While many new home buyers first fall for a floor plan or an architectural style, JB Batson and his wife, Morgan, were equally drawn to their new home from seeing the work of the builder.

The couple first saw a product by Home South Communities in a small neighborhood a friend had recommended they visit. “We just fell in love with the builder and how things were done,” said Batson. “We weren’t planning on building and had been thinking about something about five years old. So we hadn’t even been looking at builders, but we had been in a lot of houses for sale. We just loved this builder and the great model home.”

But the community lacked swim and tennis amenities that were important to Batson, the father of two children under the age of two. So the couple kept looking and soon learned that Home South was also building the same plan they liked at Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch.

“Four weeks later, we put a contract on a house, and there was no looking back,” said Batson. “We picked out our color schemes, the brick, the tile, the hardwood floors. Working with agent Steve Taylor was a pleasure; he was very helpful and knowledgeable. It turned out to be a fun process, and we moved in late August.”

What the Batsons liked best about Home South was the way it blended classic looks with contemporary features. “I wouldn’t say we have too much of a modern taste,” said Batson. “This house had a little bit of a Southern theme but was also very up-to-date, with an open floor plan and a big island kitchen that was perfect for us.”

The couple also liked that the main living area incorporated a stacked stone fireplace and coffered ceilings. And they were equally impressed with Sterling’s extensive amenities just a short stroll from their front door.

“With two young kids, we’re looking forward to going to the pool and taking them to the multiple play grounds. There’s a library nearby and plenty of trails where we can walk and hike. When the kids get older, my wife and I want to get back into tennis. They also planning on building a new pool and playground closer to our house, so that will be an added bonus.”

Sterling already offers residents a choice of swimming pools, and its aquatic center was recognized by Builder Magazine as one of the top designs in the country. The community also features lighted tennis courts, a clubhouse with a 24-hour fitness center and movie theater, and a lakeside pavilion where residents can borrow a canoe or kayak. A waterfall, treehouse, village green and library are part of the project.

When completed, Sterling will boast 2,000 homes priced from the mid-$200,000s to the $500,000s. The traditional and Craftsman designs have between 1,600 to more than 4,000 square feet. Home South’s homes at Sterling on the Lake are located on 1/3- to 1/2-acre lots feature side-entry garages, architectural shingles, stainless steel appliances, 5-burner stoves, vaulted ceilings in secondary bedrooms and double tray ceilings in each master.

“With the amenities and the floor plan, we’re looking at this as the place where we’ll be to raise our young family,” said Batson.

Home South Communities at Sterling on the Lake

Location: 6507 Lemon Grass Lane, Flowery Branch, Hall County, 30542  

Price range: mid-$300,000s to high $400,000s

Number of homes when completed: 2,000

Styles: traditional and Craftsman

Square footage: 3,000 – 3,800

Lot sizes: 1/3 to 1/2 Acre  

Amenities: Swimming pools, tennis courts, clubhouse, fitness center, lakeside pavilion, walking trails, village green, library, waterfall, treehouse

Builder: Home South Communities

Schools: Spouts Springs Elementary, Davis Middle, Flowery Branch High

Getting there: From Atlanta, take I-85 North to I-985 North to exit 12, Spout Springs Road. Turn right, and after two miles, turn right on Capitola Farm Road. Right on Lemon Grass Lane to model home on the left.

Contacts: Agent Steve Taylor, 404 402 7001

Information: homesouthcommunities.com

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