Siblings Stay Close With New Homes At The Reserve In St. Charles

Brother and sister Michael McCarthy and Ashley Schremser grew up in St. Charles and loved it so much that when they had families of their own, they both built new homes in the west suburban city…right down the street from each other at The Reserve in St. Charles.

Here, Meritus Homes is building 88 semicustom single-family homes and approximately 75 percent have been sold. Although a limited number of homesites remain, they include prime sites with several backing to open space. Five ranch and two-story designs offer 2,491 to 3,716 square feet of living space, three or four bedrooms, two to 3-1/2 baths, and two- or three-car garages. Current base prices range from $543,900 to $602,900.

Michael moved into The Reserve in St. Charles first, about two years ago. Impressed with the location and quality of his home, Ashley decided last year to build there, as well.

“We were on a timeline, wanting to move before our oldest son started kindergarten,” said Ashley. Happy with the education she received in St. Charles schools…including St. Charles North High School…she wanted her children to attend schools in District 303, too.

“Despite everything that happened in 2020, we chose to stay on track with our plan to move in spring or summer of 2021,” she continued. “Meritus Homes is doing an excellent job of keeping construction on schedule and we should close by May.”

Michael also elected to move because of a life change. Living in a townhome with their daughter and with plans to have more children, they decided they needed a bigger home and yard. With its large homesites—up to one-third of an acre—The Reserve in St. Charles was the perfect fit. He and his wife welcomed a son to their family in May 2020.

“We looked at a few existing houses over a six- to eight-week period but nowhere else measured up so our decision was quick and easy,” he explained. Today, his home backs to open space so his children have plenty of room to play ball and run around yet stay within sight.

“Where we live now, we have houses practically right in our back yard, so we knew we wanted more outdoor space in our new home,” said Ashley. “Not only is our homesite at The Reserve in St. Charles much bigger, we back up to a berm with grass and trees for extra privacy.”

Another benefit—within the neighborhood are natural and recreational amenities such as ponds, bike trails and a park.

While Michael and Ashley agree on their love for The Reserve in St. Charles, they have different tastes in home styles. Ashley chose the two-story Chesapeake while Michael picked the Clover ranch.

The 2,491-square-foot Clover has three bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths and an open-concept layout that lives large. The center of attention in this elegant single-story home is the living room, which flows into the designer kitchen and adjoining dining room. An angled island, pantry and pocket office…perfect for planning meals or crafts…make the kitchen functional and fabulous. A covered porch in back is ideal for outdoor dining or simply relaxing. The master suite has a walk-in closet and private luxury bath. The second bedroom also has its own bath and walk-in closet. In addition to the full basement, extra storage space is abundant in the garage.

“We adore the open floor plan with the kitchen and family room flowing into each other, and the convenience of having everything on one level,” said Michael.

“With two young boys, we prefer the bedrooms being upstairs, away from the bustle in the main living areas,” said Ashley.

With 3,188 square feet, four bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths, The Chesapeake is great for large households or anyone who desires a lot of space. The design is versatile with a flex room that can serve as a study, library or office plus a craft room and mud room that provide more space for activities. The two-story foyer makes an instant impression and a butler’s pantry unites the dining room with the dinette and gourmet kitchen, which has a walk-in pantry and huge center island. The adjacent family room has a fireplace and is a cozy spot for relaxing. On the second floor, double doors make a grand entrance into the master suite, which has a walk-in closet and luxurious bath with soaker tub and separate shower. Three additional bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet, share a hall bath. The laundry room is upstairs for convenience and the three-car garage loads from the side for curb appeal.

According to Ashley, being able to personalize their home was one reason they favored new construction.

“We looked at some resale houses in the area but none had everything—some had one feature but not another, and vice versa. Building allowed us to get everything just the way we wanted,” she said.

The family upgraded flooring, carpeting and cabinetry to match their tastes and upgraded from a standard to finished basement so that her husband, who works from home, could have a secluded office.

Michael also plans to finish his basement, which will nearly double his overall living space. Additionally, he added a bay window in his dining room and made some custom changes to his kitchen, reconfiguring one wall to accommodate a larger refrigerator and freezer—creating his wife’s ultimate gourmet kitchen.

“Meritus Homes was willing to work with us to make design and structural changes, more than most big builders allow,” he said.

Now settled in, Michael is excited to soon have Ashley as his neighbor and the cousins so close by. The siblings are grateful to be near their parents who still live in St. Charles, too.

“It’s very convenient when we need a babysitter,” they agreed.

While Michael and Ashley are thankful to live near family and long-time friends, they also appreciate being only minutes from St. Charles’ quaint downtown as well as shopping, restaurants and everyday conveniences along the Randall Road corridor.

The Reserve in St. Charles is located on the west side of Rt. 31 between Red Gate and Silver Glen roads. To visit, take Rt. 31 and turn west onto Reserve Drive and proceed to the model and sales office at 775 Reserve Drive.

A decorated model is available to tour so home shoppers can see the stylish designs and feel Meritus Homes’ superior level of construction firsthand. Sales hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday (closed Thursday and Friday).

For more information, call (224) 634-4054 or visit

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