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What It’s Like to Live in Anne Arundel County

Posted: February 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm by: NewHomesGuide

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With 533 miles of shoreline, there’s space for all of Anne Arundel County’s more than half-a-million residents to find a spot to admire the view of the Chesapeake Bay or one of its tributaries.

With a median household income of $89,860, Anne Arundel County is the 18th richest county in the U.S. and enjoys a location in close proximity to both Washington, DC and Baltimore.

Anne Arundel County holds an important place on the national scene. Not only is the U.S. Naval Academy located in Annapolis, but Fort Meade, one of the most important U.S. Defense Department installations, is located in the county. Major employers in the county include Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton and other defense contractors. The county is also home to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and to the Maryland Live! Casino.

Annapolis, the capitol of Maryland, brings history buffs to its colonial buildings as well as friends and families of former and current Naval Academy students to visit the Naval Academy Museum, the Annapolis Maritime Museum, the Maryland State House and other historical sites. The city has more existing 18th century brick buildings than any other city in the country. Annapolis’ streets are lined with art galleries, restaurants, cafes and shops. The City Dock marina links Annapolis with Eastport, which has more restaurants and shops as well as access to the Annapolis Harbor, a yacht club and several marinas.

Residents living in and around Annapolis are close to shopping malls, parks and the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, which offers musical, dance and theater performances as well as art exhibits and classes for adults and children. Each spring, the city hosts the Annapolis Film Festival, the Spring Sailboat Show and Maryland Day, a celebration with activities at historical and cultural venues that commemorates the formal founding of the colony of Maryland, when settlers from England celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on St. Clement’s Island in what is now St. Mary’s County.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival, a festival held each year between August and Ooctober, is the second largest Renaissance Festival in the country. Another popular venue for visitors and residents is the historic London Town and Gardens, a 23 acre park with archaeological and horticulture exhibits on the South River in Edgewater.

At the center of the county is Annapolis, Maryland’s State Capital. Named one of America’s 10 best places to live, the city’s historic district is a major tourist attraction.

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Historic Annapolis, Maryland’s State Capital

Sailing, kayaking and powerboating are all popular activities for Anne Arundel residents. The county is known for boating, fishing, crabbing, water skiing and sailing. Sandy Point State Park has a boat launch, boat rentals, fishing, swimming and hiking. In addition, the county has two state parks, four regional parks and more than 100 neighborhood parks as well as nature preserves and greenways for walking, biking and horseback riding, including the 13-mile Baltimore and Annapolis Trail. Numerous sports leagues for children and adults are available for county residents. In addition to playing fields located at parks and public schools, the county has two facilities with baseball and softball fields, two aquatic centers and more than half a dozen public and private golf courses, including Atlantic Golf at South River, which was rated among the top 10 golf courses by Golf Digest magazine.

Anne Arundel County Photo

Anne Arundel County features more than 530 miles of coastlilne

While waterfront and golf course lots carry a high premium in Anne Arundel, the county offers an abundance of housing types in all price ranges including historic homes in downtown Annapolis and planned communities near Glen Burnie, Severna Park, Fort Meade, Edgewater and Parole.

Written by Michele Lerner, a freelance journalist, covers real estate and personal finance, this article originally appeared in the January/February issue of New Homes Guide. You can order your free copy of New Homes Guide here now.

Want to Live in a Planned Community? These Are the 6 You Need to Check Out.

Posted: February 13, 2018 at 11:32 am by: NewHomesGuide

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Buying a new home isn’t only about the house itself. It’s also about the lifestyle you envision living.

That’s why you should be excited to call the Mid-Atlantic region home because this area is home to an incredible selection of master-planned communities.

Think of a planned community like a resort you get to come home to every day.

Great homes are a staple of planned communities in our area, but it’s really the exceptional amenities that set them apart.

All-inclusive living, featuring things like pools, sports courts, fitness centers, open spaces, nature trails and even in-community shopping, dining and schools, is the highlight of owning a new home at a master-planned community.

Sound like a place you’d like to call home? Here are the six planned communities you should check out in the DC metro area.

Snowden Bridge (Frederick County, VA)

Developed by Brookfield Residential, this community features single family homes and townhomes in an all-inclusive location near Winchester, VA. With a 71,000-square-foot rec center, pools, playgrounds, dog park and so much more, it’s quickly become one of the most popular communities in Northern Virginia.

Arundel Forest (Anne Arundel County, MD)

From Toll Brothers, Arundel Forest is the epitome of community. It features exceptional amenities such as a resort-style pool and a network of trails, plus beautiful homes — all in a convenient location in Severn, MD.

Dominion Valley (Prince William County, VA)

Also developed by Toll Brothers, this planned community offers active-adult condos (55+) and single-family homes. It’s also home to an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, two luxury clubhouses, on-site schools and so much more.

Lenah Mill (Loudoun County, VA)

Toll Brothers brings together luxurious, upscale living in a stylish, all-inclusive package at Lenah Mill. It features four collections of single-family homes, but no matter what design you choose, you’ll get access to the luxurious clubhouse, pools, tennis courts, fitness center, amphitheater and more.

Regency at Chancellorsville (Spotsylvania County, VA)

Located in Fredericksburg, this Toll Brothers-developed community brings together the best of a master-planned community, vibrant Fredericksburg culture and active-adult living. Featuring a bocce ball court, fitness center, clubhouse, pools and more, this gated community is one not to be missed if you’re looking for an active-adult home in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Regency at Creekside (Prince William County, VA)

Another 55+ planned community from Toll Brothers, Regency at Creekside offers luxurious main-level living in a scenic, amenity-rich location. Highlighted by a 9,000-square-foot clubhouse and pools, this gated community is a gem in the Northern Virginia countryside.

Want more information about these planned communities?

We previously offered The Planned Community Lifestyle as a free add-on to your existing New Homes Guide subscription, but now we’re excited to announce that it’s offered as an additional section in every copy of the printed magazine — be sure to reserve your free copy here to get all the information about these sought-after communities.

Want to Make a Quick Move to a New Home? This is the Easiest Way to Make it Happen.

Posted: February 8, 2018 at 10:47 am by: NewHomesGuide

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Ready to own the new home you’ve always dreamed of but don’t want to wait for construction?

It’s a common misconception that you have to wait for months to get into the new home you’ve always wanted. Many of the top builders are building quick-delivery homes in prestigious communities across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Best of all, these ready-now or ready-soon homes feature the most-requested upgrades and options at a fraction of the cost of a truly custom-built new home. Plus, builders often offer great incentives and promotions in addition to competitive pricing.

Where can you find one of these move-in-now homes in your area of interest?

It’s easy! With New Homes Guide, you have access to more than 500 move-in-now home listings from across the region.

With just a few clicks on our website or just a few turns of the page in the latest issue of our printed guide, you can search for move-in-now homes by county, price point or builder.

And when you’re ready to tour homes, don’t forget to join our Rewards for Shoppers program so that you can start earning a free $50 gift card!

Ready to get moving? Get your search started on our website now or reserve your free copy of New Homes Guide today. Happy house hunting!

Dream Finders Homes Wants You to Dream Big in Urbana, MD

Posted: February 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm by: NewHomesGuide

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Great schools, easy access to Baltimore and Washington, DC and plenty of nearby shopping, dining and entertainment — that’s life in a nutshell at the Villages of Urbana. And now, our friends at Dream Finders Homes are proud to introduce a new collection of single-family homes at this sought-after community.

Starting from the upper $400’s, these single-family homes feature up to 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 3,249 square feet. What’s more, you’ll also find incredible amenities, including recreation areas, basketball courts, tennis courts, a community center and pools, gardens and workout spaces. If that sounds like the kind of home you’re dreaming about, you’ll definitely want to check out this award-winning builder.

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Why choose Dream Finders Homes in a city where you can find homes from a handful of builders? Because they’re a privately owned national homebuilder that’s dedicated to constructing high-quality homes at the most affordable prices.

Answering to you, the customer, not a group of shareholders, Dream Finders is able to focus on delivering a personalized, long-lasting new home on a budget that works for you and your family.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Dream Finders customers have a lot to about their experience with the builder, and we think you’ll like what they have to say, too.

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Stone Barn Village at Villages of Urbana is just one of the many opportunities available for homebuyers looking in the Urbana, MD, area. So what it really comes down to is whether or not you’re ready to dream big with Dream Finders Homes.

Learn more about this brand new community by visiting our website today. And be sure to check out the latest issue of New Homes Guide for even more information about finding your dream home with Dream Finders.

Business Casual Home Workstations

Posted: January 25, 2018 at 10:21 am by: NewHomesGuide

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It’s proven that having the ability to manipulate your work environment will make you more productive.

The distinction between home and work is a line that is being blurred evermore. Technology has enabled us to “plug in” virtually anywhere. This has yielded far more flexibility in how and where we conduct business, giving rise to the recent popularity of home offices. The convenience and benefits are undeniable, with the saved cost and effort of commuting ranking at the top of the list.

There can certainly be some cons to this arrangement, though. Without the constraints of a typical office environment, like the surveillance of your boss or co-workers, your productivity is attributable to you and only you. In addition to the lack of oversight, the necessities of everyday life at home can become distractions: the full dishwasher that needs emptying, the dog who’s begging for play time, and the peculiar dust collecting below your less-used furniture can all become detrimental to your workflow.

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The generous dimensions of this study provide adequate space for multiple desks. These can accommodate multiple people working simultaneously or a proportional work surface for both your compact desktop computer and your large-format printer.

This means it’s important to establish a space that’s functional and efficient, facilitating your ability to focus in a way that’s actually enjoyable. If the space you retreat to when it’s time to churn out your work is inviting and comfortable, you’ll be all the more inclined to spend time there, especially when you have to! Here are some considerations for designing a workstation, home office, or study nook that works for you.

How Connected?

In determining the best fit for your work space, it’s critical to identify where it is relative to the rest of the house. Is it more conducive for you to work in isolation or immersed in other surrounding activities? Obviously, a remote room tucked into the basement will foster a different type of working environment from a nook carved out of the kitchen. Both can be the right place for the right person, however!

How Big?

The scale of your work space is a factor of several basic questions: What equipment do you use? How many people do you share the space with? Do you need to be stationary or mobile? Your work space should also cater to your habits — can you scroll through dozens of pages on a single screen or do you need to spread out each sheet to stay organized? Sometimes, work just requires that your phone is charged and your briefcase is within reach. While its high-traffic location adjacent to a mudroom doesn’t allow for sitting, this drop zone is a minimal solution for achieving the basics of plugging in, filing and storage.

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Compact and hyperefficient, this pocket office provides the amenities of a much larger space in a simple layout. The built-in desk and narrow cabinets are proportional to the 5’ x 8’ room, making it possible to scoot chairs and open drawers without impeding any office mates you share it with. A window above the desk limits surface glare on the screens below, while flooding the room with natural light.

How Adaptable?

It’s proven that having the ability to manipulate your work environment will make you more productive. The greater degree to which you can tailor the space to meet your personal needs, the better. Even subtle changes in light, noise and orientation can impact your ability to focus comfortably.

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Active doors allow you to seclude yourself selectively. Furniture that is not fixed to a wall, or immobile due to its weight, is ideal for reconfiguring and renewing a space where you’re likely to spend a lot of time. Orienting your desk with a view of the door eliminates the distraction of unidentifiable visitors and will put you at ease by seeing anyone who enters the room.

Think about what are your must-haves for your personal workstation? Do you have a home office that’s boosted your career?

Originally appearing in the January/February issue of New Homes Guide, this story was written by Evan Stoddard, an architect with W.C. Ralston Architects in VA.

Organizing Your Way to the Perfect Closet

Posted: January 24, 2018 at 10:22 am by: NewHomesGuide

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Cluttered closets cause frustration and anxiety among many people – for good reason. Newsweek magazine reported in a survey that the average American wastes 55 minutes a day looking for something, usually an item in a closet or that should be in a closet. A survey by the National Association of Professional Organizers found that 54 percent of Americans are overwhelmed by the clutter in their homes and 78 percent say it’s too complicated to deal with their clutter.

Moving into a newly constructed home gives you a welcome opportunity to design your own closets so they meet your needs and help you stay on track for what everyone wants: an organized life. Whether your builder provides you with an empty closet, a basic shelf and closet rod or a credit for a customized closet organizing system, the time while your home is under construction is a perfect preparation period for your new space.

Getting Started on Closet Organization

You may be giddy at the thought that you’ll have multiple new closets in your new home. Thankfully, today’s homebuilders understand buyers’ desire for efficient use of space and storage. Most newly built homes have closets in every possible location and sometimes two closets in the master suite.

It’s common to assume that the more space you have, the easier it will be to maintain a clutter-free existence. But too much space can tempt you to accumulate and save things you and your family don’t actually need. Planning for your closets should start before you move and include a resolution that you won’t fill every space right away.

When you’re moving, you’ll need to start the process of sorting everything you own to decide if you will bring it to your new home, donate it, sell it, recycle it or trash it. Purging as much of your belongings as possible before you move will help you get a fresh start in your new place.

Start cataloging what you’re bringing with you and that will help you decide how much space you need in your bedroom closets, your kitchen pantry, your laundry room and a mudroom if you have one.

Counting the number of pairs of shoes every family members owns may not be necessary, but making an estimate can help you decide the best way to use your space. When you look at your clothes, estimate how many short items, like jackets and shirts, you need to hang and how many longer items. You’ll need to do a similar process when planning how to best use your other storage spaces. Don’t forget about seasonal items and sports equipment that will need a place in your new home.

Lighting Matters

One essential element of a functional closet is to make sure it’s well-lit. Large walk-in closets have space for fun features like a chandelier, but even the smallest closet needs some type of light fixture, so you can see what’s stored there.

Decide if you want lights to turn on and off automatically when the door is opened or shut since you can request that feature before you move.

If you have a mudroom or entry closet, think about how you want that space to be lit for early winter mornings or when the family comes home in the evening. In addition, you could want electrical outlets and charging stations installed in those spaces, plus your laundry room and even your pantry to accommodate small appliances that need to be kept charged.

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Master Bedroom Closet Trends

Whether you choose your own closet organizing system from your builder’s list of options, hire a professional closet systems company or go the DIY route, you’ll find a variety of options at different price points.

While homeowners used to be limited to wood shelves or wire racks, closet systems are available today to complement every homestyle. Master bedroom closets have become another space in your home to decorate and express your personality.

Closet systems can be finished in white, maple, cherry, espresso and can be painted to blend with any décor.

Whether you have a walk-in closet or a reach-in closet, think about your closet doors and how they function for extra storage on the back or just to provide easy access. Pocket doors are an option for a large room-size closet to make it easier to use the space as a dressing area connected to your bedroom or bathroom.

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Among the popular trends in homes with larger closets are islands or large dressers in the center of the closet. Not only does this eliminate the need for dressers in the bedroom, but the horizontal space is functional for folding clothes and packing for a trip.

If you’d like to eliminate dresser drawers entirely from your bedroom, see if you can add more drawers or shelves to hold folded clothes in bins or baskets that slide in and out for easy access. A mix of open and closed shelving gives you plenty of flexibility for future needs.

If you have space, a bench is also a great addition to a walk-in closet, so you can sit when putting on your shoes and even have a place for someone to sit if you like to chat while getting ready.

Mudrooms and Entryways

Every household, but particularly those with kids, faces the challenge of what to do with jackets and shoes that everyone sheds the minute they walk in the door. A freestanding entryway organizer with hooks and cubbies can be purchased to add to any home. If you want a built-in system, it’s smart to have both closed and open storage spaces. Think about whether you need a tall storage space for hockey sticks or skis and a spot for a stroller. You may want a separate cubby for each child or to organize your space with a spot for everyone’s shoes in one area and mittens and hats in another.

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Your family’s entry space is a good spot for a chalkboard or whiteboard for reminders, a calendar and a charging station for electronic devices.

If a place for everything and everything in its place is your goal for your new home, taking the time to do an inventory and imagine future needs can make your goal achievable.

Originally appearing in the January/February 2018 issue of New Homes Guide, this story was written by Michele Lerner, a freelance journalist who covers real estate and personal finance.

What It’s Like to Live in Loudoun County

Posted: January 23, 2018 at 10:41 am by: NewHomesGuide

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Historic Downtown Leesburg

Loudoun County, identified as the richest county in the U.S. with a median income topping $125,000, offers more than luxury homes. In fact, the county has a surprising diversity of housing types, amenities that range from walkable town centers to wineries to rural areas where you can hike and fish as well as multiple public and private golf courses. Once an agricultural landscape with 300 dairy farms anchored by the historic town of Leesburg, Loudoun County has been transformed into a hub for high tech companies, federal government agencies and contractors and transportation companies, drawn by Dulles International Airport and the proximity to the nation’s capital. Employment growth is anticipated to continue with the extension of the Silver Line Metro into Loudoun County that will link the area directly to downtown Washington, D.C.

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Washington Dulles International Airport

New housing in Loudoun County clusters in two main areas: in the southern area of the county near the town of South Riding and the village of Middleburg, where horse farms and wineries and the elegant Salamander Resort draw visitors year-round; and near Ashburn and Leesburg where major commuter routes link numerous planned communities and town center developments to other parts of Virginia and to downtown D.C.

Loudoun County, known for its excellent public school system, also offers plenty of physical activity for children and their parents. Adult and youth sports leagues can be found in abundance in every part of the county from softball and baseball to inline hockey and lacrosse as well as soccer, football, basketball and wrestling. Most planned communities in the county include swimming pools and fitness centers and community centers where residents can enjoy their favorite activities. The Washington & Old Dominion trail winds through the county, offering a quiet tree-lined path for bicyclists and hikers. If you prefer horses, the county is home to more horses than any other county in Virginia and to the country’s oldest horse show, the Upperville Colt and Horse Show.

Year-round activities include bluegrass concerts, country fairs, art shows, craft festivals, art studio tours, steeplechase races and local parades.

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Explore Local Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

History buffs can explore colonial and Civil War sites throughout the county, including Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park and Morven Park in Leesburg. The town of Waterford, a National Historic Landmark Village, was founded in 1757 by Quakers and has many preserved homes and shops. Nearby Lucketts is known for its antique stores and annual fair.

Adults who live in Loudoun County may want to join the hundreds of “wine tourists” who explore vineyards every weekend, tasting and buying wine and enjoying beautiful views and sometimes live music. Among the many well-known vineyards in Loudoun are Tarara, Breaux and Bluemont. For those who prefer beer, the LoCo Ale Trail includes stops at the county’s 21 local breweries.

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Wine Tastings at Nearby Vineyards

Loudoun residents no longer have to travel to Reston, Tysons Corner or into Washington, D.C. to enjoy restaurants, shops and entertainment and can instead explore downtown Leesburg, Middleburg, Lovettsville and Brambleton Town Center and One Loudoun in Ashburn.

Homebuyers in Loudoun can find homes in walkable areas in several planned communities for an urban lifestyle, homes in traditional suburban communities and properties that rest on large lots with rural views.

Originally appearing in the January/February 2018 issue of New Homes Guide, this story was written by Michele Lerner, a freelance journalist, covers real estate and personal finance.

Why You Need to Use New Homes Guide to Shop for a Home in the New Year

Posted: January 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Find a New Home in the New Year

There are a lot of resources out there for new home shoppers. So many, in fact, that you might almost feel like you have to spend some time picking which resource to use throughout your home shopping journey.

We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to do that. We want you to spend more time enjoying the best parts of searching for the ideal home and less time worrying about where you can get all the information you need.

Here are the three top reasons why you should use New Homes Guide to help you find the perfect new home in 2018.

You’ll Be Using the Region’s ONLY Complete Resource

New Homes Guide is the Mid-Atlantic’s most comprehensive guide to all of the area’s new home communities. Whether you’re looking in Maryland, DC, Virginia or Delaware, you can shop confidently knowing that you won’t miss any community.

You Can Shop Your Way

Whether you’re just starting your search or you’re already out and about looking at communities and model homes, New Homes Guide can be there every step of the way.

Keep your free copy of our printed guide by your side as you tour communities, or flip through the pages if you just want to get an idea of what’s around. If you’re more digitally inclined, however, you can take our fully responsive mobile site and its powerful search tools with you everywhere you go.

No matter how you want to conduct your new home search, we have the right resource for you.

You Can Get Rewarded

Shopping for and eventually purchasing a new home is one of the most fulfilling experiences many people have in their lifetime. New Homes Guide makes it even more rewarding.

With our Rewards for New Home Shoppers and Rewards for New Home Buyers programs, you can earn free gift cards as you look for and eventually settle on the right new home.

Better yet, these rewards programs are completely free, optional and easy to join!

Ready to get your new home search underway? Start by ordering a free copy of our guide or begin your search on our website now!

You’re Going to Love Coming Home to a New Home from This Prestigious Builder

Posted: January 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Love Coming Home

You can go through all the pages of our latest issue or search through the endless community profiles we feature on our website, but this homebuilder doesn’t just want you to find a new house.

Winchester Homes, one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s most prestigious builders, knows you’re in search of something that’s more than that. Anyone can show you a house — Winchester wants to give you a new home you’ll cherish for years to come.

What separates a new home from all the other houses out there? Winchester Homes believes it’s about lifestyle. It’s about the amenities, a convenient location and peaceful environment. That’s why they build in some of the most sought-after communities across Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Finding the right home is also about discovering that place that makes every day easier. Because between the hustle and bustle of daily life your home and your community should be there to welcome you with open arms. And with single family homes starting from the mid $400’s and townhomes starting from the low $300’s, they’re also making everything easier on your budget, too.

Sure, Winchester Homes wants you to get a house you can be proud to call your own, built responsibly and with high-quality materials. But more than anything, they want to make sure you love coming home every single day.

We believe in that mission, and we think this is the perfect time to explore all of Winchester Homes’ communities and designs. We invite you to take a closer look at what they offer inside our latest issue and on our website. Happy home shopping!

Looking for a New Home in the New Year? Here’s How We Can Help.

Posted: December 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm by: NewHomesGuide

New Homes Guide

It’s that time of year again! People are making resolutions about anything and everything to make sure 2018 is the best year yet.

Some resolutions are bigger than others, and whether your goals for 2018 are big or small, it always helps to have a trusted, go-to resource by your side every step of the way.

If you’re resolved to find your dream home in the new year, we’re here to help you make that happen.

Not all new home shopping resources are created equal. And New Homes Guide is the Mid-Atlantic’s only complete guide to every new home community in the region.

Look inside the pages of our latest issue, and you’ll find information about all the best new homes and learn more about the builders that are constructing them. Our guide is completely free, and it’s a great place to start your search or carry with you as you begin touring communities.

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to specific amenities and options, you’ll want to use our website’s powerful search tools. In a matter of seconds, you can pinpoint the ideal community with the help of over 30 search filters. And be sure to check out our wide variety of homebuying resources on our website, too!

When you’re ready to dig deeper into the region’s best communities and learn more about the homebuilders making this area a great place to call home, you’ll want to explore our variety of free supplements. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your new home’s floorplan or need help choosing the right builder, we have supplemental magazines you won’t want to miss.

With all of the options available and questions that come with shopping for a new home, it’s no surprise that finding a new home can be a bit overwhelming. But with the right guide by your side, we have no doubt you’ll be able to stress less and enjoy the process of finding the home you’ve always dreamed about.

Here’s to happy home shopping and a happy new year ahead!

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