- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

West Virginia boasts a rugged beauty that many people love. This may be why the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia - the territory that runs along Maryland and Virginia in the northeast part of the state - has become one of the fastest-growing regions in terms of housing and population growth.

While the Eastern panhandle is comprised of eight counties, Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties are closest to the metropolitan area. This region features charming villages nestled in the hills. According to the West Virginia Division of Tourism, the primary tourist attraction is Harpers Ferry, where visitors can tour the quaint, historic community on the river, visit museums and hike the trails.

Additional highlights in the area are the historic town of Martinsburg; the parks, spas and fine dining in Berkeley Springs; the annual summer theater festival in Shepherdstown and a variety of entertainment options at Charles Town Races & Slots.

Berkeley and Jefferson counties are a hub for new housing developments that offer everything from modest town homes to sprawling master-planned, amenity-filled communities. Currently, there isn’t much new construction in Morgan county, which is best known for Berkeley Springs - an artsy, vacation town with historic spas and elegant bed and breakfast inns.

Drees Homes Co. offers single-family homes in Berkeley county at the Village of Washington Trail East, priced from $199,900 to $257,500. Most of the homes come with four bedrooms, with an option to add another bedroom. The Barrington plan has a first-floor master suite, two other bedrooms and the option to add a fourth bedroom. The community offers plenty of green space and a walking path. For more information, call 304/263-8349 or visit www.dreeshomes.com.

K. Hovnanian Homes is building single-family homes at Liberty Run in Martinsburg. The four-bedroom homes come with 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 baths. Prices range from $169,990 to $244,990. The Grand Colonial series offers eight diverse floor plans to choose from and can be personalized by adding a morning room or outdoor deck.

The smallest model is the Kent model, a two-story, 1,440-square-foot home with three bedrooms and a large center-island kitchen. The largest is the Yorktown model with four bedrooms and 3,376 square feet of living space. It comes with a spacious main-level library with optional double doors. For more information, call 866/407-1142 or visit www.khov.com.

K. Hovnanian also offers three-bedroom town homes at Liberty Run that start at $144,990. These town homes come with a one-car garage and are about 1,800 square feet. The Adams III model is the largest with 2,000 square feet. Each of the homes comes with a dining room, living room and kitchen on the main level. Some plans include a breakfast room. Options include a bay window (on an end unit), a fireplace and a main-level powder room. For more information, call 866/407-1205 or visit www.khov.com.

At the Meadows at Martinsburg Station, Toll Bros. Inc. offers garage town homes priced from the high $100,000s. The community includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, tot lots and a community center. The three-story homes offer a little more than 2,000 square feet and include a luxurious master suite with vaulted ceilings and a walk-in closet. For more information, call 304/262-9034. Visit www. tollbrothers.com or www.martinsburgstation.com.

Toll Bros. offers carriage-style attached homes at the Cambridge at Martinsburg Station. The Clyburne model offers a first-floor master bedroom and a two-story family room that opens to the kitchen. There is also an upstairs loft overlooking the family room. While this plan has three bedrooms, the other floor plans offer four bedrooms. Square footage ranges from 1,986 to 2,203. For more information, call 304/262-9076. Visit www.tollbrothers.com or www.martinsburgstation.com.

Richmond American Homes Inc. has a few homes left at Chapel View in Kearneysville, just 10 minutes from Shepherdstown, Martinsburg and Charles Town. There are 10 floor plans to choose from, and the price range is $249,990 to $313,990. While most models come with four bedrooms, there is one three-bedroom and one five-bedroom floor plan offered. For more information, call 304/263-1258 or visit www.richmondamericanhomes.com.

Panhandle Homes is a local builder with four planned communities in the area. One community is Brookfield, which offers single-family homes priced from the $260,000s on one or two levels. Features include a soaking tub with ceramic surround, hardwood foyer and crown molding in the formal dining room. The community has 32 acres of preserved, open wooded spaces and plans a future ball field, boat ramp and picnic area. For more information, call 304/274-1288 or visit www.panhandlehomeswv.com.

Jefferson County also has its share of new home developments. Demory Farms is a new single-family home community by Dan Ryan Builders Inc. Homes start at 1,919 square feet with a starting base price in the mid-$200,000s. There are seven floor plans to choose from, and the price goes up to $313,900 for the largest floor plan. Standard features include 9-foot ceilings, hardwood floors in the foyer, vaulted ceilings and 42-inch cabinets. For more information, call 304/263-0517 or visit www.danryanbuilders.com.

At the Preserve at Barleywood, Dan Ryan Builders offers luxury homes starting from the mid-$300,000s. Homes range from 2,277 to nearly 3,500 square feet. The Buckingham model is the largest plan with four bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. These homes come with hardwood floors in the foyer and powder room, professional-grade appliances and an upgraded trim package. For more information, call 304/724-4189 or visit www.danryandbuilders.com.

D.R. Horton Inc. offers three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath town homes in Berkeley Ridge with up to 1,750 square feet of living space. Additional features include a third-floor laundry and an optional, finished lower-level recreation room. Buyers may choose homes with garages or without garages. Prices range from $134,990 to $137,990. The community is 10 minutes from Martinsburg and 20 minutes from downtown Hagerstown in Maryland. For more information, call 304/274-2638 or visit www.drhorton.com.

Ryan Homes is offering single-family homes in the planned community of Huntfield in Charles Town. This community pays homage to a bygone era with front porches and white picket fences. Within the neighborhood, there is the Huntfield Club and Pool complex, as well as parks, a post office, a business center and retail shopping. Six models range from the upper $220,000s to the upper $270,000s. The Michener II model is a classic neotraditional home with a front porch, four bedrooms and a turned staircase. For more information, call 888/879-7108 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.

Ryan Homes also has town homes available at Fairfax Crossing. Prices start in the low $200,000s, and the homes have three to five bedrooms. For more information, call 888/627-2476 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.

Beazer Homes Corp. is offering single-family houses in Colonial Hills with three floor plans. The four-bedroom homes come with gourmet kitchens and are situated on one-third-acre home sites. Prices range from $274,990 to $355,990. The 2,777-square-foot Calvert model is the least expensive. It includes a dramatic two-story foyer and a main-level study. Options include a family room extension and sunroom addition. For more information, call 866/847-3902 or visit www.beazer.com.

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