May 15th, 2019

Real estate: Lifestyle communities offer buyers more than just a house

Original article by Bill Lewis for The Tennessean >

Karen and Brian Poynor were among the first residents in Hendersonville’s Durham Farms community. Since then, they have been busy meeting new neighbors, joining clubs and attending events.

“The lifestyle is what drew us,” Karen Poynor said of the couple’s decision to move from the Chicago area. They purchased a house built by Lennar Homes in April 2016.

“We’re their very first home” in Durham Farms, she said.

The Poynors’ story is not unusual, said Chris Page, the neighborhood’s lifestyle director.

“The lifestyle here in Durham Farms is one of the larger selling points when people are looking for a new home. We get a lot of people moving from out of state and out of Nashville and love the events and the front-porch-living lifestyle Durham Farms aims for to create a true sense of community,” said Page.

Durham Farms has a community lending library. Residents are asked to take a book and leave a book.

Pool parties and community gardens

Durham Farms is one of a number of master-planned lifestyle communities in the Nashville region. Others include Westhaven and Stephens Valley in Williamson County and Southern Springs, Del Webb’s 55-and-older neighborhood in Spring Hill. Millstone in Hendersonville and StoneBridge in Lebanon, both developed by Goodall Homes, are other examples.

Like lifestyle directors in Westhaven and Southern Springs, Page works full time with residents in the community, planning and coordinating activities.

The Farmhouse is a gathering place for adults and children at Durham Farms.

Get to know the neighbors

In Durham Farms, the Poynors are busy with activities and meeting their neighbors as the community grows. Their builder, Lennar Homes, has begun a new phase of construction and has completed 10 additional homes now on the market.

Other builders in Durham Farms include Celebration Homes, Crescent Homes, Drees Homes, David Weekley Homes and Goodall Homes. The subdivision, located off Drakes Creek Road, will have more than 1,000 homes on 472 acres when construction is complete.

Prices in Lennar’s new phase range from the high $300,000s to $459,990.The homes have three to five bedrooms and up to three and a half baths. They have from 2,308 to 3,081 square feet of space.

The Poynors recently enjoyed a community Easter egg hunt with two of their grandchildren who live in Durham Farms. At another event, Barks and Brews, residents and members of the public had a chance to adopt a dog through the Humane Society of Sumner County while enjoying craft beer from Half Batch Brewing. Other vendors also participated.

“Lots of people came with their dogs to enjoy the activities,” said Page.

The public is invited to enjoy Durham Farms’ summer concert series from June through August. During four concerts at The Farmhouse, the community’s clubhouse, food trucks will be on hand and kids’ activities are planned, said Page.

Other events, such as “dive-in movies at the pool,” a Fourth of July watermelon bash and club meetings are just for residents, he said.

All the activity makes it easy to get to know the neighbors, said Karen Poynor.

“We’ve made so many new friends,” she said. “We’ll just sit and talk. It’s that kind of neighborhood.”

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