheets and put the old ones in the hamper. Next wipe, vacuum, and mop the floor. Cleaning team Hampstead suggests that you could wipe faster when you do it clockwise. This is enough until next time you have guests.

Kitchen. Wash the dishes, polish and leave them in order. If you have dishwasher, load them and while it’s running you can start doing something else. Scrub and wipe the sink, the oven and everything else which looks more dirty than usual. Now you only need to vacuum the floor and mop it. If there is food on the floor you may need to sweep it first.

Living room. Having everybody in the kitchen and the living room means that these rooms will take most time and effort. First of all, you have to remove the clutter. Wipe down everything! If you have hardwood flooring you may need first to quickly sweep the floor before mopping. For carpets, pick up the clutter, give it a quick vaccum and the work here is done!

Bathroom. Repeat everything you did before the holiday. Clean the toilet bowl and sink. Next, change the towels, empty the trash can and “voila!” the whole house is clean.


Here is a small tip to clean the floor quickly – Walk around the whole house with a basket and gather everything that doesn’t belong to the room you’re in or which place is in the trash can. You can leave this basket somewhere hidden and arrange everything later when you have more time. After that move all large items out of your way and after the floor is clean and dry move it back.

To remove stains faster you can use lemon and after that hot water to wash it out. If it is on place hard to be seen you can leave it now and do it another day. Focus on main surfaces and things easy to see.


After the most important cleaning chores after Thanksgiving are completed you can check if there is something left to be done in the closet or the hallway. Afterwards it is time for you to relax with a glass of wine to reward yourself for the good job.


Guest post by Demi Giles

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