New homebuyers have plenty of choices — and that in itself can be daunting when selecting a home builder.
That’s why you shouldask yourself a few critical questions before you start shopping, advised Adam Segal, vice president,Segal & Morel Inc., a luxury homebuilder based in Bridgewater.
“Location is the number one factor,’’ said Segal, whose company has been building luxury homes for more than 40 years. “It needs to be convenient to what’s important to you—whether that’s your family, your work or your friends.’’
Segal pointed to the company’s Riverview Estates community, located in Forks Township, Pa., in the Lehigh Valley, minutes from the New Jersey border and within striking distance of New York City and Philadelphia.Close to major arteries, including I-78 and Route 22 and 33, the community is also centrally located to shopping, restaurants, cultural and sporting events and medical offices and hospitals.
These are all key factors when deciding where to locate.
“At Riverview Estates, you’re in the center of everything, close to major arteries, but because you’re nestled high up in the rolling hills along the Delaware River, the community has a tranquil feel,’’ Segal said. “It’s like being on vacation.’’
Also important is understanding how you “use your home,’’Segal advised.
“The way you live is the way we want to build your house,’’ Segal noted. “Some people build large kitchens. Others want formal dining rooms. Many want first-floor master bedroom suites.’’
Segal & Morel can customize homes to meet a buyer’s preferences, he said.
“Our options are endless,’’ Segal said. “To make your new home perfect, we build it your way. We can move interior walls, locate the master suite either upstairs or down, build a deck or finish a basement. We invite our buyers to share their vision with us and we work to make it a reality.’’
Once you’ve narrowed your choices, Segal advises talking to current residents. Ask about their experience with the builder, their satisfaction with the quality of the home and the personality of the community.
As for ascertaining the quality of construction, it is important to understand the builder’s process, Segal said. At Segal &Morel, new homeowners are involved in the process from the very beginning and throughout construction.
“When the house is framed and not closed in, we do a tour to explain what’s inside the walls,’’ Segal said. “We do another walkthrough a week before closing so our buyers can see how everything works and identify any minor adjustments that may be needed.’’
Another walkthrough is conducted just before closing to ensure that any adjustments have been addressed.
And, Segal & Morel’s commitment to their customers does not end at closing.Company representatives check in with the new homeowners30 days after closing to be sure everything is in order and again at the one-year anniversary, Segal said, adding that all homes include a 10-year warranty from an outside company.
All of this quality and customization is wrapped in a luxury that gives Riverview that vacation feel.
“The beautiful hilltop views, a quiet background and lots of on-site amenities help to relax our residents,’’ he explained. “They can spend time at the pool, play a game of basketball or volleyball or walk to the Delaware. There is something for everyone to enjoy.’’
The community’s active clubhouse is adjacent to the pool, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts and features Ping-Pong, a kitchen and space for events, as well as a playground and picnic tables.
Walking and biking trails weave through the community. Residents can take advantage of the nearby Riverview Estates Country Club, which features an 18-hole, par-72 golf course, designed by professional golf architect Jim Blaukavitch.
“The course is challenging, enjoyable to play and welcomes golfers back for more,’’ Segal said. “Residents who don’t play golf still tell us they love the postcard-like views of the course and the surrounding wooded hillsides.’’
Riverview Estates features two still-developing communities — the Fairway Collection, a community of 34 homes, all with views of the golf course, and Riverview West, which features 221 homes within walking distance of the recreation center, the Riverview Golf Course and the Delaware River.
All homes, which range from 2,000 to 4,000-plus square feet, sport high ceilings and abundant natural light, three or four bedrooms and two-and-one-half-bathrooms.The company also is committed to building energy-efficient homes that are both good for the planet and homeowners’ pocketbooks.
“We incorporate Energy-Star appliances, rainwater-collection systems and much more into our homes,’’ Segal explained.
Beyond quality of construction, it is important to know what is — and isn’t — included in the builder’s package. Many of Segal & Morel’s standard features, for example, are considered by many builders to be options or upgrades. This includes full landscaping, rain barrels, three-car garages, Energy-Star Certification, hardwood flooring, stainless-steel appliances and the 10-year warranty.
“We work really hard to create a higher standard,’’ Segal said. “Our buyers don’t need to spend money on extras. Many (extras) are already included.’’
Segal grew up in the home-building business. His father, Ken, started the company about 40 years ago.
“Building quality homes and maintaining a reputation as a luxury home builder is very important to us,’’ he said. “I enjoy walking down the street in our communities, talking to residents and encouraging prospective buyers to do that, too.’’
Segal added: “When people sell their homes, we love seeing them advertise that it’s a Segal & Morel home. They’re proud to own a Segal &Morel home and we’re proud to build a Segal &Morel home.’’
Michael Regnet agrees.
He and his wife, Amanda, purchased a Riverview Estates home and he said they can’t imagine building a home with anyone else.
“We took a long time vetting builders and reviewing plans,’’ Regnet said. “We decided Segal & Morel was our first choice. The builder is high-quality and very efficient. Segal & Morel honor their work and commitments, no matter what it takes. We finally have our first and hopefully forever home.’’
The sales center at Riverview Estates is located at 2749 Sheffield Drive in Easton, Pa. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call (484) 577-3523, visit www.segalmorelhomes.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/Riverview-Estates-by-Segal-and-Morel/107456675941905.