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posted: 3/28/2014 12:01 AM

These communities celebrate the great outdoors

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  • Homes at Serosun Farms will be built in clusters around the property to maintain the rural character.

      Homes at Serosun Farms will be built in clusters around the property to maintain the rural character.
    Courtesy of John DeWald & Associates

  • Serosun Farms in Hampshire is centered around a working farm and equestrian center.

      Serosun Farms in Hampshire is centered around a working farm and equestrian center.
    Courtesy of John DeWald & Associates

  • Prairie Park's clubhouse, center, includes a fitness facility and indoor swimming pool.

      Prairie Park's clubhouse, center, includes a fitness facility and indoor swimming pool.
    Courtesy of Smith Family Construction Inc.

  • At Prairie Park, condominium owners enjoy walking a trail and the prairie landscaping on the 18-acre grounds.

      At Prairie Park, condominium owners enjoy walking a trail and the prairie landscaping on the 18-acre grounds.
    Courtesy of Smith Family Construction Inc.

  • At Newport Cove in Antioch, Bluff Lake is your front yard.

      At Newport Cove in Antioch, Bluff Lake is your front yard.
    Courtesy of New American Homes

  • Newport Cove features three distinct neighborhoods where all homes have the same coastal-like look.

      Newport Cove features three distinct neighborhoods where all homes have the same coastal-like look.
    Courtesy of New American Homes

 
By Sherry Giewald
Daily Herald Correspondent

It's what's on the outside that matters at these new home communities.

Inspired by the beauty of nature, the joy of sustainable living, or the tranquillity of water, these communities beckon you to unplug and head outdoors.

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Someone once said to be in love with your life, find a beautiful place and get lost. Here you have the opportunity to do just that. Experience the outdoors daily and bring your enjoyment of life to a whole new level.

You can live the life you've only imagined in beautiful residences with on-site amenities surrounded by incredible environments.

As spring breathes forth, now is the time to consider a new lifestyle. Yellow daffodils will soon dazzle with vibrant color as leaves break out and soft breezes calm. You can change your life with the new season.

Serosun Farms

Amid suburban sprawl, Serosun Farms in Hampshire offers a sustainable community like no other that blends peaceful pastoral living with today's conveniences.

The community will be the site of the Healthy Home 2014: Healthy World Healthy Child, said John DeWald, president of John DeWald & Associates, developer of Serosun Farms.

Centered around a 16-acre working farm, Serosun Farms is a progressive rural oasis where residents will enjoy hundreds of acres of open space with restored prairie and woodlands.

"This is an unusual opportunity for families to live, and for children to grow up, on a farm," DeWald said. "Most professional people don't have the time or money to run a farm; here we do it for you.

"We're selling homesites now and have 1,000 excited people on our interest list."

The development offers educational programs and several ways to take an active role in the community, such as in the demo gardens, prairie restoration or building birdhouses.

"With our demo gardens, we are in a five- to 10-year process of shifting to local market farming. Some gardens test heirloom varieties of vegetables and various techniques," DeWald said. "It's a learning place."

Residences -- from smaller cottages to country estates -- will sit in clusters around the farm on 114 distinctive one-acre lots. The developer adheres to design guidelines and other requirements for green building and partners with architects and builders who share the dream and vision for the community, DeWald said.

Every element of the community is being developed to provide 70 to 80 percent of its energy needs through clean, renewable, on-site sources.

Other community amenities include a community center with swimming pool and fitness center, jogging, hiking and biking trails, tennis and basketball courts, stocked fishing pond, bar and grill and meeting event facilities.

Also, a world-class equestrian center facility is on-site with eight miles of trails developed by Jane Stickland, DeWald's sister who lives on the property and is his business partner. An international equestrian trainer also lives on the site.

Newport Cove

At Newport Cove, the lake is your front yard and a luxury cottage is your home. The Antioch community offers a year-round vacation lifestyle with a resident-only marina with ample slips all with water and electricity.

Residents can fish off the pier, watch the sunrise and barbecue and picnic at the gazebo.

Set along Bluff Lake, waterfront lifestyle homes overlook 15 acres of open space comprised of beautiful landscaped common areas, swathes of native plants, waterfront park, walking paths and a lighted waterfront walk along the community's 1,800 feet of Bluff Lake shoreline.

The planned community features three distinct neighborhoods -- the Waterfront, the Estates and the Cottages -- where all homes have the same coastal-like look with shingles, siding and stone exteriors with white trim and cottage-style landscaping, upscale finishes and finely crafted architectural details. The community has won local and national awards for its homes and land plan.

People want to live on the water, but they also want certain rules and homes with consistent quality. They're not just buying a house, they're buying into the whole community, and they like to know they're going to have similar homes on either side of them, said Susanne Tauke, president of New American Homes, developer of the community.

Because strict architectural guidelines govern the construction of each home, all are built with the same high-quality materials and coastal-style architecture. Lifestyle covenants ensure residents have an upscale, well maintained waterfront community for decades to come.

A great aspect of living here is that people can enjoy all the beautiful acreage, but they don't need to maintain it. It's all taken care of for them, Tauke said.

An underground stormwater system ensures that no runoff from the development ends up in the lake. And a state-of-the-art community treatment plant offers sanitary sewer service to the homes.

Prairie Park

A spectacular entrance of granite boulders and cascading waterfalls welcomes you to Prairie Park in Wheeling, an exclusive condominium community that is set on 18 acres of lush, landscaped grounds.

Five mid-rise condominium buildings surround the centerpiece lake with fountains, tree-lined walkway and sitting areas. This is an ideal setting for walking, bicycling, and strolls around the lake. The project is landscaped in a prairie-like style.

Benches throughout the community invite one to sit awhile, and each condominium features a large expanse of windows and individual private terrace where homeowners can set up a grill, enjoy container gardening or just sit and enjoy the views.

At Prairie Park, people like to walk down near water's edge around the pond. They also gather at the top of the waterfall pavilion where they can look down over the waterfall or view the entire site, said James Smith, vice president of marketing for Smith Family Construction Inc.

"People sit outside, walk their dogs, walk with their children; we see people pushing strollers. People come here all the time to enjoy the water features and landscaping. It really is beautiful."

Each building features a luxurious common entrance with stone fireplace, original art pieces and stained glass plus two high-speed elevators. Buyers can select from 12 different designs, each with a private outside balcony.

Amenities include a clubhouse with workout facility and indoor swimming pool and heated underground and above ground enclosed parking, heated sidewalks at the entrance to each building and heated ramps going into the parking garage.

"The atmosphere is soothing and calm. You can't put a price tag on that," said Mark Smith, founder with his wife Vivian of Smith Family Construction. "It's a peaceful way of life in a stressful time, not only economically, but with all the pressures of today. It's a place to rest and rejuvenate."

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