BY VALERIE BANNISTER
3:06 PM EST, December 4, 2014
Attractive, bright and efficient spaces characterize the model home in the Newington Ridge Preserve active-adult community. More than half of the home sites have already been reserved and the model also has been sold.
Each home stands alone on about a quarter of an acre and circle a green. The entire community is laid out over seven acres and is within walking distance of a large array of stores and restaurants on the Berlin Turnpike. Access is made easier by a sidewalk that leads from the development to the sidewalk along the main street. The community is set in a welcoming neighborhood of single-family homes and condominiums.
Among the characteristics that make this 55-plus community attractive to buyers are its single-floor living and close proximity to the town’s amenities, says Joseph Iamunno Jr., director of new home sales for the builder, My CT Dream Home of Branford. “They love the Berlin Turnpike, the gym, shopping, banking. I think that is what is making it so popular,” he says.
The development is an active-adult community, but children are not excluded. “Even though it’s age-restricted you can still have young children,” says Iamunno. “We’re not age-restricted in that sense.” At least one person living in the home has to be 55 years of age, he says.
There are five different models available with prices ranging from $349,900 to 429,900, and all have master bedrooms on the first floor.
Three of the models are entirely first-floor living, with two or three bedrooms and two full baths. The Glastonbury has three bedrooms on the first floor and is one of the more popular plans, says Iamunno.
Two models, the Avon and Wethersfield, feature a second floor. The Avon has a master bedroom downstairs and a bedroom and loft upstairs. The loft overlooks the floor below, “which is a really nice feature,” says Iamunno. The Wethersfield also has a master bedroom downstairs along with two bedrooms upstairs. Both models have two-and-a-half baths.
All the homes at Newington Ridge Preserve have nine-foot ceilings, making spaces feel light and airy.
Another draw for the community is that the association will take care of the outdoors, including lawn maintenance, fall and spring clean-ups and snow removal from driveways and walkways. The monthly association fee is about $225.
It appears that people in the area have been waiting for these homes. Most of the people who have made reservations live within a five-mile radius of the community, says Iamunno. “Most people want to downsize, but don’t want to lose their location,” he says.
Sitting in the model in front of the warmth of a gas fireplace on a chilly day, Iamunno points out that the building’s layout is flexible so that rooms can be built to suit people who prefer an open floor plan or those who prefer more privacy. He says the builder will provide variations to the floor plan depending on preferences, essentially providing a custom layout.
The model home, The Simsbury II, has a wall separating the living room and the kitchen. The formal dining room is open to the living room, made distinct by two columns on either side. The builder will close off the dining room or turn it into a sunroom, and the kitchen can be open to the living room, if that is preferred, says Iamunno.
The model, offering 1,850 square feet, has two bedrooms and two full bathrooms, thoughtfully arranged for optimal use of space. The guest bedroom is off the front hallway, where it can also be used as a study. Two doors make the bath accessible from the bedroom or from the hallway.
Some homeowners have preferred having only one door to the bathroom and using the space for the second door as a closet, perhaps for linens, says Iamunno.
“Design is everything,” says Iamunno. “We’re allowing people to really customize their layouts.”
The large master bedroom is behind the kitchen in the back of the home, which provides a greater sense of privacy. It features a huge walk-in closet and master bath.
In the master bath are a double sink, tub and shower. “We offer this awesome shower,” says Iamunno, pointing to the large, fully-tiled space. Although a tub is shown in the model, it is being offered as an upgrade in order to provide flexible pricing, he says.
In the kitchen, homeowners can choose from multiple styles of cabinets and colors, as well as granite countertops. In the model, cabinets are a handsome cherry, providing a more formal air. The kitchen is outfitted with stainless steel General Electric Profile appliances, which also gives it an elegant touch.
The kitchen has a breakfast bar, as well as an area for a table, with a view through a glass door to the deck. One need not worry about deck maintenance, as it is made out of a long-lasting composite material.
The dining room is nearby in a cozy alcove adjacent to the deck. It is just off the living room and steps away from the kitchen. The dining room also has an air of formality, with its two columns, shadow box wainscoting and tray ceiling.
The living room and fireplace are at the center of it all in this nicely balanced layout. The fireplace is standard on all the models. Buyers can choose the marble surrounding it and style of wood mantle.
“The main living area is all oak floors, with your choice of finish,” says Iamunno. The bedrooms are carpeted.
Every home also has a two-car garage, from which there is an entrance to the house. Just inside that door are the washer and dryer, conveniently located near the master bedroom and bath, yet out of the way.
The homes, which use city water and sewer, have high-efficiency gas furnaces and tankless hot water heaters.
All the homes come with a large basement, accessible from a stairway near the front doorway. It is a full walkout basement with plenty of light. It can either be left as it is or finished. “The basement is to die for,” says Iamunno. “There’s nice light and good storage.”
The builder takes pride in giving people what they want, says Iamunno. One can even choose the stone, vinyl and shutter colors on the exterior.
Newington Ridge Preserve is located on Deming Farm Drive off Deming Street in Newington. For more information on the active-adult community contact Joseph Iamunno Jr., director of new home sales for My CT Dream Home, at 203-678-0409 (office) or 203-627-1872 (cell).
Builder: My CT Dream Home
Price: $349,900 to $429,900
Style: Ranch and ranch with second floor
Rooms: 6 to 7
Bedrooms: 2 to 3
Baths: 2 to 2.5
Square footage: 1,650 to 2,303 square feet
Acreage: 7 acres
Mill rate: 34.77 mills
Best features: First-floor living, efficient use of space, proximity to stores and restaurants
Contact: Joseph Iamunno Jr., My CT Dream Home, 203-678-0409 office, 203-627-1872 cell
Valerie Bannister is a freelance writer based in Chester.
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