Hope Webster and her husband Nelson are moving to Maryland from South Carolina. Nelson will be working at Aberdeen Proving Ground, so the couple looked for a house convenient to the base, with a country feel but not too removed from Baltimore.
They found their hearts' desire at Bethel Springs, a new 70-home community near the town of North East in Cecil County.
"We're far enough from city life but we're still close enough to have a signal on the cell phone," Hope Webster said. "It's quiet, it's not too congested, but it's still in close proximity to things we need."
In these tough economic times, the price tag was also right for the Websters. Starting at $249,900, the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom homes are among the most affordable in the area, according to Pat Inman, director of sales for Gemcraft Homes.
"Energy efficiency is a big issue today, and we always consider that when building homes," said Inman. "They have double-pane windows, special insulation, efficiency furnaces and programmable thermostats."
» Development: Bethel Springs
» Builder: Gemcraft Homes, Forest Hill, Md.
» Description: 70 single-family homes in Northeast, Md.
» Price: Starting at $249,900
» Contact: Dan Fisher, sales manager, 410-877-6790
The two-story colonials have unfinished basements and standard, two-car garages along with Maytag appliances. They start at 1,500 square feet, and can range up to more than 2,000 square feet.
Upgraded appliances and stainless-steel countertops in the kitchen are optional. Buyers can add morning rooms, sun rooms, 9-foot ceilings, decks and even structural extensions as well. A fourth bedrooms and another full bathroom also are possibilities.
Each home is on a one-third acre lot, and the many back to mature trees. The development is situated on a loop off Bethel Church Road, and is just about five minutes from I-95.
"North East has a little quaint market area with antique shops and restaurants," Inman said. "The MARC train station in Perryville is 15 miles away. People can commute to Baltimore or Wilmington, or even Washington. It's country living but it's close to all the amenities."
And that's what convinced the Websters that Bethel Springs was the perfect spot to call their new home.
"My husband grew up in Maryland, so we knew the area," Hope said. "We looked at the model and we were sold."