Shopping for a New Home? Look for Style That Lasts.

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The trick is seeing past the bells and whistles to discover homes that are solid and timeless. It may take some looking around, but you can find brand-new homes with true Lowcountry flavor, designed with time-honored details that will enhance their value into the future. According to Roger Wood, Town Architect for Nexton , one of Summerville’s newest communities, “the essential idea is to let the homes and neighborhoods of a hundred years ago be our inspiration, but update the aesthetic and living spaces to fit the way people live today.”

Here are some of Wood’s tips for finding a new home with enduring character:

Think intentional, not ornamental.

It’s easy to get lured in by all the “extras.” But in five or ten years — you’re left with a mishmash of materials and overly fancy details that feel tired before their time. If you look at much-loved historic neighborhoods, on the other hand, the homes often feel quieter, simpler, but by no means plain. They have lots of details, and yet every detail has a reason to be. Take, for example, the front porch …

The front porch needs to function.

A front porch should add real outdoor living space, a place where you want to spend time with family and neighbors. “But,” says Wood, “many new homes have porches that aren’t usable because they’re only a few feet deep. They are more a symbol of a front porch than a usable one.” The honest-to-goodness front porch is at least eight to twelve feet deep — with enough room for a table, chairs and lots of company. Added bonus? A neighborhood with great front porches is a neighborhood that feels closer, with neighbors interacting and looking out for each other.

Solid and sturdy sells.

When it comes to the innards of a home — the foundation, framing and so forth — most new homes these days are fairly well crafted. But if you want your home to feel solidly built, Woods says you want to avoid materials like vinyl siding that move or flex when you touch them. “For what we’re trying to do here in Nexton , we think of 100-year-old homes as our model,” Wood explains. “They have a solidity to them. And this solid feel adds value to the house when you live there and when you eventually sell it. In fact, we call this ‘design-added value.’”

Go beyond the house.

A house is only one component of a home with long-term value. You also have to consider how the neighborhood as a whole is designed. Is it walkable to stores, restaurants, parks…even the office? Are the sidewalks wide, and set a comfortable distance from the curb? Says Wood, “In Nexton, we’re building a community where people feel comfortable walking, biking, pushing a stroller. It’s a way of life, and the architecture of the whole community needs to support that.”

A good place to start.

With five model homes now open, Nexton’s first residential village, Brighton Park, makes a great place to begin your search for a new home with enduring character designed for life today.