- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2009

This time of year, some families wistfully recall their summer beach vacation and long for a trip to enjoy an Indian summer weekend or take a walk on an empty beach.

Vacation homes, while certainly a luxury, can be a smart buy in the current market. Builders are developing communities of more affordable single-family homes, town homes and condominiums that provide a resortlike lifestyle within a short drive to the ocean.

At the Villages at Red Mill Pond in Lewes, Del., NVHomes offers low-maintenance single-family homes with water access. The location is desirable - just a few minutes from downtown historic Lewes, shopping centers, Rehoboth Beach and the boardwalk. There are unusual shops and restaurants in Lewes, and bargain-hunters will enjoy shopping at the Tanger Outlets.

Within the Villages at Red Mill Pond community, the 6,000-square-foot club includes a fitness center and two outdoor swimming pools. Plans for the community include a fishing pier, canoe and kayak launch on Red Mill Pond.

The homes, priced from $279,990 to $369,990, have 2,068 to 3,211 finished square feet with two to four bedrooms and two or three baths. Homeowner association fees are $133 per month, and lawn maintenance is included.

The homes have low-maintenance exteriors with 5-inch beaded siding, professional landscaping, concrete front walks and stone accents on the facade. Standard features include hardwood floors in the foyer; decorative moldings; 9- and 10-foot ceilings; French doors with transoms; recessed lighting; high-tech wiring; 42-inch cabinets in the kitchen; ceramic tile tub and shower surrounds in the bath; and Energy Star certification for energy-efficient windows, heating and insulation.

The Armistead model, a one-level home with 2,068 finished square feet, is priced from $279,990. This home has a front porch with columns, a foyer with double doors to a study, a separate dining room with columns, and a great room that opens to the kitchen and breakfast area. The kitchen includes a breakfast bar.

This model has a master suite with a luxury bath, a double-size walk-in closet and an adjacent laundry room. Near the front of the home are a second bedroom and a second full bath. Buyers can add a master suite sitting room, a morning room and tray ceilings. Another option is to convert the study to a third bedroom.

The Cavendish model, with 2,432 finished square feet, is priced from $314,990. This home has a covered front porch with columns. Inside, a two-story foyer has columns flanking the entrance to the formal dining room. The dining room has a tray ceiling and a front bay window, with the option of adding a second bay window or two extra windows on the side.

In front of the foyer, a hall leads past the open kitchen and breakfast area, each with sloped ceilings, to the great room. Buyers can add a fireplace to the great room and a bay window to the breakfast area. The kitchen includes a breakfast bar, which opens to the great room.

The first-floor master suite includes a tray ceiling, a walk-in closet, a second closet and a luxury bath with a soaking tub, a separate shower with a seat and two separate sinks. Buyers can add a master suite sitting area, a screened porch and an expanded great room to the back of the house.

The main level also includes a second bedroom or study with a private door into a full bath that is also accessible from the hall. A laundry room links the hall with the two-car garage.

Upstairs are a loft, a third bedroom and a full bath. Buyers can create a bonus bedroom from the loft by adding a door and a closet. This model has an optional basement level (availability depends on the lot) with a recreation room, home office, media room, full bath and storage rooms.

For more information, call sales and marketing representatives Eric Pollard and Ryan Pradon at 302/644-7014 or visit www.nvhomes.com.

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