Orleans Homebuilders is testing out a 21st-century concept in a town-house development not far from the site where George Washington crossed the Delaware River in 1776 on Christmas Day.

High on a ridge known as Lambert's Hill in Hunterdon County, N.J., the regional company is putting a twist on the town-house. About half of homes in the 129-unit attached-housing development feature a master bedroom suite on the first floor. The Livingston model targets the area's empty-nesters wanting the convenience of single-floor living but appreciate the two upstairs bedrooms for guests. Vaulted ceilings, open loft space on the second floor, and a molding and trim package add extra allure.

“We have all ages [interested]. [But] a good majority are active adults. They got rid of their large house somewhere around the area–Princeton or Hopewell, [N.J.,]–but they said this is where they want to be,” says Gary Shaw, Orleans' sales and marketing executive for the Northern region.

EASY ACCESS: Whether an active adult or not, buyers enjoy the community's proximity to Philadelphia and the Jersey shore. And because active adults “don't want to give up any amenities,” Shaw says, the 2,843-square-foot Livingston offers many options and upgrades. The base price for the model is in the low $500,000s, but Shaw says some residents are spending as much as $800,000 to add extras, such as a finished basement, a deck, or a luxury Jacuzzi bath.

But active adult or not, residents are attracted to the community's location. They value the one-hour commute to Philadelphia, access to the Jersey shore, beautiful views of the Delaware River, great local schools, and plenty of shopping and dining in New Hope, Pa., an artsy town across the river. “If they want to run, they can run. If they want to go to the shore, they can go to the shore,” Shaw explains. About half the development has sold in the past 18 months, he says.

The Townhome Twist

  • Orleans' Lambert's Hill development in Hunterdon County, N.J., is the only community to feature its 2,843-square-foot Livingston townhome model.
  • The model, which includes a first-floor master suite, attracts the area's active adults.
  • The three-bedroom townhome has a base price in the low $500,000s, but many buyers spend up to $800,000 to add options and upgrades.