Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Gre­gory J. Alexan­der

No­ble’s Pond in Delaware has gar­nered many awards over the years for its ex­cep­tional homes, gor­geous set­ting and its ar­ray of ac­tiv­i­ties that keep res­i­dents on the go. How­ever, this is not a com­mu­nity that rests on its lau­rels; No­ble’s Pond is con­stantly evolv­ing, which is ev­i­dent in its six new home de­signs that were re­cently un­veiled.

At No­ble’s Pond, three dif­fer­ent col­lec­tions are of­fered – Cot­tages, charm­ing, Crafts­manstyle homes; Ranch style homes with con­ve­nient one-level floor­plans; and Chateau homes, large homes for those not look­ing to nec­es­sar­ily down­size but “right size.” To ex­pand its of­fer­ings, the com­mu­nity en­listed the ex­per­tise of two award-win­ning ar­chi­tects who spe­cial­ize in de­sign­ing 55-plus home com­mu­ni­ties.

For the Cot­tages, the three-bed­room, twobath Syd­ney has been added and evokes a West Coast style. For those look­ing for a Ranch home, the new Christina with its com­fort­able den, spa­cious great room with a light-filled morn­ing room, and a large, well-equipped gourmet kitchen is per­fect for those who love to en­ter­tain. Mean­while, the Chateau col­lec­tion has four new home de­signs – the Vi­enna, a West Coast style home; the Belle­vue, which has three bed­rooms and den, two baths and taste­ful ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails; the Wind­sor, a spa­cious home with three bed­rooms and 2 1/2 baths; and the Regal, which lives up to its name with over 2,500 square feet of space, in­clud­ing a high-tech kitchen with a handy but­ler’s pantry and a lay­out that en­cour­ages chat time dur­ing prep time.

Mary Field, vice pres­i­dent of No­ble’s Pond, says that the ar­chi­tects were se­lected for these new homes due to their ex­pe­ri­ence in de­sign­ing homes for the 55-plus com­mu­nity that de­liver what res­i­dents want. “One of the unique fea­tures is a ‘Drop Zone,’ which is lo­cated at the owner’s en­try from the garage. It’s a handy fea­ture where you can drop your keys, cell phone, etc., in the same place and keep track of your es­sen­tials,” Field says. “These homes also fea­ture a di­rect path­way from the owner’s suite into the laun­dry room, and since our res­i­dents love to en­ter­tain, large, wel­com­ing foy­ers were also in­cluded in the de­sign.”

The abil­ity to en­ter­tain and so­cial­ize is in­creased, thanks to large gath­er­ing porches. “We give each res­i­dent two white rock­ing chairs as a house­warm­ing gift, and ev­ery­one loves them. Neigh­bors gather to­gether on each other’s porches,” says Field. The open floor plans also al­low for so­cial­iza­tion while en­ter­tain­ing as those busy in the kitchen can still in­ter­act with guests in the ad­join­ing great room. Plus, with any home de­sign, res­i­dents can cus­tom­ize it to fit cer­tain needs and tastes, thanks to the com­mu­nity’s “Your Home. Your Way” ap­proach.

The homes at No­ble’s Pond are only one rea­son why home­buy­ers flock to this com­mu­nity. Colleen Ostafy, the com­mu­nity’s ded­i­cated lifestyle di­rec­tor, keeps res­i­dents’ lives ac­tive with fun-filled ac­tiv­i­ties in the com­mu­nity as well as in nearby towns with trips to Dover Downs, Ocean City, Md., for Sun­fest, Lan­caster, Pa., for hol­i­day shop­ping, movie days and “Girls Night Out” din­ners. “We also have sev­eral trips planned, in­clud­ing New Or­leans, Myr­tle Beach, S.C., where we stay right on the ocean and en­joy hol­i­day events, and a river cruise next March from Brus­sels to Am­s­ter­dam to see the tulips.” Ostafy says.

How­ever, res­i­dents needn’t leave No­ble’s Pond to stay ac­tive. The com­mu­nity fea­tures The Point, No­ble’s Pond club­house with an Olympic-sized swim­ming pool, in­door and out­door kitchens, fit­ness cen­ter, com­mu­nity gar­den, li­brary, bil­liards room and more. “The fit­ness cen­ter is very pop­u­lar in the morn- ings, and we keep the pool open un­til the mid­dle of Oc­to­ber. Water aer­o­bics is very pop­u­lar, as is bocce, where we have 60-70 res­i­dents in­volved. They are quite com­pet­i­tive and they have a lun­cheon with an awards cer­e­mony,” says Ostafy. “Our na­ture trails are per­fect for our hik­ing club, which hikes through Novem­ber.”

Just like its homes, No­ble’s Pond is al­ways look­ing for ways to give its res­i­dents even more en­joy­ment. “We are cur­rently build­ing a 5-acre pond with a fish­ing pier and ob­ser­va­tion deck to view birds and other wildlife. By the end of the year, we will have four pickle ball courts that also can be con­verted into two tennis courts, as well as vol­ley­ball and badminton,” says Field. “Our res­i­dents are tak­ing pickle ball classes on in­door courts now so that they are ready once the courts are com­plete,” adds Ostafy.

As a fundraiser for the USO, No­ble’s Pond also hosted a “Stuff the Pool” event. Each res­i­dent gave a do­na­tion in or­der to get into the pool, and the com­mu­nity aimed to see just how many res­i­dents it could fit in the pool. “We have sev­eral USO vol­un­teers who live here and we are only five miles from Dover Air Force Base, so we love to sup­port the mil­i­tary,” says Field.

To fur­ther sup­port the mil­i­tary – and oth­ers who serve – No­ble’s Pond has launched a new pro­gram called “Life Work Re­wards,” to honor the ser­vice by po­lice, EMT, fire­men, med­i­cal em­ploy­ees, mil­i­tary and those in ed­u­ca­tion by of­fer­ing up to $3,460 off the base price of a home.

For those look­ing to visit the com­mu­nity, Oct. 15-16 is the best time dur­ing No­ble’s Pond’s Parade of Homes where guests can tour res­i­dents’ homes and talk to res­i­dents about what makes liv­ing here so spe­cial. At the event, po­ten­tial home­buy­ers can also learn about the ad­van­tages of liv­ing in Delaware, most no­tably its low prop­erty taxes – No­ble’s Pond res­i­dents pay on av­er­age $1,200 to $1,600 per year – and no sales tax.

No­ble’s Pond, 13 No­ble’s Pond Cross­ing, Dover, DE 19904, 888-222-0030,­ble­spond­

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