Hammer. Saw. 3D printer. The tools of our trade are changing.

It wasn’t that long ago that the cost of 3D printing made it only accessible to industrial design firms and manufacturers with big R&D budgets. My how times have changed.

Today, several companies sell consumer grade 3D printers that don’t cost a whole lot more than a standard desktop printer. But these amazing little makerbots allow people to print in three dimensions virtually anything they can imagine. Parts, jewelry, toys, fashion accessories, home goods, you name it. If it can be designed on a computer, a 3D printer can fabricate it.

It’s easy to see why so many industries are embracing this technology, especially as it becomes so affordable. Even architects and builders are imagining the day when 3D printers transform the building industry. In fact, Dutch architect, Janjaap Ruijssenaars, has already designed a 12,000 square foot Mobius-shaped home that he intends to build, or rather print, using the world’s largest 3D printer. Image Source 

It’s our ambition to have the first printed house, he said when speaking about the 3D printer, which can print a section up to 20 feet by 20 feet, using a computer that adds layers up to a half-inch at a time. Check out the entire article here, and then stay tuned. It’s likely only a matter of time before a 3D printer shows up on a construction site near you.

Much to Woohoo about at Gallery Park.

Alex Champin has a lot to be excited about. A great mom who really knows how to cook. A job where he has the opportunity to positively impact lives. And a community location that is, among other things, convenient to a soon-to-be-open Wegmans. How cool is that?Alex is the Miller & Smith Sales Manager at Gallery Park in Clarksburg, Maryland. We asked him to shed some light on his own background and share his thoughts on what makes Gallery Park such a great value. Or as Alex would say, a slam dunk for homebuyers. Read on‚ What is your best memory of the home you grew up in?

Well I moved around a lot while growing up, so home was really where my family was. I guess the best memory that was consistent throughout all the change was knowing that when I got home mom would be there preparing a home-cooked meal. And let me tell you‚ mom can cook!

What makes Gallery Park so popular among first time homebuyers and young professionals?

Great home, great price and great location‚ that’s what continues to make us so successful! What I constantly hear is that buyers are expecting to see another stacked condo or 2 over 2. Their eyes light up when I explain that ALL 4 levels are theirs and priced the same as what most other builders are selling that does have someone living above you or below you! Not to mention our awesome location which is about 5 minutes away from tons of shopping at Milestone which includes Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, Walmart and the soon to open Wegmans! Wooohoo! Making Gallery Park a Slam Dunk for buyers!

What is your favorite design feature in your model and why?

My Favorite feature in my model home has to be the open kitchen with its ginormous island! It’s by far one of the biggest kitchens I have ever seen in a model. I just hosted a super bowl party at my own home and all I could think about was how small my kitchen island is and how much better the island is in my model. Everyone ends up hanging out in the kitchen anyway so it makes total sense to make the kitchen island the focal point!

What is the best thing about living so close to Little Bennett Regional Park?

If you enjoy the outdoors, you have Little Bennett Regional Park footsteps away offering over 20 miles of trails! It’s crazy to think how in just minutes you have access to tons of shopping and conveniences but at the same time if you want to go hiking or biking to clear your mind, you have that too! It’s the best of both worlds!

What is your favorite way to celebrate a sale?

Typically, it’s calling my parents on my drive home followed by meeting up with them for a family dinner. My parents weren’t able to purchase their first home till much later in life (mostly because we were outside the U.S. and secondly no one had taken the time to explain the process). My parents are proud that I take the time and help other families understand the process. Had someone taken the time to help them, they would have owned a lot sooner.It’s really rewarding to help buyers understand how easy it is to own a home and see their expression when they realize it’s going to happen.

What are prospective homebuyers most surprised to learn about Gallery Park?

How affordable it is to actually own a home! It’s shocking what renters are paying now, and for what they pay or just a little more, than can afford to own so much more. All of my buyers really see Gallery Park as an incredible value for what they get compared to what they have been getting while renting. Many times renters are squeezed into a small 2 bedroom apartment are sooo excited to see that they can get a townhome at Gallery Park with plenty of room to grow into.

Explain your most memorable connection or moment with a homebuyer.

My most memorable connection with a homebuyer has to be with a family that came in and only spoke Spanish. Since both my parents are Hispanic, I am bi-lingual. Being able to speak to them in Spanish allowed me to explain the process of purchasing a new home and having one built for them. No one had taken the time to help them and they were so thankful to find someone that took the time and explained everything to them. We were even able to set them up with a loan officer that was able to do a loan application in Spanish. It was a great experience to see a family that most people would have just been ohhh walk thru and let me know if you have any questions actually be able to purchase. This, by far, is one of the biggestrewards of being a new home sales manager! Sometimes, as sales managers, it’s easy to forgot that often this is a homebuyer’s first purchase. And this is biggest and scariest purchase they will make in their life! Listening and guiding them and going the extra mile can truly make all the difference in someone’s life.

Whether you are currently renting, or you are well into your search for your first new home, now is a great time to get to know Gallery Park. Alex would be happy to give you a tour so stop by today. For current pricing, photo galleries, and directions to Gallery Park’s 3 decorated models, please click here.

What Happens In Vegas May Not Stay In Vegas

A group of Miller & Smith employees just returned from Las Vegas where they attended the 2013 International Builders’ Show hosted by the National Association of Home Builders. It is far and away the biggest trade show of the year for builders with literally miles of exhibits and over 1,000 vendors showcasing the latest building materials, appliances, hardware, surfaces, tools, techniques and ideas for the homebuilding industry.

Miller & Smith is all about continuous improvement and staying one step ahead of the popular trends, so of course, we make the annual trek to the International Builders’ Show. One of the highlights every year is the unveiling of the New American Home, a real world laboratory showcasing and demonstrating the very latest design elements and lifestyle trends in the form of an actual home. This year’s home is described as desert-contemporary and Frank Lloyd-esque in its use of native building materials, open living spaces, and integrated water features and terrain.

The home truly blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living spaces, which made it particularly inspiring to our team. We’re always looking for newer and better ways to bring the outdoors in and to create outdoor living spaces that are natural extensions of the home. Take a look at these stunning photos of this year’s New American Home and you’ll see why we were eager to get back home and start sketching. Click for the source of all these photos and to see the complete gallery.

Why first time homebuyers adore Stephanie Egan

Stephanie Egan is a Miller & Smith Sales Manager at The Orchard at New Market in Frederick County, Maryland. Stephanie works hard on behalf of all of her homebuyers, but she has a special place in her heart for anyone buying their first new home. That’s one of the reasons she’s so fond of The Orchard at New Market.

Due to the high cost of living in the Washington region, first time buyers often think they have to choose a condo or townhome. What makes The Orchard so remarkable is that homebuyers can get a brand new, award-winning Miller & Smith single family home, starting in the mid $300s.To see what else attracts Stephanie and her buyers to the Orchard at New Market, read on for her answers to our latest installment of 7Qs.

What is your favorite feature about your model home?

My favorite feature about my model is the open floor plan that combines the kitchen and family room. The kitchen offers an enormous island with space for cooking and entertaining. Since both areas are open, without walls to break the rooms up, it is just a great way for my buyers to enjoy this space with family members and friends.

What makes The Orchard at New Market such a great choice for first time homebuyers?

Because of our incredible values, The Orchard is a great choice to call home, especially for first time homebuyers. With today’s amazingly low interest rates, many first time homebuyers are able to have the benefit of owning a spacious single family rather than a townhome or condo.

In your own home, what is the room you spend the most time in?

The room I spend the most time in would have to be my kitchen. I am cooking dinners, helping my son with homework, preparing for the next day, making snacks or hanging out with friends and family in this room.

What’s your idea of a Dream Kitchen?

My idea of a Dream Kitchen would be spacious kitchen with lots of cabinets, granite counter tops and upgraded appliances. It would have to come with an oversized Kitchen Island, which I’d definitely use to prep for cooking and, of course, entertaining.

If you could give up one household chore for life, what would it be?

I would happily give up laundry; however only to someone who does it right : )

What’s the best thing about being 2 minutes from I-70?

One of the best things about being so close to I-70 is the convenience of having easy access to a major highway and nearby Frederick, while still having the benefit of privacy and a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood.

Explain your most memorable connection or moment with a homebuyer?

My most memorable connection was with a couple that was buying their first home. They wanted a home so badly for their family and were having a hard time qualifying for the only available loan program that would work for them. Their niece and sister purchased homes from me in communities nearby, so I already felt connected to the whole family and felt pressure to make this work. We discussed ways to make credit scores higher and they followed through with every suggestion. 30 days before closing, the lender pulled credit for closing and their scores where slightly above were they needed to be. These buyers worked very hard to make their dreams come true and I was able to be a part of their joy of owning a new home.

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or not, Stephanie would be pleased to meet you and give you a personal tour of her Cortland Model at The Orchard at New Market. For more photos and directions to the community, please click here.