Washington-area residents familiar with Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach in Delaware are less likely to recognize the names of such towns as Milton, Millsboro, Milford, Frankford or Dagsboro.
That may be changing.
As beach developments soar in popularity, developers are beginning to build homes along routes linking the resort area with Washington, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del.
In Lower Delaware’s Sussex and Kent counties, builders are designing residences that appeal to those looking for a weekend or vacation home, a retirement home or a year-round residence for people who work in a home office or perhaps commute only a few times a week.
From Dover, in Kent County, Atlantic Ocean beaches are one hour away; the District is a two-hour drive.
Sussex and Kent counties still have plenty of rural areas and farmland, making for a scenic route from home to the city or the beach.
Each has a long history, too. The town of Lewes in Sussex County was established in 1631, according to the Sussex County Web site (www.sussex countyde.gov). The town green in Dover, in Kent County, was the site of the first vote to ratify the United States Constitution, earning Delaware’s claim to fame as the “First State,” according to the Kent County tourism Web site (www.visitdover.com).
The Sussex County Web site says that the Delaware beaches first became popular vacation destinations during the 1890s to the 1920s. Beach tourism influenced this area’s turn from an agricultural region to an area with shopping centers and restaurants designed to appeal to vacationers.
One of the busiest areas for new home developments is near the town of Millsboro along U.S. 113 near Bethany Beach.
Plantation Lakes is one of the larger developments, with homes under construction by Ryan Homes, Lennar Corp. and Gemcraft Homes.
Plans call for this resort community to include an 18-hole golf course designed by Arthur Hills, a town center with shops, entertainment and restaurants, a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, lakes and walking trails.
Single-family homes are available from all three builders, with prices from the upper $200,000s to the low $400,000s. Call 866/371-0259 or visit www.plantationlakes.com.
K. Hovnanian Homes is building single-family houses and town-home-style condominiums at the Retreat at Millstone, a planned community with a clubhouse, a swimming pool, ponds, gazebos and walking trails.
The town homes have 1,870 to 2,000 finished square feet, with three bedrooms, 21/2 baths and a one- or two-car garage. These homes are priced from the low $200,000s.
The single-family homes, priced from the upper $200,000s, have three or four bedrooms, 21/2 baths and a two-car garage. Call 302/934-7043 or visit www.khov.com.
Stonewater Creek in the Long Neck area of Sussex County has a swimming pool, tennis courts and a clubhouse.
K. Hovnanian is building single-family homes at this development, priced from the low $300,000s, with one or two levels. The homes have three or four bedrooms, two or three full baths and a two-car garage, with 1,860 to more than 3,000 finished square feet.
Call 302/945-8397 or visit www.khov.com.
Engle Homes is building garage town homes at Victoria’s Landing in Long Neck, close to Rehoboth Bay and the Indian River Bay.
The development, 15 miles from Bethany Beach and 19 miles from Rehoboth Beach, includes a community swimming pool. The town homes, priced from the $180,000s, have three finished levels with three bedrooms, 21/2 baths, a one-car garage and about 2,000 square feet.
Buyers can add a two-story screened porch. Call 302/945-2884 or visit www.engle homes.com.
Engle Homes is building villa-style town houses at Wharton’s Bluff on the Indian River in Millsboro, a development with a community swimming pool, a crabbing pier, walking paths and ponds.
The town homes, priced from the upper $200,000s to the low $300,000s, have two levels, three or four bedrooms, two or three full baths, a half bath, and a one-car garage. The homes range from 1,859 to 2,367 finished square feet.
Call 302/934-7980 or visit www.englehomes.com.
Ryan is building single-family homes at Long Neck Shores in Millsboro, a planned community with a guardhouse, ponds, gazebos, a swimming pool, a fitness center and a town center.
The one- and two-level homes will be built on cul-de-sacs and include partial stone fronts. The homes have a two-car garage and up to five bedrooms and three full baths. Prices range from the mid- to upper $200,000s.
Call 302/947-2777 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.
Near Milton, Beazer Homes Corp. is building 87 single-family homes and 42 twin homes, which are two residences built side-by-side sharing one wall, at Paynter’s Mill, a development with a clubhouse including a fitness center, a swimming pool, tennis courts, pocket parks and Paynter’s Meadow, an athletic field.
Walking and jogging trails have been designed with exercise stations along the way, and additional facilities include a tot lot, a boccie court, a horseshoe pit, a volleyball court and a half-court basketball court/multipurpose court where families can play four square and hopscotch.
The twin homes are sold out. The single-family homes are priced from the mid-$300,000s to the low $400,000s and have 1,980 to 2,810 finished square feet.
These two-level homes have three or four bedrooms, 21/2 to four baths and a two-car garage.
Call 302/645-0909 or visit www.beazer.com.
NVHomes is building single-family homes and town homes at Cannery Village, within walking distance of the historic town of Milton and minutes from Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.
Cannery Village has white picket fences around each home. The community includes a clubhouse with a restaurant and fitness center, shops, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and walking trails.
The single-family homes have four bedrooms, 21/2 baths and a two-car garage.
The Farthington model has a first-floor master suite with a courtyard-style patio off the breakfast area. The homes are priced from the mid-$300,000s.
The town homes have three bedrooms and 21/2 baths, with base prices in the mid-$200,000s. Call 302/684-1007 or visit www.nvhomes.com.
Ryan Homes is building single-family homes and villas at Cannery Village, in the Summerwalk section, priced from the upper $200,000s to the low $300,000s.
The homes have first-floor master suites, three levels, a two-car garage, four bedrooms and 21/2 baths.
Call 302/684-0446 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.
At Beaver Creek in Harbeson near Georgetown, NVHomes is building single-family houses on half-acre wooded homesites.
The development includes a swimming pool and clubhouse, plus a location 10 minutes from the beaches of Lewes and Rehoboth.
Priced from the mid-$300,000s to the low $400,000s, these homes have three or four bedrooms, 21/2 baths and a two-car garage. Some of the models have first-floor master suites.
Call 302/684-5350 or visit www.nvhomes.com.
Ryan Homes is building single-family houses at Beaver Creek in the Trails section, each on a half-acre homesite set on a cul-de-sac.
These homes have a two-car garage and 1,634 to 3,200 finished square feet, with up to five bedrooms and four baths. Some models include a first-floor master suite.
The homes are priced from the upper $200,000s to the upper $300,000s.
Call 302/684-3688 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.
Near the town of Milford, Engle Homes is building 25 single-family houses at Cedar Creek Run at Argo Farms. The development is 31/2 miles from Slaughter Beach, a town on the Delaware Bay with a public boat ramp, fishing, crabbing, boating and swimming.
The one- and two-level homes are priced from the low to upper $300,000s and have 1,837 to 3,118 square feet.
The homes have two to four bedrooms, two or 21/2 baths and a two-car garage. Call 302/422-9133.
In Kent County, much of the development is clustered near Dover.
Richmond American Homes Inc. is building single family houses at three communities in this area.
At Parker’s Run, a development with a swimming pool, the homes have four or five bedrooms, 21/2 baths and a two-car garage.
Prices range from the $270,000s to the low $300,000s.
Call 302/678-4975 or visit www.richmondamerican.com.
In Magnolia, a town near Dover, Richmond American is building homes in two developments, priced from the $270,000s to the low $300,000s.
Point Landing and Olde Field Village have homes with four or five bedrooms, 21/2 baths and two-car garages.
Call 302/697-4201 for Point Landing, 302/335-9880 for Olde Field Village, or visit www.richmondamerican.com.
PCS Homes is building town houses and twin homes — homes clustered in groups of two — at Clearview Meadow in Dover.
The development includes a swimming pool, a cabana and walking trails, plus a location near shops, restaurants and entertainment. The town-home model, priced from the $210,000s, has 1,480 square feet with three bedrooms, two baths and a one-car garage.
The twin model, priced from the $235,000s, has 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms, 21/2 baths and a two-car garage.
Call 302/734-2402 or visit www.pcshomes.com.
At Providence Crossing near the town of Clayton, Ryan is building single-family homes. The development includes tot lots, tennis courts and a pavilion.
The homes have three levels, with up to five bedrooms and up to four baths, with a two-car garage.
Base prices range from the mid-$200,000s to the low $300,000s.
Call 302/659-3699 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.
Near Smyrna, Ryan is building affordable town homes at Eagle’s View. Priced from the $180,000s to the low $200,000s, these homes have three levels, three bedrooms and 11/2 baths.
They are available with and without garages.
Call 302/659-6545 or www.ryanhomes.com.
At Twin Willows, Ryan is building single-family homes with up to four bedrooms, 31/2 baths and a two-car garage.
These homes are priced from the mid-$200,000s to the low $300,000s.
Call 302/653-7721 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.
In Middletown, in northern Delaware’s New Castle County, Ryan is building luxury homes in the Estates at Saint Anne’s, an upscale golf course community with abundant open space. The Middletown area is accessible via U.S. 301 north of Centreville, Md.
Many of the half-acre homesites have golf-course views.
The homes have up to five bedrooms, up to 41/2 baths and a two-car garage.
Base prices range from the upper $300,000s to the upper $400,000s.
Call 302/449-0711 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.
Beazer is building 39 luxury homes in Middletown at Asbury Chase 2, each on a three-quarter-acre site.
The homes have 2,800 to 6,000 square feet, with from four to eight bedrooms, 21/2 to six baths and a two- or three-car garage.
Base prices for these homes range from the upper $400,000s to the low $500,000s.
Call 302/378-3940 or visit www.beazer.com.
At Willow Grove Mill, Beazer is building single-family homes with 2,110 to 3,360 finished square feet, priced from the low $300,000s to the low $400,000s.
The development includes playgrounds and open space.
The homes have four or five bedrooms, 21/2 to four baths and a two-car garage.
Call 302/376-6057 or 302/376-5027 or visit www.beazer.com.