1. Two Model Grand Openings in Marshall Township

    Looking for a small town lifestyle with an uptown twist? A robust community full of luxurious upgrades with the tranquility and privacy of living in the suburbs without sacrificing the amenities of the city? Look no further.

    The relative hustle and bustle of Marshall Township fades away as you pull into Venango Trails. Far enough away for peace, quite, and plenty of green spaces, yet only a couple of minutes drive from the Cranberry Commons shopping center, Venango Trails is truly a chameleon community. The exceptional Venango Trails is built around what is already present. And what is already beautiful. Tranquil lakes and ponds. Acres of woodlands. And a historic Native American Indian trail. What was once a golf course has been transformed into a neighborhood with a rhythm all its own. With cozy front porches. Tree-lined sidewalks. Parks made for playing. Clusters of traditional homes. And a bustling village at the center of it all. Other new homes in the area can’t offer this combination of convenience, beauty and exclusivity.

    Featuring a new luxury townhome and single-family home designs. Its accessibility isn’t just limited to a floor plan, however, since its location means it has everything a prospective homeowner wants within reach. Located just a stone’s throw from I-79, homeowners can expect a pleasant commute north to Cranberry for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Businesspeople will be even more pleased with the commute into Pittsburgh, just a quick drive down the highway, and with the shortest commute on tap in the area to boot.

    The decorated Abingshire model and the decorated John Jacob Astor model at Venango Trails are hosting their Grand Openings on Sunday, June 1st from noon until 4pm!


    Single-Family Model The Abingshire Model

    Address 199 Seneca Place – Mars, PA 16046

    Townhome Model The John Jacob Astor Model

    Address 218 Venango Trail – Mars, PA 16046



    Featured Luxury Single-Family Home Design


  2. Questions to Ask When Building a House in Pittsburgh

    Practice makes perfect is something that many of us heard often while growing up. Our multiplication tables, free throws and kissing were all things that luckily got easier with practice.

    The rule also applies to building a house, but most of us do not build enough times to learn as we go. When building our dream home, we typically get one shot. That’s why we generated a list of important questions (with helpful hints) to shorten the home building learning curve.

    Lifestyle Questions

    building a dream home image

    Where do family members spend most of their time?

    If your family tends to congregate in the kitchen, investing in an island with stools or an open floor plan with room to move might be wise. Or maybe you are movie lovers, and the perfect home theater is a top priority. Make sure that you do not have to completely change your lives and relationships with each other to live in your new home.

    How will those habits continue or change in your new home?

    Your house’s current layout often leaves something to be desired—after all, isn’t that why you are building? Just because you are not a sit-around-the-fire family today doesn’t mean that you won’t be in your new house. Think about how your new home will add to your daily life and make you a stronger, closer, happier family.


  3. Model Grand Opening in Cranberry Township

    custom-home-builder-cranberry-townshipFranklin Crossing is centrally located in the Cranberry Township within Seneca Valley School Districtat the corner of Franklin and Goehring Roads. Cranberry Township is one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States in both population and business so it’s not a surprise why prospective homebuyers are flocking to live in the area.

    Franklin Crossing features large home sites that are convenient to Routes 19 & 228 and is close in distance to shopping at Cranberry Mall, fine restaurants and local parks. The Butler County YMCA, North Boundary Park, Graham Park, Cranberry Community Park and Cranberry Highlands Golf Course are all just a short drive away from Franklin Crossing.

    All new well-appointed homes in Franklin Crossing come standard with brick fronts, HardiePlank siding, concrete driveways, upgraded landscaping package, sold planted on StonebridgeModel_Exterior_Night_WEBfront & rear yards, 9’ ceilings on the first & second floor, gourmet kitchen island, granite kitchen countertops, built-in GE stainless steel appliances, maple cabinets, hardwood floors in the foyer, kitchen, powder room & first floor hall, ceramic floors in the master & secondary bathrooms, fireplace in the family room, crown moulding and much more. Five beautiful luxury home designs to choose from — starting in the high $440s.

    The decorated Chapel Hill model home at Franklin Crossing (102 Fairview Drive – Cranberry Township, PA 16066) is hosting its Grand Opening on Saturday, May 24th from noon until 3pm!

    The Chapel Hill model home features 6,072 square feet of living space; including 4 bedrooms, 4 ½ bathrooms and a 3-car side entry garage. The inside is charming with a spacious open kitchen and a morning room, master suite with sitting area & a finished basement with recreation room, home office, media room and a full bathroom.

    The Chapel Hill Video

    Click here for turn-by-turn directions to Franklin Crossing.

  4. Luxury Bathrooms for Every New Home

    I like to call them whoa-moments. During a visit to one of our furnished models, a family member strays from the group and throughout the house you can hear:

    Whoa!  Hey, come check out this room!”

    It’s my favorite part. Sometimes I even keep a mental tally. Kitchens usually collect a few whoas. A home theater always scores a few, too. But which room in the house gets the most whoas?

    The answer might surprise you at first. The master bathroom almost always wins. Nothing says luxury like a beautiful master bath with ceramic tile, granite counters, a big showerhead and a deep tub. That’s luxury!

    We are happy to announce that luxury bathrooms are now a Heartland Homes standard. Watch the new video and see why our bathrooms are definitely whoa-worthy.

    New Bathroom Features Include:

    Granite countertops make a room, especially a bathroom. All practical benefits aside, granite is wonderfully elegant. It is something you have to see to believe. Consider visiting one of our upcoming open models.

    Ceramic tile on the floors and in the shower is easy to clean and always durable. Anybody who has ever suffered through old linoleum—curling at the corners—will feel even more comfortable with tile below their toes.

    See Standard Features in Other Rooms:

    Now on to the most important part—the photos!


    The Monticello II


    The Chapel Hill


    The Abingshire


    The Remington Place

    *See a sales & marketing representative for details.  Townhome features may differ.

  5. Dream Home Kitchen Upgrades Are Now Standard

    Kitchens are no longer confined to cooking. They are a place for sharing stories, taste testing, homework help and all of the other things that occupy our evening hours. Kitchens are a place for living.

    That’s why we are kissing kitchen upgrades goodbye with new standard features.

    New Kitchen Features Include:

    • Hardwood floors that keep kitchens looking clean longer, even during seasons with sandy sandals or snowy boots.
    • Kitchen islands that add both style and function with bar seating for lunches on the go–who has time for dining room china these days?
    • Granite countertops that resist red wine, Crayons and airborne toddler toys.
    • Stainless steel appliances from GE are built-in, providing a sleek finish and extra space for cookie dough and cutting boards.
    • Maple cabinets that are as durable as they are beautiful. Don’t be afraid to booty-bump a drawer or kick a cabinet door–they can take it!

    Sure, the descriptions are great, but we know what people really want. What about the photos? Here are some photos from Heartland Homes models with the newly standardized kitchen upgrades.


  6. 14 Pittsburgh Real Estate Trends in 2014

    You might remember from December that there is rising interest in Pittsburgh real estate this year. But how can a seller make these optimistic trends work for them?

    We asked five Pittsburgh real estate experts to provide insight on local trends and share their selling secrets.

    Meet the Experts

    Brandon Yeager - PittsburghSellers that hope to build in the future should be aware of several low-cost and high-impact improvements that increase the WOW-factor that sets their home apart from the crowd.

    1) Add some “smart” technology, like heating and air conditioning sensors or home security, that people did not have in their last home.

    2) Consider a theater room or Man Cave in the basement.  A simple HDTV, some affordable surround sound, and a couch can go a long way toward hooking half of the decision makers.

    3) Make your existing home move-in-ready with appliances. That offers buyers $3,000 in up front in cost savings.



  7. Model Grand Opening in South Fayette Township


    Newbury is truly one of a kind. Located in South Fayette Township, the community has a lot to offer any prospective homeowner looking for a welcoming, eco-friendly neighborhood. Situated along tree-lined streets with city sidewalks in the southern suburbs, Newbury was designed to complement the land and natural views. We’ve tried to incorporate a mix of both nature and the feeling of a tight knit community into one wonderful region.

    Residents can live, work and play in this ground-breaking eco-community. The community features a neighborhood park and recreation area, sled riding hill, less than five minutes from I-79 and located within South Fayette School District. Another benefit to the Newbury community is its close proximity to other attractions throughout the greater Pittsburgh region. Newbury is conveniently located close to Bridgeville and Oakdale. This doubles the amount of restaurants, stores and shopping for residents looking to spend time within in different areas, but who don’t want2unit-WEB to stray too far from home. With the variety of destinations in Bridgeville, you can’t go wrong when it comes to getting good food close to home.

    The decorated John Jacob Astor model home at Newbury (1295 Newbury Highland Drive – Bridgeville, PA 15017) is hosting its Grand Opening on Saturday, May 10th from noon until 4pm.

    The John Jacob Astor townhome model includes 3,400 square feet of living space, two-car rear entry garage, four bedrooms, three full/two half bathrooms, 6-foot extension to the home, open kitchen concept off of the living room, bonus third floor bedroom with full bath & balcony and much more luxurious features! Each luxury townhome built in Newbury will come standard with a gourmet kitchen island, granite kitchen & master bathroom countertops, built-in GE stainless steel appliances, maple cabinets, 10-foot ceilings on the first floor, 9-foot ceilings on the second floor, hardwood flooring in the kitchen, foyer, powder room and first floor hall, ceramic tile flooring in master & secondary bathrooms, upgraded landscaping package and more.

    The John Jacob Astor Video

    Click here for turn-by-turn directions to Newbury.

  8. Stafford Park’s Phase II Preview Party


    SettlersRidgeRobinsonTownship2Stafford Park offers access to one of the most coveted areas of Pittsburgh real estate – located centrally to Robinson Township. This community features home sites up to a ½ acre in size, across the street from Clever Pool & Park and easy access to I-376 and I-79. Located a short drive away are several golf courses and the wonderful Settler’s Cabin County Park as well. Prospective homeowners will be thrilled with what’s available for them in the Stafford Park community.

    This location is perfect for busy homeowners who commute into the city, Cranberry Township, the South Hills, or just about anywhere in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. It also brings all of the amenities and offerings of the cities to their fingertips. Just down the road, you’ll find the hustle and bustle of the Robinson Town Center, featuring familiar family chains and harder to find brands like Ikea and more. The Robinson Mall and Settlers Ridge shopping centers are just as convenient and robust. Additionally, business travelers will have easy access to the Pittsburgh Airport. Well-appointed homes in this community start in the mid $360s.PRD_ChapelHill_EXT_ORG_9710

    With seven luxury home designs available to build, the home of your dreams can easily be made a reality at Stafford Park. All new homes built will include 9’ ceilings on the first & second floors, built-in GE stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, kitchen island, maple kitchen cabinets, crown moulding, fireplace in family room, hardwood flooring in the kitchen, foyer, powder room & first floor hall and much more!

    The Phase II Preview Party will be held at our Stafford Park Kingsmill Model Home on Thursday, May 1st from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Receive exclusive information including Phase II timeline for development work to be completed, site map layout, home site release date and updated pricing!

    Stafford Park Community Video

    Click here for door-to-door directions to Stafford Park.

  9. 8 Must-Know Tips When Moving To Pittsburgh

    Moving to a new city, especially Pittsburgh, is an adventure filled with occasional uncertainty and constant curiosity. Usually, the only way to get familiar with your new city is through a “live and learn” process, but that can take years! Heartland Homes wants to help (anxious) newcomers with some insights from a local’s perspective–allbeit the good, the bad, and the ugly.


    Steelers fans

    1. Forget Your Favorite Sports Team

    Welcome to the City of Champions! Pittsburgh has an unparalleled loyalty to its sports teams: The Penguins, The Steelers, and The Pirates. You might be thinking, “Yeah right, I’ll never betray my hometown team.” But it’s only a matter of time until the contagious energy that consumes Pittsburgh when any of its prized teams are playing, home or away, effortlessly coaxes you into a becoming a loyal fan.

    If you don’t realize that it’s a game day when you wake up, just take a step outside and you will see a black and gold jersey on nearly everyone you encounter. It’s easy to confuse this with any other day of the week when you will see a similar scene. Pittsburgh’s pulse is so connected with its sports teams that the attitude of the general population is greatly affected by a win or a loss on a game day. Here are some tips on living in a city that is obsessed with it’s teams:

    • If a Pittsburgh team is opposed by a team that you’re rooting for, it’s probably best to stay home where you can avoid any altercations
    • If it’s a game day, the city adopts a black and gold dress code. This dress code also applies when it’s not a game day.
    • Tickets to any home games are expensive, and difficult to come by. If someone offers you free tickets, they really like you.


  10. 7 Things to Do in Peters Township this Summer

    peters township pool

    “There’s nothing to do!” and “I’m bored!” won’t work this year in Peters Township.  Community leaders and organziations have lots of great activities planned for the summer. Here are 7 people and places with ideas of things to do in Peters Township.

    1. Peters Township Public Library kicks off its children’s Summer Reading Program “Fizz Book Read” with a sign-up party on Saturday, June 14. The program runs for 8 weeks through the summer. The library offers daily activities for teens including open gaming sessions in the Teen Room, crafternoons, movie nights, and monthly book clubs. Adults can participate in the many clubs offered at the library – from cooking, couponing, stamp collecting, writing workshops, Go Green, and a variety of lively book groups.

    Coming this summer we will present screenings of environmentally-focused films, programs with Civil War-related themes, and weekly computer classes on a variety of topics. We can also help with technology questions at our drop-in service on Monday evenings or Saturday afternoons. To learn more about all that your library has to offer, visit us at, like us on Facebook, check out our mobile app on your phone, or stop by in person and speak with a staff member. Our hours are Monday-Thursday, 9am-9pm; Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-4pm. We are closed on Sundays from May 25 through September 1. We look forward to your visit!

    Pier Lee, Peters Township Public Library 


    2. Summer Fun and Academic Fitness Classes from the Peters Township School District are offered for students during the summer break. Classes range from ceramics to sports fun and are available for a variety of age groups. Details on course offerings, costs and registration information can be found on the District website.

    - Shelly Belcher, Peters Township School District



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