Getting the right home for the right price in a desirable location are the key challenges that any new homebuyer faces. The key challenges for Connecticut builders are to find desirable and affordable land to build on and then construct quality homes with attractive features. Autumn Meadows in Middletown is one community where all those key elements have come together thanks to an experienced builder with a seasoned vision that has developed over time.
Builder Don Guire says that he began his apprenticeship in homebuilding when he was just old enough to visit his father’s home construction sites and help out by cleaning up scrap materials. At 21 years of age he launched his own career as an independent homebuilder and has been in the profession for 46 years.
Today, Don Guire believes that top-quality construction and ample basic features have made Autumn Meadows successful with only six homes left for sale out of a total of 24 in the community. Each home comes with hardwood floors, granite countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, crown molding and chair rail trim, a two-car garage and a choice of oil or propane heating systems. Guire says that he is happy to accommodate modest design requests, such as adjusting a wall or adding grab bars where needed, but those requests are fairly rare. “Each house is pretty well outfitted. I build a quality home,” he says.
Autumn Meadows began as an over-55 planned community but has now opened to buyers without age restriction in the latest phase of development. Current residents note that first-floor living with a maintenance-free lifestyle and convenient location are key reasons for choosing to live at Autumn Meadows.
The community is currently being capped off with four additional homes on Tryon Street and another two to be built on Clew Drive. One of the more popular models, the two-bedroom Cedarbrook, is now under construction on Tryon Street and is expected to be ready for occupancy later this summer.
Offering 1,464 square feet of living space and priced at $258,900, the Cedarbrook has a wide entrance foyer that leads to a main living area with an open floor plan. The kitchen, dining and living areas run 50-feet deep by 15-feet wide from the front to the rear of the home. A first-floor laundry area with tile floor is conveniently located in the short hall that leads to the 12-foot by 14-foot master bedroom. As in all Autumn Meadows homes, the roomy master bath typically includes a walk-in shower that can be switched out for the tub with shower that is standard in the second shared bathroom.
The three-bedroom Meadowlark has a similar basic configuration with a large open floor plan in the main living area and offers 1,675 square feet of living space for a price of $269,900. All homes have a lifetime grade roof and architectural shake shingles and each home has a 10-foot by 10-foot rear deck. Walk-out basements are available on some lots opening up the possibility of expanded living space on the lower level.
Rosemary and Robert Kaliscak began their search for a right-sized home some four years ago. After living for more than 30 years in their eight-room raised ranch in Wallingford, Rosemary says that she and Robert began to feel the burden of climbing stairs and the general maintenance required for the pool and extensive gardens they had enjoyed for many years. Their daughter, a real estate agent, urged them to take a look at Autumn Meadows and they liked what they saw. Rosemary says that her first impression could be summed up in one word: “Wow!”
The Kaliscaks visited a number of other communities in the area but could not find any homes in their price range. After their Wallingford home sold last year, they moved into a one-bedroom home at Autumn Meadows and easily adjusted to the new home size. “We got rid of a lot of things we thought we needed but we didn’t,” says Rosemary, adding, “I like the size of the house. It’s less work. Less is more to me.”
Although the Kaliscaks still visit family and friends in Wallingford, Rosemary says that she and Robert enjoy the central location and convenience of living at Autumn Meadows. “I love the town of Middletown. I like living close to the center and I love the stores and restaurants.”
Builder Don Guire is available to meet with interested buyers on site at Autumn Meadows every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. You can also call him and make an appointment for any day of the week at 860-670-2183.
Builder: Don Guire
Price: Starting at $258,900
Rooms: 4 to 5
Bedrooms: 2 to 3
Square footage: 1,450 to 1,700 square feet
Mill rate: 32.7 mills
Best feature: Convenient location and single-floor living
Contact: Don Guire, Guire Construction, 860-670-2183
Tony Bacewicz is a freelance writer based in Old Saybrook.