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Building a home for the first time

We’ve all had those moments of picturing “my dream home”. Naturally, it’s different from one person to the next, and that vision may change over time. Right now, we’re seeing more homebuyers opt for a new construction home over a resale, and many are deciding to start from the very beginning. Jason and Ashley recently went through the experience of building a home for the first time and they are so glad they did!

The couple had purchased existing homes in the past and then proceeded to invest in remodeling to make them a better fit. When they bought their last home, they put on an addition and then made a lot of upgrades. But, Ashley said, “it still wasn’t exactly what would have picked out from the ground up.”

Getting the layout just right was very important for them. Ashley explained, “Every home prior, there was always that one room or that detail that wasn’t right, or didn’t have room. We had to turn the dining room into a playroom for the kids.” 

Jason pointed out that, “When buying an existing home, you can change the paint and the cabinets, but you can’t change the layout. We started running numbers on the cost to make changes and realized that for the same cost of buying a home and fixing it up, we could build a home and pick out every detail.”

Picking the place and the plan

They started their new home search at the end of 2019. Ashley says they wanted to stay in Poolesville, MD, where she was born and raised. She had gone through the Poolesville school system, which is nationally acclaimed, and wanted the same quality for their three young boys. Her two oldest sons have actually each had the same kindergarten teacher that Ashley had! Meanwhile, Jason is comfortable with the 35-mile commute from Poolesville to DC for his job for a commercial contractor, particularly since it means they can have the lifestyle they want for their family.

The quality of life in Poolesville is made even better by the large yard they had. They didn’t want to give that up. It’s a real plus when you have active sons. Ashley and Jason discovered that The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing—Kettler Forlines Homes’ Poolesville community—not only offered stunning homes but also situated them on spacious sites. It didn’t take long to choose the location of their new home, one that gave them more than half an acre, a rare find in Poolesville.

The next step was choosing a floor plan. At first glance, they loved the Kensington home design. The open concept and the many features immediately impressed the couple. But they wanted to tour an actual home to get a better sense of living there before making the commitment to the floor plan. Ashley and Jason drove to another Kettler Forlines Homes community in West Virginia where they could walk through a Kensington model home. Ashley says that sealed the deal.

The difference is in the details

They returned to Kettler Forlines Homes and sat down with George Neill, the Community Sales Manager at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing. Together, they reviewed every selection and shaped the plans for their new home. The Kensington floor plan offers flexibility so they were able to add a full bathroom fifth bedroom on the first level and a sunroom, plus expand the garage to accommodate three cars.

Since 2008, Ashley and Jason have bought and renovated three homes together. They agreed that the remodeling experience was beneficial.

“One of the nice things we had going into this was that we had figured out our tastes. Picking finishes, flooring, and stone was easy because we’ve done it so many times. That made a big difference.”

They made some requests that weren’t on the list of options, like changing the kitchen island and replacing the tub in the master bath with a jetted one. Jason and Ashley also inquired about the possibility of installing subway tile in the master shower. While it wasn’t offered, George looked into the choice and accommodated their preference.

“George was great!” Ashley praised his knowledge and advice on a wide variety of details. She said he offered ideas based on what other customers had experienced with their own choices. 

The building process

George continued to work closely with Jason and Ashley throughout the building process. After guiding them through their design selections, he kept them informed of the progress while their new home was under construction.

Construction on their new home began the first week of March 2020, right before the pandemic changed so many lives. Construction was able to continue though, as it was deemed an essential business. Crews were reduced so they could maintain a safe social distance, but the project stayed on track.

The family of five moved into their dream home in late August.. “It went very smoothly, We had good communication with Kettler Forlines throughout the process. We were given very clear direction on when we had to make certain decisions to stay on schedule and we had no delays,” Jason said.

Meanwhile, they sold their previous home easily. Through word-of-mouth, they scheduled three showings, which resulted in two offers. Jason advises homebuyers who are planning to build to learn when to sell their home so that the sale and closing aligns with their building schedule.

They have already recommended Kettler Forlines Homes to two friends, based on their positive experience. Ashley expects their friends to become neighbors at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing.

We spoke with Jason and Ashley a week after they moved in. Jason appreciated all the smart home automation that was included—and the sprinkler system for fire protection. Ashley was still basking in the joy of their dream home. 

“Our kids said it felt like a hotel when we moved in. That’s how nice of a job Kettler Forlines Homes did!”

Are you ready to take action on finally achieving your dream home? Spark your inspiration by taking a look at our photo gallery and wandering through our video and virtual tours. Then contact George at Kettler Forlines Homes to explore the possibilities.