Kettler Forlines Homes Blog

Escape to Poolesville, MD: Larger lots and better living

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, News, poolesville | Posted: July 8, 2020 | Comments Off on Escape to Poolesville, MD: Larger lots and better living

Kettler Forlines Homes Brightwell Crossing large lotsThe COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. It’s always changing the way we WANT to live! When stay-at-home orders were issued, were you living in a space without a yard? The feeling of confinement was very real and has driven people to move away from the close quarters of urban life. They’re now heading toward the more desirable suburbs. We’re seeing this trend as city-dwellers escape to Poolesville, MD, where we can give them larger lots and better living!

Kettler Forlines Homes designed our Poolesville community, The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, with large lots—long before the current trend toward big yards. Our homes are situated on lots of a half-acre and more. You get an average of 27,000 square feet to accommodate your new home. 

Bear in mind, even in the suburbs, you’re not guaranteed a home with open spaces. There’s another Montgomery County neighborhood  of new homes where, for about the same price as our homes, you only acquire a homesite of about 6,000 square feet. Depending on the size of the home you build—and this community calls itself “luxury”—you would have very little room separating you from your neighbors. What’s the point of leaving the city when you still don’t have “breathing room”? Of course, it would make it easy to borrow something from your neighbor. You can just reach out your window and pass things back and forth across the narrow pass that’s equivalent to the minimum social distance.

Where is the luxury in this?

At The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, we’ve created a neighborhood with winding roads that add more interest than an uninspired grid of interconnecting streets. You’ll see the difference in the scenic beauty of tree-lined spaces, particularly in yards that back up to the protected conservation area. You can choose from the many walk-out lots to a spacious backyard, perfect for entertaining or just escaping outdoors to enjoy some private space with fresh air!

If you’re looking for cul-de-sac lots and the safety they offer, you’ll find them at The Reserve 

at Brightwell Crossing, also with the spacious yard.

Our homes at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing are designed with your large yard in mind. The large windows provide excellent views of your outdoor living space. You’ll also benefit from the ample natural light that streams through these “eyes to the outside”. Add a deck, porch, or patio to enjoy your beautiful yard. Then reap the distinct rewards of a home that is both ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPLUS certified. Your home will be an average of 50% MORE energy efficient than typical homes being built today, and a whopping 75% more energy efficient than used homes! The Indoor airPLUS certification improves the indoor air quality, protecting you and your family from so many harmful pollutants.

At Kettler Forlines Homes, when we say “luxury”, we mean it.

Whether you’re leaving the city or simply in search of the right place to come home to, steer your future toward Poolesville, MD. Make plans to visit The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, situated in Poolesville’s exceptional school district! And let’s see how we can give you the life—and home—you’ve been dreaming about.

 

Build your dream home on your lot: What you should know

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, Build On Your Lot, News | Posted: July 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Build your dream home on your lot: What you should know

Kettler Forlines Homes build on your lot

You probably have been thinking about your next home for a while. Recent experiences have taught you even more about what’s important for your family and your home. Do you have a location and design in mind for your new and improved life? Kettler Forlines Homes welcomes the chance to build your dream home on your lot. We thought we’d share some of the frequently asked questions to give you some thoughts on what you should know before you start.

Do I need to purchase the land myself or do you help with that?

We can assist you with searching for available land. When you find the land you want, Kettler Forlines Homes can help you obtain the financing. We recommend that, if you haven’t yet purchased the land, you let us take a look first. We provide a free site consultation to determine any potential obstacles—from permitting to siting the home you’re envisioning—to developing this land. We’ll walk the property and give you a rundown of its potential.

What financing do I need to obtain?

You will need to work with a lender to get a construction-to-permanent loan, also known as a single-close loan. Unlike an ordinary construction loan, this program doesn’t require two separate closings (one for construction, the other for the mortgage). Instead, it converts from a construction loan to a mortgage when your home is completed. Kettler Forlines Homes can connect you with a preferred lender who is experienced with these types of loans, which ensures that the process moves along smoothly.

Should I find my own plans or do you provide them?

We offer an array of over 15 home designs and more than 100 elevations, ranging from 2,493 to more than 7,500 square feet. Our floor plans are very flexible, so we can accommodate many of the specific features you’re hoping for, including an extra suite, a kitchen with an oversized walk-in pantry and a home office (or two) where you can enjoy the privacy you need. The benefit of choosing a Kettler Forlines Homes home design is that each one is tried and true. There’s no guesswork. Mistakes on plans do happen and when it does, you’re responsible for the cost to fix those errors when you provide the plans. In addition, by choosing one of our beautiful floor plans, you pay no extra fee for an architect.

I have chosen the land and the floor plan. Now what?

We’re going to do a close analysis of the property to determine site development costs. We’ll be looking at the slope, steepness, tree removal, and any areas that might need additional excavation, like large boulders. Then, we provide you with a schedule of development costs and permit fees that will be required. We want everything to be spelled out in advance so you’re fully informed on the costs moving forward.

You’ll then proceed with loan approval and provide a deposit on the construction of your new home. We’ll get to work on obtaining the necessary permits. Kettler Forlines Homes handles all the paperwork at no charge. You’ll pay the permit fees directly to the county in which you’re building your home.

How long will it take to build my home?

From the start of construction to completion, estimate six to eight months. Weather can impact the process, but our experience will help to keep your new home on schedule as much as possible.

How far away will you build?

When we say we go the extra mile for our customers, we don’t just mean the extent of our personal service. We have built in northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and both Jefferson and Berkeley County in West Virginia.

Need more answers? Reach out to us for details or to schedule an appointment to dig into how we can build your home on the lot of your choice! Also be sure to check out The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, our community of new homes for sale in Poolesville, MD. 

 

Your new home—A masterpiece that starts with design selections

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 17, 2020 | Comments Off on Your new home—A masterpiece that starts with design selections

Kettler Forlines Homes customizing design selectionsYou’re daydreaming about your new home. One room at a time, you’re picturing details, like the color on the walls, the kitchen countertops, the light fixture in the foyer, and the tile backsplash and surrounds. Every little detail contributes to the look, like a brush stroke on a canvas. In your new home, you are creating a masterpiece that starts with design selections. At Kettler Forlines Homes, we don’t just limit your choices to a few, but present you with a variety that inspires your creativity!

Setting a higher standard

Once you’ve chosen your floor plan, we start talking about the changes to reflect the way you want to live in your home. There should be no compromises! We start with a lengthy list of standard features that set us apart from (some might say “above”) other builders. 

Our new homes in the Poolesville, MD, area include features that we believe every homeowner should expect, such as:

  • 9-foot ceilings on all levels, not just first floor
  • Gas fireplace with granite surround and choice of mantel styles
  • ¾”-thick tongue-and-groove, wide plank, oak hardwood flooring throughout the first floor
  • 2-piece custom crown molding in the living room, dining room, foyer, and upper hall
  • 6-panel interior doors with satin nickel lever handles
  • Quartz countertops in kitchen, master bath, and all full baths
  • Stainless steel appliances with updated, double built-in ovens, chimney hood, microwave, and gas cooktop 
  • Huge center island in the kitchen, great for entertaining
  • Dovetailed, wood kitchen cabinetry with roll-out shelves and cushion-close drawers
  • Maple wall cabinets and folding station in the second-floor laundry center
  • Painted, solid wood shelving and rods in all closets 
  • Video doorbell camera, keyed front door look, garage door openers, and thermostats—all Wi-Fi-enabled
  • Full ceramic baths

These standards keep going. Our homes are ENERGY STAR- and Indoor airPLUS-certified for energy efficiency and indoor air quality. See our full list of luxury features here.

Curb appeal

The first impression of your new home starts with the view from the outside. Kettler Forlines Homes has 100 custom elevations with different combinations to personalize your home’s exterior: brick, stone (either or both), accent shingles, roof color, trim, door style, and colors. Add a front porch and even wrap it around. 

Fancy footwork

Flooring is another detail that can totally change the look of a room or area. We include wide plank, solid, ¾-inch T/G oak hardwood on the complete first floor. Also included is a standard hardwood staircase to the second floor.

If you want something other than oak, take your pick of a variety of styles in maple and birch. 

Our bathrooms are finished with ceramic tile on the floors as well as the shower and tub surrounds.

A flair for kitchen style

Whether your idea of the ideal kitchen is rustic farmhouse or sleek contemporary—or something in between—you can craft your style from our design choices. All of our kitchens have been designed by a certified kitchen designer. In our design center, you’ll select your cabinets, countertops, flooring, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and even cabinet hardware. It’s exciting when you see all the details coming together and can envision your new kitchen.

Our homebuyers love having the choice of granite and quartz for countertops. Each one offers natural beauty and durability. Add in the wide variety of colors we make available and you truly customize the looks of your kitchen and full baths.

The Gourmet Appliance Package is another high-quality standard feature. We include a 25-cubic-foot French door refrigerator-freezer, self-cleaning double oven, 5-burner gas cooktop, integrated dishwasher, microwave oven, and chimney hood (vented to the outside)—all in stainless steel. You can also customize with many other choices, including a smart double oven, black stainless finish, and Viking appliances. 

Are you fired up yet?

If you need more things to think about for your new home, how about the fireplace? We include a gas fireplace in the family room, and you can customize the granite surround, mantel, or even add a full stone face.

Kettler Forlines Homes customizing design selections

Let us inspire you.

We believe one of the most important things that we, as a local homebuilder, can offer is a choice. Every step of the way, you have opportunities to select details, large and small, that contribute to your masterpiece home. 

We invite you to come see The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, our distinctive community in Poolesville, MD, where there’s still an opportunity to build your new home. If you have another location in mind, let’s talk about building on your lot. The Kettler family has been serving the people of this region for over a century. We’d love to help you make your dream home a reality! Contact us to get started.

 

Structured wiring makes our Smart Homes ready for your technology

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, News, Smart Home | Posted: June 10, 2020 | Comments Off on Structured wiring makes our Smart Homes ready for your technology

Kettler Forlines Brightwell Crossing structured wiringWho wants to deal with getting your technology up and running in a new home? What do you need and where? Between your smart devices, streaming videos and TV, high-speed internet, and multiple users under one roof, getting the connections straight can be a bigger chore than unpacking! So, Kettler Forlines Homes decided to make it easy. Our Structured Wiring Package makes our Smart Homes ready for your technology.

With Kettler Forlines Homes’ Structured Wiring Package, you’ll meet with our New Home Technology Specialist in advance. Together, you’ll map out your wiring, room by room, determining where you need connections for easy accessibility. 

Before you move in, this technician wires your entire home and places the outlets needed for your various types of plugs—cable television, home automation, computers, Internet, phone lines, audio/video systems, home security, and satellite feeds. The wires are in place and you just need your cable or Internet provider to connect your service to the box that’s already in your home.

Hard wiring makes it easy

With structured wiring, data networking, voice, audio, and video cables are wired into the walls throughout your home from a central panel in your basement. Structured wiring delivers the ease of simply plugging into a wall outlet. Hard-wiring your home this way delivers a reliable, fast connection, everywhere in your home.

This approach doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi but connects all cables to a structured wiring panel. The router uses less bandwidth, so it performs to its potential, far beyond what you receive with the Wi-Fi approach.

  • No more losing connections or waiting for buffering—perfect for streaming and video games, which devour bandwidth.
  • Seamless video conferencing supports a more professional meeting
  • Enjoy faster data speed, so multiple users and devices don’t slow you down.
  • Easily add new technology. Just plug it into the wall outlet!

Kettler Forlines Homes’ Structured Wiring Package accommodates all the smart, mobile, computing, streaming, and gaming devices and systems in your home. If you have a home office—or plan to—this technology is essential. We can add multiple ports in your office, to ensure all of your technology is accounted for. We can even add wireless access points on the upper floors of your home for an even stronger signal. Structured wiring complements Wi-Fi. 

Think about all the technology you’ll be relying on in your new home: computers and mobile devices, streaming media devices, gaming systems, smart TVs and speakers, and smart thermostats, lighting, and appliances. Do you want to try to figure it all out after you’ve moved in? With Kettler Forlines Homes, it’s all built in.

Ready to live smarter?

Start by looking at our new homes for sale in Poolesville, MD, at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing. Or talk to us about building your dream home on your lot. For more than 100 years and spanning three generations, the Kettler name has stood for quality, reliability, and integrity. As a local homebuilder, we’re at home here in Montgomery County. Let’s build your future here together.

Multigenerational homes: The empty nest, re-feathered

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, Build On Your Lot, News, Tips | Posted: June 4, 2020 | Comments Off on Multigenerational homes: The empty nest, re-feathered

Kettler Forlines Homes multi-gin homesFor the past 20 years or so, we’ve been seeing a growing trend in homebuying. More people are living in homes with two or more generations of adults. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of multigenerational households rose almost 51%, representing about 20% of all households. Whether grandparents are moving in or grown kids are moving back—or both!— multigenerational homes present a new look for the American lifestyle, like the empty nest, refeathered!

Aging in (a happier) place

Baby Boomers might remember an advertising campaign for the now-defunct Oldsmobile. Back in the late 1980s, when automobile manufacturers were trying to capture the Boomer buyer, this campaign aimed to excite them with “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” The idea was to differentiate a brand that was associated with older buyers to attract the massive population of Boomers.

And it worked.

Today, the same Boomers are continuing to shop and live differently than their parents did. Now that a majority have reached retirement years, they’re looking at experiencing the 55+ years as active adults. No retirement homes for this generation (born between 1946 and 1964, and currently numbering about 71.6 million Americans). They’ve worked hard and are ready to reap the rewards. Their parents might have chosen a quiet life of leisure that included down-sizing their home, possibly moving to assisted living, but Baby Boomers are out for fun with their freedom. They’re not slowing down, but shifting gears.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic, however, presented some harsh realities. The coronavirus posed the greatest threat to people aged 65 and older. The number of COVID-19 cases is frighteningly high in these types of elderly living situations. Some of these aging Americans chose assisted living to give them a comfortable place to live and the convenience of provided services. Others might have required nursing homes with more care, but it has become a risky living situation that families just can’t bear. 

The solution? Bring Mom and Dad into your home. American families are following the tradition that is common in many other cultures, where multiple generations live under one roof. This expanded family gives grandparents more time with their children and grandchildren, and provides the homeowners with the peace of mind that their parents are well cared for, along with the added perk of live-in babysitters.

This choice also makes financial sense. Assisted living can cost upward of $5,000 per month. In one year, a resident pays $60,000 for a modest space. If those funds were instead invested in expanding a home by adding an extra suite, these aging adults could live far more comfortably. In addition, the home’s resale value rises.

A second owner’s suite on the first floor gives the older generation a comfortable place of their own. Kettler Forlines Homes came up with what we call a “family guest home”. This suite is an extension of the home, not a separate residence, although it feels like one! We include a bedroom, full bath, living/dining area, kitchenette, and a laundry closet. This second suite in our multigenerational homes also has a private entrance, a popular feature for anyone who wants more independence.

“Mom, I’m home!”

The other side of this multigenerational living situation is the Millennial factor. These people, born roughly between 1980 and 2000, are adults. Unlike previous generations over the past 130 years, this group is far more likely to live with their parents beyond the age of 21. In fact, 33% of Millennials between 25 and 29 live with their parents. 

Some of them reason that they are trying to pay off school loans. Others are saving up money to buy their own home. As the pandemic’s shutdown caused job losses, we expect to see more Millennials move back with their parents as they rebuild their employment and financial situations. 

While you can certainly welcome your kids home to their childhood bedroom, they would certainly appreciate living space that’s more suitable to adults. You can opt for the family guest house or choose a second-floor suite. Floor plans like The Dickerson and The Somerset easily accommodate a second owners suite upstairs.

How is your home living up to your family needs? If you see the value of a multigenerational home, Kettler Forlines Homes has ideas to spark your imagination. Our growing community in Poolesville, MD, The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, is ideal for families of all ages. The Poolesville school system is outstanding. Then add in the convenient proximity to quality healthcare, shopping, dining, and all the other services you need and want. 

Look ahead and plan now for the multigenerational family life and all the benefits it heaps on you. Get in touch with George Neill at Kettler Forlines Homes to get started.

 

Indoor air quality matters more than ever

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, Build On Your Lot, News, Smart Home | Posted: June 2, 2020 | Comments Off on Indoor air quality matters more than ever

Kettler Forlines Homes indoor air qualityThe novel coronavirus elevated the importance of improving the quality of the air we breathe. Indoor air quality matters more than ever, so we’re working hard to give our homeowners the benefit of programs like Indoor airPLUS to combat airborne pollutants.

On average, Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, and indoor air is estimated to be 2 to 5 times more polluted than what you breathe outside, according to the EPA. Builders have made huge strides in constructing airtight homes, which is great for energy efficiency because air leaks have been reduced or eliminated. However, the tight seal also means that air isn’t flowing as freely in and out of the home. It’s simply recirculating through your indoor spaces. 

That air could contain all sorts of microscopic allergens and toxins. Mold, dust, pet dander, germs, bacteria, viruses, radon, carbon monoxide, and tobacco smoke are just a few. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases or liquids that are released from products like household cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners (including scented candles), furniture, carpets, aerosol sprays, paint, hobby supplies, adhesives, wood preservatives, and dry-cleaned items. Some of the VOCs emit terrible fumes, while others are odorless, just lingering in your home without your knowledge.

Kettler Forlines Homes earns a “Star” for energy efficiency…

We decided many years ago that building a quality home wasn’t simply about constructing a comfortable, well-built home with structural integrity and appealing design. We thought about the “performance”. How does your home work for you?

That decision led Kettler Forlines Homes to invest in achieving the standards for each of our residences to be an ENERGY STAR Certified Home. To earn the ENERGY STAR rating, a builder must adhere to an extensive list of building science measures that conserve energy. The requirements cover thermal enclosure, heating and cooling system, water management, lighting, and appliances. As a result, these homes are estimated to be 15% to 30% more energy efficient than homes built to current code. Look at your energy bills. What would a 30% savings contribute to your household budget? 

Certification is a detailed (and therefore, time-consuming) process, so many builders have chosen not to pursue the ENERGY STAR label. At Kettler Forlines Homes, we think saving energy is a worthwhile investment!

The ENERGY STAR certification for our homes is also a requisite for meeting the requirements of Indoor airPLUS, the second step in our goal to build high performing homes.

…And an “A+” for indoor air quality

Take a deep breath in your home. Now consider that you inhaled dust, pollen, mold spores, carbon monoxide, radon, bacteria, and even formaldehyde.

You can breathe easily when you live in a home that has earned the Indoor airPLUS Home Certification. This EPA program was developed to provide builders with guidelines for improving the indoor air quality in homes.

Every home built by Kettler Forlines Homes adheres to the high standards for Indoor airPLUS’s quality control program:

  • Mold and moisture control materials and methods in all moisture-sensitive areas of the home
  • Enhanced filtration and dehumidification to ensure adequate flow of clean air
  • Venting of all combustion appliances and systems to prevent back-drafting of pollutants, like carbon monoxide
  • Use of no- and low-VOC paints and carpets and low-formaldehyde manufactured wood products
  • Installation of special seals and screens to prevent pest entry, which reduces the need for pesticides
  • Adherence to radon-resistant construction techniques to protect against radon, the second-highest leading cause of lung cancer

Your home is your haven, your safe zone. Kettler Forlines Homes makes sure of it!

We are building single-family homes in The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, our neighborhood in Poolesville, MD. If you have a different location in mind, let’s talk about building your dream home on your lot!

 

Home office tips for working from home productively

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, News, Tips | Posted: May 20, 2020 | Comments Off on Home office tips for working from home productively

Kettler Forlines Brightwell Crossing home office tipsHow is your home office supporting you these days? Whether you have a bona fide, dedicated office in your home or you’ve commandeered an area, you need to maximize the effectiveness to keep your focus on the job. Here are some home office tips for working from home productively.

#1. Understand your work habits and needs.

Your office space needs to work for you, so think about what you need to be productive. In addition to fostering productivity, the right home office will reduce your stress by supporting the way you work. If you feel closed in or squeezed into a space that’s just too small, you won’t feel relaxed, which hinders your workflow. 

Before you decide to assign a space in your home to your work, consider what the location will do for you. You might want your office to be close to your bedroom, or maybe you prefer to have it far away to broaden the separation between work and leisure.

Do you have the potential for a lot of interruptions in your home? How can your home office protect you from those distractions? If you don’t have a room you can dedicate—with a door, please—then think about your options. Your home office shouldn’t be temporary, as in seated at the kitchen counter or dining room table or on the sofa or your bed. You should be able to walk away from your office area without having to pack up your equipment and crucial supplies, and then return to everything exactly as you left it. 

If you can, put up a room divider of some sort. This can be a folding screen, curtain, or a bookcase or cabinet that’s tall enough to create a wall.

#2. Furnish it to your workflow.

What’s your preferred workstation—a desk, a big comfy chair, an area with a lot of surface space where you can spread out? Furnish your office with your comfort in mind, as long as it contributes to getting work done. Choose the style and colors that drive your deep thinking and spark your creativity. 

Do you like to move around? Consider a standing desk, or a hybrid that easily switches from seated to stand-up desk, depending on your mood. 

As you add furniture, equipment, or decor to your home office, be clear about its purpose so you can avoid clutter. Remind yourself on a regular basis that clutter is distraction.

#3. Shed light on your work.

Never underestimate the value of natural light. Sunlight promotes the production of vitamin D, which boosts your mood-regulating mechanism. If you’ve ever experienced the winter doldrums, it’s frequently caused by the lack of sunlight in those shorter days. Natural light also reduces eye strain and fatigue, headaches, and other vision-related discomforts. 

Choose a workspace that allows the flow of natural light. When that’s not available—like a basement—choose recessed lighting or place full spectrum lamps where you need good lighting. 

#4. Create a system to stay organized.

Home office organization is the most important aspect of planning your workspace. Clutter grows from disorganization—from the tendency not to file things away, but pile them up. If you’ve already cultivated a jumbled mess, it’s time to harvest it all.

Put everything—EVERYTHING!—in a box. Clean up the surfaces of your work area. Sort through them, one at a time, and stash them in an orderly place, like a file folder, desktop caddy, or a basket or bin that fits into a storage cube or cubby. 

Take out your label maker and label every storage space, bin, box, tray, folder, binder, and caddy. You don’t have a label maker? Well, you need it to stay organized. And you can thank me later. Labels will make it easier to store supplies and items where they belong so you can quickly find them later.

#5. Stick to a schedule.

Successfully working from home requires discipline. It’s tempting to sleep in a bit, take a break to do housework, or run out for a few errands. These are a few perks of working from home, but they also detour your productivity. 

Create a routine for your workday. Get up at the same time every day, start your work at the same time, and commit to a specific workflow, like answering emails in the morning and blocking out periods to achieve certain tasks. Incorporate scheduled breaks into your day. Map out the week before it starts, so you can hit the ground running on Monday morning. Assign tasks to each day. In this way, you can also stick to those duties and projects that are specifically required on a given day, rather than seeing the entire week as a busy blur. Stick to what’s due today and worry about tomorrow when it comes.

#6. Get dressed.

The massive exodus from the workplace to the home that resulted from the pandemic’s shutdown launched a trend. Workers stayed in their pajamas, workout clothes, or other casual attire they would never wear to work.

The way you’re dressed impacts your mindset. It’s fine to be casual but when you’re not dressed for work, your mind isn’t fully committed to the job. Instead, it’s teetering on taking it easy and assuming weekend mode and behavior.

 Work smarter at home.

Have you decided that your current home just doesn’t fit your life and work these days? Kettler Forlines Homes builds homes for discerning homebuyers in the Montgomery County area of Maryland. Many of our homes include space for at least one and often two home offices. Plus, our Structured Wiring Program ensures your new home is pre-wired to handle your technology with easier access and increased data speed.

Check out our floor plans and virtual tours, and be sure to wander around our Brightwell Crossing neighborhood in Poolesville, MD. We also welcome the opportunity to build on your lot. Reach out to George Neill to get started on your future right now.

Is virtual homebuying here to stay?

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, News, Tips | Posted: May 14, 2020 | Comments Off on Is virtual homebuying here to stay?

Kettler Forlines virtual home buyingWhen the stay-at-home orders were issued, life changed. Homes instantly became offices for many workers and classrooms for families. It was rough going in the beginning, with everyone trying to figure out a system to work within the restrictions. Within a few weeks, we found a rhythm. Now, with businesses gradually reopening, we have to wonder how much of the temporary “New Normal” will continue in our lives. Is virtual homebuying here to stay?

Maybe!

What have you been accomplishing through online channels that you used to do in person? Grocery shopping is a big one. Whether ordering online and opting for curbside pick-up or relying on delivery, wandering aimlessly through the aisles of a grocery store was deemed too risky. 

Telemedicine—a video conference with your healthcare provider—is another task you might have experienced. And how many Zoom meetings have you attended since the pandemic sparked the shutdown?

As a local homebuilder in Maryland, Kettler Forlines Homes has accomplished what many other builders around the country have done. We’ve moved from a physical sales center and model home to a virtual one, to protect our buyers as well as our Kettler Forlines team. 

For the past two months, we’ve maintained communication with our customers. People who had a home under construction were able to keep receiving updates. Our construction crews have been able to keep working safely with social distancing and diligent sanitizing on the job sites.

Buying a home online

What we found interesting—and exciting!—is selling homes to buyers by using our virtual homebuying process. Yes, it’s not only doable, but been done!

Here’s how it worked:

  • The prospective buyer browsed the website of our Brightwell Crossing neighborhood in Poolesville, MD. They looked at the interactive site map to see which lots were available and then explored the floor plans. The virtual tours provided a 360° view. They also visited our online Gallery to see photos and videos of the homes, community, and area.
  • The interested buyers were able to get out and drive around The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, to see first-hand the quality and distinction of the homes and neighborhood. 
  • The buyers contacted George Neill, Kettler Forlines Homes’ Sales Manager, who “met” with them on a video conference call. 
  • George then went through all the options for customizing their new home.
  • Convinced that The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing was the right place and Kettler Forlines Homes had the right skills, design, and reputation to build their home, they signed the contract, also done online using Docusign.

We eventually met face to face. They praised that the process was so easy!

And now we’re able to schedule private, in-person appointments so you can tour any of our homes. We’re adhering to CDC guidelines for proper safety, keeping everyone protected.

Why it’s a great time to buy a home

If you thought you had to put your plans on hold, think again. Right now, the mortgage interest rates are at a historical low. We looked back almost 50 years to compare interest rates for 30-year, fixed rate mortgages, and the closest we saw to the 3.31% rate last month (April 2020) was the end of 2012, when the market was coming back from the Great Recession.

As restrictions lift and more people are moving about (safely, we hope), the demand for new homes will rise. After coming out of confinement, homeowners have learned that their homes just didn’t meet their needs. Prices will likely go up as well, along with interest rates. Inventory is already low and with the limited amount of homes built over the past few months, your options will become more limited. 

We expect that many people will remain cautious about the spread of the virus, and will limit contact as much as possible. With virtual homebuying, you can shop, plan, purchase, customize, and close on your home with as much or as little distance as you choose. Talk to George Neill to get started on a unique homebuying journey!

Does “home sweet home” still apply?

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, News, Tips | Posted: May 8, 2020 | Comments Off on Does “home sweet home” still apply?

Kettler Forlines home office flexible design
Now that you’ve had weeks of “quality time” with your home, how are you and your house getting along? Does “home sweet home” still apply? Or have you discovered flaws that you just don’t want to live with anymore?

Sheltering at home has enlightened quite a few homeowners and their families. There are certain features lacking in homes that are prompting them to rethink their current abode. On Google, the search phrase “Should I buy a house?” has reached its highest rate since 2004. Some buyers have continued their search during the pandemic’s shutdown, using virtual tours and appointments to narrow down their choices. Then they schedule a private appointment, respecting social distance while walking through the home that interests them. Other buyers follow the path to homeownership all the way to (or through) closing entirely online.

From what we’ve seen at Kettler Forlines Homes over the past month, homebuyers have expanded—or perhaps re-prioritized—their new home wish list of the features that matter most.

What do you want in your next home?

First and foremost, flexible design is a critical element in new homes. Flex rooms and bonus spaces have grown in value as people shifted to working from home, but without a suitable home office. Using the dining room table as a home office and home school just isn’t cutting it with families. While one flex room might have been enough to satisfy homebuyers a few months ago, that acceptance has changed. The den or study now becomes a home office, a place where all non-work people and items are excluded. Some of our floor plans include two flex rooms, allowing for two offices or one office and a homework station.

With the high risk that the coronavirus posed, particularly to the elderly, we’re seeing homeowners look for two owner’s suites in their next home. The first-floor owner’s suite is given to the Kettler Forlines multigenerational homegrandparents, while the homeowners utilize a suite on the second floor. 

An option we’ve added is a first-floor multi-gen suite that’s added to the floor plan’s main level. This multi-gen family suite features a private entrance, a bedroom, living room, kitchenette, full bath, and laundry closet. 


Where do the kids do their homework? And with all this closeness, where do you find privacy from the daily noise? A finished basement makes sense, because it can become a homework zone, rec room, fitness 
studio, or a man cave/she space.

That finished basement could also be converted to a suite. If you have college students —who would rather be back on campus—and/or teenagers who want to feel more independent, this basement suite presents a great solution.

Kettler Forlines better kitchen flexible designThe next item on the new home wish list is a better kitchen—whether that means larger or better equipped is up to you. A walk-in pantry is a must now. Those massive packagKettler Forlines walk in pantryes of toilet paper and paper towels just aren’t sized to fit in an average pantry. Then you add in all the non-perishables you’ve stocked up on and you need more storage space!

A kitchen island has become a must. The extra workspace for food preparation, combined with the ability to enjoy casual meals and snacks there, have elevated the importance of the center island.

Speaking of storage, homebuyers are also adding priority to having a second refrigerator or freezer, either in the garage or perhaps an expanded utility room. A floor plan that offers this flexibility shows buyers that the home was thoughtfully designed.

The next item on the new home checklist is smart home automation. There are so many conveniences available—like a smart thermostat, video doorbell, security system, garage door opener, lights, and appliances. Wouldn’t it be great to move into a home that makes it easy to hook up your smart home technology? Kettler Forlines Homes includes Smart Home Plus with our new homes. Two Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, a Wi-Fi-enabled garage doo
opener, Wi-Fi-enabled front door lock, and a video doorbell give you a head start on boosting your home’s “IQ”.

Having, using, and adding smart technology, however, sparks another need for homeowners. Living with several people who are using multiple devices puts an enormous strain on your home’s bandwidth. With streaming, gaming, and all the daily messaging, surfing, and communication that happens online, you’re probably seeing your network speed slow to a crawl. If you’ve also added smart home automation, you’re expecting far too much from your outdated network infrastructure.

We’ve added structured wiring to our new Kettler Forlines homes. These residences are pre-wired to accommodate more technology and the added bandwidth that comes with it. The package includes hard-wired ports, which enable a faster, more consistent signal. Working with our New Home Technology Specialist, homebuyers have every room of their home configured to their needs—with outlets where they need them.

If all of this time at home has you climbing the walls and ready to change, please look at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing in Poolesville, MD, a sought-after location. Choose one of the remaining homesites and the floor plan that fits your lifestyle—sized from 2,493 to more than 7,000 square feet. Use the interactive floor plan feature with each home design on our website so you can start envisioning your new home. Then talk to George Neill, our Community Sales Manager, to take the next step toward a home you’ll love for a long time.

 

Poolesville High School again outclasses the others: #1 in Maryland!

Categories: Brightwell Crossing, News, poolesville | Posted: April 29, 2020 | Comments Off on Poolesville High School again outclasses the others: #1 in Maryland!

Kettler Forlines-School RankingA great school district presents significant influence to parents who are looking for a new home. In Maryland, the choice is easy: Poolesville, hands down. Poolesville High School again outclassed the others, according to U.S. News & World Report’s report of Best High Schools in the country, released in April 2020. Poolesville High School earned the top spot, #1 in Maryland. PHS also ranked #90 among 24,000 high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia, putting it in the top 1% of high schools nationwide! The publication gave Poolesville High School an overall score of 99.49 out of a possible 100.

U.S. News & World Report also ranked the school as: 

  • #1 in Montgomery County Public High Schools
  • #3 in Washington, DC Metro Area High Schools
  • #31 in Magnet High Schools in the U.S.
  • #39 in STEM High Schools in the U.S.

The report cards are in

Poolesville High School has also earned high marks from other websites that analyze schools. Niche.com gave it an “A+” and GreatSchools marked PHSt as a perfect “10” for college and career readiness. SchoolDigger also praises Poolesville High School, giving it a 5-star rating. The Washington Post included Poolesville among its list of the “Most Challenging High Schools in the U.S.

What’s so outstanding about this school? The academic program is stellar. The curriculum is designed to challenge students, while the low student:teacher ratio of 18:1 provides hands-on support. In the state-administered reading proficiency tests, a staggering 81% of PHS students met or exceeded expectations and another 30% met those standards, a reflection of the success achieved here.

Students continue to shine on academic challenges. Nearly every senior (92%) took an Advanced Placement exam; 88% passed, and 93% scored a 3 or better, meaning they qualified to receive college credit for their high school academics.

U.S. News uses a variety of sources to evaluate the schools. The U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data provides fundamental data on enrollment and demographics. Statewide math and reading level assessment tests, Advanced Placement  test data, and graduation percentage give a clearer picture of a school’s success. The analysts look at college readiness, a reflection of how many students took at least one Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test in the past school year, and how many seniors passed at least one AP or IB exam in high school.

Brightwell Crossing—another Poolesville top pick

So, if you’re a parent of a school-aged child, do the math. It all adds up to the fact that Poolesville is the smart choice for your next home. And you can experience the quality lifestyle in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods here, The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing. Kettler Forlines Homes still has homesites in this master-planned community. We’re building distinctive homes that surpass indoor air quality and energy efficiency standards. Our floor plans offer so many options, including a first-floor owner’s suite and flex rooms that can be converted into a home office, homework zone, hobby area, fitness studio, rec room, or whatever your family needs. You can even add a guest suite to the first floor to give more independence to adult family members in a multi-generational household.

Browse our homes, sized from 2,493 to more than 7,000 square feet. Get creative with the interactive floor plans that make it easy to change the design to your liking. Reach out to Kettler Forlines Homes to set up a virtual or private appointment to exploreThe Reserve at  Brightwell Crossing, where the future is as bright as our students!