Patio homes are here

July 17, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A new style of housing designed to appeal to retirees and others who want low-maintenance homes has made its way to Berkeley County.

Referred to as "patio homes," the single-story dwellings have about 1,200 square feet of space and level, easy-to-maintain yards that extend about 20 feet from the homes.

Last weekend, a Silver Spring, Md., development firm announced the opening of its line of patio homes along Old Mill Road in Martinsburg.


So far, Humphrey Development has built four patio homes in its Old Mill Crossing community, and the company plans to build 58 more, according to Tim Barila, project manager.

The patio homes in Old Mill Crossing sell for $99,500 and have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, single-car garage, living and dining room areas and laundry room. Two patio homes are in each unit, divided by a common wall.

Each patio home is equipped with a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave oven and washer and dryer. Buyers can equip their homes with security systems and additional kitchen counter space, Barila said.

The houses need little maintenance because of their size and the vinyl siding used on the exterior. Each home has an outdoor storage shed, and homeowners can arrange for snow removal and lawn care services, project officials said.

Barila said the location of Old Mill Crossing is ideal for retirees and on-the-go business people because it is close to downtown Martinsburg, the Martinsburg Mall and Interstate 81.

I-81 is visible from the development, which is just off the King Street exit.

"A mile from your door you probably have 60 restaurants," said Mara Ashelman, a spokeswoman for the project.

The patio home concept has been popular in other parts of the Tri-State area as well. The homes have been built in Hagerstown and about 100 were sold in the Spring Mills community near Falling Waters.

The homes are popular with young couples and "empty nesters," couples whose children are grown and have moved out of the family home, said Bruce Van Wyk, who developed Spring Mills.

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