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Blog Category - Bucks County

Why Some of the Best New Homes in Bucks County, PA are at Mill Ridge

Categories: Bucks County, Bucks County Homes, Luxury homes, Mill Ridge, New Communities, New Home Community, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: July 12, 2021

If you are shopping for homes in the semi-rural region north of Philadelphia, consider the many advantages of the Mill Ridge community. The neighborhood is being sustainably built by Hallmark Homes Group along a tree-lined street which ends in a quiet cul-de-sac. The large plots of land provide ample room for growing families, plenty of privacy as well as the enhanced safety of being located on a non-thoroughfare street. The large homesites are spread across 56 acres of hillsides and fields — presenting comfortable living in a relaxed setting. Residents benefit from living near restaurants, shopping centers, public transit stations and important business centers. 

The Location is Close to Everything

Bucks County is home to many attractions and amenities. Residents of Mill Ridge can gain quick access to all through a well-connected network of major travel routes. Downtown Philadelphia can be reached in a mere 45 minutes while New York City is just an hour and-a-half away. Meanwhile, important cities in the region such as Harrisburg, Trenton, Allentown and Atlantic City are all relatively close as well — within a couple of hours. The area is perfect for executives and business professionals who want to be near essential centers for business and commerce.  

You Won’t Have to go Far to Find Something to Do

Award-winning and world-renowned educational institutions are also abundant in this region. Young people and adults alike can benefit from a wide variety of schools designed for specific areas of learning. These include hundreds of private primary education facilities as well as dozens of universities including several branches of Penn State. 

The area is also abundant with art galleries and museums offering in-depth experiences of important cultural topics. These include the James A Michener Art Museum, The Bucks County Children’s Museum, the County Theater in Doylestown, the Davis Library of the American Revolution, Fonthill Castle and the Mercer Museum. Residents of Mill Ridge can quickly reach financial institutions, libraries and other centers of business in minutes. In addition, the area offers a variety of historic bed and breakfasts for quaint weekend getaways. 

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy numerous parks and wildlife preserves including the Peace Valley Nature Center for nature hikes and Nockamixon State Park for fishing, sightseeing and water sports. Meanwhile, camping adventures along the Delaware River and alpine sports during the winter months are just 90 minutes away at the Poconos.

You Will Find an Extraordinary Selection of Home Designs

Some of the most gorgeous new homes in Bucks County are being built at Mill Ridge. The neighborhood already boasts some of Hallmark’s finest building achievements including the Roosevelt and Jefferson models as well as the Greenbrier and Monroe. Buyers of the remaining available lots can choose from many of the company’s innovative designs including the previously mentioned two as well as the Harrison.

The Greenbrier

This design welcomes residents with a two-story foyer which leads to four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a spacious living area and large chef-friendly kitchen. Amenities include luxury master’s suite, walk-in closets, private study, first floor laundry and much more. 

The Monroe

An achievement of elegant living, this design offers 3,742 square feet of family-friendly perfection including four bedrooms, a two-car garage and Jack-and-Jill bathrooms for children and guests. The two story family room with a dramatic “wall of windows” is perfect for entertaining with an adjacent guest suite as well as two separate staircases for directing household traffic.

The Harrison

This floor plan lays out 2,860 square feet of spacious living across two floors which includes a two-story foyer, a vaulted great room and private study. The design caters to owners who enjoy luxury, as the first floor master’s suite includes amenities such as soaking tub, double bowl sinks, separate shower, private commode and large walk-in closet.  

Rural living north of Philadelphia offers the best in luxury homes, modern amenities and family-friendly surroundings. Contact us to learn more about gorgeous homes built on breathtaking plots of land.  

Top Four Reasons to Move to Bucks County, PA

Categories: Bucks County, Home Buying Tips, New Homes in Bucks County, Things to do in Bucks County | Posted: May 7, 2021

If you are thinking of relocating to southeastern Pennsylvania, consider the many advantages of living in the suburbs north of Philadelphia in beautiful Bucks County!

This semi-rural region offers a variety of benefits and advantages for busy families and working professionals. The area is ideal for folks who want to be near the city for business but prefer to live far enough away to experience the outdoors. Residents can explore the many historical and cultural attractions while enjoying plenty of modern amenities such as dining, shopping and entertainment.

Commute to Philadelphia With Ease

Growing neighborhoods in this area are being built by renowned companies such as Hallmark Homes Group and are becoming some of the best places to live in Bucks County, PA. These emerging communities are located near major travel routes, so residents of new homes in Bucks County can easily commute to Philadelphia — which is only a hop, skip and a jump away.

Not only will your commute be a breeze, but you will be so close to so much else! The Delaware River and other surrounding areas offer excellent fishing, kayaking and other water related fun. You will never be far from the Poconos if you want to hit the slopes. And, let’s not forget, you won’t be too far from the exquisite beauty of the New Jersey Shore.

There is a lot of Great Things to do in Bucks County PA

Many of the Hallmark neighborhoods are being built near open space areas which are specifically designed for the enjoyment of residents. Folks who cherish their daily stroll through nature may find this one of the best reasons to move to Bucks County, PA. The Peace Valley Nature Center offers birdwatching, springtime flower blooms and observation of wildlife habitats. Meanwhile, dozens of hiking trails and picnicking areas are available at Nockamixon State Park, throughout the Bucks County Parks and Recreation Department and many other local destinations.

Discover Bucks County Destinations,  Yesterday and Today

This part of Pennsylvania is rich with historical and cultural attractions. People with an interest in the heritage of the region can travel back in time by visiting places such as the Davis Library of the American Revolution, the Mercer Museum, Fonthill Castle and many more. Meanwhile the Michener Museum celebrates a world-class collection of paintings, sculptures and photography and right outside Bucks County in neighboring Montgomery County, the Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum tells the story of winged flight from inception to modern times.

Enjoy World Class Entertainment & Dining Right in Your Backyard

Although the region features plenty of room to roam and breathe, every modern amenity is within a few minutes of each Hallmark community. Residents can enjoy world class entertainment such as events at the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra and the Bristol Riverside Theater. A variety of dining destinations present diverse cuisine including Chinese, Italian, American, Seafood and Japanese and a large collection of local microbreweries offer the local take on a time-tested endeavor. Plus, shopaholics will love the wide array of shopping centers, factory outlets and quaint boutiques along small town main streets.

Moving is an exciting time when families can enjoy the many benefits of an ideal neighborhood. Contact us to learn more about new homes in an area of Pennsylvania that truly has it all.

Simple Ways to Care for Your Hardwood Floors

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

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

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

Caring for Your Floors Starts Outside The Home

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

Try to Reduce Your Floors Exposure to Elements

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

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

Stick to a Cleaning Routine Specifically for Your Floors

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

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

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

New Home Designs in Bucks County are Perfect for Modern Families

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

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

The Monroe Home Design

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

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

The Greenbrier Home Design

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

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

The Harrison Home Design

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

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

Choosing the Best Layout for Your Family

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

Assign Your Bedrooms

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

Plan Your Bathrooms

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

Look Forward to Open Areas

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

Think About Upgrades

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

1. See the Big Picture

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

2. Clarify the Features

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

3. Question Quality

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

4. Understand Scheduling

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

5. Add it All Up

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

6. Know Your Builder

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

7. Fine Tune the Finish

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

8. Walk Through and Approve

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

 

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

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

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

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

Get into Character

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

Go North for the Winter

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

Light Up the Night

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

Have a Historic Celebration

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

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

Enjoy a Cozy Stay

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

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

Wander through Wonderland

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

Stroll through the Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask About Options

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

Make It Yours

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

Accommodate Your Family

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

Build a Custom Home Office

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

Have Some Fun

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

Clarify Standard Features Vs. Upgrades   

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

Find Out What’s Included

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

Have a Close Look at Quality 

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

Take it All In

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take it All In

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

Fun for Kids

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

Experience the Finest

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

Discover Regional Treasures

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

Adventures for Adults

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

Learn with the Best

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

Get There Fast

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

New York City – One hour and 30 minutes

Downtown Philadelphia – 45 minutes

Harrisburg – Two hours

Princeton – 30 minutes

Atlantic City – Two hours

Poconos – One hour and 30 minutes

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

Trek Across Treasured Bridges

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

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

 

Eight Tips on Getting a Mortgage for Your New Home

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

If you are shopping for new homes in Bucks County, consider working with professionals who understand every step of the buying process. Hallmark Homes Group is one such company– offering helpful guidance for buyers who are interested in purchasing a new residential property.

Embarking on ownership is an exciting time for a homebuyer, and knowing how mortgages work can help you progress with a clear picture of the steps required, the financial factors involved and exactly where to begin. Securing a home loan in a step-by-step manner is a great way to experience a process that requires preparation, planning and a bit of negotiation.

Know What ‘Mortgage’ Means

Mortgages are loans used to buy real estate. The terms of these loans typically state that the physical property (the house and the land it is built on) will function as collateral. In other words, a financial institution loans out money for buying a home, under the condition that they (the bank) may assume ownership of the house if the borrower defaults on the loan. The bank’s reason for lending (incentive) is to earn money (interest) as the borrower pays back the loan over an extended period of time.

Start Early

Create a schedule based on when you want to buy and when you will be prepared to move into a house. The ideal span of time to begin the mortgage process is two or three months. The timeline may fluctuate depending on your mortgage company, so be sure to check with your builder, real estate professional or mortgage company.

This is the planning stage where important details will need to be addressed such as evaluating your finances, finding the right lender, securing a mortgage and locating the right property. The details may take you time to gather and your mortgage company to process, so ample time is key to ensuring your mortgage is ready for settlement on your new home.

Tighten up your Credit

A good credit score is essential to qualifying for a loan. The higher your credit score, the larger the loan a lender is likely to grant you and the better the rates. A smart approach to home buying is to check your credit report for any errors and make sure it is as clean as possible before you apply for a mortgage. Aiming for a credit score of 760 or greater is ideal, with the highest possible being 850.

Prequalify Before Your Shop

It is important to know how much a lending company will be willing to give you before you search for a home and especially before your sign an agreement to build your home. You have the option to get prequalified by your lender. This is an assessment based on more basic information than the mortgage approval. Although not guaranteed, it can give you a guideline for the amount you can qualify for. Once you know have an idea of the amount, you can then shop for a new home in Bucks County that matches your budget.

Work with A Reputable Lender

Mortgage companies and banks are two types of lending companies that you may be familiar with. Talking to a few institutions can give you a sense of the right fit for your specific situation. Another resource may be your builder who can refer you to a financial institution with a good reputation.

Understand Interest Rates

As a borrower, your mortgage payments will be affected by the interest rate you are able to “lock in.” This rate is set by economic trends and can vary from one year to the next. The interest rate affixed to your mortgage is determined, in part, by your credit score — lower interest rates are awarded to those with higher credit ratings.

Also, the size of the down payment you are able to make affects your interest rate. For example, a down payment of 20% or more can typically make you exempt from having to pay private mortgage insurance while giving you access to the lower current interest rates.

Choose Your Mortgage Type

There are two major types of conventional mortgages. A fixed rate mortgage (FRM) has an interest rate that stays the same throughout the duration of the loan. While this offers stability in the form of payments that are always predictable, it also means you would have to refinance your mortgage in order to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Meanwhile, an adjusted rate mortgage (ARM) begins with lower interest rates over the first few years, which can then increase or decrease depending on real estate trends. This type of mortgage can work to your benefit — as you can take advantage of lower interest rates without having to refinance your mortgage. Yet, your loan payment can also be affected in the opposite way by rising interest rates.

Your mortgage type can also be based on the dollar amount of the loan. Large loans are typically arranged in 30-year loan agreements, while smaller amounts can be arranged over 15-year terms. Either way, the shorter the duration of the loan, the larger your monthly payments are and vice versa.

Prepare for Other Costs

The mortgage process involves charges known as closing costs. These should be planned for along with other important factors such as property taxes, homeowner insurance, utilities (electricity, gas, water, cable, internet, etc.) and homeowner’s association dues (depending on your neighborhood). Accounting for the comprehensive array of expenditures can help you close on the property smoothly and start enjoying your new home. Mortgage professionals provide a valuable service which includes financial, legal and clerical expertise to help you keep track while you navigate the process.

Consider Going with Escrow

Your lender may offer the option to open an escrow account, which manages the recurring costs of homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. These expenses are added to your monthly mortgage payment and the funds are held interest free. This measure assures the lender that the comprehensive expenses associated with your mortgage payments are made regularly, while saving you the extra step of making the payments yourself.

Once you understand the basics of mortgages and interest rates, you can look forward to moving into the house of your dreams. Contact us to learn more about how we will work with you every step of the way.

 

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.

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