Friday, April 25, 2014

A New Development: Mintbook - Ryan Homes Build

I have been holding out hope for about seven years that nearby land would be developed into a neighborhood. It has been a LONG wait, but the time has come and the building will start soon enough! A new development titled Mintbrook is now in the works! We previously lived in a Ryan Homes - the Oberlin, that was built in 2006. It was extraordinary - to say the least. So much that it was not the appropriate home for our small family at the time and did not quite "fit us" nor feel like home. Not saying it was not a good home, by any means. We got an incredible deal on a home that originally sold for $600K and we paid around $290K. Alas, bigger is not always better. We bought in 2011 and sold in 2013. So the wait for this current home of ours has been about a 1.5 years in the making. We have toyed with the idea of moving to Wilmington, NC over this course of time, too. But as luck and God may have it, we will now be the owners of a beautiful new home by this Fall/Winter of 2014!

The development is going to be a mix of Neo-Traditional and traditional models, along with town homes, possibly some apartments, and shopping as well. I am extremely excited and open to the prospect and possibilities this change may bring! The models available are the Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, James Michener, and the Winterbrook for the single family homes. The town homes are the Mozart & Strauss.

In this case, the neo-traditional homes will have rear-load garages and be lined upon a "main street". Neotraditional buildings merely suggest the past, using decorative details to add a nostaligic aura to an otherwise modern-day structure. Historic features like shutters and weather vanes are ornamental and serve no practical function [neotraditional reference]. With shutters being mentioned in the previous sentence, it goes without saying that our home will be without them. Then there are traditional like homes that focus on a front load garage with a more open backyard concept. The Winterbrook will be the only 1st floor owners suite with main level living.

Our original intent was to choose between the John Steinbeck vs. the James Michener. We loved the first floor layout of the Steinbeck and the upper level (2nd floor) of the Michener. When it came down to pricing and options, the Ernest Hemingway was a realistic choice for us to get the options and the most useful home that suited us.

Ernest Hemingway Model - Kitchen
We have been talking about wanting a home that makes use of each designated space so that no space goes left unused. In our previous home, we made no use of the living room, dinette section (because we had a morning room), bedrooms 3 & 4 (would be more useful if we have more children, however), or the entire basement (except for storage). We did love having a designated study, morning room, 2nd floor laundry, beautiful upgraded kitchen, and an incredibly large (almost too large though) master bath and 2 master walk-in closets. During the process of touring each the Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Michener it is easily seen that no space goes unused. The homes are a smaller scale than that of traditional homes, but again no space goes unused.

We could have chosen the traditional side-attached garage but when it came down to it, we wanted to enjoy the community for what it was trying to reflect. That is an attempt at being a community such as that where people spend time outside WITH their neighbors and where nearby common areas are present to enjoy activities together. From the development drafts, we are expecting to have sidewalks lined with trees. My only wish - small white picket fences. :) I have this idea in my head of how this will look and I can only hope to see what may come of the developers idea. I am extremely eager and believe that he is spot on with his design. With the shopping located in the development, it will be nice to come home on a Friday evening and hopefully not have to go anywhere but walk down the street to the shopping area. I am hoping this is more along the lines of an "on-foot" kind of development incorporated into the planning of the shops as well. We will see!


  1. I've enjoyed looking through your blog and I am so disappointed Ryan homes does not offer your model here! I could not agree more that bigger is not better! My husband and I were looking for a home here that would fit our smaller family without being too much space for us. We had a home previously with multiple rooms that we never used (and sold a year later) and did not want to do that again! The problem in our area (DC) it seems everyone wants the BIGGEST house they can get! We wound up deciding on a townhome to build since space wise (and cost wise) it better suits our wants/needs. Good luck on your progress and I love your design choices! It'll be great to watch it all come together!

    1. Hey Katie! It is so incredibly hard to find the Hemingway or any of the neo-traditional homes for that matter. There is a development in Clarksburg, MD, Aldie, VA, the outskirts of NoVA (which is our development), and then in Charlottesville is all that I know of. That is EXACTLY how we were.. had rooms that went to waste and we, too, moved a year and a half later. I know what you mean when you say in the DC area, everyone wants "bigger because it's better". I am over that! :) You are going to get a beautiful townhouse! I think the townhouses are the same square footage as the home we are getting and like you said, just enough space! Good luck to your family as well. Can't wait to see the walls go up soon for you! :)


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