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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014
Real Estate

Minto makes living in Garden District affordable

Special Sections correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM

The master-planned community of FishHawk Ranch in Lithia was intended to bring back the atmosphere of the idealized American hometown. It is the sort of community that invites families to put down roots, raise their children and get to know their neighbors. With its new line of townhouses, Minto Communities has made FishHawk Ranch affordable for more people seeking that traditional lifestyle, according to Kitty Munroe, new home professional with Minto Communities.

Minto recently opened four new townhouse models in Parkside in the Garden District of FishHawk Ranch, and Munroe says the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Along with the affordable price range of $154,000 to $188,000, buyers have found the "innovative designs and standard features of the townhouses to be beyond what they would expect for the price.

"What our buyers are saying is that they really like the two-car garages, the granite countertops and wood cabinets and the ceramic tile floors downstairs," Munroe explains. "Buyers really appreciate that the Minto quality construction is concrete block on both the first and second floors as well as in between the units."

The two-story concrete block construction is an important feature of the Minto townhouses. "Many builders build townhouses with a wood framed second story, but we use concrete block for both stories and the walls that separate the units," adds Mike Belmont, executive vice president. "This not only provides great insulation and sound-proofing, but it translates into high energy-efficiency and monthly savings on utility bills."

The energy-efficiency of the Minto townhouses in the Garden District of FishHawk Ranch is another key feature that buyers find quite appealing, according to Munroe. She maintains that over 20 years, a Minto townhouse can save owners more than $11,000 compared to a new home built to code and more than $31,000 compared to a 10 year-old home.

"All of our homes are EnergyStar-rated, with sealed duct work, double-pane low-e windows and efficient air conditioning systems," Munroe adds. "The exterior walls and ceilings are fully insulated."

The homes are constructed in units of four in a neo-traditional style that fits in with the dominant architecture of the Garden District. "Several of our plans include front balconies so residents can sit in front. Homes in the Garden District have large front porches and small back yards, so people tend to congregate toward the front of the homes, which adds to the friendly neighborhood feel. The townhouses fit right in with that overall theme," Munroe says.

Minto's townhouses range in size from 1,461 to 1,725 square feet of living space and are available in two- and three-bedroom configurations.

"Each plan is unique, so we have something for everyone," Munroe adds. "We have one townhouse with a loft and spiral staircase. One townhouse has two owner's retreats on the second floor, which appeals to people with roommates or those who want a nice area for company to stay. Another townhouse unit has three bedrooms, including a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor, which is ideal for families or using as a guest room for visitors."

Being located in the Garden District of FishHawk Ranch is a key selling point for the Minto townhouses, according to Munroe.

"Our location is right across from Park Square, which is a retail area with a small town feel," Munroe explains. "The square has shopping, concerts in the park, restaurants and a water fountain area where kids can play. It's a very active area and within walking distance of the townhouses. The schools that serve the residents of FishHawk Ranch are top-rated, and the community has everything a person could want, from tennis courts and swimming pools to playgrounds, parks and picnic areas. There are 25 miles of trails throughout the community for walking, biking and skating."

Munroe says the floor plans appeal to young couples looking to buy their first home, as well as older adults who no longer need a large single-family home. "Single parents love the townhouses because their children are in a great school district and not having to tend to the outside maintenance makes it easier for them," she adds.

In addition to Parkside at FishHawk Ranch, Minto Communities also is building Hazeltine at Lakewood Ranch, from the low $300,000s, and Creekside at Grand Hampton, in Tampa, from the mid-$200,000s.

For information, visit www.mintofla.com or call (813) 409-2014.

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