- - Thursday, June 28, 2012

As the Fourth-of-July rush to the beach approaches, Washington-area families may wish they had a vacation home to enjoy any time ocean breezes beckon. A vacation home can become a gathering place for friends and family throughout the year and perhaps eventually morph into a retirement home.

At the Peninsula on the Indian River Bay in Millsboro, Del., the vacation homes are part of a resort community with a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a nature center, a spa, tennis courts and a bayside beach.

Residents at the Peninsula can choose varying levels of golf and country-club memberships and enjoy the security of living in a private, gated community with 24-hour security.

The community has a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse and an athletic center with a wave pool, an Olympic-size indoor pool and an outdoor pool along with a fitness center. The nature center has three sides of wooden decks overlooking tidal marshes and Lingo Creek and offers bird-watching, kayaking and fishing. The community also has a fishing pier and walking trails.

Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach are nearby for those who prefer an ocean beach. Shops and restaurants can be found in the beach towns and at the Tanger Outlet Center.

Miller & Smith is building 56 single-family homes in the Veranda Collection, which has six models priced from $279,900 to $409,900. Two of the models have first-floor master suites. The homes have from 2,348 to 3,083 finished square feet.

While golf and country-club membership fees vary according to the level chosen, homeowner association fees are $250 monthly and condominium fees are $775 annually.

The homes have beach-style architecture and details with painted fiber-cement siding; 30-year roof shingles; professional landscaping, including sodded lawns and foundation plantings; and a two-car garage with a colored concrete driveway.

Inside, each home has three or four bedrooms and 2½ or 3½ baths. Standard features include 9-foot ceilings on the main level, hardwood flooring in the entrance, oak stair rails with white pickets, a structured wiring system, a programmable thermostat and gas heat. Each kitchen has birch flat-panel cabinets and recessed lighting. The master bath includes a flat-panel birch cabinet with a cultured-marble top and a glass-enclosed shower.

The Kiawah model, with 2,507 finished square feet, is priced from $339,900.

This home has a front porch leading into a foyer with stairs to the upper and lower levels. The main level has an open great room with windows on three sides and an optional fireplace. Adjacent to the great room is a morning room with two walls of windows. Buyers can add a covered porch just outside the great room and morning room. The center-island kitchen is open to the morning room and includes a pantry. Nearby is a powder room with a pedestal sink.

The main level also has a master-bedroom suite with an optional tray ceiling. The suite includes two walk-in closets and a luxury bath with two vanities and an oversized corner shower.

This model also has a mudroom with a door to the garage, two closets and space for a washer and dryer.

Upstairs, an open loft with windows on two sides overlooks the foyer. The upper level has two bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet. The hall bath has a linen closet and a combination tub and shower. A storage closet off the hall can be converted to a third full bath.

For more information or directions to the Peninsula, call sales manager Mike Robinson at 302/945-9222 or visit www.newhomespeninsula.com.