Robert and Tara Jones rented out their home in Accokeek, Md., while they lived in Italy for a couple of years. But when the couple moved back to the states last October, they found that the person renting their home liked it so much that they wanted to buy it.
So they started house-hunting. The Joneses decided that now was a good time to buy a new home with custom-built features that fit their lifestyle. Robert said they looked at a number of upscale builders in the region and went with the single-family houses at Caruso Homes' Fort Washington Acres.
"We both work in D.C., so it's a short commute to the Huntington Metro station in Virginia and a short ride into the city," said Robert, adding that the convenient location is what attracted them to buy again in the area. They also have a 4-year-old daughter whom they drop off at day care near the Metro, and the community offers easy access to the District, Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.
Robert said the proximity to a host of amenities and entertainment options was a big selling point. "We are just minutes from National Harbor, MGM casino and Tanger Outlets," he said.
Large foyer and library: Fort Washington Acres opened last fall, and once completed, the community will have 72 houses. About a quarter have been sold. The development comes with a playground, perfect for the Joneses' daughter, as well as amenities such as a tennis court, walking trails and a gazebo.
Half-acre lots are also available, giving homeowners plenty of outdoor space around the stately houses.
There are five floor plans, and they come with a brick front, stone or siding mixture, as well as the option of having a side-entry garage and a solarium on the opposite side of the house. The model house features the Emory II floor plan.
Guests enter the residence through a small, columned covered front porch into a large foyer. The foyer and a staircase separate the formal living room from the library in the center-hall floor plan. Both rooms come with the option of adding a bright bay window. The living room streams right into the 11-by-14-foot formal dining room behind it, separated only by columns. The dining room has a bay window and tray ceiling.
Rich hardwood flooring and high ceilings are found throughout the main level. That extends into the kitchen and family room in the rear portion of the house. The large sunken family room is a retreat with a coffered and beamed ceiling and a dramatic stone fireplace.
The centrally located kitchen has a clear view of the family room so that the family chef is not isolated from the action. White cabinetry coupled with white-and-gray speckled-granite countertops maintain a light and airy theme in the kitchen. There's also a center island and an extra-deep sink. The kitchen overlooks the morning room, which the model home highlights as an option. The 20-by-11-foot room is surrounded by large windows that give the feeling of being outdoors.
The Emory II model is at the starting point when it comes to price and size, but the Joneses chose the Kingsport floor plan, which is the largest, starting at 3,502 square feet. And depending on extra rooms and bump-outs, it can go up to 6,102 square feet. The couple said they chose the upgraded Maytag appliance package and love their spacious kitchen. The base size of the kitchen in this plan is 21 by 15 feet, and it comes with a large mudroom entry from the garage nearby.
California super bath: All of the second levels have four or five bedrooms. Caruso gives the option of forgoing a sitting room for a fifth bedroom. The sitting room in the model features a wet bar, along with a three-sided fireplace that serves as a divider between it and the sleeping quarters. The owner's suite has a cathedral ceiling and an oversize walk-in closet with sturdy organizer shelves and a vanity area.
But the California super bath, as the builder calls it, steals the show. The model home boasts a stand-alone soaking tub that resembles the classic claw-foot tub. It's set in front of a wall that, on the opposite side, leads into a huge, bright spalike shower. Angela Hawkins, sales manager for the community, said the luxurious bathroom that the Joneses selected is "amazing," as they customized it with a unique tile design. Robert said the bathroom design is one of the couple's favorite features.
The secondary bedrooms are all nicely sized, and in the Joneses' plan they each come with a walk-in closet. In the model home, two of the bedrooms share a buddy bath with access from both bedrooms. The basement showcases the option of adding a recreation room, a state-of-the-art home theater, a bar, and a den or spare bedroom with a bathroom.
Schools: Fort Washington Forest Elementary, Accokeek Academy Middle, Friendly High.
Transit: The community is close to Interstates 495, 295 and 95. The closest Metro station is the Yellow Line's Huntington stop, also close to Joint Base Andrews.
11501 Neon Rd., Fort Washington, Md.
The single-family houses are priced from $489,990 to $522,490.
Builder: Caruso Homes
Features: The residences have four bedrooms with the option of a fifth bedroom in lieu of a sitting area in the owner's suite, a library, a morning room, a conservatory, a kitchen with granite counters and stainless-steel appliances, walk-in closets, oversize spa bathrooms with a soaking tub and a large shower, and high ceilings.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 4 to 5 / 3 to 5
Square footage: 2,692 to 6,102
View models: Mondays 1 to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays to Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sales contact: Angela Hawkins, area sales manager, 301-955-6026, firstname.lastname@example.org