LEE — Two of the last opportunities to buy a brand-new, move-in-ready luxury home within Devon Meadow in historic Lee are now available.
Finished within the past three months, these are homes designed for enjoyment, with plenty of space for family and guests. Both feature oversize two-car garages, with additional outside parking spaces for guests. Large decks, screened-in porches, high ceilings (the main level's great room reaches 18 feet high at its peak), plenty of windows for oodles of natural light or to take in the scenery, kitchens to please amateur chefs, plus rich hardwood flooring create inviting spaces in which to unwind, entertain and just appreciate life.
The homes are largely maintenance-free, as they are condominiums. All snow removal, raking and mowing of the half-acre lots and common open space is handled via the homeowners association, as well as care of the buildings' exteriors.
Despite having three levels, the homes' design makes first-floor living possible, as the master bedroom and master bath, a powder room, kitchen, great room, laundry room, mudroom and office are all on the ground level.
One of the new homes boasts six bedrooms and six and a half baths, with 5,500 square feet of finished living space, and carries a listing price of $1,150,000. The walkout lower level includes a full kitchenette and a second great room, along with two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, and could be a wonderful space for teenagers to gather while adults mingle on the first floor.
The second home shares the same floor plan for the upper two levels, but the walkout lower level has been left unfinished. It has four bedrooms and four and a half baths, with 3,400 square feet of finished living space, and is being offered at $925,000. The unfinished lower level could readily be converted into an in-law suite, or more room for family and guests to spread out, said general manager Mike Levesque of Hawkeye Development and Builders.
The fully finished home is actually a bargain, he said, given the additional cost of finishing off the lower level in the second home to match the sumptuous style of the upper two levels.
Devon Meadow has been built out over a decade. Other than these two new homes, one vacant lot remains, on which another double attached home could be constructed.
"We can build to suit," Levesque said.
Each building in the development consists of two attached homes joined by an insulated firewall. According to Levesque, the firewall is rated two-hours, exceeding the one-hour rating specified by code. A 2-inch shaft liner from foundation to roofline also separates homes in each building. The entire divider is about 13 inches thick.
"It acts as sound-deadening wall," Levesque said. "We've had someone playing piano on one side and it wasn't heard on the other."
Privacy in the attached homes is further enhanced by locating exterior decks so that they face away from each other.
"From one deck to the other, you can't see them," Levesque said.
Hawkeye has a reputation for using choice materials in the several residential developments it has built in the Berkshires, and that shows in Devon Meadow. Kitchens and bathrooms feature quartz counters. Gas stoves and fireplaces are fed by 500-gallon propane tanks buried by each unit. Multiple zones control both central air conditioning and forced hot-air heat. Energy-efficient appliances, heat pumps and hybrid hot-water heaters contribute to cost savings.
Hawkeye provides a new home warranty, which includes manufacturers' warranties of 30 years on the roof's architectural shingles, 50 years on the exterior cement-board siding and 15 years on the exterior paint.
A LOOK AT 150 MALLARD LANE
The home can be entered by the front door or through the garage - a great plus in bad weather or when unloading groceries. The exterior is painted a warm gray and pine-green trim echoes the surrounding trees. Many gables break up the roofline, and the attached garage joins the home at a right angle.
The front door opens into an entryway, along which rises the stairs to the second story. The entryway leads into the great room, across from a bank of windows spilling light onto the broad planks of the wooden floor. The windows look out onto the expansive back deck. At one end of the great room sits the kitchen, and above it, a second-story loft and sitting area looks down onto the great room. At the opposite end of the great room rises the stone-faced fireplace.
Beneath the loft is the dining area, open to both the great room and the kitchen. Nine-foot ceilings in the kitchen and dining area contribute to the spacious feel. Off the kitchen, double doors lead out into the wide screened-in covered porch, which has a ceiling fan.
The wooden flooring continues from the great room and dining area into the clean, bright kitchen. A backsplash of white subway tiles covers the walls between upper and lower cabinets of white-painted maple cabinets. A row of the upper cabinets has glass fronts. A modern island with a sink lends additional counterspace at which to prepare food and serve meals. Another sink sits below a double window at one end of the room.
Separated by French doors from the rest of the first floor is an office or den, ideal for doing the bills or working remotely. Built-in bookshelves and a double window at one end add warmth and utility.
The master bedroom, and other bedrooms, are carpeted. A tray ceiling with a fan, and a bank of three windows make for a comfortable and cheerful place in which to retreat and rest. A door leads into a walk-in closet. Off the bedroom is the master bath, with a jetted tub and glassed-in shower, double-sink vanity and tiled floor. The toilet is located behind a separate door for privacy.
SURROUNDED BY NATURE, HISTORY AND THE ARTS
Devon Meadow sits on Lee's border with neighboring Western Massachusetts towns of Stockbridge and Lenox, easily reached from the Mass Pike. The town has a population of about 5,700. Downtown Lee is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the town was once a center for papermaking and quarried marble. Some of that stone was used to build the Lee Library, as well as such famous edifices as the Capitol in Washington, DC, and the General Grant National Memorial and St. Patrick's Cathedral, both in New York City.
Local spots for outdoor enthusiasts include Laurel Lake, part of Lee's border with Lenox, at the west end of the Jacob's Ladder hiking trail. The lake has a boat launch, a town beach and is stocked with trout and salmon. On the west side of the lake stands The Mount, the estate of Edith Wharton, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who wrote of New York's Gilded Age. Portions of the October Mountain State Forest and the Beartown State Forest both extend into Lee, and the Appalachian Trail passes through its east side.
Like outdoor concerts? Devon Meadow is a 5-minute drive from Tanglewood Music Center, where the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducts a summer academy for advanced musical study. Popular music stars such as Carlos Santana, James Taylor and Carole King have performed for crowds that cover the lawn fronting the stage.
ADDED ENTICEMENT FOR HOME BUYERS
Also nearby is Wyndhurst Manor and Club, formerly known as Cranwell. Purchase of a Devon Meadow home comes with a year's membership to Wyndhurst and access to its golf course, tennis courts, pool, spa and restaurant. On Wyndhurst's 380 acres sits Miraval Berkshires, a high-end spa resort that opened earlier this year. While not part of the yearlong membership at Wyndhurst, Miraval is another of the area's upscale attractions.