Sales Underway For Ranch Homes At The Enclave At Mill Creek In Addison

Sales are underway and construction is progressing at The Enclave at Mill Creek, a low-maintenance community from Meritus Homes in Addison.

The property, conveniently located at the intersection of Army Trail Road and Mill Street, features 44 detached, single-family homes in Phase I. Already, 15 percent of these easy-living ranches have been sold. Buyers can choose from five floor plans with 1,379 to 2,154 square feet of living space, two or three bedrooms, and two full baths. Special preconstruction pricing—which is only available until the models open—starts from the mid $300,000s.

Tucked in a mature area surrounded by established neighborhoods, The Enclave at Mill Creek will have abundant green space—including Westwood Creek, three ponds and a scenic sitting area—with more than one third of the ranch-style homes backing to natural areas. The homeowners association will perform all common area landscape maintenance as well as lawn care for each individual home.

“Even snow removal is included,” said Jay Dulla, executive vice president of Meritus Homes. “Homeowners at The Enclave at Mill Creek will never have to worry about going out into the cold and shoveling their walkway or driveway.”

This maintenance-free lifestyle is especially appealing to empty nesters who are tired of spending energy on tiring outdoor chores, he explained. They also appreciate the benefits that come with a newly built home. For example, homeowners have few, if any, repairs that need to be made. Plus, they can typically stay comfortable for less since new homes tend to be more energy efficient. The biggest draw, however, is that buyers can personalize their new homes.

“When building from the ground up, new-home buyers can choose their colors, flooring, fixtures, and more,” said Dulla. “Plus, Meritus Homes ‘My Signature’ program offers a variety of options and upgrades for even more ways to tailor a home to someone’s tastes.”

For instance, several of the plans at The Enclave at Mill Creek have the option for a second story. This can add 866 to 1,090 more square feet of living space, one or two bedrooms or a loft, and another bath on the upper level. The two-story layouts, according to Dulla, are perfect for households with college children home for summer break or those who need to accommodate extended family or overnight guests.

Other optional amenities are gourmet kitchen enhancements, gas fireplaces and upgraded flooring, among others.

All homes at The Enclave at Mill Creek will be built to the exacting standards that signify a Meritus home. Interiors will have nine-foot first-floor ceilings, six-panel doors, decorative touches such as rounded drywall corners and brushed nickel finishes, central air conditioning, and full basements.

Kitchens are designed around the chef with a full suite of stainless steel appliances including a range, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator; pantry, per plan; granite countertops; and elegant touches such as ceramic tile or oak flooring and cabinets with crown molding.

All baths have ceramic tile flooring and shower walls along with cultured marble vanity tops while master baths have the added luxury of separate showers; custom-finished, wood, raised vanities; large linen closets; and compartmentalized water closets.

Outside, classic architecture is designed to complement the area with brick accents, optional stone accents, and covered entries to provide shelter from inclement weather. Exteriors will be constructed of low maintenance materials such as vinyl siding for easy upkeep. Front, side and rear yards will be fully sodded plus a landscaping package is included with each new home to give it instant curb appeal.

“Before The Enclave at Mill Creek opened, very few new homes were being built in Addison so if someone wanted to stay in the area, their choices were limited,” said Dulla. “Now, home shoppers can reap all the benefits of new construction yet stay close to what they know and love.”

Buyers also have been coming to the community from surrounding towns such as Lombard, Elmhurst and Itasca—and even as far away as Palatine—drawn to the property’s convenient location. Shopping, entertainment, movie theaters, golf, casual dining, and forest preserves are all nearby. Plus, Interstates 355 and 290 are only a few miles away, as is Ill. Hwy. 83/Kingery Highway, for easy access to Chicagoland’s western suburbs.

Two models—the two-story Waterleaf and Marigold ranch—are under construction at The Enclave at Mill Creek. Until they open, sales are being conduced from a sales center across the street, located at 601 Army Trail Boulevard, Suite C.

Sales hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. To preview floor plans at The Enclave at Mill Creek, visit Or call (224) 634-4034.

Ranch Living Draws Buyers To Meritus Homes

When Denise and Fred Morrone set out to find a new home, they didn’t know it would lead them to builder Meritus Homes—but it did. The couple knew they wanted a ranch. So they researched resale homes on the market and visited new communities. After searching on and off for nearly six months, they found the Marquis.

“We lived in a ranch in Palos Park and keeping that single-level lifestyle was a priority,” said Denise Morrone.    “We’re both in our 50s and don’t want the hassle of steps everyday.”

The Marquis met their demands. With more than 2,600 square feet, 10-foot ceilings and an open-concept layout, it has an expansive feel. The Morrones made some modifications—they added a fireplace in the corner of the family room, removed the tub from the master bath to expand the shower, and eliminated a wall between the kitchen and family room to open the space even more.

They expanded the island to create a 6-foot-by-7-foot center island, which is the focal point of the kitchen—and Denise’s favorite spot.

“We were thrilled that our vision of the kitchen worked so well with the building plans,” said Denise. “Meritus was very accommodating. The team made sure we received everything we wanted and needed in our new home.”

As a semicustom builder, Meritus Homes understands that the personal choices and attention to detail are what make a new home so attractive. The company provides a portfolio of floor plans but allows buyers to add their own inspiration to create homes that are truly right for them.

Capitalizing on the popularity of its ranches, Meritus Homes has
debuted new single-story plans like the Windsor at Lake Vista in Lake Villa.  

This 2,253-square-foot ranch has three bedrooms and two full baths along with fine architectural touches throughout. Options such as a box bay window, fireplace, tray and vaulted ceilings, and French doors allow for personalization possibilities. Plus, walk-out or lookout lower levels are available to bring
the outdoors in and add more
living space.

Tucked in a mature setting surrounded by existing homes, Lake Vista is an enclave of 28 single-family homes nestled around a single cul-de-sac for privacy. Everyday conveniences are nearby thanks to a location on the south side of Grand Avenue/Rt. 132, just two blocks east of Rt. 83 and only minutes from Lake Villa Metra Station. The community is within Lakes Community High School District 117 and District 41.

Homes at Lake Vista are priced from the low $300,000s and sales are by appointment. Two ranch homes are under construction that will be
completed in 30 days and are available to view now. For information
or to schedule a property visit,
call (224) 634-4333

ay Dulla has been involved in all aspects of the homebuilding industry, from financing to construction and marketing.

Location remains prime factor for Meritus Homes

By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent

Throughout his career, Jay Dulla, executive vice president of Meritus Homes, has followed the progression of baby boomers and Generation Xers — building the types of homes they needed and wanted as they went through life.

He got his first taste of the homebuilding industry when he worked for a financial lender that specialized in loans to real estate developers. Then he took a position with a small custom builder of high-end houses on the North Shore called The Baxter Group. It was there he truly learned the business, getting his feet wet in the entire development process, from zoning to marketing.

rom there Dulla went on to run the real estate operations of Plote Excavating, where his most notable project was Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills. In 1992 when D.R. Horton came to Chicago (before they purchased Cambridge Homes), he took the reins and built it into one of the area’s leading homebuilders in less than five years.

Around the millennium, Dulla started his own firm, Remington Homes. Then, during the long recession, he worked on a variety of small projects before, most recently, he took over running day-to-day operations of Meritus Homes based in Deerfield.

Meritus was founded in 2009 during the depths of the Great Recession. It was formed by two former Pulte executives and their investment partner, Gary Janko of the Janko Group.

Meritus purchased parcels from other builders at bargain prices. But it only chose properties that were in great locations where land was in short supply and high demand, Dulla said. Meritus has been building single-family homes on those parcels ever since.

What is your company’s philosophy?

“Overall, Meritus works to deliver quality homes that include the latest trends, which feature unique architectural details and offer the flexibility for owners to use rooms in a variety of ways.

“Meritus is a semi-custom builder, which means we will work to make the customizing changes to our existing plans that our customers want.

“Although the baby boomers have always been a big target, we continue to build communities for mixed ages because there will always be active adults who want to continue to live with other age groups. But we are building more ranch homes in those mixed-age group subdivisions because empty-nesters want them, but so do an increasing number of younger families.”

The details:

Meritus Homes is building subdivisions in St. Charles, Lake Villa and Addison. Another small community in Lake Forest is expected to open this summer.

In addition, Meritus is purchasing older homes in select communities like Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe and Northbrook, tearing them down and building new, state-of-the-art homes for those who want to live in those enviable communities, but also want a new house.

Meritus’ current subdivisions are The Reserves of St. Charles, which has 60 lots remaining; Lake Vista in Lake Villa, where 21 lots remain; and an age-targeted, maintenance-free 87-lot community at the intersection of Army Trail and Mill Roads in Addison.

What is the best part about being a builder?

“It gives me such a sense of pride when I know that I have had a part in creating a community that 150 to 200 people call home, and where they spend their holidays with family and friends. I really enjoy driving back through those neighborhoods and seeing how they have developed.”

What are the biggest changes you have seen?

“From the standpoint of a new-home builder, the biggest changes I have seen are that, because home values have not risen as much as they have in the past, builders are making much smaller margins. So we are decreasing the sizes of the homes we are offering and we are eliminating many of the volume spaces we used to offer. We have to stay within the price constraints of any given market.

“But we are always getting the latest designs from our national architects. For instance, in some designs we are building the laundry room directly next to the master closet with just a pocket door in between, for added convenience. So we are staying on the cutting edge, despite the fact that we are building smaller.”

In addition, Dulla said, builders have to be more cautious now about picking their locations and not become overloaded on land positions.

“We generally choose infill properties that are close to expressways and shopping and in municipalities where existing residents want to stay.”

What do you expect in the future?

“During 2017, I expect Meritus Homes will build between 30 and 40 homes and then in 2018 that number will be up to between 60 and 70 homes.


Original Story:

The Benefits of Buying a NEW Home

Home buyers have the choice of two types of houses on the market: resale or new.

Home buyers planning to buy a brand-new house or condominium often cite energy efficiency, open layout, a warranty, and being able to select appliances, flooring, paint colors and other design elements as factors driving their choice.

But builders say that buyers can be drawn to a new house for reasons that aren’t so obvious. Here are a few more benefits of a brand-new home that you may not see in the sales brochure.

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