April marks a special one for The Horton Group: not only is it New Homes Month, but two more units at the Residences at 66 High Street recently went under contract, which means there is just one unit left!
This month, we’re taking the time to reflect on the work we do, and share the benefits of new construction!
Rise in Popularity
New construction continues to rise in popularity among home buyers. In fact, 60% of buyers say they prefer new homes, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. This is the highest level since 2007.
This year, buyers are turning to new construction even more. With low inventory and multiple offer situations across the nation, buyers are finding it more challenging to find a property that fits their needs.
Benefits for Buyers
As people have spent more time at home over the past year, many want a home that satisfies their wants and needs. With new construction, buyers can select their preferred floor plan and finish design touches.
The NAHB survey found that buyers want more bedrooms and bathrooms compared to previous years, noting that an increase in square footage is essential for many. Buyers also want features including a laundry room, energy-efficient features, outdoor living, and walk-in pantries.
As builders enter the final stages of construction, buyers enjoy selecting finishes, fixtures, flooring, and paint colors. When they move in, there is nothing to change or update because they fulfill their needs from the start.
Benefits for the Economy
New homes benefit both the homeowner and the economy. The construction of 1,000 single-family homes creates 2,900 full-time jobs across all US industries. Not only does this open up more job opportunities, but also brings in more to federal, state, and local tax revenues.
Adaptive reuse is the process of reusing an old building or site for a new purpose. While this can include the historic preservation of a site, it can also include taking an existing structure and transform it into something new.
The Horton Group’s Adaptive Reuse Projects
Two of Horton Group’s developments include adaptive reuse: The Residences at 66 High Street and Overland Lofts Springfield.
At 66 High Street, the historic Mill Building was previously a factory that made everything from torpedoes to lollipops. Now, the building houses luxury condominium units, keeping intact many original features.
The historic Willys-Overland Building in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts once included an automotive showroom, sales facility, and 1,000-car garage for the motor company that became Jeep. Now, the 76,000 square-foot building has transformed into Overland Lofts, which includes residential apartments and retail space.
Why Adaptive Reuse?
Adaptive reuse can be an excellent alternative to new construction, especially in established locations. Here are some benefits to adaptive reuse:
Maintains Historic Sites. Adaptive reuse is a form of preservation for historic sites. Builders work with the town or historic district to preserve the buildings’ significance while utilizing the space for a community need.
Lower Construction Costs. When compared to new construction, adaptive reuse often has lower construction costs, due to fewer materials needed, as well as local and federal historical tax credits.
Speeds up Construction. New construction may require clearing the property and starting with a foundation. Adaptive reuse projects are often completed in less time, especially when the majority of the work is cosmetic and not structural.
Unbeatable Architecture. When preserving a historic building, builders often incorporate architectural elements that cannot be replicated in new construction. This may include exposed beams or original flooring, adding character to the final design.
Adaptive reuse projects and developments always inspire the Horton Group. What are some of your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
From the historic Mill Building to brand new Whitfield and Leete Buildings, every kitchen at the Residences at 66 High Street is customized to meet the needs of the owners.
As the social hub of the home, today’s kitchen is a place that is on display in an open floor plan. To accommodate for both function and style, we’ve worked with incredible interior designers to achieve the goals of each resident.
Scroll through to take a look at some of the 66 High Street kitchens, and perhaps get some inspiration for your own!
What is your favorite kitchen? Let us know in the comments!
The 2020 Parade of Homes is taking place this weekend! Will we see you there?
Twenty-three properties in central Connecticut will be showcased this year, including the Residences at 66 High Street, Horton Group’s award-winning luxury development in Guilford. Join us on October 17th or 18th for fall refreshments and a tour of the development.
Parade of Homes
The Parade of Homes has been helping residents find housing for over seventy years. The concept started in Minnesota back in 1948. Throughout the 1950’s, this event grew even more popular due to soldiers returning home from war and looking for property. This process made property shopping far simpler and more interactive.
The event began to transform into its more modern form in the 1990’s when an online tour option was available for use. From there, the Parade of Homes expanded in all directions of the real estate market to include different price points and different types of construction, allowing a variety of buyers and homebuilders to follow the event.
The Central Connecticut Parade of Homes is put on by the Homebuilders & Remodelers Association (HBRA). Take the self-guided tour to learn more about the latest trends in home design and meet Connecticut’s top builders and developers.
Home Builders & Remodelers Association
The Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Central Connecticut is a team of professionals striving to protect and enrich housing opportunities for both developers and residents, creating jobs and homes. HBRA represents the very best in their industry; whether a builder, remodeler, developer, or associated trade or supplier, HBRA is committed to their clients and wishes to expand opportunities through exposure and marketability.
The HBRA 2020 Parade of Homes is a ticketed event that will take place this weekend, October 17th and 18th from 11am- 5pm. Purchase your tickets to the HBRA 2020 Parade of Homes by clicking here!
Building with masonry is a timeless art form that goes back many centuries. Nowadays, masonry construction is a choice for many homeowners due to the aesthetic appeal it adds to a home.
Masonry consists of assembling structures from single units that are laid and bound together with mortar. This construction technique is popular for various projects due to its many advantages. Here are a few of the great benefits of masonry construction:
Masonry is non-combustible and offers high resistance against rotting, termites, mold, and fungus.
Masonry structures have long lifespans and require less maintenance than many other building materials.
Being both durable and resistant, masonry withstands large amounts of weight and heavy storms, heat, and cold.
Finally, this construction technique can add insulation, ultimately lowering your utility bills.
Brick, stone, and concrete blocks are the most common materials used in masonry construction. We’ll dive into the advantages and disadvantages of each material.
Bricks are easier to handle and transport, not to mention cheaper than stones and concrete. Depending on the structural requirements, they adhere to different types of mortar. On the downside, bricks are less durable than stone and concrete. There are also fewer options in regard to size and color.
This construction technique is used for building foundations, floors, retaining walls, arches, walls, and columns. Stones used for masonry construction are natural rocks and are the most durable building materials. Compared to bricks, one of the main benefits of stones is the variety of colors, sizes, and textures. However, stone masonry does require skilled workers due to ensure the structure is safe.
Concrete Block Masonry
Also known as concrete masonry unit (CMU), concrete block masonry consists of solid or hollow blocks found in many sizes and colors. Concrete blocks can be manufactured to meet any size requirements for specific projects. The material is the most resistant to weather, mold, and pests. On the other hand, concrete masonry requires more manpower. Concrete blocks also increase the amount of steel to reinforce cement concrete structures.
The past five years have been filled with adventure and connection. Now, as we face this unprecedented time, we are more grateful than ever for the unparalleled community that surrounds us.
Keep reading to learn updates for the community, and how we are able to assist residents and clients during this time.
Model Unit 33
Unit 33 is complete! Due to the vision of a talented team of people, we are able to make every unit at 66 High Street unique and awe-inspiring. Nicole White, one of the real estate agents representing 66 High Street, designed the interior, and Madison Furniture Barn staged the entire unit. Watch the video above and take the virtual tour here. Tell us your favorite design elements in the comments!
Technology allows us to set up virtual tours for any unit. We can utilize FaceTime or Zoom to show you a completed unit, progress in space that is being constructed, or new materials that arrived to the unit. When required, we are also able to set up in-person showings for up to two people at a time.
Communication and Safety
One thing that hasn’t changed is our level of communication. We continue to talk daily, connecting with our team, our suppliers, and our clients every step along the way. Every group that we work with is going above and beyond to meet the needs of the moment while putting strict safety measures into place.
As we continue with our ongoing projects, the people that make up 66 High Street and the shoreline communities continue to share their generosity and support, proving once again what a special place this is.
Four years ago, Interior Designer Maryellen Sullivan was asked to help design units at The Residences at 66 High Street. The development would break ground around the corner from her own home, and she immediately knew she wanted to assist in creating a community as distinct as the town of Guilford.
“When I got involved, I felt it was important to help make it the best that it can be. I want the level and quality of it to be something that can be maintained throughout the years,” Maryellen explained.
During those initial stages, Maryellen worked with us at The Horton Group to select materials and elements to attract people and remain timeless over the years.
She continues to move forward with this vision in every unit she completes.
The Old and The New
The Residences at 66 High Street masterfully blend historical features of the town with brand new luxury design. The Mill Building was the first to be renovated. Initially built in 1884, the Mill once made everything from lollipops to torpedo switches.
Many of the original features, including antique brick, steel, exposed beams, mill trusses, and refurbished factory lighting remain in the units. These unique features allowed Maryellen to be creative when designing each residence, pairing the industrial elements of the building with luxury finishes to create functional living spaces.
“As a designer, I’m seeing things years ahead,” Maryellen stated. “No matter the style, there is still a range of what will be relevant in five years.”
In every unit she completes, Maryellen selects home finishes that have staying power. With the rustic elements inside the Mill Building, it was essential to highlight the uniqueness of each living space, while ensuring the finished product would outlast a trend.
The Leete, The Whitfield, and The Chittenden (currently being constructed) are new buildings with an entirely different style than The Mill. These modern luxury units feature thoughtfully laid-out open floor plans, high ceilings, crown molding, and high-end finishes.
The beautiful architectural features and an abundance of windows allow the incredible views of the marsh and Long Island Sound to be a central feature. In these units, Maryellen works to ensure the living space is laid out seamlessly, so residents feel like they are part of the exquisite landscape.
Up next: Unit 27
As one of the two residences left in The Whitfield Building, Unit 27 is Maryellen’s current project. With each new space, her goal is to create a unique unit that fits with the rest of the building.
How is Whitfield unit 27 going to stand out among the already completed units?
It begins with the floor plan. All residences have the highly desired open floor plan in the main living areas. In unit 27, Maryellen is working to create more defined spaces that naturally flow from one area to the next.
“I wanted to design a floor plan that is unique to itself yet as dynamic as the other units,” explained Maryellen.
For materials, Maryellen is mixing elements to create a fresh look. Classic mahogany instead of rustic wood used in The Mill, brass and gold fixtures, and the contrast in flooring and cabinet colors are creating a unique kitchen.
The unit also has incredible geometric fixtures that give it great style.
“In my mind’s eye, it looks awesome,” Maryellen says. “I hope when people walk in, they will see the qualities that highlight it as fresh.”
Working at 66 High Street
While Maryellen is continually inspired by the features and views at 66 High Street, she is most impressed with the community.
Having lived in Guilford for more than 20 years, Maryellen feels a deep connection to the town. As new residents move into 66 High Street, she watches at how fascinated they become – not just of the luxury development, but of how special the shoreline town is.
In turn, the people who live in the Residences are uplifting downtown Guilford in new ways.
“66 has built a community that is changing the town. It is breathing a new energy: it’s a refreshing outcome to see how it is branching out into the community and the town center,” she said.
“Our feeling for Guilford was that is was warm, accessible; and it’s only been reinforced by the people that we’ve experienced here at 66 High Street,” says Tom Conforti, who now lives at The Residences at 66 High Street.
First drawn to the location of Guilford, after settling into 66 High Street, Tom has noticed it is more than the setting that makes the Residences feel like home.
Warm and Friendly
A coastal town, Guilford has historical roots and prides itself on community. Residents of 66 High Street can walk to the Guilford Green, where a community event is usually taking place, or pop into one of the shops or restaurants downtown.
Back home at 66 High Street, people feel engulfed in a beautiful, secluded landscape, with views of the marsh and Long Island Sound. The scenic setting is perfect for quiet evenings on the balcony or when gathering with loved ones.
In addition to the beautiful landscape and coastal living downtown, the people at 66 High Street have made Tom feel welcome in his new home. Everybody is friendly and willing to help each other out.
“We’ve been struck at how engaging the embrace was from current residents of 66 High Street,” said Tom.
With the beautiful scenery and close proximity to downtown Guilford, The Horton Group knew luxury living was the only option when planning the residences.
Like the Horton Group, Tom shared the same vision for his next home.
“We wanted luxury accommodations in a scenic setting; and of course we were able to design the house according to our specifications,” he stated.
The Horton Group works with each resident to make sure their home is ideally situated to their tastes. Each unit begins with top-of-the-line features and attributes, and can be altered to fit the taste of the homeowners.
Easy Maintenance and Worry-Free Travel
In addition to superior craftsmanship, the Residences at 66 High Street are secure and hassle-free. Whether residents travel for a couple of weeks, or spend months away at a second dwelling, there is nothing to worry about when away from home.
“When we leave to return to New Jersey,” Tom explained, “we realize we are leaving behind a home that’s secure, easy to maintain for us.”
Security provides peace of mind that cannot be measured. Knowing that when you return home, you will come back to a fully maintained home and property eliminates the stress of travel.
“We would have not purchased a home that didn’t provide us this level of luxury, convenience, and accessibility like 66 High Street does,” Tom said.
We’ve all thought about our dream home: the features, design, and amenities we would select if there were no limiting factors.
In What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 Edition), a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, close to 4,000 home buyers were surveyed to determine the most desirable features when looking for a home.
The survey found that the most desirable features are all about practicality.
Most Wanted Features
In the survey, participants ranked each feature as Essential, Desirable, Indifferent, or Do Not Want. These were the top ten features buyers look for in a home, according to the survey:
Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Essential’ or ‘Desirable’
ENERGY STAR rated windows
ENERGY STAR rated appliances
Double Kitchen Sink
A laundry room came in as the most desired feature in a home, with 91% noting this was important in their home search. Having a laundry room in the primary residence is convenient and saves our most valued asset: time.
The remaining top ten features focus heavily on sensible and sustainable features. Two spots in the top ten show that ENERGY STAR ratings are essential to today’s buyers.
In addition to ENERGY STAR windows and appliances in the top ten, ENERGY STAR for the entire home came in at number 11, with 81% of buyers stating it was essential or desirable in a home. Green construction is important to consider when moving into a new home, and ENERGY STAR features are one of the easiest ways to implement a sustainable lifestyle.
Storage is another factor homebuyers seriously consider, with both garage storage and a walk-in pantry making the top ten features.
Least Wanted Features
As far as what buyers are not looking for, here are the most unwanted features in a home:
Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Do Not Want’
Day Care Center
Plant Covered Roof
Pet Washing Station
Dual Toilets in Master Bath
Golf Course Community
Two Story Family Room
High Density Development
The top two unwanted features in a home were an elevator, with 66% of home buyers stating they did not want one in a home, and a wine cellar, with 57% of participants stating they do not want one.
Other features that are unwanted by home buyers are focused on community amenities. Ones that made the ‘do not want’ list include a daycare center, plant-covered roof, pet washing station, and golf course community.