First-time buyers George and Ama Ofori-Boadu were so certain that they wanted to be able to customize their first house that they moved to Rockville from Tysons Corner.
“We looked at resale properties first, thinking that we couldn’t afford new construction, especially since new homes are pretty limited near D.C.,” says George. “We didn’t find anything we liked. Our real estate agent showed us a development called Symphony Park by Michael Harris Homes, and we decided to take a leap of faith and buy one of their townhouses at King Farm just from a set of floor plans.”
The couple particularly wanted a slightly modified kitchen design and different stair railings and were willing to buy without seeing a model home because of the ability to personalize their purchase.
The model home opened recently. There will be a total of 129 townhouses, each facing open space or a pocket park. More than 25 percent of the 53 townhouses in the first phase have been sold. The townhouses are priced from the upper $500,000s to the mid-$600,000s.
Lexi and Pat O’Connor, also first-time buyers, both work in Rockville and hoped to buy in the area. But after nearly a year of looking at resale properties, the couple realized that they were unable to find the open floor plan they preferred.
“We were the first people to sign a contract on a townhouse at King Farm, so we just had to visualize the house from the floor plans,” says Lexi. “Buying a new townhouse costs a little more than an existing home but we were able to get preconstruction pricing and have everything under warranty.”
Customization options: Michael Harris Homes, one of the original builders in the transit-oriented King Farm community, returned to the development when a section originally zoned for offices was rezoned for residential use, says Leslie Fitzpatrick, vice president of sales and marketing for the company.
“We design new homes for every neighborhood and customize the architecture to fit the community,” says Fitzpatrick. “We wanted to add urban-style brownstones to King Farm with interesting details such as iron overhangs and terraces so they wouldn’t be plain or ordinary townhouses.”
Buyers at King Farm can choose between the 16-foot-wide Baxter and Crosby models or the 20-foot-wide Mercer and Sullivan models. The O’Connors liked their ability to design their home the way they want it, including picking all their appliances.
“We’ve found that buyers like to be able to personalize their homes, so we offer flexible floor plans at King Farm,” says Fitzpatrick. “Buyers can choose an office or a bedroom for the lower level and choose the total number of bedrooms and bathrooms.”
The 20-foot-wide model home, a blend of the Mercer and Sullivan floor plans, has an entrance on the lower level into a hall with an adjacent reception room. This room can be customized with a fireplace, columns and built-in cabinets. This level also has a coat closet and an entrance to the two-car garage, which has a storage closet.
The main level has a balcony at the front, a living-dining area, an open kitchen with a large center island, and a family room with an adjacent powder room. Buyers can add a deck to the back of this level and a fireplace and built-in cabinets in the family room. Built-in cabinets can be added to a wall across from the kitchen and to the living-dining area.
The third level of this townhouse has a master suite at the front with a walk-in closet and a large bathroom with a double-sink vanity and a shower with a built-in seat. This level has a closet with a washer and dryer, a linen closet, a full bathroom and two more bedrooms.
The fourth level includes a loft with glass doors to a roof terrace. The loft can be customized with a wet bar, a fireplace and built-in cabinets. Buyers can choose to leave part of this level unfinished for storage or add a bedroom with a walk-in closet and a full bathroom. An alternate floor plan shrinks the loft and adds two bedrooms and a full bath to this level.
The 16-foot-wide models have either a tandem-style two-car garage or a one-car garage with a reception room on the lower level. The main level has an open floor plan with a central kitchen flanked by a family room and a living-dining area. The third level has either a master suite with a den or a master suite with a second bedroom and second bathroom. The fourth level has a loft and a bedroom with a full bathroom or two bedrooms with a full bathroom Both of those options include a roof terrace.
What’s nearby: The King Farm community includes a town center with shops and restaurants, swimming pools, parks and open space. More shops and restaurants can be found nearby in Rockville and Potomac.
“We like the walkability of the King Farm neighborhood,” says George. “It’s close to a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods and it’s in a good school district, which we wanted even though we don’t have kids yet.”
George commutes to Arlington and his wife commutes to Tysons Corner, but he says as long as they time it right, the drive isn’t too stressful.
Schools: Rosemont Elementary, Forest Oak Middle, Gaithersburg High
Transit: Residents can walk to the Shady Grove Metro station. Several bus routes serve the area, and there are MARC train stations within a short drive. King Farm is close to the Shady Grove exit off Interstate 270.
1444 Piccard Dr., Rockville
The townhouses are priced from $589,990 to $649,990.
Builder: Michael Harris Homes
Features: The four-level townhouses have brick fronts, brick front walks, a roof terrace and a one- or two-car garage. Standard features include nine-foot-high ceilings and hardwood flooring in the foyer, kitchen and powder room. There are maple cabinets, granite or quartz counters, an oversize center island, stainless-steel appliances and a pantry in the kitchen. The townhouses also have an oversize shower with a seat in the master bathroom, tile floors in the full bathrooms, dual-zone heat and air conditioning, gas hot water and gas cooking. Buyers can add a gas fireplace, a deck off the main level and a deck off the master bedroom.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 or 4 / 3 to 5
Square footage: Approximately 1,800 to 2,400
Homeowner association fees: $120 per month
View models: Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: Sales manager Leslie Fitzpatrick at 240-285-2338 or visit www.MichaelHarrisHomes.com.