News & Events Blog

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.

 

Spice Up Your Bathroom with These 2020 Trends

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Custom Homes, Home Design Trends, Luxury homes | Posted: April 15, 2020

The modern bathroom is starting to become less of a utilitarian room and more of an area of tranquility and peace. When designing the bathroom for your new home in Bucks County, there are several things you can do that will help transform it into a place where you can relax and unwind.

Dual themes are prominent in the latest design trends for 2020. The first of these creates a sophisticated, elegant look with the striking contrast of black and white. The second takes a different direction, exuding calmness with the usage of natural tones that can be used alone or with accents of bold color.

Here are a few ideas to jump start your creativity for the perfect escape in your new Bucks County home.

 

Black is Back

In the past, shades of grey had taken over as the popular color scheme of bathrooms. However, a new color is taking the lead this year. The color black has been making appearances in many upscale bathrooms throughout the country. For some, it may be easier to incorporate this dramatic color in simple ways, such as black cabinet hardware, faucets, and accent pieces. To take this new trend a bit further, you can add black accent walls, plumbing fixtures, and deep-hued vanities to your newest Bucks County residence.

The use of black can really make your bathroom pop in terms of and contrast and color. For example, by combining white marble or granite vanity countertops with dark wood grain black cabinetry and white accent hardware, you can create an elegant space filled with complimentary light and dark tones.

 

Natural Tones

If your goal is to create a calming space, subtle natural hues will gently take you there. Another popular trend for 2020 is to add shades of color that remind you of the calming effects of air and water. Think back to the last spa you visited and the feeling of “floating on air”. That relaxed feeling is the reason for the growing popularity in natural tones because you can continuously feel that when you enter your new bathroom.

Neutral shades can also serve to accent the existing shades of the features in your new home. Marble and wood tend to blend very well with a wide spectrum of color palettes. If you wish to add a more modern splash that will help ground the overall look, add a few pops of black throughout the area.

 

Brass and Gold

Gold and brass are beginning to become more commonplace in today’s modern bathrooms, serving as a vintage comeback. These metallics are being used in various areas of the bathroom including mirrors, faucets, handles and cabinetry fixtures. Their warm, glowing tones give dimension and richness to the space. Available in a wide variety of finishes such as matte, satin, and spun gold, brass and gold accents add an upscale touch to any style bathroom.

 

Wood Accents

With warmer tones veering their way through, wooden accents are slowly popping up. Many different shades provide a variety of options that can complement both light and dark color palettes. Even if you envision a modern and trendy bathroom, adding wood will create a hint of traditional style to top it off. With the many different avenues you can take, something as simple as a wooden shelving unit can transform your bathroom.

 

Freestanding Vanities

Free-standing vanities are taking center stage in newly designed bathrooms. They visually open up the look of the overall area by extending the line of sight as the flooring continues underneath. They offer the look and feel of standalone furniture but provide the same storage space and plumbing options of a more traditional one.

You can accent this look and feel with eye-catching tile patterns and shapes or add non-standard sized mirrors and backsplashes made out of recycled wood. In place of large-format or subway tiles, patterns such as Moroccan fish scales, diamond, and even arabesque will help create a bold look when paired with a larger sized vanity.

 

Hidden and Compact Storage Spaces

In this form-follows-function design trend, many people are adding compact or hidden storage spaces to the bathroom that will integrate seamlessly into your new residence. Since bathrooms in 2020 are showing to be spaces of tranquility, messy cabinets and clutter can take away from the relaxed feeling. With hidden storage spaces, your bathroom can maintain the feel of a simpler way of life.

Hidden cabinets and vanity under-space storage areas can help present a sense of organization while visually removing the clutter. This serves to create a clean, open, and relaxing atmosphere that beckons you to enter and unwind.

 

A Splash of Color

As trends are now shifting, a sprinkle of color will pair nicely with any bathroom style. The color you would like to see throughout the bathroom should be consistent with the feel you envision for the space. For example, pops of blue and green can create feelings of balance and harmony. If you’re looking to create a more luxurious feel, the color purple can help promote deep contemplation and feelings of spirituality.

Unique ways to incorporate the color include serene landscape paintings on the wall, multi-colored tiled mosaics, plants, and unique wall fixtures.

 

New Bathroom Trends for 2020

2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year for those people looking to include modern design trends while simultaneously creating a luxurious and tranquil refuge for relaxation after a long day.

If you’re in the market for a new home, Hallmark Homes Group provides buyers with the option to completely customize their new home — including the bathrooms. While we include a high level of luxury features already, if you want to take your new bathroom to the next level, we can add those custom choices that will make it truly personal. Give us a call at (215) 416-0036 to learn how we can help you design and build the home of your dreams!

Choose the Right Flooring for Your Lifestyle

Categories: Customized homes, Flooring | Posted: March 30, 2020

Choosing the right kind of flooring is an important design decision that will affect both the look of your new home in Montgomery County as well as your family’s lifestyle.

 

For example, while Berber carpet may look amazing, it can trap dust and other particles which can cause quality of life issues for those who suffer from allergies. Hardwood and natural stone flooring are susceptible to damage that results from high traffic such as pets, children, or large gatherings of people.

 

Here are a few tips to help you determine the type of flooring that may best fit your lifestyle:

 

What’s Your Lifestyle Like?

There are many aspects of your home and personal life that may dictate the best type of flooring to consider: The first step in choosing the right kind of flooring for your new home in Montgomery County is to look at your lifestyle.

 

Any kind of carpet can also cause potential problems because of occasional animal accidents. If carpet is a must, be sure to choose a brand that contains odor-reducing enzymes that will help reduce offensive smells. 

 

Children

If you have toddlers in your family, a soft padded carpet is much better than a hard floor surface from a safety perspective. However, in areas where young children are more likely to make a mess, ceramic tile or other resilient material offers an easy way to clean up without causing permanent damage. 

 

Teenagers who play sports can track mud and dirt from one end of the home to the other. If your new home in Montgomery County is equipped with a mudroom or other designated entry area, tile or a durable vinyl plank material can not only withstand years of abuse but will also clean up very quickly.

 

Allergy Sufferers

If you or a loved one suffers from allergies, vinyl, laminate, and hardwood products are an ideal choice to help reduce symptoms. Carpet can attract and retain dust, mold, dirt, and tree pollen. While regular vacuuming can help, it usually only gets a portion of the allergens that become trapped in the carpet fibers.

 

Cats, Dogs, and Other Pets

While we love our furry family members, they can cause permanent damage to certain types of flooring, such as hardwood and expensive carpets. Dirt, mud, and sharp claws can quickly scratch the highly polished wooden, laminate, or cork floor surfaces.

 

The best type of flooring for a household with pets is one that has a very resilient surface, such as laminates or types of vinyl that have scratch-resistant layers that can stand up to heavy traffic and wear and tear. Ceramic tile is another excellent choice as it is durable and can be easily wet mopped.

 

Entertaining Guests 

If you have an active social life and like to entertain guests regularly, hard surface floors are an ideal solution. While natural stone, hardwood flooring, and luxurious carpets may look nice, these types of materials tend to wear and stain easily. In some cases, you may need to replace the entire flooring to fix the damage.

 

Ceramic tile offers the best of both worlds in terms of form and functionality for your new home in Montgomery County. It comes in a wide variety of textures, colors, shades, and patterns that provide a superbly elegant look and feel. Best of all, they’re durable enough to stand up to years of heavy traffic and can easily be cleaned with a wet mop.

 

Older and Disabled Adults

Soft carpet is an ideal choice for homes with senior citizens or disabled adults. Polished hardwood floors and ceramic tiles have a slippery surface and can easily cause someone to slip and fall. 

 

Low-pile carpeting will allow for walkers and wheelchairs to move about freely without getting snagged or causing damage. It also provides a soft surface that offers cushioning if someone were to fall.

 

What’s Your Style?

Once you’ve determined the best kind of flooring for your new home, it’s now time to think about the style. In addition to your favorite patterns and colors, choose textures that match your personal tastes. Polished marble floors, rich hardwood grains, and luxuriously thick carpets will serve to complement both your accessories and furniture. 

 

Consider the future as well. While shag carpet was the go-to flooring choice of the 1960s and 70s, it quickly faded out of style in the 80s. While you can easily replace furniture and décor, changing out your flooring is a major project. If you don’t plan on replacing your flooring anytime soon, opt for a style that offers a timeless look and feel. 

 

Types of Flooring Materials

There are many different types of flooring materials that will complement your particular lifestyle for your new home in Montgomery County:

 

Carpet – Carpet is the default choice for many homeowners. It offers a soft surface that provides an extra layer of security for babies, older adults, and the physically disadvantaged. Some carpet brands also come with stain and odor resistant properties. 

 

Wood and Hardwood – Wood floors not only provide a classic look and feel, they also work very well for those who suffer from allergies. If damage or scratches occur, they can be sanded out to look new again.

 

Tile – Tile is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas that are prone to spills and dirt. Some tiles, such as ceramic and porcelain, are stain and scratch-resistant and work well in households with children or pets.

 

Vinyl – Vinyl flooring comes in many different styles, colors, and patterns. Luxury vinyl technology has advanced to the point where it can mimic the exact look of more expensive options such as hardwood or stone.

 

The Right Flooring for Your New Home

The lifestyle that you live will have a significant impact on the type of flooring that you select. Contact us today to discuss the many flooring options available for your new home. If you’re looking for a move-in ready home or you would like to completely customize your own, give us a call at (215) 416-0036. At Hallmark Homes Group, we work with our clients on an individual basis to help them design and create the perfect custom home.

Highfield Estates Community in Chalfont is SOLD OUT

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Highfield Estates | Posted: March 17, 2020

Hallmark Homes Group is pleased to announce that the distinguished community of Highfield Estates in Chalfont is now sold out!

Although homes in Highfield Estates are no longer available, Hallmark Homes offers prospective homebuyers the opportunity to be a part of one of our other estate home communities in great locations across Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

 

A Glance at Highfield Estates

Located in the 400-year old township of Hilltown, each of the 13 new homes in Chalfont, Bucks County sit on a spectacular 3+ acre lots. Starting in the low $600s, these luxury residential estates feature 11 different styles of our most popular floor plans.

Nestled in a tree-lined picturesque setting in Chalfont, these magnificently appointed luxury homes range in square footage from 2,860 to 4,618 sq-feet. They offer four to five bedrooms with up to 4.5 baths and an opulent master bedroom complete with a luxury master bath.

The two-story foyer provides residents and guests alike with an elegant entrance into the home that opens up to a spacious 9-foot ceiling. Custom wide-plank engineered flooring throughout the first floor accentuates the airy 2-story family room featuring a dramatic wall of windows and a gas fireplace.

The gourmet kitchen and sunroom areas offer ample natural sunlight, which provides a welcoming atmosphere for friends and family to gather together. 42-inch custom maple cabinets, granite countertops, and quality stainless steel appliances help ensure that every meal is a home-cooked one.

 

A Florishing Local Community

Cultural activities, local wineries, and ample nearby shopping opportunities make Highfield Estates the ideal place to reside in a new home in Chalfont, Bucks County. The historic and distinguished township of Hilltown is just minutes away from settings of natural beauty at Peace Valley Park and Lake Galena.

Highfield Estates is conveniently located in the award-winning Penn Ridge School District. In addition, the local area was rated a 92 out of 100 in the Crime Index—which makes it 92% safer than all other U.S. cities. Travel to work or out of town is made easy with close proximity to Routes 313, 202,152, 309, I-46, SEPTA rail lines, and the PA Turnpike.

 

Your Dream Home Awaits

With the ‘SOLD OUT’ sign now on our popular Highfield Estates neighborhood, how can we help you create and build the home of your dreams? Visit our website to view our latest communities in great locations in Bucks County. Keep in mind that that there are quick delivery homes available, plus, we provide our buyers with the ability to completely customize their new homes to suit their individual tastes.

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