Starting a Family? What You Should Look for in a New Home Community

Until now, you’ve only had to worry about the things that you wanted in a new community, but soon you will have a few more factors to consider. If you’re planning to grow your family, and are unsure where to start looking for your new home, let us guide you with a few helpful hints. Check out some of the important things you should look for in a community below:

 

 

A close-knit network

When you have a family, you don’t just want neighbors who live next door, you want neighbors who you can trust to recommend a pediatrician, the best local restaurant or show you around the community. Starting a family changes your lifestyle, and you will want to be among other homeowners, who share the same interests. Whether it’s yoga on the lawn at Embrey Mill, or a summer festival at Brambleton, there are always events happening in our new home communities to foster close relationships with your neighbors.

Great schools

Ensuring that your children receive a quality education is a large factor in deciding where to purchase a new home. In order to afford them the best opportunities later in life, and for further education, choosing a new home in a great school district is necessary. According to Niche.com, all of our new home communities are located in top-ranked school districts, so when it comes time to choose one, there is no compromising a quality education for your kids.

2017 School District Rankings from Niche.com

Loudoun County Public Schools: A+

Prince William County Public Schools: A-

Stafford County Public Schools: A-

Frederick County Public Schools: A

Outdoor community spaces

At Miller & Smith, open spaces are a priority when we are looking for locations to build our new homes. You will always find a variety of parks, playgrounds, and other unique outdoor amenities at any of our new home communities, so there will never be a shortage of space to picnic or teach your kids how to play soccer. Open spaces, like the ones pictured below, ensure that your children have room to play, exercise, and explore, which are all essential parts of a healthy lifestyle for your brood.

Baseball field at Signal Hill Park – Signal Hill Station and Cayden Ridge

 

Beach at Lake Linganore – Aspen North at Lake Linganore

Sidewalks

In addition to open spaces for your family to enjoy the great outdoors, it is also important to have safe spaces to get around your community. Sidewalks are there so that you and your family can get from point A to point B safe and sound, without having to worry about the danger of moving vehicles around you. You will find this in many of our new home communities!

Whether you are looking into purchasing a brand new townhome, or a stunning single-family home, each of Miller & Smith’s unique neighborhoods are perfect for raising a family! Visit our website and Facebook page to learn more about our new homes and communities!

Sources: trulia.com, niche.com

 

 

Spotlight On: The Grand Central at Signal Hill

The Grand Central is one of two brand new home designs offered at Signal Hill Station in Manassas, Virginia. This stunning townhome boasts a spacious three-level floor plan with 3-4 bedrooms, 2.5-3.5 baths, a 2-car garage and up to 2,288 square feet of space. The Grand Central is a truly “grand” townhome with a stunning, spacious feel you’re sure to love. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look inside:

Great Room: The Grand Central’s spacious great room features an open floor plan, with expansive windows that let in plenty of light. The design of the Grand Central’s great room also includes an optional fireplace, and leads to an optional deck, fully screened porch or combination of the two for the ideal indoor-outdoor living space!

Kitchen: The Grand Central’s kitchen includes two walls of distinct cabinetry, state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances and an oversized granite island for even more counter space.

Dining Room / Flex Room: The dining room, which also doubles as a convenient “flex-space”, is able to effortlessly fulfill a number of uses, whether you’re looking to use this space as a dining room, additional living room or study. As you can see, the expansive windows let in plenty of light and truly illuminate this flexible space!

Master Suite: Moving onward to the upper level, the Grand Central’s Master Suite includes an optional tray ceiling. Complete with an expansive walk-in closet and a deluxe master bath with his and her vanities, this is one master suite you’ll never want to leave!

Additional Bedrooms: Last but certainly not least, the upper level of the Grand Central is also home to 2 additional bedrooms, each with plenty of space and a sizable closet. There is also an option to add a 4th bedroom to the lower level of this home to give you even more living space.

For more on this truly stunning townhome, be sure to check out the Grand Central on FacebookHouzz and Pinterest!

Housing Market Trends to Expect in 2016

Now that 2015 has come to a close, what should prospective homebuyers expect in 2016? Read on to discover a few emerging trends we expect to appear over the course of the next year:

Consumer Confidence On The Rise: According to a recent article by RealtorMag.com, homeowners are more upbeat about home values, with an increased HPPI (Home Price Perception Index) in November 2015 over that of the previous year. This increased confidence in home values nearing the close of 2015 will likely translate into a continued increase in consumer confidence in 2016. According to RealtorMag.com, although homeowners are ” traditionally more bullish on prices, the gap between home owner and appraisal estimates is narrowing.” 

New Home Sales Expected To Drive Home Sales: According to Realtor.com, the new home sector is expected to see the largest amount of growth out of any sector of the real estate market in 2016, with an expected 16% year over year increase in new home sales. In fact, according to the NAR, total sales for both new and existing homes in 2016 are expected to reach 6 million for the first time since 2006!

Cost of Renting Will Soar: According to Zillow’s 2016 Forecast, median rent prices will rise to unprecedented levels over the course of the next year after Americans Paid $535 Billion in Rent in 2015. The high amount of rent being paid in 2015 was due to a surge in the number of renter households in the US, along with rising rent prices in general.

Suburban Living Expected To Expand: According to housing experts at Zillow, a continuous lack of affordable homes within many large cities will push young and first-time homebuyers alike into the suburbs. Zillow’s Chief Economist Svenja Gudell commented in a recent blog post: “When they get there, they’ll be looking for amenity-rich suburbs — mini-cities, with walkable cores and an urban feel.”

Millennials Will Make Their Mark: Millennials are expected to enter the real estate market in a big way in 2016. They will make up 30% of the prospective homebuyer market, according to RealtorMag.com. According to Realtor.com‘s 2016 Housing Forecast, Millennials will be “driven by increasing income, millennials will seek out homes that meet the needs of their growing families – putting the most weight on the safety of the neighborhood and the quality of the home. Commute time and a preference for older homes have these buyers looking in city-centers and closer-in suburbs.”

We think you’ll agree that 2016 is going to be a great year to invest in a brand new home. Be sure to check out our stunning selection of new homes available in MarylandVirginia and Delaware, along with our current list of immediate delivery homes for an even speedier move-in date!

Sourceszillow.comrealtormag.comprnewswire.com

2015’s Top Home Features

2015 is officially over and the verdict is in! Each year there are a number of home features that are considered the ‘most important’ to homebuyers. At Miller and Smith, you can bet that you will get the best home features in any new single-family home or townhome in one of our amazing communities. Take a look at the top home features from the past year according to realtor.com:

 

  1. Fireplace– The top home feature sought after by homebuyers is a fireplace. Not only do fireplaces provide warmth in cold winter months, but they also look nice in the home. A fireplace represents a central point where family and friends can gather together and spend quality time together.
  2. Wood Floor– According to realtor.com, hard wood flooring has been a rising trend, and has gained significant ground over the past year. More and more we are seeing wood flooring as a standard in many new homes.
  3. Carpet– It is rare to find a home with no carpeting at all because it is a home staple for comfort and easy maintenance. Many homes today feature both hardwood and carpet flooring.
  4. Granite Countertops– Although granite was once an expensive add-on and a luxury in home kitchens, it is now considered a standard feature in any new home.
  5. Stainless Steel Appliances– The modern look of stainless steel is really what has boosted the popularity of these appliances since the 1990s.
  6. Open Floor Plan– In all new Miller and Smith homes, you will find some variation of an open floor plan. Open floor plans allow for smooth transitions from room to room, the appearance of a larger home, and the perfect space for entertaining.
  7. Walk-in Closet– A large selling point for many homes, walk-in closets come standard in any new Miller and Smith home.

Although any homebuyer can choose features such as flooring, countertops, and appliances, Miller and Smith offers even more personal choices for each home model. Additionally, our immediate delivery homes are equipped with only the best home features for optimal living. Visit any of our model homes today to see how you can experience life inside a brand new Miller and Smith home, because after all — one visit can change everything!

Sources: realtor.com

How To Throw an Amazing Fall Housewarming Party

Congratulations! You just bought a new Miller and Smith home in a great location with features that have exceeded your expectations. Now what? It is time to throw a housewarming party to show off your new digs and meet the neighbors! Miller and Smith wants to bring you all of the tools that you need in order to celebrate and get acquainted with your new home, so here is a step-by-step guide on how to throw a housewarming party this fall!

Step 1: Choose when the party will be

After just moving into your new home, planning a party won’t be the first thing on your mind. The truth is, your home does not have to be perfectly decorated and photo-ready before you host a housewarming party. The whole point of the party is for your guests to get a good look at the house and socialize with you and your family! If you can’t help but incorporate fall decor for a little something extra, check out our Pinterest for some great ideas!

Step 2: Choose whom to invite

When you are creating a guest list for these parties, there really is no rule of thumb. Housewarmings are usually very casual and a “come-and-go as you please” type of ordeal. Invite friends, family, new neighbors, your realtor, or anyone else who comes to mind! Since the holiday season is quickly approaching, your guests are going to appreciate a nice break from their own party planning!

Step 3: Pick out food and drinks

Again, housewarming parties are supposed to be casual, so pick easy to make and easy to eat foods. Focus on finger foods and small refreshments that people can easily pick up and carry around the house while they mingle with other guests. Food can be a great conversation starter, and it always brings people together! To incorporate some classic tastes and smells of fall, you can prepare a warm drink, create mini cups of soup, or light some candles for a relaxing atmosphere.

Step 4: Prepare for tours

It may get repetitive, but everyone is going to want a tour of the house when they arrive. Since most likely people will arrive at different times, be prepared to give a few separate tours. There is no need to rehearse anything for the tours, just be yourself and highlight your favorite aspects of your new home. A great way to bond with new neighbors is to tell them funny stories about a piece of furniture or how you let the kids pick their atrocious bedroom paint colors.

Step 5: Remember to socialize

It is easy to fall into the habit of talking to people that you already know at a party, so make sure you take the time to talk to everyone. The relationships you will start to build with your neighbors during the party could possibly last a lifetime, so put yourself out there! Of course, make sure to thank everyone for coming and for any housewarming gifts they brought!

Source: thenest.com