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Vacation Without Leaving Home

May 26, 2015

Vacation Without Leaving Home

(This article, written by Bill Lewis for the Tennessean, can be found on the Tennessean's website by clicking HERE.)   Home is where the heart is, as the saying goes. It's also where you might find a clubhouse, private lake, fitness center, water slide, parks and nature preserves or even a CSA where farmers deliver locally grown produce. In many subdivisions in the Nashville region, developers are adding new amenities intended to make their neighborhoods stand out. As a result, home buyers are getting a resort lifestyle for the price of a house. Josh and Morgan Thompson enjoy evening strolls with their 3-year-old daughter Isabella to the 12-acre lake in Franklin's new Lockwood Glen subdivision. "We walk down there and watch the sunset," said Josh Thompson. "The amenities are certainly one reason we chose" Lockwood Glen. The family moved into their new home, built by Goodall Homes, last August. The neighborhood also has 4,000 feet of frontage along the Harpeth River for canoeing and fishing. A resort-style pool is planned. Prices at Lockwood Glen range from $431,990 to $486,990. Having amenities like those just a short walk away gives families more time to be together and with their neighbors instead of in the car, said Josh Thompson. "We wanted a new place, one with more of a sense of community," he said. David McGowan, president of Regent Homes, said outdoor amenities are especially appealing to parents with school-age children. "Get the kids outside. Get some sun, get some recreation," he said. Small pocket parks, "what I call tot lots," are appealing to parents of young children, said McGowan. Regent Homes also includes gazebos, playgrounds and walking trails in its communities. Residents of the StoneBridge subdivision in Lebanon can participate in a CSA — Community Supported Agriculture — that delivers fresh produce to the community. Goodall Homes, the company that developed StoneBridge, also is planning to offer a CSA at its Millstone neighborhood in Hendersonville. Millstone, which Goodall recently launched, will have an event lawn, resort pool, fitness center and a lake. StoneBridge has an 8,800-square-foot clubhouse, a fitness center and a junior Olympic-size pool. "We have a saying at StoneBridge. Come home to a vacation. People want to come home and relax," said Chris O'Neal, Goodall Homes vice president. Prices at Millstone start at $220,990 for a courtyard cottage and homes in StoneBridge range from $242,990 to $281,990. Resort-style amenities add a bit to the price of a house, but O'Neal said homeowners may actually save money since they don't have to pay for memberships in swim clubs or fitness centers. "It costs money, but it's not huge. When you spread that over the number of lots (in a subdivision) it's not huge," he said. "Plus, it creates a lifestyle, and that's good for property values. It's very appealing to someone looking for a home to buy. Think of the convenience. You avoid the drive time. You don't have to get in the car." At Kelsey Glen, the Jones Co.'s community in Mt. Juliet, where prices range from the $240,000s to the $310,000s, a new pool and cabana are opening at the end of this month. The subdivision also has 30 acres of open space. At Arbor Crest, the company's new neighborhood east of Nashville International Airport, its location is one of its main attractions. The community is a mile from Percy Priest Lake boat access. Long Hunter State Park is nearby, as is shopping at Mt. Juliet's Providence Marketplace. Homes there are priced from the $291,000s. At Westhaven, the master-planned community near downtown Franklin, residents have a choice of four pools, a lazy river and a water play area with geysers. Then there's the 119-foot-long water slide. "By the time you round the second turn, you're going pretty fast," said PJ Littleton, affiliate broker at Westhaven Realty. Adults can find quiet at the saltwater lap pool, at the clubhouse restaurant or on the golf course, he said. The community also offers outdoor movies, concerts on the lawn and the annual Porchfest music festival. "It really does feel like a country club setting," said Littleton.
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