Home buyers who prefer new construction can get a little jaded. All those two-story foyers and gourmet kitchens start to look alike.
But what if you could visit 41 of the most interesting new home developments in one weekend? The Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh has made it easy with the 2012 Festival of Homes, which continues through this weekend.
The map at www.pghhomebuilders.com/festival_of_homes.aspx offers a snapshot of where development is booming. North has the lion's share of homes, 23, followed by East with seven, South with six, West with four and the city with one. Here's a look at five homes that will be open this weekend:
Built on 34 acres of what was once Edgewater Steel, Edgewater at Oakmont will eventually have 180 homes. So far, 40 townhomes, courtyard homes and single-family homes have been finished and occupied.
The furnished model that is open for this event is a single-family cottage home with three bedrooms, three baths and about 2,100 square feet of living space. The exterior is made of brick and Hardie Board and the house is framed with 2-by-6s instead of 2-by-4s, helping it earn an Energy Star rating.
The kitchen features granite counter tops and solid-wood cabinetry. Ceilings on the first floor are 10 feet. This home, featuring many upgrades, sells for $440,000, according to Jason Corna, director of marketing and sales for Kacin Companies, which partnered with Heartland Homes. Information: 412-877-1055 or www.liveatedgewater.com.
Springer Manor in Moon has only 15 lots, but the owners of its single-family villas will have one great shared amenity -- 12.6 acres of green space with walking trails.
On the model that is open for the Festival of Homes, a large Trex deck overlooks this area. Developed and built by Londonbury Homes, the model is sided in brick and Hardie Board. Buyers can choose stone instead of brick.
Similar to a patio home but without touching walls, the house has four bedrooms, two full baths and two powder rooms. The hardwood floors found throughout the first floor are standard, as is the concrete driveway, sidewalks, Kohler and Moen fixtures and 3/4-inch copper plumbing. There is a two-car attached garage and porcelain tile floors in the master bath and laundry room. The price is $434,900, according to marketing agent Renee Rose-Modrak of Keller Williams. Information: 412-638-6700 or www.springermanorhomes.com.
Sycamore Reserve in North Franklin, Washington County, now has 63 finished semi-custom, single-family homes. Eventually, Keith Homes will build a total of 100 on a 120-acre site.
The house open this weekend has three bedrooms, 21/2 baths and 2,300 square feet. What sets it apart from others in the plan is a two-story family room with a direct-vent gas fireplace that is visible from a second-floor hallway.
Built to Energy Star standards, it has a custom kitchen with rustic birch cabinetry in two shades -- dark on the central island and lighter elsewhere. Counter tops are made of quartz. Hand-scraped acacia wood floors cover most of the first floor and there is a 21/2-car attached garage.
The second-floor master bath features oversized ceramic tiles with a bamboo look. The exterior features vinyl shakes and siding, Simonton windows and a Superior wall foundation. This contract house sold for $380,000. Information: 724-223-0285 or www.keithhomes.net.
The American Prairie style created by architect Frank Lloyd Wright has a clean, modern look that is growing in popularity. Creative Real Estate Development chose it for this house, setting it apart from the 22 other homes in the North area of the Festival of Homes.
Stone columns and Brazilian walnut decking highlight the front and side entrances of the 2,700-square foot home with four bedrooms and 21/2 baths. Craftsman-style trim and crown molding are found throughout the interior, including the sunken family room with a stone wood-burning fireplace flanked by built-in bookcases.
The gourmet kitchen features granite counter tops, stainless-steel appliances, a large island and maple cabinetry. Scraped hardwood floors extend throughout the first floor. The master suite has a double-door entry and tray ceiling and the bath has a jetted tub, ceramic-tile shower and double-bowl sink set in granite. Builders are A. Allen Adams Contracting, Signature Homes and Distinguished Homes.
The house is priced at $485,000 through Barbara Kleppick of Northwood Realty Services. Information: 724-584-7613 or www.cranberryparkplace.com.
Eutaw Street Townhomes on Mount Washington is the only city dwelling open for the builders event, but its amenities stack up well against its suburban rivals, and they can't touch its accessibility to Downtown.
Prime 1 Builders has created 1,800-square-foot luxury townhomes with three bedrooms and 21/2 baths. Hardwood floors run throughout, including the kitchen, which has granite counter tops, cherry wood cabinets, stainless-steel appliances and a ceramic tile floor. There is a composite deck off the second floor. On six new units, buyers can choose an optional third-floor deck. If they sign a contract before Oct. 31, they get a free gas fireplace in the living room, said marketing agent Roxane Agostinelli of Keller Williams.
This model is priced at $279,000 and new units start at $289,000. Information: 412-901-4073 or www.RoxaneCAN.com.homes
Kevin Kirkland: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1978.