Newport Cove offers special waterfront lifestyle, home designs
New American Homes’ Newport community, located on the Chain O’ Lakes south of Antioch, offers three neighborhoods with homes designed to meet modern needs with open floor plans, in-home technology and efficient use of space. | SUPPLIED PHOTOS
Today’s new homes are shorter, smaller and better. A decade or two ago, most new homes were two-stories; today half are ranches. And while the size of American homes is declining, the amenities buyers expect are increasing. Today’s homes also are significantly more energy efficient, thanks to federal energy regulations passed in 2010.
The bursting of the housing bubble, the tightening of the economy and the aging of America’s population have contributed to an attitudinal change about housing.
“Customers want different things today than they did a few years ago,” said Susanne Tauke of New American Homes, Inc. “They want convenience, less maintenance, more efficient and flexible floor plans and a specific lifestyle. For example, at our Newport Cove development on the Chain O’ Lakes near Antioch, they want a waterfront lifestyle ... boating, fishing and nature.”
Tauke said today’s buyers are expecting to stay in their homes longer. That’s one of the reasons single-floor living has grown in population.
“Our buyers are thinking ahead. They like the idea of fewer stairs, safety features and better technology,” she said.
Newport Cove’s LIFEhouse, a 1,992-square-foot ranch custom home featuring universal design, recently won the National Association of Home Builders’ Best of 50-Plus Housing Award.
“It is true that ranch homes cost more per square foot,” Tauke said. “That’s because the most costly parts of a house are the foundation and the roof. If you have a 2,000-square-foot two-story, you have much less roof than a 2,000-square-foot ranch. However, a ranch doesn’t have the wasted space of stairways and circulation areas, so it often ‘lives larger’ than its size.”
She said she encourages buyers to consider how they use a house. Are there rooms they rarely enter? If so, it may be more economical to put something like a guest room on a second floor.
“Often a story-and-a-half home with a first-floor master can work almost like a ranch,” she said. “An empty-nester couple may find they live on the first floor, and the only time they use the second floor is when the kids are home.”
Technology is something else buyers look for in a new home. Home technology systems for Internet, entertainment, monitoring heating and cooling systems, and appliances are found in many new homes. Ovens that “think” and refrigerators that keep track of grocery needs can be part of the equation.
Energy efficiency is in. Foam insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and appliances, LED bulbs and low-E glass insure a comfortable home with low energy bills.
Security is important. State-of-the-art home security systems are popular. A growing number of buyers want to know their home will operate “off” the grid, so they are installing whole-house generators.
Universal design is another “hot button.” Features such as elevators, extra wide passageways and large showers ensure that the buyer can live in his or her home for a longer period of time.
Fitness is part of a luxury lifestyle, so expect today’s home to have some space for exercise equipment.
And don’t forget fun. A media area or hobby room is important to many clients.
Finally, today’s new homes are more likely to be in a community planned around a golf course, a marina or even a race car track.
Newport Cove, a luxury planned community near Antioch, is centered around a lakefront lifestyle. The 42-acre community will eventually be home to 67 residences. Forty percent of the site is open space, including a private 8-acre waterfront park extending along the community’s 1,800 feet of lakefront, anchored by a gazebo with cooking and restroom facilities.
Newport Cove has a private marina with more than 100 slips on Bluff Lake, part of the Chain O’ Lakes. With some 7,100 acres of water, 15 lakes and 45 miles of river, this “Key West of the Midwest” accommodates activities for every water-lover: boating, swimming, tubing, waterskiing, fishing, even hunting. It has been Chicagoland’s playground for more than a century. About an hour’s drive from the City, the Chain boasts two state parks as well as many boat-in (or drive-to) restaurants and “hot spots.” Newport Cove’s marina is a short distance from several.
Newport Cove offers three distinct “neighborhoods:”
The Waterfront, 21 waterfront sites reserved for custom homes with 2,500 to 4,200 feet above grade and all with walk-out basements.
The Estates, 15 custom homes sized from 2,200 to 3,500 square feet, and
The Cottages, 31 smaller homes sized from 1,600 to 2,300 square feet in an enclave where the grass is mowed, landscape pruned, sidewalks shoveled and driveways plowed.
All Newport Cove homes have the same coastal-style look: siding, shingles and stone exteriors with white trim and cottage style landscaping. Prices start at $290,000 and go to about $1 million.
Models are open noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment. To visit, take Route 50 north to Grass Lake Road, east to North Bluff Lake Road.
Call (847) 726-2727, or visit online at www.newamericanhomes.us/.