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 NewHomesGuide.com, or order your free copy of our latest issue online today. Happy house hunting!

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.

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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.
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Choosing the Best Homebuilder for Your Dream Home Just Got Easier

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

CalAtlantic Homes

 

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.

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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.

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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

Find the Best Builder for Your Home with Our Building Leaders Supplement

Posted: November 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm by: NewHomesGuide

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What do you do if you’ve found the perfect community or location for your new home, but you don’t know how to choose a builder to make your dream home a reality?

With all of the homebuilders in the area, trying to narrow down your options can be a little bit overwhelming. But with our Building Leaders 2017 supplement, you can take the guesswork out of the process and make a confident, informed decision.

Similar to how New Homes Guide is your most comprehensive resource for new home communities in our area, the Building Leaders supplement is your most in-depth guide to the area’s top homebuilders. Within the pages of this free supplement, you’ll find information about the builders that provide homebuyers with the highest levels of design, construction, service and amenities. You’ll also see which awards a builder may have won, the areas they serve, the price ranges they offer and more — it’s all to help you find the perfect partner for the homebuilding process.

So if you’re ready to discover the perfect homebuilder for your new home, order your FREE copy of our Building Leaders supplement today —  and be sure to check out all of our other great free supplements to help guide you in your new home search.

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How to Measure and Understand Your Home’s Square Footage

Posted: October 27, 2016 at 11:19 am by: NewHomesGuide

Square footage is an elusive unit of measure. Because it factors in multiple dimensions, it can be inherently difficult to visualize or estimate. In the world of real estate comps, lender appraisals, and construction costs, this figure is a commanding factor in assessing the value of your home. Because it commands so much influence and the actual methods of accurately computing it can vary, there is a lot of merit in having an intuitive ability to comprehend it.

Without training or familiarity though, this can be a frustrating endeavor to take on as a homeowner. Have you had an experience buying or selling your home when you have faced important decisions armed only with what feels like an over-simplified number and no context for how it was determined? Let us help you by breaking down the “what” and “how” in calculating square footage.

Let’s do the math.

The math behind determining square footage is relatively simple. Does the formula A = L x W ring a bell? To compute a room’s square footage, multiply the measurements from two opposing walls – the length and width of the room. You can acquire a fairly accurate overall total for your home by just adding the areas of individual rooms together.

Unfortunately, this is where the calculation tends to get obscured. Real estate agents, zoning municipalities, and contractors all use slightly different methods to determine square footage. Among these trades, there is a generally accepted standard, but no completely consistent or universal point from which the measurements are taken. In most cases though, the exterior footprint is the most reliable and widely applicable figure to use. This is potentially deceiving, however, because it includes the thickness of the house’s walls, which are not readily visible or experienced when inside the house’s living spaces.

Make it real.

The easiest way to conceptualize this abstract unit is to compare the square footages of more familiar things you use and inhabit on a regular basis. Here are some good examples to put it in terms that are more readily understandable:

Photo Credit: Hoachlander Davis Photography

Photo Credit: Hoachlander Davis Photography

King-sized Bed: 42 square feet. Most master bedrooms vary between 200 and 400 square feet OR a rough equivalent of 5-10 king beds.

Photo Credit: TruPlace Inc.

Photo Credit: TruPlace Inc.

Two-car Garage: One of the most consistent and regulated measurements in contemporary home building, 20’-0” x 20’-0” or 400 square feet is the standard protocol for this space.

Photo Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Photo Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Drop-ceiling tiles: Browsing listings on New Homes Guide from the office? Odds are that your building has at least a few spaces with prolific white acoustical ceiling tiles. These almost always come in the same 2’-0” x 2’-0” dimension. Add up the number of tiles in each direction and multiply them together to determine the square footage of your conference room for an easy comparison.

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Image Credit: W.C. Ralston Architects LLC

Three-fixture bathroom: This is one of the most conventional and efficient bathroom layouts around. Modern standards of code clearances and product dimensions put this room at an approximate minimum of 5’-0” x 8’-0” or 40 square feet. Would you have guessed that your bathroom is roughly the same size as your bed? This just demonstrates how abstract the raw number can feel.

Not all spaces are created equal.

In determining the overall square footage total of your home, there are a few exceptions and distinctions worth noting:

Photo Credit: TruPlace Inc.

Photo Credit: TruPlace Inc.

Finished vs. unfinished: Garages, Mechanical rooms, and Basements that are unconditioned (and/or generally unsuitable for year-round use) and not equipped with walls, floors, and ceilings similar to the rest of the house are excluded.

Photo Credit: JTC Photography

Photo Credit: JTC Photography

Above-grade vs. below-grade: Basements that are buried both wholly and partially (i.e. a walk-out basement) below ground are usually listed separately.

Photo Credit: Maxine Schnitzer Photography

Photo Credit: Maxine Schnitzer Photography

Double-height spaces: Foyers and Great Rooms with ceilings that extend multiple floor levels are only counted once.

Photo Credit: JTC Photography

Photo Credit: JTC Photography

Floor area: Bay windows and chimneys, which do not have space on the floor for you to “occupy” do not count towards square footage.

Photo Credit: Allen Kennedy Photography

Photo Credit: Allen Kennedy Photography

Stairs: Runs/treads and landings both count in square footage totals. They are measured as a part of the floor “from which they descend,” so are generally counted twice in a typical two-story home with a basement.

Do you have any tips or tricks you rely on to visualize square footage? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!

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 www.wcralston.com.

Find Your New Condo with the Help of New Homes Guide

Posted: October 13, 2016 at 9:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

The Lauren in Bethesda, MD Cheval in Bethesda, MD        Stonehall in Bethesda, MD          Hampden Row in Bethesda, MD          930 Rose in North Bethesda, MD          Lofts at 1111 W in Washington, D.C.          The Lexicon in Washington, D.C.
The Lauren in Bethesda, MD

New homes come in all shapes and sizes, and at New Homes Guide, we know that not every new home shopper is looking for a single family home or townhome in a suburban setting. So if you’re searching for a beautiful home that offers uninhibited walkability, a condo may be exactly what you’re looking for — and we’re here to help you find it.

Condos offer the same level of style and comfort you’d often find in the area’s luxury apartments but come with the great benefits of ownership — why lease when you can own your home and build equity? And because most condos are located near urban centers, convenient commutes to work and short walks to nearby shopping centers, fine restaurants and sought-after entertainment venues often define the lifestyle of those who call them home. It’s not hard to find a great condo that offers this lifestyle.

When we say New Homes Guide is your guide to every new home community in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, we mean it — condominiums are no exception. Our print guide will show you where to find condos across the region, but you can start your search on our website today. Discover more than 30 great condominium communities from over 20 of the area’s top builders, meaning the hardest decision you’ll have to make about buying a condo will be deciding which neighborhood you love most. Happy condo hunting!

Kitchen Islands: Done 7 Ways

Posted: August 19, 2016 at 3:17 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Kitchens have become the heart of modern-day homes. The days of mysterious cooking enclaves hidden from view are long gone. In their place, an era of open, dynamic social hubs is being ushered in. Now, the kitchen is evolving into a communal center — the primary destination for gathering and entertaining. No other single component is more impactful to the function of this space than the kitchen island. Its purpose and role within your overall kitchen design should cater to both those doing the cooking as well as the array of guests that it will host simultaneously. We’ve profiled a collection of islands suitable for nearly any kitchen and sensibility — which one could you envision in your new home?

1. The Center Sink

Kitchen photo

Photo Credit: Pavot Photography Studios

In the typical collection of kitchen fixtures, the sink is the most frequently employed. It fills, soaks, rinses and drains at all phases of preparation, serving and cleanup. Therefore, of the places you’ll be stationary in the kitchen, this is where you’ll linger the longest. By orienting it front and center, and facing an adjacent space, you’ll be able to stay engaged while being productive.

2. The Table Extension

Kitchen photo

Photo Credit: Maxine Schnitzer Photography

This island is for homeowners seeking an informal dining space that is integral to the kitchen but separate from the flurry of activity associated with meal preparation. As opposed to the more conventional bar arrangement, this configuration allows you and your guests to face one another while eating together. The lower height of the extension is more suitable to standard-sized dining chairs and provides a subtle distinction from the prep surface.
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Back-to-School Stress? Your New Home Can Help.

Posted: August 5, 2016 at 10:35 am by: NewHomesGuide

The new school year is almost upon us, and that means it’s almost time to return to the routine of getting the kids up and out the door, then back home in time for homework, dinner and bedtime. Anyone who’s a parent knows that it’s not always easy.

What if your home could help keep your family’s life more organized, efficient and simple?

Many homebuilders are designing their homes to help make that happen. Here are a few design elements to look for in your new home to make getting back to school a breeze.

Study Centers

You want to ensure the kids are getting their homework done every night, right? But dinner has to get done, too. Study centers — spacious desk areas located in or just off the kitchen — are the perfect solution, letting you cook and keep an eye on the kids. They’re also an ideal spot to organize your mail or bills when you come home each day.

Mudrooms and Drop Zones

With all the backpacks, sports bags, gym bags, purses and briefcases that fill your home, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a system to keep track of it all?

Fortunately, many new homes feature expanded mudrooms or drop zones. You can hang backpacks and bags on hooks or stored in cubbies to keep them out of the way when everyone is home, helping you keep everything organized and getting you in and out the door faster.

Charging Stations

Raise your hand if it feels like your home is overrun by cords and cables.

In today’s world, getting through your day without using your phone, tablet or laptop is pretty much out of the question. That’s why charging stations are a popular addition to many new homes. Helping you keep your home organized, these rooms include plenty of outlets and enough room to charge your devices when you’re not using them.

Looking to find a new home in time for the new school year? See all of the Move-In-Now communities in the area from some of the top builders in the region in the latest issue of New Homes Guide or by searching our website today.

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DR Horton — The Brandywine

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DR Horton — The Easton

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K. Hovnanian — The Addison

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K. Hovnanian — The Tara

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Pulte Homes — Pulte Planning Center — The Kingswood

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Pulte Homes — Pulte Planning Center — The Sherwood

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Van Metre Homes — The Barrington

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Van Metre Homes — The Townsend Collection

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Winchester Homes — The Milburn

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Winchester Homes — The Langley II

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