The 2019 Parade of Homes sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Builders Association begins Saturday—tomorrow—for two consecutive weekends. It’s a great opportunity for anyone in the market for a new home to check out offerings across the Fredericksburg area.
The parade features homes large and small, with a wide range of prices and built by local, regional and national companies. Three new communities are also participating. With the economy humming along and interest rates staying low, home builders report they are staying plenty busy.
One of those builders is Piccard Homes, a regional builder and family company that got its start in 1994. Owned by Mike and Carrie Accardi, the company is building in two subdivisions in Stafford County, and two others in Sussex County, Del., near Rehoboth Beach.
For the Parade of Homes, Piccard is showing off its latest rendition of The Tennyson, one of the company’s stalwart designs whose versatility and flexibility have made it a customer and company favorite.
“I’m going to build one of these for me and my family,” Mike Accardi said during a recent tour of The Tennyson model at Sherwood on the River, Piccard’s 55-lot community just west of U.S. 17, about 8 miles north of Interstate 95.
The address for the model home is 15 Maid Marion Court. Building lots at Sherwood on the River are a minimum of 3 acres.
The Tennyson is one of four designs Piccard offers at Sherwood—including the Atkinson that’s under construction next door—each of them with a main-level master suite and optional finished basement.
One of the company’s prime objectives, according to sales consultant Jennifer Brooks, is to offer as standard certain features and options that would run up the price on other builders’ homes—and do it while maintaining competitive pricing.
The base Tennyson offers four bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a half-bath with 2,900 square feet of finished space on two levels for $497,000. Replicating the model would mean finishing the walk-out basement. That would add about 1,200 of living space and include a fifth bedroom, third full bathroom plus 300 square feet of unfinished storage and utility space.
The Tennyson’s base price including lot is $497,000. Replicating the model would add the finished basement for another $42,900.
Some design changes can be made for no additional cost, she said, and plans are already drawn for many popular customizations in order to keep the cost of such changes at a minimum.
“My job is to build a relationship with the buyer and learn about their lifestyle and dreams,” Brooks said. “We have a common goal and we want to work toward it together. Our hope is that they see the thought behind that and appreciate it.”
She said that the trend of first-floor masters is something the company has embraced because so many buyers of a certain age are thinking ahead and want to be able to age-in-place. Accardi adds that he’s happy to build according to Americans with Disabilities Act specifications.
“Buyers have become very well educated and have taken back the power to have what they want,” she said.
Added Accardi: “The options are not endless, but if you want it, there’s a good chance we can do it.”
Since Piccard’s buyers tend to represent the move-up category, Accardi said the company makes a priority of working with buyers on contingency sales. To keep things convenient, the company has a local design center that is a clearinghouse for ideas and contacts with local building material suppliers.
To help make the buying process as seamless as possible, the company has engaged local sales agent Amy Cherry Taylor who, like sales consultant Brooks, is affiliated with Avery–Hess Realtors in Fredericksburg.
Other ways the company tries to set itself apart by making certain features standard, such as a tankless water heater, humidifier and a radon mitigation system—whether radon is a building lot concern or not. High-speed internet is available to the community.
For every sale, Piccard donates $1,000 to the buyer’s choice of one of six charities.
TOURING THE TENNYSON
Curb appeal is likely one of the elements that’s made The Tennyson a popular choice. The multi-gable façade, along with the standard HardiPlank fiber-cement lap and faux shake siding, cultured stone foundation and 30-year architectural shingles all contribute to the handsome appearance. A standard landscaping package completes the look.
The main entry, with transom and sidelights, opens to a two-story foyer that shows off upgraded standard trim, from beadboard paneled interior doors and oversized window frames, baseboard and crown molding.
Main-level ceiling height is 9 feet, and across the main level is standard vinyl plank flooring that is manufactured using crushed bamboo, a very renewable material. The company has found it to be an attractive and durable alternative to hardwood.
To the right of the foyer is the formal dining room, and straight ahead is the family room, part of a wide-open area that includes the kitchen and breakfast room/sun room, which is standard. The family room features a two-story ceiling and a propane-fueled fireplace with a slate surround.
The kitchen includes standard features like granite-covered countertops and island, 42-inch cabinets and a subway tile backsplash. The island overhang welcomes pull-up stools for casual meals and conversation. Stainless steel appliances are standard, as is recessed lighting.
Tucked away in a corner of the house next to the kitchen is a home office or study. Also in this wing of the house is the laundry room and access to the oversized two-car garage.
At the opposite end of the house is the spacious owner’s suite, featuring a tray ceiling and separate walk-in closets for him and her. The master bath has a dual vanity, soaking tub, separate shower and ceramic tile all around.
Upstairs, three secondary bedrooms share a hall bath that provides separate vanity and tub/toilet areas. An optional fifth bedroom with its own full bath can be created over the garage.
The basement benefits from the same footprint and space as the main level, and can be finished like it is in the model as an option. Revolving around a large main recreation area are a bedroom or den, full bathroom and a pair of unfinished storage rooms that could become exercise or home theater areas.
Accardi said he prides himself on being a hands-on builder who is accessible to his customers. “It’s my job to solve problems, not create them,” he said.