By TONY BACEWICZ
12:31 PM EDT, July 3, 2013
Like many couples in search of a maintenance-free condominium lifestyle, Kathie and Tom began their search with open minds about what type and style of condominium would best suit their needs. They enjoyed raising a family in their 10-room Manchester home, but after their youngest child left, Kathie says they realized that their well-appointed 3,000-square-foot house was “just too big.”
When their search began in 2011, their only requirement was a desire to stay close to friends and family near Manchester. “We looked at everything including both attached and detached condos and in April of 2012, we decided it was time to put our house on the market,” Kathie says.
A rapid chain of events began just days after their home was listed for sale. At their daughter’s suggestion, they visited the Tracey model home at Flanders Woods in Coventry and, “As soon as we got in the door, we loved it,” says Kathie.
After looking over plans of other models offered at Flanders Woods and talking with builder Mark Lavitt, Katie and Mike decided that the 1,652-square-foot Tracey model was their top choice.
According to Katie, the Tracey model home at Flanders Woods offers what she calls “openness with definition.” That aspect of the design is clearly seen in the partial wall that separates the living room from the dining area and includes a radius opening above a wall-mounted counter. The partial divider and opening keep the working kitchen space separate from the living area but allow for eye contact and conversation between people in the rooms and even enable someone in the kitchen to watch the big screen television through the wide portal.
Builder Mark Lavitt, who designs all his homes to be energy efficient, says that the kitchen portal is also a component of his passive solar heat system. It allows more morning sun to shine through to the living room, helping to keep the home at a comfortable temperature without the need to turn on the heating system on many days of the year. The passive solar heat also can be efficiently circulated through the home by turning on the fan of the central air conditioner, adding up to savings on fuel costs during transitional seasons of the year.
Taking nature into account in all possible aspects of designing the home led Mark Lavitt to locate the large 12-foot by 17-foot deck on the south side of the home so that it is shielded from chilly seasonal winds. The deck has entrances that connect to both the kitchen and living room adding flexibility for entertaining or daily routines.
The home’s front entrance leads to a wide foyer that connects directly to the 17-foot by 16-foot great room. A gas fireplace trimmed with black granite is centered between a pair of skylights set into the vaulted ceiling that accents the spacious feel of the room. Also near the entrance is an 11-foot by 13-foot study with a front yard view.
The 11-foot by 13-foot kitchen is set up for efficient use of space with a three-sided, wrap-around countertop that includes a peninsula connecting to the 11-foot by 11-foot dining room. Ceiling-mounted recessed lighting and under-cabinet lights keep the kitchen bright and functional at all hours of the day.
To facilitate comfortable first-floor living, the main bathroom is outfitted with an overhead skylight that provides daylight with privacy. The laundry area is also tucked into the main bathroom behind bi-fold doors, a feature that Katie put near the top of her list of favorite features.
In the 12-foot by 14-foot master bedroom, a triple window set at a midpoint on the west wall functions as a natural daytime reading light for a bed positioned just beneath it. The master bath is designed with an oversized 3-foot by 5-foot glass enclosed tiled shower stall that includes a built-in seat.
A second 11-foot by 13-foot bedroom is located at the front of the home. Both bedrooms include walk-in closets with a bit more space allocated to the master suite closet.
Builder Mark Lavitt says that he designed the Tracey model to appeal to mature empty-nesters with a preference for total first-floor living, but notes that the community is not age-restricted. A second-floor bonus room was finished off on the model and the full basement is also available to finish for even more living space. Distance between each of the homes will be at least 40 feet and each lot is oriented to provide the backyard with wooded greenery.
A total of six models have been designed for Flanders Woods ranging in size from 1,430 to 2,281 square feet with prices starting at $269,900. Builder Mark Lavitt also says that he will work with homebuyers to create a custom design.
Open houses will be held at Flanders Woods on July 6 and 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information on the community or to schedule a private showing call D.W. Fish Real Estate at 860-871-1400.
Builder: Mark C. Lavitt
Price: Starting at $269,900
Style: New England contemporary
Rooms: 5 to 6
Square footage: 1,430 to 2,281 square feet
Acreage: 18.6 acres total
Tax Rate: 27.00 mills
Contact: D.W. Fish Real Estate, 860-871-1400
Tony Bacewicz is a freelance writer based in Old Saybrook.
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