- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2009

Retiring near the beach can move from a dream to a reality for Washington-area residents with the opening of Independence, an active-adult community in Millsboro, Del. Residents live a short drive from Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, where they can visit the beach and enjoy the amenities of these resort towns.

This community, reserved for residents age 55 and older, will have 400 homes in neighborhoods designed and built by local builder Schell Brothers LLC. The focal point for Independence is the 24,000-square-foot club, and residents can also enjoy an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, tennis courts, a putting green, biking and walking trails, parks, a community garden, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits and a barbecue grill area.

Within the club are an indoor lap pool, a fitness center, a sauna, a yoga studio, massage rooms, card rooms, a billiards hall, a lounge, a computer center, a conference center, a cafe, a bar and even a ballroom. Social activities in the community include a garden club, book club, card club, movie nights, art club, walking club, singles nights, holiday formals, poker nights and exercise clubs.

The homes are available in a variety of models including both ranch-style homes and two-level homes with first-floor master suites. The homes range in size from 1,317 to more than 3,100 finished square feet, with base prices from $289,990 to $399,990. Each home has three or four bedrooms, two to four full baths and a two-car garage. The monthly homeowner association fee of $295 includes full lawn care and access to all community amenities.

Standard features of the homes include maintenance-free exteriors with vinyl siding; a patio; Energy Star certification for energy efficiency; 9-foot ceilings on the main level; gas heat and gas water heating; ceramic tile floors in the foyer and master bath; recessed lighting in the kitchen; ceiling fan prewiring; a structured wiring system; and a luxury master bath with a soaking tub and separate shower.

Buyers can upgrade their homes with stone and brick exteriors, shutters, solar panels, tankless water heaters, security systems, fireplaces, sunrooms, room extensions, bonus rooms, bay windows and upgraded finishes such as moldings, cabinets, granite counters and hardwood floors.

The Revere model, with 1,729 to 2,728 finished square feet, is priced from $314,990. This home has a foyer with a columned entrance into the formal dining room.

Across the back of the home are an open great room with a wall of windows, a door to the patio, a breakfast area with a sliding glass door and a center-island kitchen with a pantry. Nearby is a laundry room with an entrance to the garage.

The first-floor master suite includes a linen closet, a bedroom with windows on two sides and an optional patio door, two walk-in closets, and a luxury master bath that includes a shower with a seat and a double-sink vanity.

Two additional bedrooms are on the opposite side of the home and share a hall bath.

Buyers can add a screened porch or sunroom and expand the master bath with a corner soaking tub.

For more information or directions to Independence, call 800/963-1620 or visit www.independencede.com.

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