News & Events Blog

Tips for Buying a New Construction Home

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Home Buying Tips, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: September 16, 2020

To many buyers looking for a home in Bucks County, new construction offers several distinct advantages, such as energy efficiency, ample customization options, and peace of mind that you won’t run into unexpected and expensive repairs. However, there are a few things that you’ll need to take into consideration when it comes to new construction.

Timing, budget, and levels of customization can all play a role in the building of your new home. For many people, it’s an enjoyable, fun-filled experience that gives them complete and total control over where they live. A brand-new home in a brand-new community with endless possibilities makes it all worthwhile.

Read on to learn more about what you should take into consideration when purchasing a new home.

Determine if New Construction is Right for You

A new construction home is simply one that has not been built yet. You’re given the unique opportunity to design and customize it to suit both your tastes and lifestyle.

However, there are some instances where a builder will sell a brand-new construction home that’s already been built—with a main difference being that you can’t customize it as much.

When it comes to determining if new construction is right for you, take a look at your current lifestyle. For example, perhaps you’ll eventually want your elderly parents to come live with you. Building their bedroom on the ground floor will give them easy access and prevent them from having to walk up a flight of stairs.

Maybe you’re planning on having another child in a few years. Adding an additional bedroom will allow your family to grow into the house and prevent crowding issues.

Also, some new construction neighborhoods have community amenities such walking trails, playgrounds or even pools or a clubhouse. These amenities may or may not appeal to you or your anticipated lifestyle.

Research the Builder and the Community

Many new home builders, such as Hallmark Homes Group, have decades of experience and a proven track record of building high-quality homes in highly desirable communities.

To learn more about the builder, houses, and community, consider visiting and speaking to homeowners in the area. They can give you an idea of what the new house and neighborhood will be like once you move. You might even pick up a few customization ideas along the way.

The community that surrounds your new home is also very important. How close are the schools, grocery stores, shopping amenities, and anything else that allows you to live your lifestyle? You can find many online resources that will provide you with detailed information so that you can make an informed decision.

Model Homes 

When you visit the new community, take a tour of the model home keeping in mind that it’s typically not standard. Beyond what comes included in every home, it usually has extra features designed to show the home’s full potential along with many of the customization options available to you.

As you’re touring it, feel free to ask the agent as many questions as you can think of such as the cost of upgrades that appeal to you or customization options such as moving the master bedroom downstairs or adding additional office space.

Customization

Customization is the most important reason to buy a new construction home. At Hallmark, the possibilities are endless. We work individually with each buyer to create a dream home that you’ll love. For example, you can add or remove walls, expand room sizes, build in custom niche areas, add extra electrical outlets and even change the entire floor plan to suit your individual lifestyle.

You can also take the customization options a step further by adding such accouterments as a custom mantle, wall scones, extra wide trim or wainscoting and even a motorized lift for the hall chandelier. Customize your bathroom with high-end tiles, frameless showers or revise the entire layout as you see fit.

Find a Good Lender

Take some time to find a good lender who’s willing to work with you and give you the best rates. By shopping around, you’ll have a better chance of finding a loan that fits your financial situation.

A great way to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible is to ask your home builder to provide a few referrals to lenders that they work closely with. This might get you more competitive rates and fees.

Budget for Extra Time

There are a few things that can impact how quickly your new house is built. For example, many homebuyers will opt to have construction start in the fall or wintertime. This timeline allows them to move into their home by the summer.

However, sometimes winter storms or major weather events can cause unforeseen delays in materials getting to the job site. If you absolutely need to move into your new home by a specific date, be sure to let your builder know. They can provide you with an approximate completion date that will allow you to make a more informed decision.

Communicate with Your Builder

You can more accurately set your expectations by communicating regularly with your builder. This will help keep the process transparent and the lines of communication open. Ask your builder how often they will give you updates and to whom you should address any questions or concerns.

At Hallmark, our proven process has been honed over decades of building highly customized homes for our clients. We’ll keep you informed of the progress at every step of the way. We take great pride in our work which is why we have multiple quality assurance/inspections to ensure the integrity of your new home.

Find Your Dream Home Today!

Buying a new home that’s customized to perfectly fit your lifestyle should be an enjoyable process. At Hallmark Homes Group, we go the extra mile to take care of our clients and work hard to ensure that we deliver the custom home that you and your family will cherish forever. Contact us today or stop by our sales center to learn more.

Staging Your Home

Categories: Home Buying Tips, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: August 26, 2020

Bucks County is a prime location to find your new home and start the next steps in your life. Before you progress along your homebuying journey, you may also be selling your current home.

Although the home selling process may seem daunting, it is important to properly stage it to attract buyers. Research studies indicate that staged homes sell for six to ten percent above asking price and 73 percent faster than non-staged homes. In order to increase your return on investment, you may consider beginning with the following interior and exterior recommendations.

Create Curb Appeal

Whether your home is in suburban Bucks County or the city, your curb appeal must be considered. Buyers want to see a household that has been cared for inside and out. Be sure to mow the lawn, plant flowers and seeds, brush up the paint, fix gutters, replace roofing tiles, and clean siding. Trim trees, shrubs, and grass. Pressure wash the exterior walls, driveway, stone, vinyl fences, decking, and concrete. Furnish the front porch and deck. If you have a backyard perfect for BBQs, keep the grill out to bring that thought to mind for the buyers.

If your outdoor space is perfect for kids, make sure to keep the slide and swing set out, but clean up any miscellaneous toys that might make the yard appear cluttered. Homebuyers frequently drive around and create first impressions based on the outside of the house before deciding whether they would like to tour the inside.

Prioritize Your Energy

Staging your home helps sell your home, but if you are short on time or energy, focus your resources on essential areas first. The master bedroom, bathrooms, living room, and kitchen tend to be the main living spaces buyers look at when house shopping.

Keep Your Home Neutral

When looking for your new home, you may have searched for a place that is homey and enabled you the freedom to express yourself. Your buyers will do the same as this is what transforms a house into a home. Create a blank canvas for your buyers by updating to more neutral paint color pallets that will let them see the potential to suit their unique style.

Use decorations that are neutral and promote a cozy feeling. Gender-neutral accents like landscape paintings and classic vases are also a great starting point for adding the right touches to the home.

Create a Sparkling Clean and Safe Environment

Clear out cluttered closets, basements, and spaces to emphasize every nook and cranny as buyers search for spacious and well-maintained areas. You should also eliminate any potential tripping hazards, such as loose rugs, unstable furniture, or unsecured wires and cords.

Consider hiring a professional cleaner to thoroughly disinfect your house. Begin by searching for an accredited cleaning company that has earned positive testimonials and a Better Business Bureau seal. Your cleaners should clean and disinfect all surfaces of the house to remove mold, fungi, bacteria, viruses, dust mites, and allergens. The cleaners may also take the time to deep clean any fixtures and appliances. Additionally, they may offer an option to purify the air to improve air quality.

Remove Odors

If you have pets or children, odors happen. Be sure and clean out the litter box before a showing and take care of any stains or scents in the house by removing their source – do not try to cover them up with perfume or candles and risk a terrible mix of smells for your potential buyers.

Invest in Updated Fixtures and Paint

If sink faucets or ceiling fans look worn, replace them. This may keep the home’s value up and the buyer’s list of “fix-its” down. If you cannot afford a full revamp of your fixtures, prioritize by updating the most visible fixtures and surfaces, like those in the kitchen and living room.

Define Every Room’s Purpose

Make sure every room has a clear purpose. A bedroom is where your buyer wants to relax, so remove office materials, exercise gear, or other materials that do not promote that feeling of restfulness. Identify a single use for each room and emphasize it with the décor and furnishing.

Although buyers may not use all of your bedrooms, workspaces, or entertainment areas the way that you do, they would like to consider the possibilities of the space. The homebuyers will explore how they can adapt the house to meet their lifestyle preferences and organize their belongings.

Utilize Lighting

A bright home is a welcoming home. Replace burned-out lightbulbs and open blinds to create a cheery well-lit space. Use lighting to evoke inviting feelings in individual rooms. For example, keep the light in the bedroom warm to promote a relaxing feel and the light in the kitchen whiter to mimic daylight. Let the light accentuate the room’s purpose.

Play to the Environment and Time of Day

If you are selling your home in the summer, keep the house fresh and airy. If the weather is becoming colder, turn on your fireplace to create a warm, homey vibe. For a morning showing, open the windows to let in the natural light. If buyers are seeing the house in the evening, highlight the lighting options, and create a calming atmosphere with lightly scented candles.

Choose the Right Finishing Touches

It is essential to add the right finishing touches to any home. Arrange fresh vases of flowers and houseplants to brighten dining rooms, entryways, and bedside tables. These flowers can be a neutral color or add a touch of color. By doing so, you will create a welcoming sensation to the room and show off how well the house is cared for.

As you start the next exciting chapter in your life as a homeowner, take the time to close the last chapter on a high note. By staging your old home well, you may be able to sell your home quickly and for the right price. Visit a Hallmark home near you for ideas as you progress along your homebuying journey.

New Community: The Enclave at Warrington

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Customized homes, New Communities, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: August 17, 2020

Hallmark Homes Group is pleased to announce the opening of our newest community, The Enclave at Warrington. Located in Warrington Township, these seven luxuriously appointed new homes in Bucks County are just minutes away from numerous dining, shopping, and job opportunities of nearby Doylestown.

Choose from one of our many opulent home designs that range in size from 2,600 to 3,600 sq. ft. The floor plans come with three to five bedrooms and 2.5 to 4.5 baths. The homes sit on sizable ½ acre to 1-acre lots surrounded by pristine woodlands that offer residents uninterrupted views and a sense of privacy.

The Area

Founded in 1734, historic Warrington Township is located approximately 20 miles north of central Philadelphia. It features immaculate open spaces, beautiful parks, and easy access to the multiple trails that run alongside nearby Neshaminy Creek. Museums, outdoor activities, and restaurants allow residents to enjoy ample dining and recreational opportunities.

Centrally located in a quiet suburban setting, The Enclave at Warrington is situated strategically close to RT. 611, 202, and the PA Turnpike. This gives residents convenient access to both work, school, and recreational opportunities in Bucks County

Children living in the community will attend the top-rated Central Bucks School District, which has received high marks and reviews from both educators and parents alike. In addition to the highly rated public K-12 schools, there are many colleges around the local area, including Delaware Valley University, Bucks County Community College, Temple University, and Penn State Abington Campus.

Several indoor and outdoor shopping malls close to The Enclave at Warrington will provide you with a broad realm of shopping opportunities, including the 200,000 square foot Shops at Valley Square, which is a premiere dining, entertainment, and retail destination nearby.

If you enjoy heading out to play a round of golf, a range of prestigious country clubs to choose are nearby that offer world-class golfing, socializing, and networking events.

The local and state parks that surround your new home in Bucks County give you and your family members a chance to head outdoors and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area.

In the spring and summertime, you and your family members can enjoy exploring the numerous mountain footpaths, attend live music concerts, or participate in one of many different seasonal events, such as wine tasting and the popular Food Truck Festival.

The Floor Plans

The Enclave at Warrington has seven distinct floor plans to choose from. A design catalog with extensive options coupled with the wealth of included features at The Enclave at Warrington will allow you to design your new home in Bucks County with an exceptional level of comfort, lifestyle and luxury. In addition, every home design can be fully customized to meet the individual needs and lifestyles of you and your family.

The included features of each floor plan come with ample amenities, including stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, a gas fireplace, hardwood floors, and oversized custom trim molding. You can further refine and customize your new home by adding additional rooms and other features above and beyond what’s already available.

The Kennedy

The Kennedy 2-story floor plan comes with four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a 2-car garage. It’s 2,603 square feet in size and offers plenty of living space with an oversized kitchen, breakfast area, a formal dining room, and a spacious vaulted ceiling in the family room.

The Harrison

At a spacious 2,860 square feet, the Harrison floor plan comes with an elegant first-floor owner’s suite. Inside you’ll find a large bathroom with soaking tub, separate shower, private commode, double bowl sinks, and a large walk-in closet.

The Jackson

The Jackson floor plan has 2,936 square feet of opulent first and second-floor living space. This genuinely grand home features a two-story foyer with turned staircase, formal dining and living rooms, spacious family room and stunning master suite. An optional solarium and morning room located outside the kitchen/breakfast area will allow unimpeded views of the nearby forest.

The Madison

The Madison is a 2,793 square foot design that features an inviting two-story foyer and a comfortable family room with a vaulted ceiling. A spacious owner’s suite upstairs is complete with walk-in closets and a luxurious bathroom. Three additional bedrooms and one bathroom will offer abundant living space in your new home in Bucks County for you and your family.

The Jefferson

The Jefferson floor plan has 3,006 square feet of living and entertaining space. The expansive kitchen and breakfast nook open to a two-story family room that features an optional wall of windows that let in plenty of natural light and enable you to take in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding trees and landscape.

 The Roosevelt

This four-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath home comes with 3,391 square feet of living space and gives you and your family the finest amenities and features under one roof. The spacious island kitchen opens up into the two-story family room and the split stairway flows to a view-inspired great room overlook.

The Monroe

At 3,636 square feet, the Monroe is the biggest floor plan available and has multiple customization options to truly make this your dream home. The expansive kitchen features 42-inch cabinets and a walk-in pantry that connects to a large dining room. An airy two-story family room allows for a dramatic wall of windows” and is accented by a secondary staircase.

Come Home to The Enclave!

The Enclave at Warrington is an exclusive community for those who are looking for the utmost in space, convenience and luxury. Each of the homes come with a stunning view of the nearby pristine woodlands and easy access to nearby amenities.

At Hallmark Homes Group, we look forward to helping you build your dream home and welcoming you to the growing Hallmark family of homeowners. Contact us today or stop by our offices to learn more about these amazing new houses in one of the most exclusive communities in the area.

Stay Safe When Moving into Your New Home in Bucks County

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Home Buying Tips, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: July 24, 2020

Moving into a new home is an exciting time for many people. A brand-new neighborhood and endless opportunities await as you turn the key and walk through your front door for the very first time.

However, with all of the commotion during a move, there’s a genuine risk of accidentally injuring yourself or others. We want to share with you a few tips on how you can stay safe while moving. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and start living life to its fullest in your new home.

Create a Game Plan

A move into a new home can be a chaotic experience with people coming and going while carrying heavy boxes and fragile items. Before you start your move, take a few minutes to write down exactly how you plan to move.

Think about both the time spent in preparation and the sequence of events that needs to take place on moving day. For example, consider how much stuff you have and whether it’s worth it to hire a moving company.

If you decide against hiring a mover, take into consideration exactly how you plan on loading the truck. This helps ensure that all of your belongings will fit and saves you spending extra time re-arranging boxes on moving day.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

You’ll want to wear cool, comfortable clothing during your move. Old t-shirts and pants will allow for moving around easily and if they tear or get damaged, it won’t add stress to your day.

Try to avoid loose clothing or wearing shorts. Loose clothing can be hazardous if it gets caught especially while moving large items like furniture, and shorts open up the possibility of bumps and cuts while hustling through the move.

Wearing sensible shoes on moving day is essential. Flip flops and other loose-fitting footwear are open and can encourage a trip or fall while pacing through a long moving day. More important, they don’t offer the support that your body needs when performing physical activities. The soles of your shoes should also have enough grip to avoid accidental slips and falls.

Have the Right Equipment

There are a few tools that can assist in making the move a lot easier. A two or four-wheel furniture dolly enables you to move heavy boxes out of your home and into the new one without straining.

Also, non-stick mats strategically placed throughout high-traffic areas can prevent accidental slips from occurring. Some home goods stores sell furniture pads which allow for overweight boxes and large furniture to be moved with ease. Placed under heavy items, they help you push them forward to their intended destination, preventing you from having to lift them.

Manage Children and Pets

If you’re moving with pets and children, come up with a game plan to keep them safe and out of the way. They can easily get underfoot, which can lead to some serious safety issues. One idea is to have a friend or family member take them for a few hours until the move is complete.

If that’s not an option, you can always dedicate a “safe room” in both your current and new home where both the kids and your four-legged friends can hang out. Some families will have the internet and Wi-Fi turned on a day prior to the move, which will help keep the youngsters occupied and busy.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques

It’s far too easy to injure yourself when moving boxes and other items into your new home. Avoiding injuries from lifting starts with remembering not to overpack boxes and also to never try to lift more than you safely can.

Here are a few proper lifting techniques that you should familiarize yourself with before you start the move:

 

  • Avoid bending over to grab a box and using your back to lift the weight. Instead, squat down and grab the box, then use your leg muscles to return to an upright position.
  • Avoid lifting heavy items above your head level. You could not only pull a muscle but accidentally lose your balance as well.

 

Eat and Stay Hydrated

Moving can be a physically exhausting experience, no matter how fit you are. You’ll expend hundreds or even thousands of calories which will drain your body of the much-needed energy you will need to pace through a rigorous moving day. Healthy snacks, fruits, or granola bars will help provide the energy that your body needs to see the move through to the end.

Be sure to drink lots of water. It keeps you hydrated which prevents you from feeling weak, exhausted, and getting a headache. Try to drink a glass of water every hour or half-hour to keep refreshed.

Know When to Say When

Most moving injuries occur when people are tired and exhausted. If you start to feel too stressed out or are experiencing body pains, it’s a good idea to stop and relax. Listen to your body and know when to slow it down or call it a day.

Many people find that their move takes a lot longer than they originally anticipated. This can be due to over-estimating their physical and mental capabilities. Try to dedicate one room in your home as a rest area.

Know When to Call in the Professionals

Consider hiring professional movers if you have a big move ahead of you. Not only does it take less time, but they have the experience to make it go a lot smoother and safer. They have the right equipment to move fragile items such as big screen TV’s, bulky furniture, and other fragile items while transporting them safely.

In addition to significantly reducing stress on moving day, hiring a moving company is a much safer alternative because the movers are highly trained and will eliminate much of the physical strain for both you, your family members and your friends. They also offer additional services that can reduce stress such as packing, wrapping, and providing storage options.

Work Smarter, Not Harder!

We hope we’ve given you some great tips that will allow you to stay safe when moving into a new home. At Hallmark Homes Group, we’re here to help provide you with the support that you need to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Tips for Selling Your Current Home

Categories: Home Buying Tips, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: July 15, 2020

If you’re looking to buy a new home in Bucks County, getting your current one ready for sale is an essential first step. Deep cleaning, prep work, and staging are just some of the many things that you can do to ensure the best chances of success. Here are a few tips that will help reduce stress and make the overall selling process go a lot smoother.

 

Determine Your “Why?”

Before putting your home on the market, take some time to determine precisely why you want to move. There are many valid reasons why you would need to sell your home:

 

  • You have a growing family and need more space.
  • The kids just moved out, and you’re looking to downsize.
  • Job relocation.
  • You want to build a new dream home.

 

By doing so, it will provide you with the right motivation and enable you to make the best decisions every step of the way.

 

Set a Realistic Timeline

Creating a realistic timeline can help alleviate the stress that’s sometimes associated with selling a house. This allows you to quickly re-adjust if something doesn’t go according to plan — such as the timeframe you think that it might take for someone to make an acceptable offer.

A calendar also helps break up large tasks, such as boxing up each room, down into manageable smaller ones. This will not only enable you to make noticeable progress but also serve as a psychological booster.

 

Know Your Price

Before you list your home on the market, you should determine a monetary amount that you’re willing to accept. By doing so, it might help prevent it from sitting on the market for longer than you’d like.

You can perform a competitive market analysis by visiting real-estate listing websites to see what other nearby houses have sold for in the recent past. A little research will help you make a more informed pricing decision.

Keep in mind that there are many different variables that affect what a buyer is willing to pay, such as market conditions, needed repairs and comparable sales.

 

Prep Your Home

Now comes the most critical step of selling your home: the prep work. The amount of time, effort, and money that you put into it will have a significant impact on how quickly it sells and whether or not you’ll get an acceptable offer. Here are a few ideas to help make the overall process go a lot smoother:

 

Declutter – Cleaning out all of the clutter and de-personalizing your house makes it more presentable. Prospective buyers are then able to imagine what living there would be like as they perform their walkthrough.

Instead of storing your clutter inside the garage or in the basement, consider renting a storage unit. Clean, organized areas help sell a house better than one that’s filled with tons of boxes and other items. Decluttering your home will also give you a head start in cleaning out your home for when it’s time to move.

 

Fresh Paint – If your current paint is old or chipping, it might cause buyers to subconsciously focus on that particular aspect as they tour your house. A fresh coat of a neutral-colored interior paint helps make it more appealing to the largest number of buyers.

A new paint job for the outside will also have an immediate impact and effect upon the curb appeal of your home. It helps set the stage and makes a great first impression when a prospective buyer walks up to your front door.

 

Roof Damage – Your roof is one of the first things that people see when they pull up to your driveway. Warped or missing tiles, mismatched colors, or other signs of visible deterioration detracts from the potential buyer’s first impression of the home.

Pay close attention to your rain gutters as well. If they’re broken or cracked, it might cause prospective home buyers to wonder if there’s any water damage that’s occurred to the roof or foundation of your home.

 

Clean Inside and Outside – Driveways with unsightly oil stains, backyards with overgrown areas, and trash strewn about can all negatively influence a buyer’s perception of your home. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and walk the front, side, and back yards. This will allow you to figure out where you need to start.

When it comes to deep cleaning the interior of your home, focus on the kitchen counters, windowsills, the blades of ceiling fans, and pretty much anywhere dust can collect. Pay special attention to your carpets too, as they not only retain dirt but certain odors from pets or accidental spills.

If you don’t have the time to clean, consider hiring a professional cleaning service. There are many companies out there who specialize in deep cleaning the interior of homes.

 

Staging – One of the most important steps in selling your home is the staging process. This involves arranging your furniture and interior décor to make your house bright, airy, and inviting to prospective buyers.

If staging isn’t quite your thing, you can always hire a professional stager who will bring in temporary furniture and decorations. Their years of interior design experience allows them to stage your home in such a way that it accentuates the positive aspects of it.

 

Putting on the Finishing Touches

Prepping your home for sale is all about creating a great experience that enables the prospective buyer to imagine themselves living there. After you’ve decluttered, cleaned, and staged the house, it’s now time to put on the finishing touches.

Start by opening up the curtains, windows, and shades to let in natural light from the outside. A few strategically placed mirrors will help reflect it throughout the rooms. This will help smaller rooms appear much bigger in size.

The smell of your home is one of the first things that people notice when they walk through the front door. Pop some brownies into the oven an hour before the open house to create a more inviting atmosphere.

If you don’t have the time or requisite baking skills, you can always add a few lightly scented candles. Be careful not to overwhelm people with the heavily perfumed scents, for it might lead the buyer to think that you’re trying to hide something, such as a persistent musty odor.

 

Improve the Chances of Selling Your Home!

We hope that we’ve provided you with some great tips that will allow you to sell your home and help get you ready to move into your new one. From selling to buying, at Hallmark Homes Group, we’re ready to guide you through every step of the process. If you’re ready to start building your dream home, give us a call at (215) 416-0036 to learn more!

5 Parks to Explore in Bucks County

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Things to do in Bucks County | Posted: July 14, 2020

Bucks County, PA, is one of the most scenic places to call home. Within its boundaries are over 70,000 acres of state and local parks that will allow you and your family to head out from your new home in Bucks County and enjoy the open spaces and fresh air.

Hiking trails, crystal-clear lakes, and ample wildlife are just some of the many treasures that await your discovery. We want to share with you our list of the top five best parks in Bucks County to explore.

 

Peace Valley Park

Peace Valley Park encompasses over 1,500 acres and offers multiple recreational opportunities such as children’s playgrounds, hiking trails, and sailboat rentals. It surrounds the 365-acre Lake Galena, which provides visitors with picturesque views, ample wildlife watching opportunities, and several multi-use trails.

The six miles of trails that loop around the lake allow for a quick jog, bike, or relaxing walk. The path itself is flat with no elevation change, and the trees that line the sides of the trail will provide some shade for relief from the warm summer months.

The on-site nature center located at the northeast end of the park offers visitors the chance to learn more about the native plants and wildlife. It’s staffed by park rangers who are more than happy to answer any questions that you might have.

The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works factory is located within park boundaries. This “working history” museum is a National Historic Landmark and takes visitors on a tour of how the tiles and pottery were made in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

 

Nockamixon State Park

At over 5,283 acres, Nockamixon State Park is one of the biggest in the Bucks County park system. It’s centered around beautiful Lake Nockamixon, which is a massive 1,450 acres in size. Four public launching areas allow recreational boaters to take to the water and enjoy the beautiful shoreline scenery.

While recreational water activities are the main focus of the park, Lake Nockamixon offers many other things to do for those who prefer to stay on dry land. Joggers, mountain bikers, and hikers will enjoy the 8 miles of looping trails that meander through a pristine cedar forest. The trails offer a semi-challenging navigation experience over streams, stumps, and switchbacks.

Entrance to the park is free, and once inside, you can take advantage of a wide range of fun and exciting activities such as renting a cabin for an overnight stay, participating in a guided nature walk, or a relaxing pontoon boat tour. There are also some excellent hunting and fishing opportunities.

 

Delaware Canal State Park

The Delaware Canal State Park is both a recreational and historical treasure. Completed in 1832, the sixty-mile-long Delaware Canal helped bring goods and people from the northeastern Pennsylvania area to the cities located on the eastern seaboard.

Today, it is a beautiful state park that meanders along the historic canal. The towpath where horses once worked in unison to pull the coal-laden ships of the 1800s is now used by walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. Adding to the beautiful scenery of the area are eleven beautiful islands that formed naturally out of the silt and sedimentation of the canal.

Visitors to the park can enjoy a wide array of seasonal activities, such as bird watching in the springtime and cross-country skiing in the winter. Fishing opportunities offer anglers the chance to catch striped bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye.

For those looking to gain a deeper understanding of both the natural and man-made history of the area, the State Park offers multiple programs, such as guided walks, evening programs, and hands-on activities.

 

Tyler State Park

Often referred to as an “oasis of nature,” Tyler State Park is a highly scenic area that provides you with multiple ways to enjoy a short afternoon or an entire weekend. Neshaminy creek flows through the entirety of the park and divides it into several different sections.

There are over 25 miles of paved and unpaved trails for you to explore and take in the unspoiled sights, smells, and sounds of nature at its finest. The trails are dog and horse-friendly and will take you on a breathtaking tour of one of the finest gems in the Bucks County park system.

The picnic area is massive and offers ample benches, sitting areas, and playgrounds for the children. Disc and Frisbee golf lovers will enjoy the challenging but fair courses. The bathrooms and other facilities are also clean and very well-maintained.

 

Neshaminy State Park

Situated where Neshaminy Creek joins the Delaware River, Neshaminy State Park offers visitors picturesque views of the Philadelphia skyline along with a wealth of fun and relaxing recreational activities.

While not as geographically big nor ecologically diverse as some of the other parks in the Bucks County park system, Neshaminy does provide visitors with the chance to relax in a scenic outdoor setting. BBQ pits, picnic tables, and a children’s playground make this a perfect park to spend your days.

Joggers, walkers, or runners who are looking for a quick workout can take advantage of the 4 miles of wooded trails that loop around the park. The public swimming pool and the separate children’s spray park offers visitors a chance to cool off from the warm summer heat.

Neshaminy State Park is a great place to spend a few hours in a peaceful outdoor setting without having to drive several hours into the countryside.

 

Custom Homes in Bucks County

One of the most significant advantages of living in Bucks County is the multiple natural and state parks that provide endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation. At Hallmark Homes Group, we build new homes in highly desirable communities that are located just a short drive from many of these parks. If you’d like to learn more about the new home options in Bucks County, give us a call at (215) 416-0036.

How to Choose Where You Want to Live

Categories: Bucks County, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: June 17, 2020

When it comes to buying a new home in Bucks County, researching the area is an important step before making this big lifestyle change. There’s a lot to take into consideration including overall cost of living, job opportunities and education.

Whether you’re moving due to starting a new job here, upsizing for family needs, or just looking for a fresh start, we want to share a few tips with you on how to select an area that will best fit your lifestyle.

 

Affordability

Overall affordability is one of the most important things you should think about when looking to move to a new neighborhood. Moving encompasses a wide range of expenses, such as utilities, consumable goods and other miscellaneous costs that allow you to live life to its fullest.

Taxes are another important consideration. In addition to state income taxes, also look at local income tax and sales tax as well as any exemptions, allowed write-offs, and tax credits that you may be eligible for when relocating to a new area.

 

Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities and the cost of living often go hand in hand. Some areas have higher concentrations of available jobs in certain industries and the rate of pay can also vary from state to state.

Carefully research and compare the job markets in the areas within Bucks County. This will allow you to find the best location within your field and enable you to maintain a good standard of life.

 

Real Estate Market

Your new home is one of the biggest investments that you’ll make. Look at the real estate market of those areas that you’re considering to determine a long-term value estimate. Websites such as Zillow and Trulia can give you a good idea of the history of housing prices in that area and allow you to intelligently gauge the future market.

If the area you’re considering has new housing and ample commercial development, this is a good sign that it’s a growing community. It could mean that the real estate market will continue to remain attractive to homebuyers for many years to come.

 

Safety

Safety should be another top priority when it comes to choosing where you want to live. Start by researching crime statistics in the local town or city you are considering in Bucks County on Google and go through the search results. If you are not satisfied with the information you find, or want to learn more, you can always pick up the phone and contact the police department for clarification. It may be the best source for safety information, especially if you are looking for specifics.

Another way to get an overall feel for the safety of a neighborhood is to visit and take a walk around the block. Pay close attention to your feelings while you’re there. Do you feel safe and secure or are you noticing certain things that cause a little bit of uneasiness?

 

Education System

If you are a parent or plan to have children, finding an ideal school district plays a huge role in the decision of where to move. Searching online to view the quality and reputation of schools is the easiest way to check if your child will receive an exceptional education. Many states will also post test results online which allows you to view how well their overall performance is.

If you or a family member will be attending college locally, look at how geographically close those institutions are to your new home. Is public transportation available, or will you have to drive to get to campus? If your children will be attending an out of state college, how close will you be to the airport?

 

Culture/Lifestyle

Each city has its own unique culture and lifestyle. Find one that best suits your personality and interests. A great way to do so is to check out the local community website or newspaper for information on events and other activities to give yourself an idea of what life is like in the community surrounding your new home.

Look at the nearby recreational activities that you and your family members will enjoy as well. For example, if you love the great outdoors, select an area that is within a reasonable driving distance to parks and hiking destinations. If you’re more into opera and the arts, look for a neighborhood in close proximity to a city with a vibrant downtown nightlife and art scene.

 

Healthcare

Excellent healthcare is essential, no matter where you live. However, if you have a family member who requires frequent healthcare visits, you might want to take a closer look at the available healthcare options in the area.

For example, families with young children who need more frequent checkups, or elderly adults in the household who require specialized care, might consider a new home that is in close proximity to the office or specialty services they visit. This will help cut down on stress and prevent long drives to appointments.

 

City Size

Do you like getting to know your neighbors? The size of the city that you choose can have an impact on your life. Generally speaking, people tend to take the time to get to know their neighbors in smaller sized cities and close-knit towns, whereas living in a large one can sometimes make you feel a bit more anonymous.

The commute time to your job or your kids’ school is another important consideration. Research how long it will take to get to both from your new home by going to Google Maps. This will help to ensure drive times are within your expectations.

 

Food

Do you enjoy eating out and taking your tastebuds on a proverbial tour of the world? If so, choose an area that has ample restaurants that offer a variety of ethnic cuisines.

If you are a gourmet chef and enjoy creating your masterpieces at home, stop in at the closest grocery store to get a feel for the produce and specialty ingredients they stock. For families who prefer fresh, organic foods, check out he area for local Farmers’ Markets and what types of foods they sell.

 

Choosing Your New Home

When it comes to choosing the perfect community for you and your family members, it’s important to learn what the area has to offer such as food options, lifestyle, culture and nearby amenities. This will help you select an area that will have the greatest impact on your quality of your life.

Stop in for a tour of any of Hallmark Homes Groups’ communities and while you’re here, take a drive to discover all of the exciting amenities that surround them.

Tips for Settling into Your New Home

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Home Buying Tips, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: May 27, 2020

Moving into a new home in Bucks County is a fun and exciting time, but figuring out exactly where to begin can sometimes be challenging. As you turn the key and unlock the front door of your new house for the very first time, there are a few things that you may want to take into consideration.

Unpacking the boxes, getting the family situated, and changing your address are just some of the important tasks that lie ahead. We want to share a few tips with you that can help make the move into your new house go as smoothly as possible so that you can focus on starting your new life.

 

1. Change Your Address

Credit cards, bank accounts, and utilities are important areas to make sure you change your address for.

The best place to start is to visit the Post Office website and put in your change of address. This will help ensure that all mail sent to your old address will be automatically forwarded to the new one by the time you arrive. If you can, try to do this before you make the move.

Next, head on over to the DMV website and follow the instructions to change your driver’s license information online.

Finally, make a list of all credit cards, bank accounts, and online shipping websites, such as Amazon. Be sure to check to see if the company will allow you to change your address online—this can save you from having to wait to speak to multiple companies over the phone.

 

2. Keep it Organized

Creating a to-do list of what goes where and which boxes to unpack first can help make life a lot less stressful when moving into your new home. A helpful tip is to organize your list room by room and box by box so you do not get confused.

You can use the list to jot down any notes or ideas that come to mind as you’re unpacking. This will not only help keep you stay organized and on-track, but you’ll also start to feel a sense of accomplishment as the list starts to get smaller.

 

3. Unpack in One Room

The key to a low-stress move is to reduce and minimize clutter as much as possible. You can accomplish this by dedicating a guest room as a temporary unpacking area. Not only will it keep the mess in one location, it will allow you to store things until you’ve decided where they should go.

As the number of boxes in the unpacking room starts to dwindle, you’ll begin to feel like progress is being made. Closing the door once you’re done for the day will help keep the mess out of sight and out of mind.

 

4. Unpack the Most-Used Rooms First

For most people, the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom are the three most-utilized rooms in a house. Unpacking and setting up these areas first will help make it feel more like a home which will allow you to immediately start your regular routine.

The time of day that you arrive at your new residence can also dictate which rooms to unpack first. For example, if you plan on arriving early in the morning, the kitchen and dining room are the best places to start. This will provide you with a place to eat or take a short break.

If you’re arriving in the late afternoon or early evening, placing priority on setting up the bedrooms and bathrooms will allow you to quickly get settled in, relax, and prepare for the long day ahead.

 

5. Pets and Children

Children will often find it challenging to adjust to life after a move. Attending a new school and making new friends can be a stressful time in their lives. You can help alleviate this stress by taking them to the local community center or pool to meet kids their own age.

When it comes to your pets, some will adjust quicker than others. Dogs tend to adapt a bit better than cats when it comes to moving into a new neighborhood because cats tend to not like change.

The best way to help pets transition into their new home is to keep them confined to one room for the first few days. Slowly let them explore the rest of the house as time goes by to allow them to adjust to their new life at their own pace.

 

6. Meet Your New Neighbors

A great way to get some exercise and de-stress from your move is to take a few minutes every day to walk your neighborhood. You’ll get a feel for the overall area and might even meet a few of your neighbors along the way.

A housewarming party is another great way to introduce yourself to everyone on the block. You don’t have to spend a lot of time planning or preparing for the party—your neighbors will understand that you’ve just moved in and won’t expect an elaborate gathering.

 

7. Go at Your Own Pace

Keep in mind that it will take time to get fully settled into your new home. You’re not being timed, so there’s no pressure to get everything done as soon as possible. By moving at your own pace, you’ll have time to make important decisions as you go along without being rushed.

Even after the last box has been unpacked, it might take several weeks to a few months to feel fully moved in. If you have family members who are moving with you, ask them to keep an open line of verbal communication. This will allow them to express any concerns or issues that they might have which will help to reduce their overall stress.

 

Relax and Enjoy Your New Home!

The joy that you’ll feel when you finally settle into your new house is well worth the effort that you’ll put in when moving. This is the beginning of your new life and the above suggestions can significantly help alleviate any challenges that you might face along the way.

Basement Customization Ideas for Your New Home in Bucks County

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Customized homes, DIY Home Projects | Posted: May 13, 2020

The basement of your home can extend beyond a large empty room that’s used to store boxes and paperwork. It’s one of those free-for-all spaces that you can transform in a number of exciting ways to fit your specific needs – a place that you and your entire family can retreat to and enjoy.

When designing the basement level in any of Hallmark Homes Group’s new communities in Bucks County, Hallmark is willing to consider any customization request – so you can let your imagination run wild. A movie theater, play space for the kids, or even a mini pub are just a few ideas that can transform it into an exciting, usable, and enjoyable space reflecting your ultimate lifestyle.

Below are just are a few ideas that can add life to an otherwise dreary space and make designing your new basement a fun and exciting process.

 

The Open Concept Basement

The open concept basement is a popular new trend in home design. Unlike the kitchen, living room, or laundry room, your basement doesn’t have a required purpose. This means you have a blank canvas from the start. Considering how walls are used to separate the various rooms in your home, an open concept basement has a barrier-free environment that can accommodate a number of activities.

You can layout one section as a home gym, add a home movie theater to another corner and dedicate a central gathering area for conversation and relaxation. This concept can integrate a number of activities while allowing friends and family to freely pass from one area to the other.

 

Movie Theater

A home cinema is a popular basement customization because it appeals to a wide range of age groups and interests. It can become a place where family and friends gather to watch the latest movies in stunning high-definition. If you’re into sports, a home cinema can also double as the perfect place for friends and family to gather and cheer on their favorite team.

Best of all, because you’re in the lower level, you don’t have to worry too much about noise levels. You can even customize your ceiling to accommodate the very latest in-home theater projection technology and have all wiring hidden from view.

 

Wine Cellar

Perhaps you have a taste for the finer things in life. A separate room in the lower level of your new residence can be transformed into the perfect place to store your treasured collection of wine. Add custom plumbing and refrigeration features to help ensure the wine stays at the perfect temperature.

A dedicated tasting room with comfortable chairs centered around a wooden table (or empty wine cask) will give you and your friends a place to relax while sipping your favorite vintage. Finishing touches like a wood or gas fireplace, large screen television and authentic stone floors will create the perfect atmosphere for entertaining.

 

Home Gym

With an at-home gym, you won’t have to worry about crowded facilities, wait times to use equipment, dirty machines or other distractions that are sometimes experienced in a public gym. A home gym offers both convenience and privacy that fitness-minded individuals want when they are working out.

In addition to the exercise machines, adding a kitchen, sauna, and shower will provide the ultimate all-in-one workout area. Inspirational sayings written on the walls, full-length mirrors, and an adjustable sound system will help keep you motivated to stay fit and healthy.

Many in-home gyms also have storage cabinets and even a small kitchen and refrigerator for drinks and to make post-workout protein shakes. An air filtration system is also helpful to ventilate potential musty gym smells to the outside environment.

 

Kid’s Playroom

A kid’s room is the perfect way to keep younger family members and their friends entertained at home. Brightly colored walls, ample lighting and shelves to store their favorite games and toys will help transform your basement into a usable, flexible space where younger family members can gather to have fun.

You can get creative with exciting features like a treehouse (without the tree), drawing table, kid-sized furniture, computer stations and more so the kids have an inspiring play space to let their imaginations roam. In rain or cold weather, the lower level provides a dedicated place at home for children to spread out while they wait out bad weather. Best of all, it is a separate space that keeps the messes kids make while they play, hidden from view on the main level.

 

Game Room

Transforming the basement of your new home into a retro arcade or the ultimate gaming area will make a sensational impression on friends and family. With exciting elements like free-standing video game cabinets, pinball machines, a pool table, and ping pong table, a vast basement space can be transformed.

Tables, comfortable seating and snacks are a must to ensure fun and successful events. Add a full-sized bar complete with draft beer taps and your lower level will quickly become a mini-pub and popular hangout for friends and family. Complete the environment with a mini kitchen to serve up piping hot snacks and keep clean-up all on one level.

 

Home Office

If you have the flexibility to work from home, dedicated space in the lower level can assure both the privacy needed for calls and minimal distractions to help your focus. Of course, a desk, computer and chair are basics to start the design, while the rest will depend on your specific area of work.

When planning the size space, keep equipment in mind (printers, monitors, etc.) as well as storage for paperwork and office essentials. Carefully plan wiring and Wi-Fi connections, both of which will be important for uninterrupted work flow. Adding a wall of built-in cabinetry will provide ample storage and can double as a home library for off hours.

 

Family Room

If you have a growing family or regularly entertain lots of guests, you can turn your new basement into a second family room. High definition television, surround sound system, and a large comfortable wrap-around couch will transform the basement into a cozy place to entertain or unwind. A mini kitchen adds a level of convenience and can help prevent accidental spills as people move from the main kitchen down the stairs into the basement. Don’t forget to make sure that the Wi-Fi reception is good for smartphones and computer access.

 

Basement Customization

We hope we’ve provided you with some great design ideas that will help you create the ultimate custom basement in your new home. Hallmark Homes Group welcomes your most imaginative ideas to totally customize your lower level. If you want to take your new basement to the next level, give us a call at (215) 416-0036 and learn how we can help you design and build the home of your dreams!

New Homes in Bucks County Offer Luxury, Location and Lifestyle

Categories: Bucks County, Luxury homes, Mill Ridge, New Communities, New Home Community, New Homes, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: April 30, 2020

If you’re considering moving to a residential property in Chalfont, PA, Hallmark Homes Group is presenting a unique opportunity to move into a community of newly-built luxury homes. This highly-respected regional builder is known for breathtaking, spacious home designs constructed of high quality, energy-efficient materials.

Mill Ridge is a 56-acre community of 12 exclusive home sites arranged for maximum privacy and stunning views of surrounding wooded areas and preserved, natural lands. Buyers can choose from a total of seven modern home designs featuring the luxuries of state-of-the-art amenities. Plus, a number of floor plans are designed for growing families who need plenty of bedrooms, bathrooms and shared living areas.

This flourishing new Bucks County neighborhood offers the tranquility of a relaxed suburban setting that is conveniently located near major centers of commerce and industry. Better yet, nearby are school districts with award-winning facilities for all grade levels and state parks that are perfect for family-friendly outdoor fun.

This community is built along the guidelines of The Hallmark Advantage, which states, “Every home and every community that Hallmark Homes builds is of the highest quality in materials, products, design, construction, and energy-efficiency. Like our reputation for customization, our quality is a hallmark of the Hallmark name. For that reason, we use only the finest materials and finishes from the most trusted manufacturers in the industry.”

 

Move Into Excellence

Hallmark’s properties are known for their classic architectural designs built with eco-friendly expertise. Each of the Mill Ridge homes are Energy Star certified — passing a rigorous set of airtight finishing guidelines — assuring that treated warm air and conditioned cool air stays within the home during the winter and summer months, respectively.

These exquisite homes range from 2,860 to 4,371 square feet, include 2.5 to 4.5 bathrooms and are priced starting in the low $800,000s. The floor plans feature sprawling open concepts, elegant owner’s suites with walk-in closets & spacious, spa-like master bathrooms, multi-car garages, along with a list of unmatched included luxury amenities. Other features can include a two-story foyer, vaulted ceilings, a private study, optional additional bedrooms, a spacious kitchen, large windows that frame the outside scenery and upstairs laundry facilities located amid a series of well-proportioned bedrooms. Other modern features include walk-in pantry, kitchen breakfast bar, tray ceilings, double doors and more!

 

Enjoy a Tranquil Setting

The Mill Ridge neighborhood is an exclusive series of new homes for those who appreciate a serene environment, houses built with the privacy of the residents in mind, and a cohesive arrangement of lots that provide an overall sense of community. Each home sits on ample acreage for the enjoyment of open space while the surrounding wooded areas provide a nature-inspired rural environment uniting the elements in harmony.

The homes are positioned so that, from an inside perspective, residents can enjoy breathtaking vistas of the area’s diverse habitat. The neighborhood is served by a single street that ends in a cul-de-sac which provides a quiet, lightly travelled street with no bothersome daily flow of traffic. Moving into a newly-built property as unique as Mill Ridge also allows you to be one of the first families to live in the neighborhood — providing a rare opportunity to help shape your community’s unique culture.

 

Tailor to Your Tastes

Hallmark also offers a high level of customization in your new home so that the features of your home’s interior reflect your personal preferences while fulfilling your lifestyle needs. You can choose wood ceiling beams to reflect your chosen hue of hardwood flooring. Built-in shelves and nooks for books, family photos, chinaware & keepsakes and non-load-bearing walls between the kitchen can also be added. Your new home is a blank palette ready for your creative ideas.

From adding a media room or wine cellar to moving walls, Hallmark Homes Group will consider any request. Your kitchen can be equipped with your choice of modern, stainless steel appliances while the walls can feature elegant custom light fixtures. Stairway railings and second floor banisters can be topped with custom wood trim of your choosing and you can even opt for motorized chandeliers to easily change bulbs and fit your light setting of choice.

 

Commute with Convenience

These new Bucks County homes at are located near major travel routes for quick commutes to Doylestown, Ft. Washington and Montgomery Township, while Philadelphia is just under an hour away. This community allows for quick access to routes 202, 309, and 611, providing easy travel to regional shopping destinations, business centers, dining districts and healthcare facilities. You can meet all of your buying needs for groceries, clothing and houseware by skipping the big city with easy trips to nearby malls. The area is also abundant with entertainment and recreational options — including golf courses, theatres, children’s entertainment facilities and theme parks.

 

Attain Exceptional Education

This new community of homes is located within the award-winning Central Bucks and Pennridge School Districts — which offer top-tier learning for all grades including elementary, middle school and high school. Residents seeking continuing education can choose from four nearby colleges and universities specializing in a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and credit certificate programs.

 

Make Use of Additional Amenities

Families who love to enjoy the great outdoors can do so in the adequate surrounding of the properties in Mill Ridge. Bucks County is home to two exceptional state parks which offer a wide array of activities.

One of the most popular parks in southeast Pennsylvania, Lake Nockamixon State Park, features over 5,000 acres of smoke-free, kid-friendly space for hiking, fishing, camping, bicycling, horseback riding and disc golf playing, as well an as array of wintertime activities including snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sledding, ice skating and more. Meanwhile, the nearby Peace Valley park offers 1,500 acres surrounding a large lake that is perfect for folks who love hiking, sailing, boating, fishing and more.

Moving into new Hallmark community luxury homes presents a wide array of advantages. Contact us to learn more about this one-of-a-kind residential neighborhood.

 

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