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.
A well-designed kitchen can make an entire house feel more luxurious. The heart of the home, the kitchen is where families and friends gather to prepare food, discuss their days, enjoy meals, and unwind with a drink.
The Horton Group knows how important the kitchen is to most people, which is why we incorporate the best quality and design into the homes we build. For the luxury condominium units at The Residences at 66 High Street, we called on Bender to design the kitchen cabinetry with designer Daryl Zorn.
Bender has six Connecticut locations, with national recognition for theiraward-winning showrooms. For the model units of the Whitfield and Leete buildings, Zorn worked closely with our interior designer and Nicole White from One + Company Real Estate, the listing company for 66 High Street, to make selections.
“The rest were custom units where I worked directly with the buyers and got a feel of the styling they liked. The styles range from traditional to somewhat farmhouse with distressed cabinets to transitional,” Zorn said.
Kitchens continue to be the most desired room to renovate. The average kitchen renovation costs over $20,000, according toHome Advisor, and can easily go much higher. Because Bender focuses on function, budget, and innovative design, we reached out to them to determine which items are worth the splurge in the kitchen.
1. Cabinet Box Construction
A quality-built cabinet is essential for new kitchens. Pay attention to both the material of the cabinet box and the way it is built. Some manufacturers claim all plywood construction, but with poor assembly. Paying more for the build of the cabinets will go a long way in your kitchen.
2. Qualified Contractor or Installer
Spending money on the quality of the cabinets will go to waste if not installed correctly, and it is not the best time to try out your DIY skills. Find a contractor or installer who is an expert with cabinetry. They know what screws to use, how to level cabinetry, and how to adjust drawers and hinges. A quality installation job will last a lifetime and makes it easier for other contractors in your kitchen, including plumbers, electricians, and countertop installers.
High-quality appliances not only add to the design of your kitchen but, more importantly, better your cooking experience and the food you eat. With advanced technology, high-end appliances give you more control over how you cook and make cleanup easier.
4. Cabinet Hardware
Hardware allows for endless customization options in the kitchen. Mixed metals, including brushed brass, chrome, and matte black, are trending in kitchen designs. Bender recommends choosing two or three metals that complement each other and play off of one another in cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and faucets. The “jewelry” of the kitchen, cabinet knobs and pulls can make the difference between a nice kitchen and a fabulous kitchen.
No matter what you decide to spend your budget on in the kitchen, you cannot go wrong with quality products installed by a professional.
Dogs are great companions, but should they be allowed in condominium communities? We’re taking a look at both sides of the question below.
Yes, dogs should be allowed.
Dogs can be integral parts of any family. Fun-loving and compassionate dogs can positively contribute to life within a condominium community, especially if many of the residents have dogs. Neighbors at The Residences at 66 High Street often gather to walk their dogs together. Some pet-friendly associations do more than others by incorporating dogs parks or pet washing stations on the grounds. Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, 36% of households own dogs. For this reason, allowing dogs can significantly increase the buyer pool.
No, dogs should not be allowed.
There are liability issues that associations face when dogs are allowed. Almost a third of all homeowner’s insurance claims are due to dog bites, which is why associations must generate rules if they decide to allow pets. In addition, if not properly cared for and cleaned up after, dogs could be a headache for members of a condominium association. Without adequate training, any dog, large or small, can be disruptive and unruly.
If an association does allow dogs, there will be guidelines that must be followed. Pets are required to be registered, and when out of the residence, dogs need to be on a leash and promptly cleaned up after by owners. If you are looking to buy in a pet-friendly community, ask the following questions:
Is there a weight limit?
Are there breed restrictions?
Are there restrictions on how many pets you can have?
What rules are in place for pet owners and their pets?
Are pets allowed in your community? If so, what restrictions are in place?
With sweeping views of the salt marsh and Long Island Sound, the stately Leete is one of the newly constructed buildings in the luxury development at the Residences at 66 High Street. While this award-winning development continues to grow, The Horton Group remains dedicated to providing residents with luxurious amenities and masterful craftsmanship in the heart of historic Guilford.
Two closings in the Leete building took place in the past month, including Unit 39, which became the highest price per square foot in New Haven County this year when it sold for $1,985,275. With more units under contract, we can’t help but reflect on the history, work, and community that has made this possible.
The Horton Group took on the development of the Residences at 66 High Street, beginning with the transformation of the historic Mill building. Originally built in 1884, the building served many purposes, including a factory in World War II era. During this time, women were employed to assemble ball bearings for military vehicles, while the rear portion of the building doubled as a school for the children of factory workers. When renovating the building into 15 luxury condominiums, many original features were left intact, with units showcasing antique brick, steel, and exposed beams, paired with high-end finishes and modern day amenities.
The three new buildings on site, including the Leete, feature Type II-B construction with reinforced concrete and steel, which is high above the standard for new construction in the area. Each unit is thoughtfully laid out and designed to capture the most breathtaking views on the Connecticut shoreline.
As each year passes, the Residences at 66 High Street continue to showcase some of our best work. The development has received Home Building Industry Awards, or HOBIs, every year since 2016, including Project of the Year, Best Condominium Community, Best Historic Rehab, and Best Luxury Townhouse. As each new building goes up, we continue to pay attention to every detail, choose top quality products, and work with the best industry professionals. This work has allowed us to build a development we are proud of.
While the accolades are a perk, the community at 66 High Street is why we really love this work. Walking distance to shops, restaurants, and the Green, it is easy to enjoy all that downtown Guilford has to offer. Residents often gather together to walk their dogs, complete a workout in the fitness room, or enjoy an evening sharing laughs over a meal. When we first started this project, we envisioned a neighborhood feel, but never expected such a strong and welcoming community.
The community, combined with Guilford’s rich history and the quality work put into every unit, allows us to continue to create and sell luxury homes on the Connecticut shoreline. We are honored to have our work recognized, both by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut and by the people who chose to call 66 High Street home.
The recent closings and the units under contract, exclusively listed with One + Company at William Raveis Real Estate, speak to the work we have put in, and we are excited to watch as this community continues to grow.
Tesla has experienced massive growth in the past six years. The plug-in electric car models allow people to charge their cars rather than fill up at a gas station. Not only are these luxury cars cheaper to run, but they are also better for the environment.
With the increase in sales, more charging stations are being opened throughout the country. People need to be able to charge their cars, and charging stations at home or work are the most convenient option, as it can take between 1 and 12 hours to charge, depending on the charger (Supercharger Stations the fastest option, though not available for home use). Being able to get home, plug in your car, and charge overnight is most convenient for Tesla cars.
Connecticut is one of the states where Tesla has installation services, making it possible for residents at 66 High Street to have home chargers installed through Tesla or an independent electrician. The quickest home charging option is the Tesla Wall Connector, although owners can also use the Mobile Connector included when purchasing a new model.
In a multi-unit dwelling, Tesla owners need to speak with either the board, manager, or owner of the complex before installation. Tesla provides a template letter if you need approval to install a charging station. At 66 High Street, some of our residents already have charging installed in the underground parking garage.
As more charging stations appear in New England, Tesla automobiles are becoming an option for more people every day. The Horton Group strives to make the communities we work with both luxurious and sustainable, and are available to help residents who own a Tesla set up a home charging station.