Family's home made to order


Vision: A search for a house with a big yard, open space inside and a good neighborhood takes the Carboughs to a custom builder.

November 07, 1999|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

When newlyweds Karen and Kevin Carbough decided to buy a home three years ago, they started their search in the typical way -- with a Realtor and a wish list that included a big back yard, an open floor plan and a good school district.

Their house-hunting excursions began with existing homes in Howard and Carroll counties. It ended with a custom-built Colonial in Mount Airy, tucked just inside the Frederick County line.

"Many of the existing homes had problems," said Karen Carbough, 31. "Some had structural defects, others included decorating ideas I didn't like. All of them would have cost money to fix."

The solution, the couple decided, was to have a home built to their specifications. A large kitchen with a lot of windows for Karen, a family room with a stone fireplace for Kevin, and at least three bedrooms for the family they were planning.

"Ironically, we ended up buying land in an area we had looked at when we were dating -- long before we started house hunting," Karen Carbough said. They were the third family to move into Samhill Country Estates and the first to settle on their street.

The development includes 123 homes carved out of what was once lush farmland. The Carboughs fell in love with the location in 1995, during a leisurely Sunday drive.

"We loved it because it's out in the country. We thought it would be a great place to raise kids," said Kevin Carbough, 40. So, when they heard about plans to develop the old dairy farm into a residential subdivision, the Carboughs knew it would be the perfect place to start their family, which has grown to include two children. The only obstacle they feared was the price tag.

"We thought there was no way we could afford it," Karen Carbough said. But relatives in the construction business persuaded the newlyweds to make an appointment with Bryan Bradford, a sales representative for Forty West Builders Inc. of Ellicott City, developer of the property. The company, formerly based in Catonsville, has been in business for more than two decades.

Homes at Samhill Country Estates range from $214,000 to about $280,000. The Carboughs' 3,300-square-foot Colonial has cathedral ceilings, an open staircase that overlooks the first floor and a catwalk that connects the master bedroom with a custom-designed bath, complete with whirlpool and his-and-her sinks.

The Carboughs had the home built without the benefit of viewing a builder's model at the site. They worked with Bradford out of a trailer on a nearby lot to make their vision a reality.

Today their home is something of a model for Forty West Builders. Bradford often shows it to prospective buyers. Known as the Brookeville, the Carboughs' creation has become a big hit.

"Other people have incorporated our ideas into their homes," Karen Carbough said. Among the home's most popular features are the stone fireplace in the family room and the island in the kitchen.

The Carboughs made room for the generous island, which includes a vegetable sink and seating for four, by moving the laundry room to the basement.

"During the holidays, everyone seems to end up in the kitchen," Karen Carbough said. "We love to entertain here."

But the Carboughs said their greatest joy comes from watching 2-year-old Hannah and 7-month-old Chase playing in the house. As Karaen Carbough explained, "We designed it for them."

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