News & Events Blog

Simple Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Categories: Bucks County Homes, DIY Home Projects, New Home Tips | Posted: April 16, 2021

As the warmer months approach, seasonal cleaning and upkeep of your home is a time-honored homeowner tradition. This is a great opportunity to open up the doors for some fresh air and get in touch with all aspects of your home after the winter months.

Routine spring home maintenance is also a great way to keep your house tidy and to ensure that it continues to increase in value. These checklist items are perfect for a sunny weekend afternoon, and can fortify the lasting durability of your home.

It’s Not Called “Spring Cleaning” for Nothing

Spring is a great time to clean areas of the house that often get neglected. Dust or wipe chair rails, window casings, tops of wall-mounted cabinets and ceiling fans. Clean any fabric drapes and use a damp cloth to clean wood or vinyl blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses. Clean your hardwood floors by sweeping or vacuuming. Anything you can do to remove any dust, mites and allergens will make for a cleaner, and healthier, home.

In the kitchen you can consider washing cabinets, backsplashes and walls with warm water and mild detergent. You can do the same in the bathroom, where soap residue and fluctuations in heat and humidity combine to create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Helpful Hint: Consider using a carpet cleaner if you would like an even deeper clean on upholstered furniture and mattresses.

Make Sure To Keep Your Gutters Flowing

Rain gutters and downspouts can become clogged with debris from falling twigs and blowing leaves. To keep the rainwater flowing downward, a thorough cleaning every spring is a great idea. You can hire a professional, or if you have a ladder and gloves, you can do it yourself.

Helpful Hint: Organic matter taken from rain gutters makes excellent topsoil for your flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Don’t Forget To Check Your Roof

Have a good look at the condition of the roof. Hail, wind and flying debris can damage the shingles, making it easier for water to seep in and cause damage. This sort of wear and tear is rare on a new home, however — especially a property built by a highly regarded home builder such as Hallmark Homes Group.

Helpful Hint: Moss on roof shingles can be easily cleaned with a solution of half bleach and half water that can be applied and rinsed off 15 minutes later.

Keep Away the Pests

Termites tend to become active in spring, so an inspection of the basement and the exterior of the house is a good idea. If you see winged insects exiting from small holes in the wood, it is time to call an exterminator in order to protect the integrity of the structure.

Helpful Hint: There are nontoxic methods of dealing with termites including the use of heat or electricity. Plus, routine gutter cleaning is also one way to prevent termites.

Inspect Your Windows

The caulking around window exteriors can become warped by wind and sun, causing it to eventually crack and leak air. This can cause the house to lose warm or cold air — depending on the season. Removing old caulking and re-sealing the windows can save money on utility bills.

Helpful hint: When condensation gathers inside double-paned windows, it means there is a leak in the seal.

Take Care of Your Yard

New construction homes in Bucks County, PA are perfect for cultivating breathtaking lawns and landscapes. If you purchase a home from Hallmark, we are able to put down grass seed, plant trees, flower beds and add natural accents to your exact liking. All you have to do is mow, water and trim.

If your home has a sprinkler system, checking your sprinklers or irrigation in the spring can save water – and save your plants as well. Make sure none of the heads are broken or damaged. Adjust the angles of the sprinklers to make sure they are watering what needs to be. If you are unfamiliar with sprinkler maintenance, you can call a professional to take care of it as well.

Helpful hint: Keeping tree branches trimmed away from the side of the house can reduce gutter debris build-up.

Spring is a great time for a few simple home maintenance routines. Contact the experts at Hallmark to learn more about new homes that are a joy to care for year round.

Should I Have an Island in My Kitchen?

Categories: Home Design Trends, Kitchen Design | Posted: March 26, 2021

In many households, the kitchen is the central hub of the home. Similar to fireplaces in house designs of the previous century, modern kitchens have many functions beyond meal preparation. Parents and children gather here at the beginning and end of their days, guests are entertained here during parties & celebrations and important decisions are made here during family meetings.

This is why the kitchen island was invented; to enhance the function of the area and to supply valuable countertop space for everyday use and special occasions. These features are especially popular in open concept floor plans such as the many designs created by the Hallmark Homes Group.

What is a Kitchen Island?

A kitchen island is a piece of multi-purpose furniture — sort of like a dining room table, only taller. As it is meant to be used in conjunction with countertops, the island is at the same height as most of the other kitchen surfaces. Some can include a prep sink for washing produce and rinsing dishes while others can hold a dishwasher and/or provide additional cabinet space for storing cookware. Some islands which do not include plumbing can be moved about the kitchen for extended countertop food preparation space, cleaning or extra seating for guests.

How Big Should a Kitchen Island Be?

The size of your island should be determined in relation to the overall dimensions of the kitchen and any adjacent areas connected by open space. As long as the space is at least 10 feet wide and 12 feet long, you can comfortably fit a kitchen island. Some are minimal, measuring just four by two feet and others can be significantly bigger to accommodate multiple family members, several dinner guests and large projects for work and play. The average size is 80 x 40 inches (6.6ft x 3.3ft) with at least 42 inches of clearance on all sides. Some islands, however, can be as big as 18ft long and 5ft wide, depending on the size of the area.

What Can I Use a Kitchen Island For?

Your kitchen island is the perfect place for doing homework, putting together puzzles and playing games. Since it is in one of the most-used rooms in the home, it should be accommodating to everyone in the house at some point during the day. Breakfast at the kitchen island is a standard for many families, and some new homes by Hallmark are designed with an island that is meant to function as the dining room or family room table. This is the perfect place for fresh fruit and other snacks for when the kids come in the door hungry. Additionally, the kitchen island makes a great office, especially for a work-from-home parent who needs to keep an eye on dinner while speaking on a conference call.

Kitchen islands are an attractive and versatile feature of modern home designs — especially those with open-concept floor plans. Contact us to learn more about homes with multi-purpose spaces for everyday use and how we can make your kitchen island dreams a reality in your new home.

Simple Ways to Care for Your Hardwood Floors

Categories: Bucks County, Hallmark Homes Group, New Home Tips | Posted: March 12, 2021

One of the most exciting features of a brand new home are the finely-crafted hardwood floors. The visual appeal of this type of flooring is unparalleled, allowing owners to build their home decor theme upon uniquely warm, organic tones.

Although floors get used more than any other surface, a few simple practices can maintain a sleek, new finish. The experts at Hallmark Homes Group have put together a few extremely simple to follow tips for maintaining gorgeous, long-lasting hardwood floors.

Caring for Your Floors Starts Outside The Home

Dust and grime that gets tracked into the house everyday on the bottom of your shoes can quickly diminish the most splendid floor. While this is a simple fact of life, you can reduce the damaging aspects with a series of doormats. First, use an outside mat with a coarse texture for an initial wiping away of mud, water and dirt. Next, as you and your guests step inside there should be at least one or two more with increasingly fine fibers for getting rid of the rest of the debris. You can even instill a “no shoes” policy by providing seats and shelves right inside the front door for removing and storing footwear. 

Try to Reduce Your Floors Exposure to Elements

There are many elements which, in excess, can harm your hardwood floors. Many types of snow-melting products for outdoor walkways contain calcium chloride — a type of salt. Even when there is no precipitation, dirt gets into the house in the form of tiny dust particles which, when accumulated, can harm a floor. 

Tiny food particles and pet hair can also cause harm over time. Also, summer afternoons can, at times, be mildly humid in Bucks County, so your new home should be temperature controlled via the internal HVAC system to avoid moisture build-up. Just as moisture on a hardwood floor can cause warping, so can too much direct sunlight. Attempting to keep your floors from constant direct sunlight is a great idea as well. You can assure your floor’s longevity by being aware of these factors and making sure they are not present in large amounts at any given time.  

Stick to a Cleaning Routine Specifically for Your Floors

A great way to reduce exposure is to spot-sweep or dust the high traffic areas daily. This can quickly eliminate build up of abrasive debris while reducing the need for a deep cleaning to once or twice a month. This regular level of light cleaning should be done with a dry mop that has been treated with a dusting agent or a microfiber cleaning tool. Every week or so, you can vacuum the floors with a brush attachment and get to those hard-to-reach areas such as baseboards and corners with a hose attachment. Then, monthly or whenever needed, a full wet mopping with a microfiber head will restore the original hardwood shine. Your Hallmark agent can tell you the exact kind of wood your floor is made of, which will determine the type of cleaner and polish you choose. 

Find a New Home That Has The Floors You’ve Always Wanted

The vibrant glow of a well-maintained floor is one of the joys of new home living. Contact us to  explore an array of magnificent new construction homes that feature gorgeous, freshly-installed hardwood floors. 

Should My Home Be Multi Generational?

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Hallmark Homes Group, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: February 26, 2021

If you frequently visit with your relatives and you love nurturing strong family ties, consider designing your next residential property to be a multigenerational home. 

According to recent reports published by the United States Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center, approximately one in five homes (four million) consists of adults living with their elders as well as their children. With the right planning, this dynamic can provide several distinct advantages in the areas of home design, finance, peace of mind and quality of life.

How Much Square Footage Do I Need?

If you work with a flexible builder such as Hallmark Homes Group, you can expand upon one of their dynamic floor plans to accommodate every member of your household. This approach can help utilize every square foot of the property by including in-law quarters with a private entrance and an internal access point, spacious bedrooms for each of the kids, optional add-on room and private areas as well as a palatial master suite so you can unwind in private luxury. Plus, the shared spaces such as the living room, dining room and kitchen can be seamlessly connected with an open-concept theme so that the house provides an overall sense of welcoming and togetherness.

Leverage Your Funds

When you’re ready to buy a new home in Bucks County, a strong financial profile is important. If you plan to live in a house with two or more generations of adults, you may have access to greater monetary resources. The more adult parties with assets can equate to a generous down payment, easy-to-obtain financing and a relatively low interest rate. Also, the more income streams there are under one roof, the easier it is to meet monthly mortgage payments and cover utility bills while saving money for other long term endeavours.     

How Can Having My Home Be Multi Generational Benefit Everyone Living There?

In a multi generational household which usually includes grandparents, parents and perhaps adult children, the chances are good that someone will almost always be home. This makes for enhanced safety and security across the premises, as someone can always look after the children, family members with special needs and the property at large. Plus, household maintenance duties and daily chores can be shared by numerous parties rather than leaving them up to just one or two people.

Relieve the Stress

Raising children while pursuing a career can be exhausting at times. Yet, with your parents or your in-laws living in the home, you can have access to economical babysitters and general child-rearing assistance at a moment’s notice. This luxury can allow parents a much-needed break from time to time while giving grandparents the exquisite joy of participating in the lives of their grandchildren. This dynamic serves to improve the quality of life for everyone involved in a partnership-themed environment. 

Designing a multi generational home is a popular choice for today’s families who want to live together. Contact us to discover how our team of flexible Bucks County builders can accommodate your busy, dynamic household. 

Top Interior Design Trends for 2021

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Hallmark Homes Group, Home Design Trends | Posted: February 12, 2021

As a future homeowner, a great way to start 2021 is to consider some of the latest design trends for indoor spaces. As you start to imagine the layout and floor plan of your new house, it is helpful to take note of all the ways in which different areas are being used to meet the needs of modern lifestyles.

Today, homes are so much more than just a place of rest at night and on weekends. They are dynamic, multi-functional environments for working, playing, living, learning and so much more. By working with a builder like Hallmark Homes Group, you can maximize the personal and professional value of your residential property by creating unique settings for specific purposes.

Create A Dynamic Workspace

Working from home and learning online are becoming increasingly common, so it makes sense to designate an entire bedroom, basement or owner’s suite “retreat” area as a home office or remote classroom. These spaces can be painted in neutral tones and minimally decorated to avoid distraction. Plus, you can request to your builder that they be wired with additional electrical outlets to accommodate computers, charging stations, printers, modems and perhaps a conveniently-located coffee maker.

Workout in the Comfort Your New Home

Exercising at home has been one of the hottest new trends of the past year, and you can get the most out of your home gym by designating the space during the design phase of your new home in Bucks County. The expert home builders at Hallmark can make sure that your workout room has the exact type of hardwood, tile or heavy duty carpet of your choice as well as ample power outlets for equipment, large mirrors on the walls and abundant lighting. You can choose wall coverings with inspirational images or sayings to keep you motivated towards your fitness goals.

Choose Warmer Colors & Tones

Your cozy, shared spaces may see lots of daily use during family time. Choosing warm, earthy tones can help maximize the relaxing quality of the living room and the family room. Furniture with deep wood hues and finishing trim of natural materials like wicker and rattan are excellent ways to warm up an area. You can wrap it all up with rich color schemes on the wall and decor that welcomes such as amber lighting and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Entertainment is Essential

Investing in a bigger screen TV, a bolder sound system and a more dynamic lighting scheme will provide you with home entertainment, which is possibly more popular than ever. Imagine a recreational area that matches the excitement of your favorite theater or venue. You can choose dark tones for the walls like a movie theater and super-soft, relaxed seating that welcomes visitors for a nice, long stay.

Modern homes are becoming dynamic places for a wide variety of important activities. Contact us to learn more about a new home layout that can be designed to meet all of your family’s daily needs.

New Home Designs in Bucks County are Perfect for Modern Families

Categories: Bucks County, New Homes, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: January 29, 2021

As you begin considering home designs and floor plans, it is important to establish how many bedrooms and bathrooms your family will need. At this stage, you can also discuss potential guest quarters while exploring the interconnection of shared gathering spaces on the ground level. Homebuyers can also consider the luxury features offered for master suites and decide which upgrades and add-ons will complete their social areas and private spaces. The Monroe, The Greenbrier and The Harrison are three popular Hallmark home designs that offer specific advantages which can be fine-tailored to suit your exact needs.

The Monroe Home Design

This design welcomes you with a dramatic two-story foyer which opens to the living room and dining room on either side. You are then greeted by a spacious kitchen which opens to the family room and provides access to the in-law suite. The second level features three bedrooms interspersed by two bathrooms as well as an owner’s suite complete with a retreat area, luxury bath and walk-in closet. This floor plan also features optional add-ons, or upgrades, including a solarium, morning room and “Wall of Windows” option for the family room. Expansion options include upgrading from a two- to a three-car garage as well as widening the family room.  

The Monroe is distinguished by a bright, sun-soaked main level, a wide staircase and a welcoming foyer which expands into the living areas. This design is perfect for growing families who love to relax in wide-open areas and who also cherish individual private spaces.  

The Greenbrier Home Design

This design expands laterally with the massive three-car garage leading into the kitchen which then opens to the dining room, breakfast area and family room. The first level also includes a private study just off the kitchen, an optional morning room off the breakfast area as well as optional bay windows for the family room and the living room. Upstairs, the owner’s quarters occupies nearly half the square footage, with an entry area leading to the bedroom which then gives way to the retreat, sitting area, walk-in closet and luxury bathroom. This level also includes three spacious bedrooms, two of which have walk-in closets as well as two additional bathrooms.     

The Greenbrier is a unique layout centered around the kitchen which opens up into the adjoining shared living areas. As the focal point of the lower level, the expansive theme of the kitchen repeats throughout the floor plan. The open, welcoming feel is perfect for families who love to congregate around cooking, dining and quality time together. 

The Harrison Home Design

Enter into a breathtaking two-story foyer that opens up into the dining room, gallery, family room and kitchen. The left side of this level is dedicated to the owner’s quarters which include a master’s suite, luxury bath and walk-in closet. A private study is to the immediate left of the foyer, and can be interconnected to the first-floor owner’s suite if desired. Upstairs in The Harrison includes three bedrooms, one bath, a loft which opens to the foyer and a large area to the left of the stairs which gazes upon the family room, breakfast area and kitchen below. This layout features optional ground-level upgrades including a solarium off the kitchen and a fireplace in the family room.

The Harrison-Side Entry is ideal for hardworking owners and parents who prefer to have their private space on a level separate from the other bedrooms. The layout presents a connected feeling throughout, yet also provides a sense of accessible privacy and first-floor luxury. This design is ideal for buyers who want lower-level expanding options as well as a connected feeling between the upper and lower levels provided by the open areas.  

Choosing the Best Layout for Your Family

When shopping for the perfect home, a great strategy is to begin by looking for a layout that suits your unique preferences, wants and needs. Hallmark Homes Group excels in designing houses for dynamic families — offering distinctive floor plans that take luxury living to the next level. 

Assign Your Bedrooms

The layout you choose should reflect the number of current family members while providing space for new arrivals in the way of children, frequent visitors or perhaps a private quarters for in-laws. You can choose a layout that isolates the master bedroom for optimal peace and quiet or  choose one with a centrally located owner’s suite. 

Plan Your Bathrooms

These top three designs feature multiple, strategically placed bathrooms on the bedroom level — some shareable between rooms and others totally private. These layouts also include ½ baths on the ground level and can be amended for additional accommodations for finished basement customizations. 

Look Forward to Open Areas

Hallmark’s new homes include distinctive variations of the open-concept floor plan. This approach to modern living celebrates the spatial benefit of overlapping the living room, dining room, kitchen and other areas into one dynamic space. Rather than being filled with walls which separate, the ground level offers property-wide sight lines for better interaction and communication. 

Think About Upgrades

As you prepare to move to Bucks County, consider how your new home options can best serve your family. If you love plenty of natural light, explore your options for bay window upgrades to the family room, living room, dining areas and master suites as well as solarium add-ons to the kitchen and breakfast areas. If your family has multiple drivers, consider a model with a garage expansion option or three-car capacity. Owners who love to relax in luxury have plenty of options to choose from and large families with in-laws or frequent visitors can explore numerous guest suite options.

Hallmark is building the most popular home designs in suburban Pennsylvania. Contact us to learn more about a modern home layout that perfectly suits you and your family.

8 Important Steps to Take When Buying a New Home in Bucks County

Categories: Bucks County, Bucks County Homes, Home Buying Tips, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: January 15, 2021

For many homebuyers, purchasing a new home is a big event. As you begin looking for a builder and thinking about the perfect design, there are several steps to familiarize yourself with so that you are ready for this exciting adventure.

 

As a future homeowner, it is good to know a few things about modern floor plans, interior design terms, project timelines and financial planning. It is also important to choose a trusted, reputable company to work with such as Hallmark Homes Group. Once you are set in these areas, you can look forward to customizing the layout of your house and planning a finished product that will fulfill all of your living needs.

1. See the Big Picture

At this phase, you will need to get specific about what sort of a home you are looking for in terms of how many bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen size, whether you want lots of “shared” family areas, recreation rooms, guest quarters, luxury features for the master suite, outdoor deck, home office, finished basement and more. An ideal builder will have a diverse array of layouts and floor plans and they will be flexible if you wish to alter certain design aspects to better suit your needs. Once you find a suitable floor plan and an accommodating builder, you can then fine tune the layout to perfection.

2. Clarify the Features

A reputable builder will have model homes which you can tour in order to experience the layout and get an idea of what your finished house will feel like. At this phase, you can clarify which features in the model home are standard and which are upgrades. These can vary in appearance and aesthetic and include things such as appliances, countertops, flooring, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, security hardware, electronic components, luxury master suite details and more. Your preferences may determine the overall price of the finished home — so it is important to discuss the fine details with the company representative.

3. Question Quality

When shopping for a Bucks County new home builder, you will want to look into the types of  materials being used by each company. You should be aware of the top-rated names in components such as flooring, countertops, roofing materials, plumbing fixtures and appliances. Also, quality materials play an important role in energy efficiency. These components include exterior doors, windows and insulation materials. A discussion with a company representative can give you valuable insight into the quality of the finished product.

4. Understand Scheduling

Just as the ideal company should accommodate your custom floor plan, you should also be flexible when it comes to the timeline of your build. The reason for this is that building new homes in Bucks County, just like everywhere else, involves numerous teams of specialized tradespeople, company representatives and building inspectors. Each phase of the construction process depends on the current team finishing their work and being approved before the next step can begin. This process is susceptible to delays due to bad weather, materials being held up in shipping and personnel issues.

5. Add it All Up

When working out your current finances and buying budget, it is essential to take an “all-inclusive” approach. This involves accounting for all of your routine expenditures so that you can comfortably make your monthly mortgage payments while fulfilling other financial obligations. It is essential to note that in addition to your mortgage, there are likely to be other recurring fees such as homeowner’s association (HOA) dues, insurance, quarterly property taxes and utility bills. At this phase, you should be aware that there are many types of financing available depending on your financial profile. You may qualify for creative financing through your builder’s preferred lenders from programs sponsored by the FDA, USDA and/or the VA.

6. Know Your Builder

When purchasing a new construction home, it is a good idea to look into the company, their previous work and their reputation among the community at large. A top-rated company, such as Hallmark, will have plenty of model homes to tour, company representatives to meet with and glowing reviews on their website. When researching the company, be sure to read the testimonials from satisfied customers, scroll through the suite of gorgeous floor plans and to look over their series of breathtaking neighborhoods.

7. Fine Tune the Finish

Once you have partnered with the right team of building professionals, it is time to determine the fine details and exact specifications of how your new home will look and feel. This can be based on your personal preferences in style and design, and on what you determined which features are standards, which are upgrades and what your budget will accommodate. Features to think about here are paint color (different schemes in each room or a consistent theme throughout the house), built-in shelves, wood beam ceiling trim, appliances, cabinets, molding, flooring, luxury bathroom upgrades, etc.

8. Walk Through and Approve

The final phases of your building project will require a hands-on, teamwork approach between you and your company representative. As your unique selection of custom features are being installed, you can inspect the work at the separate phases of completion of the walls, floors, lighting, windows, doors, cabinets, countertops, tiled areas, and plumbing fixtures. Also, this phase will require that you review the exterior characteristics which you may have requested to be customized such as landscaping, driveways and sidewalks. At this time, you will also have the opportunity to point out any minor details you would like fixed, changed or fine-tuned. These are then written out on a “punch list” and given to the builder to complete before you move in. At this point, you have reached what is known as “substantial completion,” and you can look forward to closing on the property.

 

Knowing the numerous phases of the homebuying process can help you have a successful, smooth experience. Contact us to learn more about building your ideal custom home.

New Homes in Bucks County are Surrounded by a World of Holiday Wonder

Categories: Bucks County, New Homes in Bucks County, Things to do in Bucks County | Posted: December 28, 2020

As wintertime settles in, Bucks County residents look forward to celebrating the season at a variety of exciting, holiday-themed, family-friendly attractions. The festivities kick off in November and continue through the New Year — offering plenty of time to enjoy twinkling lights, fun characters, cozy getaways and much more. Many of these regional destinations are near neighborhoods being built by Hallmark Homes Group, making these holiday wonders just a short drive away.

Get into Character

Everyone’s favorite characters at Sesame Place are hosting A Very Furry Christmas on select dates from November 21st through January 3rd. During this time, the entire park will be decorated with thousands of colorful lights and festive ornaments. Visitors are invited to participate in the sights and sounds of the 1-2-3 Christmas Tree Show featuring an illuminated, pixel-based 30-foot tree. Train rides on the Sesame Place Furry Express are also available to take youngsters through the Twiddlebugs’ Gingerbread Cookie Factory. Plus, guests who prefer to experience the spectacle from the comfort of their own vehicles can opt for the Furry and Bright Christmas Drive-Thru featuring a trip along Candy Cane Lane, Snowflake Way and alongside the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade.

Go North for the Winter

The region’s best seasonal railway adventure is held aboard the North Pole Express Train — taking guests on a holiday journey through the past in restored passenger cars from the early 20th Century. The experience is designed for modern-day coziness, as the refurbished passenger cars now feature the luxury of built-in heating. Passengers are served hot chocolate and fresh cookies — all enjoyed to the sounds of holiday songs. The journey takes guests to Santa’s workshop, where children can hand-deliver letters to St. Nick detailing their Christmas wishes while touring his toy-making factory.

Light Up the Night

Every year, Shady Brook Farm invites residents of new homes in Bucks County to their breathtaking Holiday Light Show. The production features over three million bulbs strung up into creative displays across several acres of farmland. On clear nights, visitors can experience the wonder from an open-air, tractor-drawn wagon ride. Or they can tour the grounds from the comfort of their own vehicles. The adventure features a visit with Santa, a trip down Candy Cane Lane and a chance to snuggle up and toast s’mores over a roaring campfire.

Have a Historic Celebration

Bucks County loves to celebrate famous writers with ties to the area. Every year, artists, decorators and community groups team up to create the Annual Holiday Festival of the Trees at the Pearl S. Buck House in Perkasie — a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can enjoy light displays of spectacular design and decor within the rooms of the house and throughout the property grounds.

Meanwhile, the folks at The Christmas Museum at Byers’ Choice in Chalfont have something special in store for fans of A Christmas Carol, the legendary story by Charles Dickens. They will be broadcasting — via their Vimeo channel — a performance of the work by the author’s great, great grandson, Gerald Dickens. Folks who love this timeless tale can also experience its magic through the legendary Broadway director Michael Arden via streaming video at the Bucks County Playhouse. Broadcasts feature the talents of Tony-winning virtuoso Jefferson Mays and will take place daily from November 28th through January 3rd. Proceeds will benefit the regional theatre community.

Enjoy a Cozy Stay

Bucks County offers the old-world yuletide charm of historic hotels — each with a host of unique features and delights.

  • The rustic charms of the Golden Plough Inn are perfect for a wintertime getaway for the whole family. The hotel features 67 rooms and suites imbued with colonial-era ambiance. Perched in the heart of Peddler’s Village, this location gives visitors immediate access to some of the finest seasonal treats, holiday decorations and shopping experiences in the region — including the Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination (late November through early January).
  • The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm invites couples to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a secluded, romantic setting. This bed and breakfast in New Hope features 16 unique suites situated within the manor house and in the adjacent buildings situated in a 100-acre estate. Visitors can enjoy world-class elegance located near a variety of vineyards, markets and dining destinations.
  • Also located in New Hope, the Logan Inn is one of the oldest continually-operating hotels in the United States. This historic treasure offers an authentic, charming experience amid a property that takes visitors back to a simpler time. Indoor and outdoor dining is available on-site, and the location allows quick access to an array of fine shops, restaurants and breweries.

Wander through Wonderland

Feeney’s Garden Center and Nursery is one of the best resources in Bucks County for decorating a new home for the holidays. The center features 20,000 square feet of retail space that engulfs shoppers in decorative options of every sort, seasonal sparkle and Christmas lore. Holiday adventure-seekers can look forward to touring an array of themed sections, marveling at the model train display and visiting Santa among his crop of Christmas trees in the on-site greenhouse.

Stroll through the Past

Taking a seasonal jaunt through lavishly decorated estates is a great way to celebrate the wintertime holidays. Presented by the Heritage Conservancy, the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown offers tours of the historic English-style country manor. Similarly, the Bolton Mansion in Levittown (built in 1687) hosts the Holiday House — a tour featuring a towering Christmas tree, baked goodies, seasonal music, hot cider, a chance to chat with Santa and more. Meanwhile, Historic Fallingston — aka “the town that time forgot” — offers holiday-themed tours of the grounds located along the Delaware River. Visitors can stroll among the buildings of 18th Century architecture adorned in seasonal decor.

The holiday season in Bucks County is a special time for wholesome family fun. Contact us to learn more about Hallmark Homes Group — the company building the finest homes across the region.

What to Look for When Shopping for New Homes in Bucks County

Categories: Bucks County, New Home, New Homes, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: December 28, 2020

If you’re looking to buy a new home, the best way to find the right builder is to tour their model homes. This approach allows you to experience the company’s professional craftsmanship firsthand, speak to a company representative and get an idea of how your needs can be met and applied to the design of the new home. 

First, you’ll want to know about the builder’s capabilities and how they can be applied to your situation. Next, you will want to have a few questions prepared about how the company can meet your personal preferences while fulfilling your sense of taste and style.   

Ask About Options

Some builders have a “what you see is what you get” policy — meaning they do not accommodate requests to alter a floor plan. Other companies in Bucks County, however, build new homes based on a layout that best suits the buyer. When touring model homes, it is important to find out if the company is willing to suit your family’s daily routines. Ask the sales representative if the builder will move walls where necessary and customize certain areas for special use. Also, ask to see all current floor plans so that you can explore every available option. 

Make It Yours

One of the biggest advantages to working with Hallmark is that, as a new home buyer, you are encouraged to customize to suit your living needs. This includes much more than requesting a certain color of paint for the kitchen or a specific type of wood for the floors. This company’s unique capability allows you the freedom to imagine just about any configuration of interior space you could possibly need, and lets you turn it into a reality.

Accommodate Your Family

One of the most popular customizations in a Hallmark residence is a welcoming place that your in-laws and other extended family members can call home. You can design the perfect section of the house that allows for daily interaction and personal privacy. The Mill Ridge selection of floor plans and possible options can include a private entrance, connecting interior doorways, separate kitchens and more. 

Build a Custom Home Office

For many professionals, working from home is becoming a necessity. To embrace this trend and excel at your career you can design a fully inclusive professional work suite, complete with a board room, private office, restroom, break room and separate entrance. This way, you can be completely immersed in the elements of your job minus the distractions of home and without the commute. 

Have Some Fun

Another benefit of customization is having the ability to create the ultimate space for entertaining and home recreation. Hallmark’s selection of floor plans includes spaces such as optional bedrooms, basement areas and upstairs lofts that can be pre-wired for surround-sound speakers and extra electrical circuitry to power stereos, computers, monitors, video game consoles and home theater equipment.       

Clarify Standard Features Vs. Upgrades   

A model home may be adorned from floor to ceiling with the finest wall switches, light fixtures, crown molding, surface finishes and appliances. Many times, this is a “staged” setting of custom features which may not be included in the listing price. As you tour the property, be sure to ask the company representative to specify exactly which features are standard and which are upgrades. As you inspect, remember to look closely at the craftsmanship of the countertops, cabinets, hand railings and window ledges. Chances are that your finished home from this builder will look quite similar to what you see in the model. 

Find Out What’s Included

A property that is part of a new neighborhood may come with some incredible amenities such as swimming pool access, health spa, a community gym, tennis courts, walking trails, etc. Be sure to ask what the long-term plans for the neighborhood are and what recreational features are nearby. Also, ask about what the area has to offer that suits your family’s routine demands and long-term needs such as shopping, entertainment and education.  

Have a Close Look at Quality 

When you set out to explore Bucks County, consider having a look at the new homes being built by Hallmark Homes Group. Currently, the Mill Ridge neighborhood in Chalfont is showcasing a variety of gorgeous homes with floor plans designed for growing, busy, dynamic households. Once you make an appointment to tour a model home, you will be able to see and feel the quality and workmanship that is built into the cost of a finished home. 

Take it All In

The fine details in a Hallmark finished home include the highest quality countertops, cabinets, floors, windows, doors, fixtures and much more. You will begin your tour by pulling up to a gorgeous home on an expansive plot within a private cul-de-sac. All around are rolling fields, wooded hillsides and wide stretches of manicured grass. Be sure to take note of the top-rated Energy Star siding across the entire exterior, which is adorned with a dramatic entryway, wood-trimmed eaves and large, first story floor-to-ceiling windows. Next, you will experience the look and feel of a culinary dream kitchen featuring Caesarstone countertops, state-of-the-art appliances, a spacious pantry and elegant wood flooring. Then, you’ll take a stroll through multiple floors of continuous luxury starting in a gigantic family room that leads to spacious bedrooms as well as a huge owner’s suite with an opulent master bath. 

Additionally, it is helpful to note that this community is located within the award-winning Central Bucks School District. Also, quick travel to the important regional hubs of Montgomeryville, Ft. Washington and Doylestown is easily accessed via Routes 611, 309 and 202 — all just minutes away.  

As a future homeowner, understanding what is included in the price of a house and being able to customize are important parts of the buying process. Contact us to schedule a model home tour and learn more about how customization can help you build the home of your dreams.

Why New Homes in Bucks County are Perfect for Families Planning to Move

Categories: Bucks County, Bucks County Homes, New Homes, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: November 25, 2020

If you are interested in relocating to suburban Pennsylvania, consider a region that is well known for its’ picturesque countryside, family-friendly recreation and quality neighborhoods built by Hallmark Homes Group.

Rich in history, beauty and tradition — this area is ideal for those who value education, culture and community. Recently-built residential properties offer the latest in luxury and style while being conveniently located near travel routes, schools, shopping destinations and major business hubs.

Take it All In

When you arrive in Bucks County, you will be met by stunning landscapes of rolling hills, thick groves of trees, majestic rivers, sweeping farmlands, lush gardens and ripening vineyards. Your new home in the scenic countryside offers a refreshing alternative to the bustle of big cities. Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted that there are lakes, ponds, streams, hillsides, national parks, campgrounds, barnyards and fields waiting to be explored. Nockamixon State Park is one such place, offering hiking trails, bike paths and fishing spots as well as picnic areas, swimming and ice skating. Outdoor recreation happens all year, and the diverse seasons offer conditions from warm and sunny to cool and breezy, as well as crisp and snowy.

Fun for Kids

Bucks County is a great place to grow up, with something for every child of any age. Castles, characters and educational activities await the younger children at Sesame Place while carousels, arcades and obstacle courses entice explorers at Giggleberry Fair. If climbing up staircases, exploring mazes and sliding through chutes sounds fun, Kids Castle in Doylestown offers great wood-built adventure. Young history buffs can dip into the region’s past at the Mercer Museum and the Michener Art Museum. Meanwhile, artists at Moravian Pottery & Tile Works teach arts and crafts skills to the creatively inclined.

Experience the Finest

Hallmark is renowned for building exceptional, luxury houses within gorgeous, well-maintained communities. Over generations, the company has cultivated a reputation for quality and integrity among long-term buyers and newcomers alike. Their well-planned and spacious layouts are designed to offer residents the tranquility of majestic architecture and expansive lawns. The neighborhoods feature simple, quiet low-traffic loops and cul-de-sacs rather than busy thoroughfares. New homes are built in a variety of styles, allowing newcomers to Buck County to find the property that perfectly fits their tastes and needs with the option to customize.

Discover Regional Treasures

Those interested in history can learn all about George Washington’s role in the Civil War at Washington Crossing Park, and then explore the breaks and banks of the Delaware River in a boat or on foot. Meanwhile, Ringing Rock Park welcomes those who love natural wonders with a rolling field of boulders where visitors can hammer out a wide variety of mysterious sounds. The Silverlake and Churchville nature centers offer hands-on exploration of a variety of habitats through guided tours and equipment rentals for exploring waterways, riverbanks and wooded areas.

Adventures for Adults

Folks can look forward to weekend tours of hotels, restaurants, microbreweries and one-of-a-kind main street boutiques across a network of historic townships. Places like the Washington House Hotel and Restaurant in Sellersville, the Continental Tavern in Yardley and The Landing in New Hope offer quaint dining experiences and world-class cuisine. You can book a night or two at the Hargrave House Bed & Breakfast in Doylestown or the King George II Inn in Bristol and enjoy the offerings of Proper Brewing Company in Quakertown and satisfy your sweet tooth at the Zebra-Striped Whale in Newtown. These vibrant hubs let visitors experience a glimpse of old-time Pennsylvania with a modern, bustling twist. Golfers will relish the fact that Bucks County is home to hundreds of acres of world-class golfing terrain including the renowned Heritage Creek and Fox Hollow clubs.

Learn with the Best

The importance of learning is represented across the region, with a wide variety of learning facilities for people of every age. According to publicschoolreview.com, Bucks County has “one of the highest concentrations of top ranked schools in Pennsylvania.” 14 school districts feature facilities for elementary, middle school and high school education. For college-bound kids, some of the top ten schools in the county are right here — including Quakertown Community High School, Palisades High School and New Hope-Solebury High School. There are also dozens of colleges and universities in the region for anyone seeking continuing education, trade proficiency and four-year degrees.

Get There Fast

Commuting to important centers of business, commerce, entertainment and recreation is convenient and easy for new homeowners in Bucks County. Hallmark neighborhoods are within a few minutes of travel routes to major urban destinations.

New York City – One hour and 30 minutes

Downtown Philadelphia – 45 minutes

Harrisburg – Two hours

Princeton – 30 minutes

Atlantic City – Two hours

Poconos – One hour and 30 minutes

Plus, I-295 cuts diagonally across the southeastern part of the county, offering direct access to Philly via I-95. Meanwhile, route 611 runs north and south through the county with lateral connections to communities across the region. The southwest area of the county provides plenty of access to I-276 heading east and west, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike provides four entry points into the county at Bristol, Feasterville/Trevose, New Hope/Doylestown and Sellersville/Quakertown.

Trek Across Treasured Bridges

One of the most endearing features of this area of Pennsylvania is the network of covered bridges that dot the landscape — hearkening back to the time of horse and buggy travel and the advent of the automobile. These well-preserved structures were built by settlers to get goods and people across waterways. The load-bearing wooden beams were protected from decay by being built with picturesque, barn-like coverings. These bridges make the perfect backdrop for an afternoon picnic or a seasonal family photo.

If you are planning to move into a new home, consider settling in suburban Pennsylvania. Contact us to learn more about luxury living in a quality, family-friendly community.

 

3