Benefits of Garbage Chutes

If you live or work in a building with multiple levels, it is neither convenient nor sanitary to go down the stairs or elevator carrying a bag of trash. Garbage chutes in these buildings go far beyond convenience – they are beneficial to all involved.

With garbage chutes, residents only need to walk a few steps to their floor’s chute drop off. Garbage goes down the chute, or large tube, to a central location in a building. Typically, the garbage chute has an entrance and is covered with a door for safety.  Residents do not need to worry about taking out the garbage for a certain day or time, and do not need to lug garbage bags to a dumpster.

Building management also benefits from garbage chutes. The Residences at 66 High Street have garbage chutes in the multi-level buildings The Whitfield, The Leete, and The Chittenden. This means management does not need to go around the entire building collecting garbage – it is all in one centralized location. In addition, the garbage collector only needs to go to one place to collect trash each week.

Garbage chutes may seem like a small convenience that can be overlooked when designing a building, but the benefits make it a must-have in commercial and residential buildings with multiple floors.

What are Common Areas?

Common areas are the areas of a condominium, apartment, or townhouse complex that are shared by all residents.

Some of the most basic common areas include parking lots, hallways, and shared laundry facilities. Depending on the complex, common areas can also include a fitness center, pool, or clubhouse. Because these areas are shared between all residents, the cost of upkeep and repair comes from Condo Association or HOA fees.

When setting our vision for Residences at 66 High Street, we knew we wanted to provide luxury condominiums with luxury common areas. Great care has been given to creating the outdoor environment. The landscaping and underground utilities allow for unobstructed views of the salt marsh and Long Island Sound, with thirty-foot trees strategically placed for privacy. All units face an intimate courtyard to create a sense of unity throughout the community.

In addition, a state of the art Fitness Room is located in the Whitfield Building and features top of the line equipment from Peloton, Life Fitness, and Hammer Strength. Residents will soon be able to enjoy a pool, which has the final approval to be built.

Common areas are also found in office buildings. The professional campus at 350 Goose Lane Office Park features three buildings of office space. The outside common areas include the parking lots, outdoor courtyard, and landscaped property. Formerly home to Wilber & King Nursery, the Horton Group kept the integrity of the grounds for ample green space, complete with a pond. Inside, the common areas of the buildings include the hallways, staircases, elevators, and bathrooms.

Common areas can be as important to residents and business owners as the individual units. By creating common spaces that are both functional and beautiful, people are more apt to feel like they are part of a community.

Emtek Hardware

When designing or remodeling, hardware plays an important role in the aesthetic of a space. Door knobs, locks, and even hinges all add to the overlook of both the exterior and interior of your home.

Emtek, a company with decades of experience designing door hardware, allows you to mix and match hardware to achieve the look you want. They offer over 100 types of hardware, with designs that range from traditional to contemporary to rustic. In addition, Emtek offers a variety of materials and finishes. To view Emtek products, click here.

Emtek is part of the Assa Abloy group, the “global leader in door opening solutions.” Emtek designs and assembles hardware for doors and cabinets in Southern California.

Security is another top priority when choosing door hardware. Emtek offers a variety of locks, including:

  • Electronic Locks
  • Tubular Entry Sets
  • Mortise Entry Sets
  • Deadbolts
  • Key in Knobs
  • Sideplate Locks

There are many manufacturers who consider design and security when it comes to hardware. So what makes Emtek standout? Along with exceptional craftsmanship, Emtek provides quality customer service and is committed to sustainable practices. These are reasons Horton Group uses hardware products from Emtek in our development projects.

What are the HOBI Awards?

The HOBI’s, or Home Building Industry Awards, are prestigious awards given by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut. For 24 years, awards have been given to builders, developers, architects, and construction companies for outstanding work. In 2017, 137 awards were given in the following categories:

  • Custom Homes
  • Spec homes
  • Communities
  • Remodeling
  • Commercial
  • Special Focus
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Home Financing
  • Community Service

Horton Group is proud to be an HOBI award winner. The Residences at 66 High Street, our luxury condominium development in Guilford, CT, earned the following awards:

2017 HOBI Awards:

  • Best Luxury Condominium Community
  • Outstanding Luxury Condominium
  • Best Luxury Townhouse

2016 HOBI Awards:

  • 2016 Project of the Year
  • Best Condominium Community
  • Best Luxury Condominium Unit
  • Best Historic Rehab Overall

The 25th annual HOBI Awards are taking place November 13th, 2018, where the Horton Group is up for more awards. For more information, click here.

What’s it like living at 66 High Street?

Kathy Moniello, a resident at The Residences at 66 High Street, shares her experience of living in one of the luxury condominiums in Guilford. 

After selling an oceanfront home in Westbrook, Kathy moved to High Street in December 2017. “Because I was leaving something so beautiful, I knew I couldn’t settle,” she said. The Residences at 66 High Street have not disappointed.

“Everytime I pull in and see the beautiful grounds and walk to my unit, I feel joy and pride in ownership.” 

From the high-end units, to the friendly and supportive residents, to the helpful team at The Horton Group, Kathy has settled in to a new life in Guilford.

The high-end look and feel of 66 High Street, including the property, amenities, and individual units, is something Kathy appreciates. Within her unit, she loves the top of the line appliances, ample storage, and ability to customize to her needs and style. With the fitness room being completed, residents are bringing in a personal trainer for group classes a few times a week. Kathy is also looking forward to the proposed pool.

It’s easy to be captivated by a luxurious unit, but when paired with incredible neighbors, that unit becomes home. “I don’t know how we have attracted so many wonderful people,” says Kathy. The residents help each other out, spend time with each other, and have created a strong bond. “Last week,” she says, “we were all out with our dogs, then before you know it everyone went to get a bottle of wine. Someone got the pizza they were making, and we were all over at my unit having a little party.”

The Horton Group has spared no expense building the Residences at 66 High Street.

“They have been amazing throughout the entire process,” Kathy explained. “Whether it is Earl, Kenny, or Jason, they want the very best outcome.”

Kathy’s unit was completely finished when she bought it, but she wanted to make some changes, including switching to a stackable washer dryer and installing a central vac system. “This can be difficult to do post construction, but instead of saying, ‘It can’t be done,’ Jason came in, looked at what I wanted and said, ‘This is how we can make it happen.’”

By paying attention to every detail during the development, building, and marketing of 66 High Street, The Horton Group built more than luxury condominiums. They built an unparalleled community. And it was just what Kathy was searching for.

 

Interested in the Residences at 66 High Street? Schedule a showing today.

Condo Associations: What do they do?

Living in a condominium can be filled with perks, including the use of a fitness room or pool, lawn maintenance, and snow removal. In order to keep common areas maintained and unit owners happy, Condo Associations set rules, regulations, and fees for condominium and townhouse owners. The Condo Association’s board of directors, voted in by unit owners, oversees this work and handles disputes that may arise.

Condo Association Fees

In addition to paying a mortgage, unit owners pay condo association fees or dues. The board of directors determines how much members pay for the upkeep of the association. Fees can vary greatly depending on what amenities are available to unit owners. Condo association fees are used for the general upkeep of the property, such as landscaping, as well as repairs for common areas, such as new roofing.

Common Areas

Common Areas in condominium associations can include parking areas, sidewalks, lobbies, hallways, lawns, fitness rooms, pools, and recreational areas. These areas are for the use of all unit owners. Maintenance and repairs in common areas are paid from Condo Association dues. Condo Associations also have their own insurance policy for common areas. To learn more about what may be covered by your association vs. what your personal unit policy should cover, head to Allstate’s article on the topic.

Rules and Disputes

Condo Associations do not just pay for the upkeep of common areas, they also work to build an enjoyable living community for all members. This requires rules and regulations for unit owners. These rules can cover broader topics such as pet and noise regulations, down to color options for your front door. When disputes arise between members or rules are not followed, the board of directors is in charge of settling these cases, whether it is through warning letters, fines, or other means.

Condo associations can be very beneficial for members, but only if it’s regulations, fees, and perks are fitting with your lifestyle. Learn as much as you can about the association before buying a new unit. Laws for condo living vary state to state, so also look into State Condo Laws.

 

Custom Kitchens: Know the Process

Creating a custom kitchen can be an exciting and overwhelming task. Depending on who you work with, the process and timeline will vary, but each phase is an important step in getting the kitchen of your dreams.

  • Choose who to work with. In this preliminary phase, it is important to find a designer or contractor who you trust and understands your vision. Most will complete this phase at no cost or obligation. Be sure to:
    • Ask to see past projects to get a feel of the designer or contractor’s work.
    • Give your budget and explain your non-negotiables in regards to amenities, products, and style.
    • Discuss the timeline. How long will your project take?
    • Review preliminary ideas, styles, and designs with the contractor or designer.
    • Get an estimate of the work to be done.

At Horton Group, we choose to work with Bender, for their award-winning work and unbeatable customer service.

  • Design. Once you have chosen who to work with, the fun part of design begins. This is when you will place your first deposit and meet to develop the following:
    • Layout and floor plan for the kitchen and cabinets.
    • Selection of material and hardware for cabinets.
    • Selection of tile, appliances, countertops and plumbing fixtures.
  • Manufacturing. Depending on what you are getting, this phase can take weeks or even months. Remember that custom cabinetry is built to match your style, needs, and measurements of your space. Request updates throughout this process to put your mind at ease.
  • Installation. See your vision come to life! Contractors will generally begin by installing cabinetry, followed by countertops, plumbing, lighting, and tiling. Once installation is complete it is time to enjoy your custom kitchen!

Going custom is your chance to create the exact kitchen you want, so take your time, stick the decisions you know will work for you, and know that the wait for completion will be worth it!

 

How to Downsize to a Condo

Follow these tips to get rid of unneeded possessions and make the most of your new space.

Downsizing can seem like a daunting task. Most people have a habit of collecting “stuff” throughout their lives – whether it is memorabilia, more furniture to fill a bigger home, or equipment for landscaping a yard. When the time comes to downsize or move into a condo, it can prove to be a difficult task, especially when emotions are involved. Here are some tips to help you through the process:

Start small

Choose a room you seldom use to begin. Start with the big pieces in the room, such as the furniture. Is there a specific spot for that couch in your new place? From there, move to other objects in the room. When was the last time you used it? If the answer is several months ago, it is time to let it go. From there, go to the next room. Before you know it, you will have cleared out many non-essential items from your home.

Start Selling

Selling your used items has never been easier. You no longer need to plan and hold a yard sale, hoping people show up. Simply take pictures, and upload with a short description to one of the apps below. Ebay and craigslist are still relevant, but here are some others that may be more convenient or get you more money:

Prioritize

If you know the layout of the condo you are moving into, measure the rooms and prioritize. What furniture is essential for the living room, bedroom, and dining area? If the furniture you own is too large, sell and look for something smaller. In the kitchen, separate your most used items from those you rarely (or never) use. You can also get rid of duplicate items as you go through your belongings.

Think Storage and Multipurpose

Storage is key for living in small spaces. At the Residences at 66 High Street, storage space is provided to residents to ease the transition from house to condo. If extra storage space is not an option, multipurpose furniture items are key. Ottomans with tops that lift can store extra items in the living area. Hanging shoe racks help to make the most of your closet space. Use the wall or ceiling for a rack to hang pots and pans in the kitchen. You’ll realize there are plenty of places to store items when you get creative.

Ask for help

When it comes to your most sentimental items, ask for help from somebody you trust, or hire a professional organizer. Create four piles: keep, sell, donate, or toss. As you go through your possessions, put each in a pile, and stick to your decisions! You can also consider taking a picture of meaningful memorabilia so you can look back at it without taking up any space.

If you are thinking of downsizing, you are not alone. This survey by Trulia shows that 60% of people who currently live in a home larger than 2,000 square feet want to downsize the next time they move. Tiny houses are also becoming more popular options for people who want to own an affordable home. Whatever the reason, downsizing your living space means downsizing your material possessions, leaving you with less clutter, less costs, and possibly a bit more peace of mind.

 

Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

Benefits and Risks of Investing in Commercial and Residential Real Estate

As real estate developers, we take into account differences with commercial and residential real estate when building or renovating. With 350 Goose Lane Office Park development, we work to develop commercial office space that can be built-to-suit, while incorporating top of the line features and plenty of green space. At The Residences at 66 High Street, we focus on luxurious amenities and convenience for residents. Differences between commercial and residential do not stop with the development – there is also a lot to consider as an investor. We outline some of the key benefits and risks below.

Commercial Properties – Potential Benefits & Risks

If you have the funding and experience, there are a handful of potential benefits to investing in a commercial property.

  • Longer leases, generally ranging between 3-10 years, provide more stable income.
  • Less maintenance for the owner, developer, or property manager, assuming net lease agreements are in place.
  • Strong returns in the form of income and capital growth.

Commercial real estate ventures also come with potential downsides. Because commercial properties are pricier than most residential properties, they often require higher start-up costs. Also, finding tenants for open space can be difficult, particularly in a poor economy.

Residential Properties – Potential Benefits & Risk

Whether flipping houses or investing in large multi-family properties, residential real estate can be a great investment medium for individuals from all income brackets. The potential benefits include:

  • Lower start-up costs, whether you are buying a one family or multi-family property.
  • Easier to finance, with mortgage options for every type of buyer.
  • Tenants found faster, compared to commercial tenants.

While one can flip a house and put it right back on the market, being an investor or landlord in a residential property requires a great deal of involvement. In regards to property management, residential buildings require far more active participation than commercial properties, as lease agreements tend to take responsibilities out of tenants’ hands.

Investing in real estate can be a great way to diversify your investments and can also be relatively risk-averse if you know what to expect. Before committing to a commercial or residential property, it is important to understand what is required and what suits you best.

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