Out With The Old

GlenLake Gardens model home in Raleigh, NC

GlenLake Gardens model home in Raleigh, NC

As the country continues to see luxury house values increase, more Americans are considering purchasing a new home. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, new home sales reached 468,000 in January 2014; a 9.6% increase from 2013.

Davis Park model home in Durham, NC

Davis Park model home in Durham, NC

For those that are in the market to purchase a home, there are many important considerations to evaluate. One of the first considerations prospective buyers have to consider is whether to buy a new home or an existing home. While many people might immediately think that a new home costs significantly more than an existing home, that isn’t necessarily the case. Here are five important things to evaluate when you consider purchasing a home.

    1. Repairs and  Maintenance
      • With a new home you don’t have to worry about the #1 problem for buyers of existing homes: the “hidden” repairs. Those items that appear okay on closing day, but rear up months later to cost you thousands of dollars and tons of Picture3headaches. (ex: mold, faulty wiring, infestation)
      • Appliances and design features within a new home will not have experienced wear and tear.
      • New homebuilders are beginning to implement plans to ensure customer satisfaction. Only Ashton Woods has the “1-5-11” Customer Care Program where representatives are in contact during the 1st, 5th and 11th month after move-in to address any warranty concerns, resulting in a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
      • Most new homes, like those built by Ashton Woods, are purposefully designed to minimize future maintenance needs. This is not the case with homes constructed prior to the implementation of maintenance-minimizing technologies,such as highly durable and eco-friendly composite products.
    2. Customization
      • Not everyone has the same design taste, so make your new home your own. Homebuyers now have more possibilities than ever to design all aspects of their house, from lighting, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, flooring and much more.
Ashton Woods’ 9,000 square-foot Design Studio in Raleigh

Ashton Woods’ 9,000 square-foot Design Studio in Raleigh

    • New homes also offer buyers more modern home designs whichPicture5 improve overall liability while maximizing space usage for better energy efficiency. New homebuyers can relish one-on-one design consultations in Ashton Wood’s Design Studio—with over 9,000 square feet of inspiration, the area’s first full-service design studio allows homebuyers to experiment with different colors, textures and upscale design layouts. Building your new dream-house has never been so easy!
    • As an added bonus, including these unique and modern features will give your new home more value in the long run.
    • As a comparison, when renovating an existing home, remember only 58% of the improvement value will be retained when you resell!
  1. Energy and Cost Savings 
      • Numerous advancements in energy efficiency have been made in the past few years and new homes are beginning to offer more of these money-saving options. These features include better ventilation, air Picture6filtration and specially engineered windows that seal out the elements and keep your home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer.
      • The median year of existing homes built in the Triangle is 1993. Homes that are over 20 years old typically cost 40% more to operate annually.
      • Many new homes are specifically designed to accommodate more efficient appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators, which use about 15% less energy than models typically found in older homes.
      • One advantage Ashton Woods’ buyers receive is the benefit of the company’s partnership with Environments for Living®. By offering earth-friendly home designs, homeowners can save as much as 45% every year on utility bills.
      • Standard ‘green’ features in Ashton Woods’ homes include: sealed duct work, 90% efficient furnaces, fresh-air ventilation systems, improved thermal systems, properly-sized HVAC systems, pressure balancing, internal moisture management and combustion safety measures.

*Quick Tip: Assess the energy-efficiency of your current home and see how it measures up to a new Ashton Woods property.*

4. Safety

  • Your new home is certain to be up-to-date with all safety regulations. New homes
    are also better protected structurally against natural disasters, so the risk of damage to your property is minimized.

*Quick Tip: New construction allows for flexible floor plans with second or third-story bedrooms that can be customized to maximize the safety of your loved ones. The median price per square foot for new homes is only 4% higher than used.*

 5. A New Community

  • Purchasing a newly built home comes with the additional benefit of moving into a luxurious community with plenty of neighbors and families in the area.
  • The commute to shops and dining is often minimal. New shopping centers,

    Pemberley Manors located in Apex, NC

    restaurants, and the best schools are typically all within a short drive. Many communities also offer amenities not found in older neighborhoods, such as private neighborhood pools and cabanas, playgrounds, sidewalks, rose gardens and much more.

  • New communities also have built-in infrastructure for the new technology we depend on every day, like cable TV and high-speed internet.

Explore the possibilities at AshtonWoods.com/Raleigh

Shed Your Winter Blues with A Spring Overhaul

Chessington model home in Cary, NC

Chessington model home in Cary, NC

With warmer weather and longer days fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to finish off that list of jobs you want to accomplish around your new Ashton Woods home. No matter what your budget, these tips are guaranteed to enhance the quality and craftsmanship of your living space.




1. Clean-out and Organize

•Begin by making a checklist of all the tasks you want accomplished, so your progress can be easily tracked. *Quick Tip: Reserve a specific task for each day of the week and work won’t feel as monotonous.*

•Make sure to clean every surface thoroughly using proper tools and products to preserve and protect your home.

•De-clutter and reorganize—holding a yard sale or donating unwanted items to a charitable organization.

•Try to make the process as fun as possible by inviting friends or family to join you, in exchange for a home cooked meal. Open up your windows—let the sunshine in and the chaos out!

2. Incorporate Fresh Spring Colors

•Add brightly colored wallpaper to your living room or kitchen.
*Quick Tip: If you’re unsure about fully committing, companies like Sherwin Williams have released trendy and removable options like Easy Change Wallpaper.*

Greys Landing model home in Raleigh, NC

Greys Landing model home in Raleigh, NC

•Add a touch of paint to accessorize a room. Why not try Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year—Radiant Orchid? Year—Radiant Orchid?
*Quick Tip: If you’re looking for a more subtle change, introduce just a pop of color on a wall or archway.*

•Add black accents with either furniture or home decorations to accentuate existing colors in the room. AWH 3

•If you’re going for a more relaxing and natural vibe, bring green tones and floral patterns into your home. Check out this floral appliqué bed set from Dena Home—the perfect combination of elegance and fun!

3.Take on a DIY Project

•From re-purposing old furniture, to finally using those empty wine bottles and mason jars, you can give your home a new look using materials you already have!

AWH 4 •Explore Pinterest for a wide selection of DIY projects and design inspiration this spring—with so many users, thousands of new ideas are added each day.

“Pinterest has become the go-to spot for color ideas, furniture, style inspiration and décor DIY projects. You can create your own design boards to gather inspiration for upcoming decorating projects.”
-Julie Primanti, Design Counselor for Ashton Woods Homes

•Browse additional ideas from other popular DIY sites: Better Homes and Gardens, DIY Network, and Instructables.

4. Create an Outdoor Escape

Leesville Crest model home in Raleigh, NC

Leesville Crest model home in Raleigh, NC

•Start by cleaning and de-cluttering any of your existing outdoor furniture and the surrounding areas. (Don’t forget our cleaning tips from earlier, too!)

•For outdoor design inspiration, check out the fully-furnished Ashton Woods model homes—Greys Landing features a stunning lake-view from the outdoor pool area and the model at Leesville Crest features an oversized patio, pool with cascading water and a covered eating and entertainment area.

•Fun Idea: Bring Spring Break to your backyard with brightly-colored, oversized lounge chairs and seashell accessories. When choosing patio furniture and material, pair blues and greens with neutral colors—resembling calm ocean tones.

Greys Landing model home on Lake Shaw, Raleigh, NC

Greys Landing model home on Lake Shaw, Raleigh, NC

5.Host a Springtime Party

•Showcase your Ashton Woods home and all of your hard work with a seasonal soiree.

•Put together an attention-grabbing tablescape to serve as the center piece of your gathering.
*Quick Tip: Unlit candles can act as a chic daytime table accessory or be used to create a romantic vibe at night—an easy way to transition a longer event.*

•Display fresh flowers (or convincing imitations) throughout your home for guests to enjoy—Tulips and Pansies are a must!

•Sit back and let the uniqueness of your home inspire others to transition theirs into a similar springtime sanctuary.

Davis Park model home in Durham, NC

Davis Park model home in Durham, NC

Ashton Woods announces final homes in Sienna Plantation!

Buyers only have a few more chances to purchase a new Ashton Woods home in amenity-laden Sienna Plantation, as the builder is offering its final homes there.

Ashton Woods has one home ready this month, a 2,615-square-foot design at 91 Ember Branch. This one-story home features an open floor plan with the formal dining room and island kitchen open to the family room. Each of four bedrooms has a walk-in closet, and a mud room provides additional storage. The rotunda entry provides architectural interest and a large covered patio offers a place to dine al fresco. The media room can flex to a study or workout space. The home is prewired for surround sound and also has two-inch faux wood blinds. It is priced in the $330,000s.

AWSienna 2226

Crews will begin work on two other homes this month, the 3,569-square-foot Conway design and a 3,400-square-foot single-story plan, the Hanover. Both are expected to be completed next spring.

In Fort Bend County, Sienna Plantation is known for an array of impressive amenities and a forested landscape. In addition to the Sienna Springs Resort Pool, located near the Ashton Woods neighborhood, and two other water parks, Sienna residents have access to tennis, a 160-acre sports park, a large fitness facility, outdoor concert pavilion, the Sienna Plantation Golf Club and 34 neighborhood parks and playgrounds. Residents enjoy planned activities throughout the year, from family festivals, pool parties, adult-only excursions, teen events and more. And young residents don’t have to travel far for extracurricular activities, with baseball, softball, football, swimming and soccer youth sports leagues also within Sienna.

SiennaSprings0220 438x481

Bees Creek, the Sienna neighborhood where Ashton Woods builds, is served by Jan Schiff Elementary, Baines Middle School and Ridge Point High School, all within the community.

Award-winning Ashton Woods is known for its energy-efficient building practices, and is the only builder to utilize the Environments for Living Platinum Program nationally. Earlier this year, Ashton Woods was named the #1 Most Trusted Homebuilder in America in the Lifestory Research Most Trusted Builders in America Study. For more information, visit www.ashtonwoodshomes.com.

Ashton Woods Wins 4 National Silver Awards

Houston, TX – Dec. 3, 2013)          Four Ashton Woods employees are listed among the nation’s best, receiving The Nationals 2014 Silver Awards presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). It is a repeat win for each of them this year.

Shawnda Lancaster was one of seven throughout the nation named Sales Manager of the Year. It is the second time Lancaster has been honored this year for her managerial skills, winning the same title in the Houston’s Best PRISM Awards hosted by the Greater Houston Association of Builders.

Ashton Woods’ Margaret Greenwood won a Rookie of the Year Silver Award, joining four others in the honor. Greenwood won Rookie Sales Professional of the Year earlier in 2013 in the Texas Association of Builders’ Star Awards.

Long-time Ashton Woods sales representative Paul Lim is one of six in the nation to win a Silver Award for Sales Person of the Year. He also won Sales Professional of the Year in the Texas Star Awards this year.

Finally, Carrie Roehling was named Marketing Director of the Year, one of six to earn that honor in the Silver Awards. It is Roehling’s third honor this year, having won Marketing Professional of the Year in the Texas Star Awards and Online Sales Professional of the Year in the Houston’s Best PRISM Awards.

Each of the Silver Award winners advance to the NAHB’s Gold Awards competition, with winners announced during the annual International Builders’ Show set for Feb. 4, 2014, in Las Vegas.

“These four people exhibit the creativity, innovativeness and diligence that has fueled Ashton Woods’ long success,” said Dan Gezella, vice president of sales and marketing for Ashton Woods Homes’ Houston division. “They have earned a place among the nation’s best and we are proud of their success.”

Ashton Woods also has won numerous awards this year for product design and interior merchandising. Ashton Woods has been named the #1 Most Trusted Homebuilder in America in the Lifestory Research Most Trusted Builders in America Study. For more information, visit www.ashtonwoodshomes.com.

About Ashton Woods Homes
Ashton Woods Homes is one of the nation’s largest private homebuilding companies, with operations in Atlanta, Austin, Charleston, Dallas, Houston, Killeen, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, Sarasota, Raleigh and Tampa.  Recently named the #1 Most Trusted Homebuilder in America in the Lifestory Research Most Trusted Builders in America Study SM, Ashton Woods is known throughout the industry for building homes with award-winning designs that inspire, and offering homebuyers a high level of personalization options.  Ashton Woods is also the only builder to nationally utilize the Environments for Living Platinum Program, a program that certifies the energy efficient status of our homes.  For more information, or to experience the excitement of becoming another satisfied Ashton Woods homeowner, visit ashtonwoodshomes.com and search all of our new homes for sale.

About Ashton Woods Homes Houston
Ashton Woods Homes Houston can be found throughout the greater Houston area, from Fort Bend County to Pearland to Kingwood. The division carefully chooses its community partners, currently building in 15 premier master-planned developments close to shopping, schools and employment centers. Ashton Woods Homes Houston has been a vital part of Houston’s bustling real estate market since 1990 and is widely respected among industry leaders, winning numerous awards for design and customer service. For more information, visit www.ashtonwoodshomes.com/houston.


Ashton Woods Homes Raleigh To Feature Seven Model Properties In Wake County Parade Of Homes

Ashton Woods Homes Raleigh, the North Carolina division of an award-winning national private homebuilder, has announced that seven of its homes will be featured in the 2013 Wake County Parade of Homes. The company’s participating homes span across seven different Ashton Woods Homes communities in the Triangle area and include:

The Marin at 611 Libson St. in Durham ($186,900 at 1,892 square feet) located in the Davis Park community, which consists of townhomes conveniently located in the very heart of the Research Triangle Park and offers architecture to suit every style.

The Raulston at 4013 Windflower Lane in Raleigh ($342,490 at 2,366 square feet) located within the company’s GlenLake Garden community, which boasts beautiful single family homes overlooking Crabtree Valley.

The Chelsea at 3836 Cottage Rose Lane in Raleigh ($465,240 at 2,984 square feet) located in the community of GlenLake South, which lies in close proximity to GlenLake Gardens and offers open, spacious designs and maintenance free living in a most desirable location.

The Cedar at 8240 Woburn Drive in Raleigh ($850,000 at 4693 square feet) located in Ashton Woods Homes’ newest Raleigh neighborhood, Greys Landing. This new community includes stately and elegant homes on Shaw Lake just off Leadmine Road in North Raleigh.

The Fairmont at 6637 Rest Haven Drive in Raleigh ($594,990 at 4,652 square feet) located in Leesville Crest, which features luxuriously crafted estate homes in a quaint neighborhood situated in the heart of North Raleigh.

The Joseph at 766 Wickham Ridge Road in Apex ($166,650 at 1,728 square feet), which resides in the company’s Apex neighborhood, Pemberley, offering stylish townhomes and a fabulous amenity.

The Oliver at 3623 Rolston Drive in Raleigh ($649,900 at 3,565 square feet) in Ramblewood, a wonderful community at North Hills that captures the essence of Raleigh tradition in spacious inside-the-beltline single family estates and townhomes.

The Wake County Parade of Homes – one of the largest judged tours in the country – runs for three weekends every October and features new homes throughout Wake County. The 48th Annual Parade of Homes will be held from noon to 5 p.m. for three consecutive weekends – Saturday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 6, Friday Oct. 11 through Sunday, Oct. 13, and Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday, Oct. 20 – allowing the public access to new properties with outstanding design features crafted by area builders. Participating homes will be judged prior to the first open house weekend based on criteria such as quality workmanship, floor plan and curb appeal. Winners of the gold, silver and bronze awards will be announced during the Parade of Homes evening awards gala. At the 2012 Parade of Homes awards gala, Ashton Woods Homes received a silver award for the Kinsley model in its Pemberley community, located in Apex.

“We are honored and excited to participate in the 48th annual Wake County Parade of Homes, as it is one of the largest in the county and provides buyers and residents alike with the opportunity to see first-hand the one-of-a-kind building features the Raleigh market has to offer,” said Tom Anhut, Raleigh division president of Ashton Woods Homes. “Our participating homes, which span from Raleigh to Durham and Apex, are wonderful representations of our commitment to building homes that effectively balance healthy-home features with energy efficiency, incorporating versatile and cutting edge designs in the most desirable locations.”

3 Keys for Back-to-School Success

3tipsschoolWant to help get your children get off to a good start and ready to perform their best all year long? According to the article, “3 Keys to School Success” by Jennifer Newton Reents, there are three basic fundamentals that will get your child off to a great start and help them perform their best all year long.

Breakfast: They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing. Children tend to have less energy and lack focus when they don’t eat breakfast; it also plays a pivotal role in child’s development, behavior and overall health. Studies have shown that kids that start off with a healthy breakfast receive higher grades, participate more. Eating healthy snacks also helps keep your child’s behavior and attention on track. If your kids resist healthy foods provide them with options and let them pick.

Sleep: Sleep plays an important role in your children’s learning abilities. Kids need at least 10 hours of sleep to get good grades, maintain their overall health and function.
Help your child ease into their new schedule by waking them up 15 minutes earlier each day a couple weeks before school starts. They will accept an earlier bedtime more willingly. By not allowing stimulating activities within a few hours of bedtime will allow your child to wind down and get the sleep they need. Leading by example is the best way to show your child reasonable habits about sleep.

Keep Active: Help your child by keeping them active, it not only helps them keep fit and energized but encourage sleep later. Start by reducing time with technology and replacing it with exercise. The goal here is for your child to get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day. You can achieve this by walking to school with your child. Playing activities such as basketball with your kid at home or going for an evening walk.

You might be tempted to cut corners as your family’s schedule gets hectic, but remember the benefits of these healthy habits will make it all worthwhile in the long run.

Ashton Woods Homes offers final homes in RiverPark West

Addison_exteriorNEW Ashton Woods is nearing closeout in Fort Bend’s RiverPark West, but not before offering a few final homes chock full of amenities.

Ready now is a 2,178-square-foot Danbury design at 21606 Parsley Mist. The four-bedroom home, priced in the $230,000s, includes all appliances and features 18-inch ceramic tile flooring in the family room and kitchen. A rotunda entry leads into the kitchen, which has granite countertops and a work island. A corner fireplace warms the family room and the base plan’s formal living room has been converted to a private study with French doors.

Several other homes are under construction, including one slated for completion in October at 2023 Baron Sky. The Thornton design, one of Ashton Woods’ largest designs in RiverPark West, offers four bedrooms, 3.5 baths and an extended covered patio spanning the length of the family room. The kitchen and master bath feature granite countertops and cherry cabinetry and 16-inch tile flooring set on the diagonal adds interest to the downstairs common areas. All appliances are included in this home, which is priced in the $290,000s.Addison_diningNEW

Two more designs are nearing completion, the 2,626-square-foot Cheyenne at 21626 Parsley Mist and the Medina, a 1,974-square-foot plan at 21718 Parsley Mist. Both homes include a sprinkler system and covered patio, stainless steel appliances, a gas log fireplace and granite countertops. The 1.5-story Cheyenne is priced in the $280,000s and the Medina, which features hardwood flooring, is priced in the $240,000s.

 RiverPark West is two minutes from U.S. 59 near the Grand Parkway. Residents enjoy a recreation center with pool, open-air pavilion, clubhouse and playground as well as a splash pad and walking trails. Hutchison Elementary, part of the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, is located in RiverPark West and is within walking distance of Ashton Woods’ neighborhood. Older students attend Wessendorff Middle School, Lamar Junior High and Lamar Consolidated High School.

RPWentry Ashton Woods Homes offers an array of home designs in 15 Houston-area communities. Starting prices range from the $180,000s to the $400,000s, appealing to a range of buyers. For more information on Ashton Woods, visit www.ashtonwoodshomes.com.