But then a sign went up, announcing that Toll Brothers was building single-family houses at Mount Prospect Farms (a.k.a the Hanson Farm), a former cattle farm in North Potomac. Diana Talesnick couldn’t believe it.
“I grew up five minutes from there, and I’d pass that area every single day,” she said. “It’s nearly impossible to find new development in this area. We just thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’’
A first round of 52 home sites on the picturesque property was made available for sale in October. Toll Brothers is planning a total of 162 single-family houses, ranging from 3,300 to 6,000 square feet. Starting prices range from just over $1 million to about $1,377,000. (Twenty-four townhouses are also planned as part of the county’s modestly priced dwellings program.)
“I’d been eyeing the announcements and calling and getting every bit of information until we could get in to see the models,” said Diana Talesnick, a recruiting and human resources manager. “I didn’t get the first appointment, but I got the first day. There were three appointments ahead of us, but we got the lot we wanted.”
The Talesnicks made the first land purchase in the community. They bought a quarter-acre lot in the Orchard Collection, one of Mount Prospect’s three sections of detached single-family houses.
What do they dream of having on their special piece of land? A screened-in porch for her and a small, homeowner-association-approved basketball court for him.
Model homes: The model homes for the three collections of detached single-family houses are clustered together at Whisper Way and Hanson Farm Drive. They have attracted many visitors, undeterred by seven-figure prices and “by appointment only” signs.
The houses have design touches that can help families deal with the realities of the pandemic, such as optional rooms and loft areas that can be transformed into remote work or study spaces. They also have kitchens with massive islands and spacious formal dining rooms and backyards that can extend living and socializing spaces outdoors.
The Talesnicks said they expect to move into what they describe as their “forever home” in fall 2021. They chose several optional upgrades for the 3,900-square-foot house: a finished basement, a finished laundry room, a front porch, a downstairs study and luxury JennAir kitchen appliances, including a 48-inch refrigerator.
The hardest part, they said, was worrying about having to walk away if things didn’t work out. During the option period — between reserving the lot and making a deposit — Will Talesnick recalled, “we kept waking up, saying, ‘Are we going to do it?’ Then we realized one day, ‘We’re doing it!’ ”
Nearby: The community is near Muddy Branch Greenway Trail, three local parks, three private golf clubs and shopping areas such as Rio Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg and Rockville Town Center.
Schools: Travilah Elementary, Robert Frost Middle, Wootton High
Transit: The Rockville Metro station is about a 15-minute drive. Buses run on Dufief Mill Road, about a 10-minute walk. Interstate 270 is about a 15-minute drive, and River Road is a seven-minute drive.
12126 Hanson Farm Dr., North Potomac, Md.
Hamlet Collection single-family houses start at $1,012,995; Orchard Collection, $1,185,995; and Windmill Collection, $1,376,995. The Hamlet Collection has 66 home sites; the Orchard Collection, 26; and the Windmill Collection, 70.
Builder: Toll Brothers
Features: Houses come standard with engineered-hardwood flooring throughout the first floor; ceramic tile flooring in the laundry room; keyless entry at the front door; kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets by Timberlake; Energy Star kitchen appliances by Whirlpool; staircases with oak handrails, treads and risers; subway tile backsplashes, granite counters and oversize kitchen islands. Other highlights include energy-efficient vinyl windows, Timberlake architectural shingles with a 30-year warranty, an Energy Star 75-gallon water heater and professional landscaping.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 to 6 / 4 to 5 in Hamlet Collection; 3 to 6 / 4 to 5 in Orchard Collection; 4 to 8 / 3 to 9 in Windmill Collection.
Square-footage: Hamlet Collection starts at 3,311; Orchard Collection, at 3,663; Windmill Collection, at 4,471.
Homeowners association fees: $130 for the Hamlet and Orchard collections, $85 for the Windmill Collection.
Contact: The Hamlet and Orchard Collections, Tae Wills and Kaitlyn Smeltzer, 240-332-3030; Windmill Collection, Julie Beahm and Olivia Hathaway, 240-552-5977.