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Windsong on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio


Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio Features Windsong Properties and Steve RomeynSteve Romeyn, managing partner of Windsong Properties, is this week’s guest on the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio show. Romeyn graduated from Harvard during the Beatles era and began his building career 36 years ago at Big Canoe in the North Georgia Mountains. Together, Romeyn and his business partner, Mark Carruth, started Windsong Properties 10 years ago.

Romeyn and Carruth are “baby boomers serving baby boomers,” as they build exclusively for active adults and are both in that stage of their lives. Windsong Properties is a small, locally-owned home and community builder, and provides active adults and empty nesters with single-family, detached ranch homes.
steve romeyn managing partner at Windsong Properties, Active Adult Homebuilder in Georgia
Windsong Properties’ newest project, Heron Pond, is located halfway between Woodstock and the city of Roswell just outside of East Cobb. This community has received a great deal of attention, and there are already more than 800 interested people on the community’s VIP list!

There will be just 75 homes available at this sought-after community, and Romeyn says that he expects to build at a pace of just three homes per month so that his team will be able to pay special attention to each and every home and meet each buyer’s specific needs.

When asked what he thought has contributed to the popularity of this community, Romeyn said that there are just a limited number of builders constructing active adult communities right now, and this is one of the newest in the Atlanta real estate market. In addition, the location couldn’t be better, as it serves Cobb, Cherokee and North Fulton, areas lacking in single-family, detached ranch homes.

In addition to Heron Pond, Windsong Properties is still building at Bel-Aire in West Cobb and two communities at Seven Hills in Dallas.

At Bel-Aire, a new clubhouse is set to open this month, and it is the largest clubhouse Windsong Properties has ever built. The community is close to selling out of its traditional ranch-style Parkside series of homes, but there are still plenty of courtyard homes available.

Homes are currently under construction in both Windsong at Seven Hills and Windsong Manor at Seven Hills. Residents in these homes enjoy fabulous mountain and creek views and an abundance of amenities and nearby conveniences, such as a community grocery store, restaurants and shopping.

Buyers can expect to find many aging-in-place features in homes built by Windsong Properties. The builder has an established reputation of listening to buyers’ requests, such as step-free access, wider doorways and the ability to live exclusively on one floor. In addition, the homes have central kitchens, elegant master suites and the ability to add extra living space for children and grandchildren.

For more details about Heron Pond, Bel-Aire and Windsong’s two communities at Seven Hills, be sure to listen to the full podcast (player above)!

Windsong Announces the Allston Plan at Heron Pond

models_630wUnder construction now on lot 1 (the home on the right in the photo), The Allston is the second of two furnished models at Heron Pond and was designed for the downsizer and the frequent traveler. Enjoy a bright, open floorplan with a generous living area that features a fireplace, dining area with views of the courtyard and a spacious, sunny kitchen across from your private outdoor space for easy alfresco dining. With the ability to lock and leave, you will love this low maintenance lifestyle. This home features Windsong’s signature accessibility features for a changing lifestyle.

Features of The Allston we think you’ll love include:

  • Private courtyard with views from kitchen and dining area
  • Bright, open plan designed for active living
  • Perfect plan for a single or couple with a focus on downsizing
  • A Study (use as a 3rd Bedroom, office, hobby room)
  • Spacious kitchen open to the courtyard for outdoor parties
  • Generous owner’s suite with large walk-in closet
  • Finished loft (with optional powder room) and storage upstairs
  • Conversation-starting front porch with columns
  • Wide door/hallways, lever handles, zero-entry
  • The Allston floorplan is below for your review!

Other plans and pricing are being finalized now. You are invited to visit one of our other communities and tour the models as they will be representative of the finishes you will see in the homes at Heron Pond.

Here’s the Allston:
The Allston Plan - REVISED

New Active Adult Model Home Under Construction at Heron Pond

Carson Plan by Windsong Properties is the first model at Heron Pond in Woodstock, Cherokee County for Active Adult livingFor the past several months, Windsong Properties has been busy developing Heron Pond, its newest active adult community in Woodstock. After a soggy summer, Windsong is excited to announce that construction has begun on the first of two models, its flagship plan, The Carson.

The Carson was designed for the entertaining empty nester. Enjoy a generous kitchen open to the courtyard and dining area, a large island for appetizers or wine tastings, and an oversized walk-in pantry for all the tools you have collected. This plan offers a Retreat, a space that Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House, refers to as the “Away Room”- a cozy & quite space into which one can escape. With plenty of storage and flexible space to suite your lifestyle, this home is a gem and features Windsong’s signature accessibility features for a changing lifestyle.

Features of The Carson include:

  • Private courtyard with views from kitchen and dining area
  • Bright, open plan designed for active living
  • A Retreat (use as a reading area, sewing room, escape)
  • A Study (use as a 3rd Bedroom, office, hobby room)
  • Spacious kitchen open to the courtyard for outdoor parties
  • Oversized, walk-in pantry for the cook’s appliances & tools
  • Direct access to the kitchen from the garage
  • Laundry strategically located near the owner’s suite
  • Owner’s bath features a dressing area & double closet
  • Private guest suite with bath and walk-in closet
  • Permanent stairs to floored attic storage (can be finished)
  • Generous garage perfect for a workshop & storage
  • Conversation-starting front porch with columns
  • Wide door/hallways, lever handles, zero-entry

“If you liked what we did at Somerset or Garden Street [both located in Woodstock] you’ll love Heron Pond,” stated Steve Romeyn, co-owner of Windsong Properties, “it’s the culmination of every great thing we have done over the last 10 years – since Windsong’s inception.”

In addition to thoughtful floor plans like The Carson, the builder is working hard to craft Heron Pond for today’s active adult with accessible features, beautiful streetscapes and landscape design that celebrates nature. Located two miles west of Sandy Plains Road on Highway 92, the community is close to all that East Cobb, Roswell and Downtown Woodstock have to offer.

While Heron Pond is under construction and unsafe for visitors, you are invited to tour the models at Windsong Manor in Dallas and Bel-Aire in Powder Springs, as the interior finishes are representative of what you can expect at Heron Pond.

Here’s the Carson:
The Carson Floorplan Image

Windsong Preserves History While Developing Heron Pond

Windsong Properties Active Adult Homebuilder new ranch homes in Woodstock, cherokee county on Highway 92Windsong is working to bring a new active adult community to Woodstock. While in the process of developing the land at Heron Pond, it was important to protect a part of history. Professional preservation of a native, 100 year old Water Oak at the community’s entrance was recently completed.

Caldwell Tree Care was called upon to evaluate the tree and install a system that will preserve and protect this natural beauty. Standing at 47 inches in diameter, the company reported that the Water Oak is in great shape and treated it with a growth regulator. A lightening protection system was also installed. While these trees are native to Georgia, they are not often found thriving at this size or age. “Trees like this are usually destroyed by lightening or development,” stated Kevin Caldwell, owner of Caldwell Tree Care in Roswell.

Construction Update as of Sept, 14, 2013 Windsong Properties Heron Pond new active adult community in Woodstock, Georgia, Cherokee county, construction site progressHP_SidewalkClosed_300wWith the record breaking rainfall Atlanta has experienced over the summer the land development progress has been slower than anticipated. The grading is complete and pipe work is under way. The entrance is being cut-in and home plans are in development. Construction of the model home is scheduled to begin this fall.

Located two miles west of Sandy Plains Road on Highway 92, the community is close to East Cobb, Roswell and Woodstock and will feature 75 courtyard homes. Homes will include Windsong’s signature features: open floor plans, low maintenance materials, safe step-free access, a private courtyard retreat and basements per home site and plan.

To be the first to get information about Heron Pond and sign up for the Windsong Heron Pond VIP List (a bi-weekly digital newsletter dedicated to providing construction and community updates).

Active Adult Homes in Dallas for Your Next Chapter

Are you ready to start the next chapter in your life? Well, if you want to live in a low maintenance community with distinctive ranch homes, friendly neighbors, plenty of amenities and a convenient location, then Windsong at Seven Hills and Windsong Manor are the perfect places to start your home search.

GreatRoomBuilt by Windsong Properties, both offer active adults the lifestyle they crave from the mid $200,000s. Located in Dallas’ Seven Hills master planned community, both also have a variety of homes to choose from.

Windsong at Seven Hills currently has five home sites available and ready to build on. Three are the Henley II Plan with a terrace level – one with a private road off of Friendship Point. Additionally, two home sites are available on the cul-de-sac on Summit Trail. Home site 367 will feature the Henley plan with terrace level, and home site 366 will have Windsong’s newest plan, The Bentley, with terrace level. The home sites are two acre lots that overlook the beautiful Pumpkinvine Creek.

Windsong Manor's Lifestyle is Low Maintenance and Fun with Amenities Galore inside Seven Hills in Dallas, Georgia by WindsongAt Windsong Manor, interested home buyers can now tour the newly opened Bentley model with terrace level and three-car garage. Additional floor plan options include the Monterey on a slab or terrace level and the Fairmount on a terrace level.

Besides these homes, both communities offer a great amenity package. Windsong at Seven Hills has its own clubhouse where homeowners enjoy social events; this 1,800 square foot venue includes game tables, a soaring stacked-stone fireplace, catering kitchen, big screen TV and fitness room. Additionally, homeowners have access to the Seven Hills Park, home to a water park that features a zero entry pool, play area, water slide, tennis court, paved walking paths and more.

Once you see the homes at Windsong at Seven Hills and Windsong Manor, your home search will be over. All you will have to worry about is which home you will choose! For more details, visit www.windsonglife.com or call Brenda Knapp at 770-917-8082.

Four More Chances for Active Adults to Live at Bel-Aire This Year

With a fantastic West Cobb location, low maintenance living and gorgeous homes, Bel-Aire has remained popular with active adult buyers since opening last year. In fact, Windsong Properties only has four more ranch homes that can close now through the end of the year.

Windsong Properties Active Adult BelAire Community, an exclusively 55+ community in West Cobb“Even though we have increased our inventory of available homes due to the market improvement, the homes at Bel-Aire are still selling faster than we can build,” explained Kris Johnson. “If you want to move-in before the New Year, I urge you to buy now. Otherwise, we have several pre-sale opportunities available with expected home delivery in the first quarter of 2014. This is a great way for buyers to select the floor plans and selections they want.”

Three of the available ranch homes are on a slab and one is on a basement. All feature step free access, wide doorways, engineered wood flooring, designer carpet, gourmet kitchens and large master suites with oversized walk-in closets.

Residents will be able to take advantage of all that Bel-Aire has to offer, including professionally maintained landscaping, a central park, nature trails and sidewalks and clubhouse coming soon. The clubhouse will feature a fitness area and bocce ball courts.

Additionally, Bel-Aire is convenient to West Cobb restaurants, shops and recreations. Glover Park, historic Marietta Square and the Farmer’s Market are all just minutes away.

To take a tour of the four available homes or to find out more information on 2014 pre-sales, contact Kris at 678-401-2306.

Announcing Heron Pond

Windsong Breaks Ground on Newest Active Adult Community
Southeast Cherokee location convenient to Roswell and East Cobb

ATLANTA JULY 5, 2013 – Following the success of Somerset and Garden Street, Windsong Properties has begun developing Heron Pond on Highway 92. Just two miles west of Sandy Plains Road, this location is ideal for empty nesters wanting to right-size to a new ranch home while staying close to their existing friends and services in East Cobb, Roswell and Woodstock.

Heron Pond Active Adult Community by Windsong Properties in Cherokee CountyHeron Pond will feature 75 courtyard homes starting in the low $300,000s with all of the well-conceived features expected in a Windsong active adult home.

“With 10 years of building exclusively for empty nesters, we have an excellent grasp of what our buyers want in their right-sized homes,” explained Steve Romeyn, co-owner of Windsong Properties.

The gated community will feature a beautifully landscaped linear park that leads to the front door of the clubhouse overlooking Heron Pond. Professionally designed and maintained landscaping is included and can be enjoyed from your front porch, sidewalks and a pond-side walking trail. Ranch homes include open floor plans, low maintenance materials, safe step-free access, a private courtyard retreat, and basements per home site and plan.

“If you liked Somerset, our community on Putnam Ford Road in Towne Lake or Garden Street in Downtown Woodstock, you will love Heron Pond!” exclaimed Romeyn.

To receive updates as this community progresses and pre-sales events are scheduled, subscribe to the Heron Pond VIP List below. Visit established Windsong communities in Dallas and Powder Springs to see how Windsong Properties has set the standard for active adult living in North Atlanta.

Home buyers relocating from Fulton County will see a tremendous reduction in taxes due to the Cherokee County senior exemption from school taxes.

Locally owned, Windsong Properties was founded by Mark Carruth and Steve Romeyn. The two bring more than three decades of local building experience to Windsong Properties, ‘Where Life’s a Breeze.’ As empty nesters themselves, Mark and Steve have firsthand knowledge of the desires of active adults and are passionate about creating communities and homes for empty nesters. From the design of the community and its amenities to the floor plans and the unique customer service approach, every decision made at Windsong Properties is targeted to the 50-plus, empty nester group. Windsong Properties has been awarded numerous OBIE awards from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association including 50+ Community of the Year in 2010 for Somerset in Woodstock, Ga. Windsong Properties invites you to visit one of its communities to see how easy living the Windsong lifestyle can be.

Downsizing is A Huge Gift to your Children and Yourself

From the perspective of homeowner, Linda Coyle
I lost my parents and experienced the process of taking care of everything, including their home. It was surprising how much stuff they had collected over the years and I decided then and there that I would not let my children go through that.

We were in a six bedroom, three level house in Kennesaw and wanted to downsize. The constant maintenance had been wearing on us for a long time and we were sick of working every weekend. We both won’t retire for another year, and I wasn’t ready for a “retirement community.” When we learned about Windsong’s Active Adult, low maintenance lifestyle, we were intrigued.

50+ Active Adults enjoy a low maintenance lifestyle at Windsong

I wanted to craft a maintenance free courtyard that fit into the natural surroundings like it’s been here forever. We spend a lot of time out here relaxing and hanging out with friends around the fire pit; this sanctuary connects me to nature in a powerful way.

I was concerned that everyone might be really OLD. I remember how surprised I was to see life bustling when I visited the neighborhood – people out walking and chatting and everyone seemed younger than I expected.

I love it here at Windsong at Seven Hills and I can’t image anything better or more suited to us. I can’t say enough amazing things about how great it feels to live with no yard maintenance. Now all we have to do on the weekends and evenings is go somewhere and have fun.

I have always been a nature person and here I have my own private courtyard retreat. I can also fall asleep on cool nights to the sounds from the creek below. The best little secret about living at Windsong at Seven Hills is how breezy it is up here on the top of this hill.

Windsong did an amazing job of placing these homes on the property – our porches are close enough to have a conversation and yet the homes and courtyards are really private. We have everything here: neighbors, privacy, no yard maintenance, and a constant breeze.

Working with Windsong has indeed been a breeze. This has been the most pleasant experience we’ve ever had. Our home, with the finished basement for our kids when they visit from Seattle, has been marvelous for us. We are freed up to be social and have fun. Thank you Windsong; I would highly recommend Active Adults check out Windsong Properties for a quality home and an easy lifestyle.

Enjoying Windsong’s Low Maintenance, Active Lifestyle

From the perspective of homebuyer, Pat Luewinko

I lived in Connecticut my whole life and when my husband passed four years ago I was ready for a change. I was tired of dealing with snow and extreme cold and while I have family there, my daughter, Patti lived in this area with her family – my 4 granddaughters – and I wanted to spend more time with them. I wanted low maintenance and she told me about Windsong.

I originally thought that I would have to go into a condo – low maintenance, detached homes in an Active Adult community didn’t exist in Connecticut. I thought surely a condo would be more affordable than a home, but that was not the case. When I checked out Windsong’s Villas at Blackberry Run in Seven Hills, I was excited about buying a home and starting the next chapter.

Being a widow, I appreciate that the residents are welcoming and friendly. I was the third resident and I know everyone here. Even before we had the clubhouse, we would have “Porch Parties” and get together to hang out and watch the homes being built. Somehow I found myself the Social Chairman and I am much more involved than I would have expected – but I love it!

We hold many events at our private clubhouse like pot lucks, annual Mardi Gras and holiday parties. On any given day, a group of us is headed out to eat or to see a show, and the Seven Hills water park and play ground has become my granddaughters’ favorite place. We also get together with our fellow Seven Hills residents and Bentwater; there is so much to do here.

Windsong Courtyard homes feature low maintenance active lifestyles

I increased my living area by landscaping my courtyard. There are now two levels and a meandering stone walkway, a couple gathering spots and a shady patio with the addition of a retractable awning.

My home plan has a great room with the kitchen, dining, and family all open and full of light with a view of my courtyard – perfect for entertaining. I really wanted a sunroom; I love that when I walk in the front door, I can see all the way through to the sunroom.

I was worried at first about several things with this style home and community: Will the homes be dark? Will I hear my neighbors? Will I feel cramped with how close the homes are to each other? Everything I was worried about has been a non-issue and I am really glad I chose Windsong – they really know what Active Adults want and the homes are well built. And I love that I have a floored attic for storage with a permanent staircase and not that ridiculous pull-down ladder most other builders have.

This whole experience has been great for me. I love my home and this community! Windsong at Seven Hills was a perfect choice – and as it turns out, a really fun place to live. I highly recommend buying a home in a Windsong Active Adult community – they really do make Life a Breeze!

The Big Reset

REPRINT OF ARTICLE From our supplier, Robert Bowden, Inc.
By: Nick Massengill

It was only a year ago that the experts were all talking about the “new normal,” warning that we were in for a slow recovery and an era of reduced expectations.

Builders clearly didn’t get the memo and neither did home buyers. In 2012, permits were up 34% year over year nationwide and up 54% in Atlanta. As of February, unsold new home inventory stood at 4.4 months and sales were up 12% year over year. Builders say homes are selling with fewer discounts and incentives, and even Ivy Zelman — well-known as one of the most conservative housing analysts in the country — is projecting another 29% increase in new home sales in 2013.

The talk around Atlanta is noticeably more cheerful, which is to say that we’re starting to complain about different problems — for example, the production builder who recently told me, “I can’t get my spec packages out because we have so many darn contract houses to build.”

He got no sympathy from me, partly because we have our own issues to work through in the supply chain. The one keeping me up at night right now is the availability and price volatility on building materials over the next few months.
I’m sure everyone has experienced the seemingly overnight jump in the prices of many products. It’s no mystery why; a lot of production capacity was mothballed or shut down during the recession. For example, Forest Economic Advisors recently checked the status of 146 sawmills — roughly 17% of total North American capacity — that were closed since 2008. FEA reports that “40% had been dismantled and 14% were intact but declared permanently closed by their current owners.” So far, just 26 facilities have reopened while another 35 are mothballed and could eventually come back on line.

At the dealer level, experts estimate that somewhere between 35% and 50% of establishments have been closed, mothballed, or otherwise removed from the market. That estimate could be conservative when I think about the number of lumber and building material dealers in Atlanta who are no longer with us. The strongest survived, but many good operators did not.

Sharp price increases, longer lead times, and material shortages are not out of the realm of possibility. Every builder who is pricing contracts to build homes or planning speculative construction should make it a point to understand the volatility of our current situation and have a plan to mitigate risk. Capacity will come back as confidence in the recovery grows, but it will take some time.

The new normal may be that builders and dealers both will need to put as much effort into developing strong supply relationships as they do marketing to their customers. When you’re selling homes as fast as you can build them, the only thing worse than paying higher prices is getting a really cheap price from someone who can’t deliver and throws off the production schedule or delays a closing.

Selling building materials isn’t much different from selling homes. You can overcome higher prices with a little extra sales effort. It’s a lot harder to overcome broken promises.

Nick Massengill is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Robert Bowden, Inc. and a 30 year veteran of the building material industry. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and is a steering committee member at the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies. Robert Bowden, Inc. is an employee owned wholesale manufacturer and distributor of building products. You are welcome to contact Nick directly at 770.429-9285, or at nick@robertbowden.com.