Ashton Woods The rustic lookhas carried from original farmhouses to custom residences, and nowmaster-planned homes.

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DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX—Ashton Woods Homes has been selected as thenewest builder at Headwaters, the master-planned community justwest of Austin, according to Freehold Communities, developer ofVital Communities. Ashton Woods will bring a neighborhood of 65single-family detached residences on 60-foot home sites set withinPhase II of Headwaters.

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Sales in Phase II began last year. The recently opened segmentof the community consists of new homesites that back up to agreenbelt, offering desirable topography in Headwaters. The landplan allows each home to be near open space while preserving thehilltops and natural contours.

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Construction is underway on the neighborhood, and a grandopening and debut of a model home is anticipated for this spring.The homes will feature one- and two-story story floor plans rangingfrom 2,387 to 3,031 square feet. The spacious residences have beendesigned with contemporary farmhouse architecture and are expectedto include up to six bedrooms and four- and one-half baths. Pricesare anticipated to begin in the high $300,000s.

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"Our homeowners want a prime location and incredible communityamenities without compromising on their home design," said CassieSommers, vice president of sales and marketing for Ashton WoodsAustin. "We're excited to offer brand-new contemporary farmhouseelevations along with personalized design options at ourstudio."

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In addition to the upcoming Ashton Woods neighborhood,Headwaters currently offers new home collections from David WeekleyHomes, Dream Finders Homes, Drees Custom Homes and TaylorMorrison.

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With 1,000 homesites in a natural setting, Headwaters' communityamenities include the Hub coffee bar and co-working space. Thisarea also includes Headwaters' Star-Gazing Amphitheater–part of itsHomestead Park. HW Central (the amenity center) includes asplit-level pool with waterfall, fitness center, Wi-Fi cafe andoutdoor socializing.

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The Texas Hill Country open space and parks incorporate thestructures of the original ranch buildings found on the property.Perched atop a protected hilltop in the center of the community arethe remnants of the original ranch home the Townes family built inthe last century. It has been partially deconstructed, revealingclassic stone masonry no longer seen today.

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The Headwaters master plan employs a preservation-developmentapproach. Designers crafted the community to preserve the naturallandscape and protect the Barton Creek watershed. The planpreserves more than 1,000 acres for parks and open space with milesof trails.

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The land plan strictly limits impervious cover so rainwater isabsorbed into the soil and vegetation. Forward-thinking designguidelines encourage the use of native species and home designsthat respect the history and natural resources of the property.

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In 2019, Headwaters won the Grand Award at the 56th Annual GoldNugget Awards for best community land plan. The recognition markedthe 16th regional and national award for the new community.

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Headquartered in Boston, and founded in 2013, FreeholdCommunities is currently developing eight master plans throughoutthe United States. All express the company's Vital Communityapproach that embraces healthy living, engagement, connectivity,stewardship and distinctive home design. Amenities include naturepreserves or innovative merging of homes and open space such as"agrihoods".

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"At many of its master plans, Freehold Communities is seeingmultiple generations living in the same community," SuzanneMaddalon, vice president of marketing for Freehold Communities,tells GlobeSt.com. "Freehold sees this at its communities ofShearwater in South Florida and Headwaters near Austin, where theBoomers move to a larger home, in part to invite other familymembers to visit. Many of these buyers are downsizing, notnecessarily to a smaller home but to smaller yards. Or they aredown-mortgaging to reduce their bills, but still have the comfortsof a larger home."

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One of the biggest design trends of the last decade is not soongoing away: the modern farmhouse. The rustic look has carried fromoriginal real farmhouses to custom residences, and now spreads tohomes and clubhouses in planned communities. Google ranked"farmhouse" as the top trending home-design search of 2019,GlobeSt.com learns.

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"The Orchard Ridge master plan outside of Austin includes freshtakes on farmhouse style by local and national builders," Maddalontells GlobeSt.com. "Model homes will include antique-style lanternsdangled over quartz countertops or barn-style doors hung on tracksin the foyer. The architecture offers bay-window alcoves and aslender two-story profile updated from prairie-style homes."

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of GlobeSt.com. She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.