In mid-February, Zekeera Belton and Theresa Obong signed a contract for a Caruso single-family house. Married in 2017, they were longing for a space they picked together, and Signature Club “is the best of what we both were looking for,” Belton said.
Prospective buyers typically visit the sales office, talk to the sales manager about floor plans, tour the furnished model home, pick up a site map and stroll the community looking for “Lot for sale” signs on small wooden posts. Then they make a decision.
“After signing a contract, it takes up to two months for Caruso to get a building permit from the county, then about four months to build,” Caruso sales manager Angela Hawkins said.
Seven floor plans are offered. The model home is a Monterey II, with a stone walkway and then two steps up leading to a narrow porch with white pillars.
The front door opens into a foyer. On the left is a room that can be configured in various ways, such as a playroom, a library, an office, a lounge or a guest room. The kitchen and open-plan living area are at the back of the house, where three floor-to-ceiling windows let in lots of natural light.
Two black rectangular dining tables sit end-to-end near the windows. On a recent Wednesday morning, this is where Belton and Obong met with Hawkins to finalize interior selections, including locations for electrical outlets, a television and a ceiling fan.
The couple splurged in the kitchen. “That’s where I spend a lot of time. I cook and bake,” Obong said. “It was important to me to have everything I wanted there.” They chose upgraded white cabinets, a double oven and a farmhouse sink.
“This kind of sink is huge,” Obong said. “It’s wide and deep. When cooking and washing produce, she explained, “it’s helpful to be able to fit all my pots into the sink because I don’t have time to wash them as I go.”
In the finished basement, Obong and Belton plan to have a bar and a media room with seating like a movie theater’s, Obong said. They’re also creating an exercise room. During the pandemic, they’ve been taking online exercise classes, and they plan to continue working out at home.
“To me the basement was most important,” Belton said. “We love to entertain, and when we do events we found that everyone congregates in the kitchen. But my wife is busy cooking. Now our guests will be able to go downstairs to a dedicated space.”
On the second story of the model home, the owner’s bedroom suite occupies about half the floor space. “We fell in love with the huge bathroom,” Obong said. “It has a walk-through shower that probably can fit 10 people. I walked in and said, ‘Oh, gosh!’ ” Two opaque-glass windows make the bathroom open and bright.
Three smaller bedrooms sit side by side along the hallway, and there is a hallway bathroom and a laundry room.
Nearby: Manokeek Village Center is close and has a Giant Food, a Starbucks, a Sun Trust Bank and Manokeek Wine & Spirit, among other businesses. Piscataway Park, managed by the National Park Service, has meadows, woods, tidal wetlands and an array of wildlife.
Schools: Accokeek Academy (K-8), Friendly High.
Transit: Maryland Route 210 runs north and south between Accokeek and the inner D.C. suburbs. National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., is 13 miles away; Alexandria, Va., 16 miles. Commuter bus service is available with stops at park-and-ride lots in the area. The MARC commuter rail station in Greenbelt is about 30 miles away.
16622 Tortola Dr., Accokeek, Md.
There will be 95 single-family homes. Construction is in Phase I. Twenty-two are sold, and 14 sites are for sale, with base prices ranging from $504,990 to $614,990. Ask the sales manager about incentives.
Builder: Caruso Homes
Features: The houses have two-car garages. Ceilings are nine-feet high on the main level. Plank flooring is installed in the foyer, kitchen, laundry room and first-floor powder room. Wall-to-wall carpeting is laid elsewhere. The living and dining rooms have crown molding. Kitchen appliances are Maytag stainless steel. The electric range is self-cleaning, and the refrigerator is 21-cubic feet with an ice-maker. Cabinets are 42-inch flat-panel birch with crown molding.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 4 to 7 / 3 to 5
Square footage: 2,000 to 5,840
Homeowners association fee: $135 a month.
View model: By appointment.
Contact: Angela Hawkins at 301-517-7315 or carusohomes.com