Archives for HillCrest Happenings

The Built-in Benefits of Buying a New Home

April is new home’s month!

We all know that there are many obvious benefits to buying a new home – builder warranties, energy efficient mechanicals, new appliances etc., but what about the “not-so-obvious” benefits?

Grilling shot
In a recent article published by the National Association of Home Builders, making new friendships is cited as one of the top not-so-obvious benefits of buying a home in a brand-new community. Often builders host community events, providing the perfect opportunity for residents to break the ice and connect with one another.  To discover more “built-in” benefits of buying new read the full article here.

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Alex’s Lemonade Stand at HillCrest Village June 12th

Lemonade is pretty popular these days (thanks Beyoncé). What’s even more glorious than this classic summer drink is a world without a few key pests, mainly YouTube commercials, the grass that grows between bricks, humidity, and iPhone screen cracks. I think we’d all agree, though, that in the choice between eliminating every maddening yet minor inconvenience in the world and eradicating cancer, we’d raise all four limbs for the latter. Or three limbs, if the fourth is holding a glass of lemonade.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand is a foundation that targets childhood cancer research, focusing on new treatments and cures while also empowering young generations to engage in the cause. Our team at HillCrest Village in Southington is holding a fundraiser on Sunday, June 12th from 12:00pm to 5:00pm to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand in their timeless efforts.

Please join us at 544 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike in Southington, as the money we raise will fund research for childhood cancer treatments. See you there…we will be delighted beyond measure to exchange sticky smiles with you. And by the way, who would’ve thought that simple citrus could propel such goodness and change? Cue Beyoncé.

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The Top 5 Reasons Why Millennials Should Buy a Home Right Now

Since the 2008 housing crisis, many millennials have come-of-age, graduated from college, married and even started families. The next logical step is buying a home, however, many millennials have been holding back because of the traditional steep home prices and fluctuating market.

Well, the good news is that many of the traditional obstacles have diminished and now is a better time than ever to buy a home. Here are the top 5 reasons why millennials should buy a home right now:

  1. Buying is cheaper than renting
    According to real estate website Trulia, “buying a home is 23% cheaper than renting nationwide for millennials.” This is great news whether you plan on staying in your area long term or moving to a new area. In fact, in all but two cities in the country, it is significantly cheaper to buy than rent.
  2. Homebuying has become more affordable
    Wave goodbye to the traditional 20% down payment and high interest rates. Today, more lenders are amenable to about half to even a quarter of that amount. And, what’s more, interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in three years, which means that now it’s even more affordable to reduce your down payment.
  3. Get out of your parents’ house
    The number of adults aged 18 to 34, excluding full-time college students, who live independently has dropped 4% since before the housing crisis according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Many millennials are moving back home after college to save money. Without the expense of rent, food, utilities, internet service…the list goes on…employed millennials should have an easier time coming up with a 5% down payment to finally allow them to get a home of their own. And, hey, your mom can still pop over with a casserole once in awhile.
  4. Information at your fingertips
    With the explosion of the internet, millennials now have more information than ever to make a solid, informed decision when purchasing a home. Sites like Trulia, Zillow, and others make browsing for homes that much easier. And search engines are your best friends when it comes to figuring out all the financial ins and outs of homebuying.
  5. Cool is not just for cities anymore
    With more and more young people moving out of the cities, small towns and suburbs are becoming the new hot spots. Added bonus: the cost of living in these areas is significantly cheaper than nearby cities. So, now is the time to become a trailblazer and hit the up-and-coming neighborhoods around you before they become so popular you get priced out.
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Features today's buyers want!

Building for the Future
Developers Building For a Mix of Millennials And Empty Nesters

By Jim Morrison untitledCommercial Record Staff

Thursday, October 15, 2015

 

When Millennials and Baby Boomers decide to buy new homes en masse, what will they be looking for? That’s the million-dollar question, and a couple of developers think they’re on to the answers.

Elizabeth “Liz” Verna is the owner of Wallingford-based development firm Verna Properties and a past president of the Home Builder’s Association of Connecticut. One of Verna’s current project is Hillcrest, a 98-unit residential development in Southington aimed at attracting a mix of Millennials and downsizers. Verna said so far the mix has been split right down the middle.

“My kids are Millennials. I have friends whose kids are Millennials,” Verna said. “I hear a lot of them saying, ‘I need to start my life.’ Empty-nesters are also starting a new phase in their life.”

Verna said the two groups have a lot in common. They want smaller, low-maintenance homes on smaller, low-maintenance lots. They want to buy in good towns that will hold their property values and that offer good restaurants, good opportunities for recreation and relatively easy access to highways and the city.

“Downsizers like to call themselves ‘rightsizers,’” Verna said. “They’re young, they’re vibrant; they don’t all want to live in a 55-and-over community. They want to live among a good mix of people.”

That’s been the case for some time, but Millennials are new arrivals to the market. Verna said Millennials aren’t interested in buying a large home, filling it with children and living there forever, like their grandparents did. Verna said they are smart consumers who know exactly what they want, and they want to live in diverse neighborhoods.

“Millennials are independent and they want everything new,” Verna said. “They want to own their own plot of land and they don’t want to be told what to do by a condo association. They also don’t want a huge yard, but they may want space for a small, organic garden. And they definitely want a nice outdoor space for entertaining, and we offer all that.”

Verna said many Millennials have high-paying jobs, but they tend not to have a lot of money saved for the typical 10 percent to 20 percent down payment required by most builders. So Verna worked with lenders to develop a program where they can buy a new home at Hillcrest (starting at $369,000) with just 5 percent down.

Verna uses BuilderTrend, a construction management software that affords every homebuyer their own user ID. They can log in from anywhere in the world to see the progress of the home as it’s being built. This and other new technologies, she said, have a particular appeal to Millennials.

“Technology is a big thing,” Verna said. “We offer one model that’s all tech-ed out. You can control the thermostat, the lights and the garage door opener from your iPhone. And every house has high-speed wireless Internet access.”

– See more at: http://www.commercialrecord.com/news165367.html?utm_source=twg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=crWeekly_101515#sthash.rHA4eu0o.dpuf

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Southington’s HillCrest Village voted Best Small Lot Community in CT

On Tuesday, November 10th, 2015, over 700 housing industry professionals will gather at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington for the 22nd annual Home Building Industry or HOBI Awards – the largest most consistently successful Builder Awards Program in the country. Sponsored by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut (HBACT), an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the HOBI Awards is Connecticut’s most prestigious recognition of excellence in home construction, home technology, sales and marketing, home financing and community service.

There are several hundred entries each year, and winners are selected by a panel of industry leaders with years of experience in home building, remodeling and design. The judges review applications, and then travel the state for several days, touring the homes and interviewing entrants.

This year, Southington’s HillCrest Village was recognized with two state HOBI Awards – BEST SMALL LOT COMMUNITY and BEST SINGLE FAMILY HOME $300,000-400,000.

According to HOBI Awards Chairman, Joanne Carroll, new construction judges included Farmington architect, Jack Kemper, Kemper Associates, New London County builder, Nick Uccello, Uccello Development and Fairfield County builder, Peter Schneider.

“The judges were impressed that HillCrest Village is ideally designed to meet the needs of both young millennials and empty nesters, with smaller sized lots that are easier to maintain and customized homes that are affordable and less costly to heat and cool,” said Carroll. “We also liked how HillCrest accommodated the demand for technology. The thermostat, lights and garage door opener in the Ascot model can be controlled from an iPhone, and every house has high-speed wireless internet access.”

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The Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut is the trade organization for the home building industry in Connecticut. It represents more than 1,000 member firms in homebuilding, remodeling, land development and related industries with five local chapters. HBACT works to solve industry problems and promote industry growth, while upholding the highest degree of professionalism, work ethic, skill and integrity. www.hbact.org

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PARADE OF HOMES – Sunday, October 18th from 12 pm – 4 pm

HillCrest Village will be one of 6 new home communities that will be featured in the HBRA of Central Connecticut’s “Parade of Homes” event on Sunday, October 18th.

This year’s tour will showcase homes in Cheshire, North Haven, Northford and Southington, providing buyers with a unique opportunity to meet Central Connecticut’s finest builders and developers. Each community featured on the tour will offer educational insights on new home construction and the latest trends, in addition to offering an overview of their community featured on the tour.

For more information about the Parade of Homes tour please visit www.POHCT.com or contact us at (860) 621-5455,

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Housing Trend – What Women Want: Homes that make life easier

By The Hartford Courant > SOUTHINGTON – Large houses on big lots are losing their appeal to homebuyers who are gravitating toward properties that are easier to maintain and less costly to heat and cool. But today’s busy women want something more – homes that help simplify their lives.
“Women are the primary decision makers in 91 percent of new home purchases,” says Joanne Carroll, publisher of Connecticut Builder magazine and producer of the HOBI Awards for the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut. “They want homes designed to help hem relax, entertain and most of all organize their lives.”

These designs include “drop-zones” adjacent to an attached garage for mail, coats and boots. Pantries with lots of space and island eating bars, where kids can grab an after-school snack and do homework. Second-floor laundry rooms with lots of storage space and soaking tubs for de-stressing are also popular.
These home trends are popular with young families as well as Baby Boomers, Carroll says.

“Homebuyers are focused on price, value and the amenities that make their lives easier and less stressful,” Carroll says.

Other home features that have not only retained their popularity with buyers but have become more popular each year include high ceilings, open floor plans, hardwood floors, mud rooms, kitchen islands with barstools, large walk-in showers in master baths, as well as porches, decks, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces. Carroll says.

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Exciting news—Phase 2 Development in Progress

The Hillcrest Community is delighted to announce the commencement of our second phase of development!

The new choices include the Langdon, a 1,562 square foot ranch with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a vaulted great room, and a loft option that increases the square footage to 2,127; the Mansfield, a 2,154 square foot home with a first floor master and up to three bedrooms on the second floor; the Newbury, a 1,750 square foot, 3 bedroom ranch, and the Kingsley, a 1,887 square foot, three-bedroom colonial with our lowest opening price, $369,900.

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A NEW classic neighborhood with modern living in the heart of CT

Imagine an old fashioned neighborhood wit street lanterns lighting the way, sidewalks for strolling and welcoming front porches. Sounds like a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, but this quaint New England village is actually soon to be a neighborhood right here in Southington, called Hillcrest Village!
The beautifully designed traditional and craftsman style homes are currently under construction by two local and respected home building families, lannini Development and Verna Builders; and what they re bringing to Southington is at the forefront of community neighborhood planning. “Many homeowners today want ideal sized lots, with minimal maintenance so that they can simplify their lives and spend more time doing the things they like to do.” said Liz Verna, Builder at Hillcrest Village.      sm1
The Hillcrest Village community 1s conveniently
located on route 322, minutes from 1-691, 1-84 and everything that downtown Southington has o offer. Te builders are constructing 98 well- crafted single-family homes on individual lots, with public utilities and natural gas. The home styles appeal to today’s diverse buyers, and include first floor masters,classic colonials and ranches, prices starting at $379,900. . .
“We want to provide our buyers with an easy buying experience. We work hard to make our building process effortless and guarantee our buyers that their home will be ready in 100 days or less.” stated John lannini, builder at Hillcrest Village.
Dorothy Karska-Piech and Mary “Mj” Lombardi from Calcagni Real Estate, have joined the Hillcrest team as New Home Sales Consultants to offer their unique perspective and experience with new construction sales. “Our clients encompass all demographics, move down buyers, move up buyers, as well as new homebuyers. They are seeking the comfortable relaxed lifestyle that

Hillcrest offers them.” said MJ Lombardi. “Furthermore, we make great efforts in designing our homes for the way buyers want to live today -flexible open floor plans that can be modified, convenient drop zones and command centers and spectacular outdoor living spaces.” elaborated Dorothy Karska-Piech.
“Pending home sales rose in April for the fourth
straight month and reached their highest level in nine years,” according to the National Association o.f Real ors. “Led by the Northeast and Midwest, all four maJor regions saw increases in April.”
With the improving economy and low interest rates, lookers and renters are turning into home buyers, young families need more space and are upsizing; and the mature buyers want to “right” size their homes to eliminate the expense and maintenance of their oversized home. Furthermore, buying a new home makes good financial sense, less maintenance and energy efficiency are two important main factors that buyers contemplate when choosing a new home over a resale. Not to mention the ability to customize!
This modern single family village in Southington has all the makings of a wonderful community; for those who choose to own at Hillcrest Village, it will become a lifestyle. Whether you’re just starting out or simply beginning a new chapter, the timeless appeal of Hillcrest Village will be more than a home, it will become your personal haven.

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Southington home construction at Hillcrest could begin in two weeks

By Jesse Buchanan Record-Journal staff

SOUTHINGTON — Construction of nearly 100 houses at Hillcrest Village off Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike could begin in a few weeks, according to developers.

Development for the land between the turnpike and Interstate 84 has been in the works for more than a decade.

The property is owned by John Iannini, a West Hartford developer, and Elizabeth Verna, a Wallingford resident and an owner of Verna Builders. Verna said work’s been completed on two model homes and that they’ll be ready to sign contracts and begin work on houses in two weeks.

Houses range from 1,700 to 2,500 square feet in size. Prices start at $380,000 for the smaller homes and run up to $450,000 for the largest.
The homes include granite countertops, hardwood floors and outdoor living areas, “all the standard features the market is asking for,” Verna said. She’s designed the homes to appeal to a number of demographics including first-time home buyers, families and empty-nesters. Styles include ranches, two-story houses with master bedrooms on the first floor and traditional two-story houses.

The Hillcrest project has been through a number of iterations in the past decade ranging from 30 houses on large lots to more than 200 townhouses.

In 2006, the town approved developers’ plans for 30 houses of between 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. The approval came with stipulations that cut two houses from the plan but developers said the loss of two buildings would eliminate their profits. The homes were to be priced around $550,000.

Iannini proposed a radically different plan in 2007 that called for more than 200 townhouses on 32 acres. More than a quarter of those housing units would be affordable housing. Due to state law the inclusion of affordable housing in a development makes it very difficult for towns to deny the applications. Southington’s commission did deny the plan in 2007 and did so again that same year after developers modified the plan.
Iannini sued the town and won based on state law concerning developments with affordable housing. A court said in 2009 that the project could only be denied as a means to protect public health or safety or if the application poses a risk of harm greater than the need for affordable housing. It ordered the commission to approve Iannini’s plans, which it did that same year.

In 2014, the plan was again modified after discussions between the town and the developers and approved by the commission a year ago. The townhouses were scrapped in favor of 100 single-family homes on lots ranging from 0.15 to 0.33 acres. Ten of those homes will be affordable housing.

Town Attorney Mark Sciota said the new plan was agreed upon by the town, developers and the courts.
Town planners had objected to the proposal for townhouses since it would create a population density much higher than the surrounding area.
Building single family homes is a “much better plan,” Sciota said.

Townhouses were popular 10 years ago when the plan was first developed, Verna said, but since that time buyers have shifted to individual homes. The plan was changed to reflect that desire, as well as the town’s wishes for a lower-density project.
Townhouses were “not welcomed by the neighborhood,” Verna said.

“I think the neighbors are happier. I think the people of the town are happier. It’s a great product,” she said of the new plan.

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