After deciding houses could not be sold without a model to show customers, Diversified Homes in Columbia rushed to action. By working around-the-clock for 14 days and 6 1/2 hours, a Centennial-style model house was completed in the Avondale Run community in Westminster.
The typical construction time for such a house is from 90 to 120 days.
"The people who were interested [in the Centennial style] were ready to buy, but were waiting to see it," said Pam Young, sales manager for the development.
Diversified builds houses using wall panels constructed in the company's factory in Jessup, the same process it used to build the model home on Long Valley Road.
Wall panels produced in a factory are the same as the frames constructed at the home site, except that in the factory the walls are constructed on machines for greater precision, and the wood is exposed to natural elements for a shorter period once it is transported to the building site.
The new two-story Centennial has a Colonial exterior with a traditional interior. Its price begins at $165,000, depending on the buyer's choice of options.
"The house offers a lot for the square foot," said Craig Carlson, Patuxent Division sales manager. He said customers particularly like the three large bedrooms, none of which is smaller than 11 feet by 11 feet.
The Centennial houses are on half-acre sites and are 1,700 square feet with 2 1/2 baths, family room, breakfast area, full basement, a formal living and dining area and a one- or two-car garage.
Houses with a two-car garage have a larger family room, and are about 1,850 square feet.
Open for sales since 1988, 42 of 60 homes at Avondale Run are sold. Starting prices for detached houses range from $140,000 to $225,000. Also within the community are 108 town houses.
Since the new model went up over the summer two Centennial-style houses have sold.
Many of the houses have views overlooking the Wakefield Valley Golf Course. Also popular with residents is a recreational area that has a pool, tennis courts and a fitness center.
As an added sales incentive, Diversified Homes is helping pay for the closing costs and is willing to guarantee the mortgage rate in effect at the time of signing the contract until the settlement date.
That means that even if mortgage rates increase, the buyer has an insurance policy against the higher rate, and will not be affected by the increase.