Blog Category - Blog

At Ashlake, there’s always something new under the sun!

Categories: Blog, Home & Garden, Uncategorized | Posted: May 23, 2017

Not only do you get a maintenance-free home and an amazing, friendly community when you move to the Villas at Ashlake, but you also get nuggets of wisdom. Keep reading to learn!

Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, an important French physicist, explained how we can generate electricity from sunlight in 1839.  He’s the father of modern solar energy, discovering the photovoltaic effect, the operating principle of the solar cell. And finally, 175 years and decades of experimentation later, we have technology that can efficiently harness the power of the sun!


Why does this matter?

Because everything we do uses tons of electricity – and it costs a lot of money. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and the U.S. has some of the richest solar resources in the world! Modern technology can harness solar energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light, and heating water.


By using solar power, you can reduce your energy costs and your carbon footprint. And at the Villas of Ashlake, we’re helping you do just that – by installing a solar energy system!


What does solar power mean to you?

  • You’ll start saving the very first day of your system’s operation. How high is your current electric bill? You can expect to save around $90 a month from your solar energy system at Ashlake!


  • You can claim a one-time tax credit equal to 30% of your system’s cost. For example, on a $15,000 solar energy system, you’d be entitled to $4,500 in tax credits. Cha-ching!


  • When you purchase your home, it’s easy to finance your solar energy system through your mortgage.


  • Homes with a solar energy system provide more reliable power and have a better resale value in the Richmond market.


  • Your solar energy system will reduce your carbon footprint by lowering demand for electricity from coal or gas-fueled energy plants.



If want to learn more about how the solar energy system at Ashlake will work, please call Tom Gancsos at 804.347.4253.

5 Reasons You’ll LOVE Single Level Living!

Categories: Blog, Home & Garden, Richmond, VA, Wake Forest, NC | Posted: March 13, 2017

At Cornerstone Homes, we’ve cornered the market on attractive, well-designed single level homes. All of our homes have the primary living space on one level, with some models having an option second floor bonus room. They offer 2 or 3 bedrooms, plenty of open space, and a level of comfort you won’t believe. Take a look at some of the benefits of single-level living:

  • Easier to navigate. The best thing about single level living: everything you need is on one floor! No more endless trips up and down the stairs, and no more forgetting that thing you needed from the master bedroom because it took so long to get there. Ah, sweet convenience!
  • Have you, a family member, or your sweet Maltese Max ever tripped up on the staircase? Single level living means no worries about you or your loved ones missing a step. And no need to haul laundry or luggage up and down the stairs!
  • Open space. Our one-story homes include lots of open living space. Rooms have high ceilings, lots of windows, and flow easily into one another – without an unsightly staircase to ruin the view.
  • Easy to clean. If you could pick your least favorite chore, what would it be? Would it include cleaning the awkward crevices of your staircase? Or lugging your heavy vacuum and clunky cleaning supplies from floor to floor? Not anymore!
  • Everyday life. Taking a shower and your spouse decides to run the dishwasher? Don’t yell at them from the upstairs bathroom. Yell from the same floor so they hear you better!

With all these benefits, you’ll wish you’d switched to single level living years ago!

Ashlake Preview Event: New Sales Office Reveal!

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 28, 2017

Cornerstone Homes will be hosting a Community Preview Event for our new boutique 55+ living community, The Villas at Ashlake! This event will take place this Saturday, March 4th from 1-5 pm at the new sales center, located at Winterpock Crossing Shopping Center, 6637 Lake Harbor Drive in Midlothian, Virginia. The sales office will be open daily! Please join us to preview amenities, floor plans and pre-construction pricing.

Visitors will also get a special preview of the first homesites being released, and the opportunity to make an appointment to secure a reservation. Refreshments will be served 🙂

The Villas at Ashlake will be comprised of 82 single-story, maintenance-free homes from the high $270’s. The boutique 55+ community will feature Cornerstone’s trademark resort-style amenities, including a clubhouse, fitness center, outdoor grill & bar, and walking trails, as well as community vegetable & flower gardens.

Located at the intersection of Ashbrook and Ashlake Parkways in Chesterfield, The Villas are priced from the $230’s. Pre-construction pricing will be available for a limited time only.








For more information about the event or the community, call (804) 234-8525 or visit

Get the Down-Low on Down-Sizing!

Categories: Blog, Local Articles | Posted: January 31, 2017

We loved this article we just found on Huffington Post!

Entitled Here’s the Down-Low on Down-Sizing”, Melissa Reed writes about her emotional experience with selling the family home and moving to a more manageable home with her husband.

She very astutely describes the process that so many of our Cornerstone home owners have experienced – moving on from your long-time home, and deciding what to keep and what to toss from years of living in one space. For Reed, like many of us, the process was difficult as she, “joyfully held [her] 38-year old’s kindergarten ceramic project” only to days later, “throw her first baby tooth down the trash chute”.

In a different perspective, Reed’s husband “took no prisoners. He loathes clutter”. One thing is for certain, we all know someone, even if it’s ourselves, that shares either Reed’s or her husband’s opinion on downsizing.

At Cornerstone, we want to make sure that no matter your personality on downsizing during your move, we take the moving process and make sure that it is fun and personal! Our Concierge Program is set up to help make your move simpler and stress-free. Our team of experts can help you prepare your home for sale, right-size your life, and organize your move.

Here are some down-sizing tips:

  • Keep the memories, get rid of the stuff. Downsizing experts recommend concentrating on the memories as you sort and toss. Tell stories about prized items, take photos, enjoy the trip down memory lane. It’ll make it easier to part with things, and remind you why you loved them in the first place.
  • Be practical. If you’re retired, you don’t need a closet full of business attire. If you’re right-sizing, you don’t need four bedrooms worth of furniture. There’s a freedom that comes along with letting go.
  • Be realistic. Your kids probably don’t have an emotional attachment to your dining room suite. It’s really just “stuff”. Your children will be just fine if you toss their art projects and prom dresses. Offer it to them and if they don’t want it, in the trash it goes!
  • Look toward the future, not back at the past. You’re starting a new stage of your life. You don’t need to bring all of your past with you. Enjoy the anticipation of a new home, a new town, and new friends!

Meet Ms. Ruby Barley – the woman who gave us Barley Woods!

Categories: Blog, Fredericksburg, VA, Local Articles, News & Events | Posted: December 21, 2016

Our newest community, Barley Woods, was built on the heartwarming story of Mrs. Ruby Barley, the original owner of the land. She and her husband raised their children here, built two homes here, and made many wonderful memories on this land.  Her children played in the woods, inventing games and picking berries, while she listened lovingly from her home.

After her husband died, Ms. Barley began to think about what she might want to do with her lot. Raising a home full of children was a breeze, but eighteen acres of land would be a lot for one woman to care for! Although many developers and agencies approached her about the land, Mrs. Barley only trusted one – Roger Glover and Cornerstone Homes. Roger knew of the cherished memories Mrs. Barley had here. He would only buscreen-shot-2016-12-21-at-2-17-36-pmy if she was absolutely certain that she was ready to sell.

A recent article in The Free Lance-Star featured Ms. Barley and her 10-year journey with Cornerstone. Mrs. Barley’s stories played an essential role in the community’s unique plan. Cornerstone will maintain much of the site’s rural character, emphasizing orchards and nature trails alongside resort-style features, like the clubhouse and pool.

Mrs. Barley is happy that the land she has called home for decades, will now be a place for so many active adults to make their own memories.

If you’d like to learn more about Ms. Ruby Barley and her relationship with Cornerstone, you can check out this video from the ribbon cutting.


The Key to Healthier Living? Owning a Pet!

Categories: Blog, Health & Fitness | Posted: November 14, 2016

A recent study in the medical journal, The Gerontologist, looked at whether there are health benefits for seniors if they have pets. (Anyone who has a dog or cat can tell you we don’t need a scientific study to know that the answer is yes!)

In fact, the study showed that we get definite health benefits from the bonds they form with their companions, especially the benefits they enjoy from dog walking. Aside from being a source of frequent and longer exercise, dog walking is also associated with a lower body mass index, fewer visits to the doctor, and more opportunities for socialization.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults should spend at least 150 minutes on moderate physical activity every weeolder-adults-walking-dogk. For adults aged 60 years and above, walking is usually the most common form of physical activity – and dog walking fits perfectly in that equation!

Social interaction, outdoor spaces, and camaraderie are a big part of the cornerstone lifestyle. All of our communities feature tree-lined streets, sidewalks and walking trails. Some include natural wooded areas, exercise trails, a lake with a boardwalk and canoe launch, and Bark Parks just for you and your furry friends!

We love our pets! Check out Boxwell Glade Park at Barley Woods, our own green oasis!

Considering a Reverse Mortgage? Read this!

Categories: Blog, Buying & Selling Your Home, Housing Industry News, News & Events, Recent Articles | Posted: July 25, 2016

Typically, reverse mortgages are used as a way for seniors to draw income from property they already own. But did you know that they can also be used to buy a new home?

One of our lending experts, Neil Sweren, VP of Reverse Mortgage Lending for Southern Trust Mortgage, just published a new blog discussing how seniors can use a reverse mortgage to finance the purchase of a new home. Check it out:



Thinking of moving? Your timing is perfect!

Categories: Blog, Buying & Selling Your Home | Posted: June 29, 2016

Are you thinking of downsizing? Debating the benefits of owning vs renting? Well, a variety of financial vectors have dovetailed to make 2016 the perfect time for you to get out there and make your move. Here are several reasons to BUY a carefree Cornerstone home this year:

  1. Record low interest rates

Even though they may creep up at any moment, interest rates on home loans are still at historic lows. Come see us about buying a new Cornerstone home today!

  1. Skyrocketing rents

Rents outpaced home values in 20 of the 35 biggest housing markets in 2015. What’s more, according to the2015 Rental Market Report, an 8% hike is predicted for 2016. Owning a Cornerstone home is a better financial decision all around.

  1. Stable home prices

For the first time in years, prices that have been climbing steadily are stabilizing, restoring a level playing field for buyers and sellers, even in heated markets. It’s a good time to sell your current home and buy a maintenance-free Cornerstone home!

  1. Tax breaks

Tax laws favor homeowners, so you’re not just buying a place to live—you’re getting a tax break! The biggest one is that unless your home loan is more than $1 million, you can deduct all the monthly interest you are paying on the loan. Homeowners may also deduct home-related expenses and home property taxes. Why wouldn’t you choose to own – especially in one of Cornerstone’s gorgeous neighborhoods!

  1. Reverse mortgages

If you’re 62 or older – and want money to pay off a mortgage, supplement your income, or pay for healthcare expenses – consider a reverse mortgage. It allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without having to sell your home or pay additional monthly bills. Before you decide on a particular mortgage, talk to an expert. Cornerstone’s network of lenders can help you secure your new home with financing that works best for you.

In addition to these financial factors, there are also a couple of other reasons to consider buying a Cornerstone home.

  1. A sense of community!

No matter which Cornerstone home you choose to live in, no matter what amenities you choose to take advantage of, one of the most wonderful benefits we offer is a true sense of community. Our neighborhoods are designed to foster close-knit relationships. From meetings to classes, clubs to teams, you’ll run into your new neighbors all over the place. Before you know it, you’ll have your very own circle of friends!Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.52.39 AM

  1. It’s time for you!

You’ve raised your kids, worked long hours, and saved for this time of your life. Now is the time to enjoy it. Ditch your old house with its list of chores and worries. Embrace Cornerstone’s carefree life, with the opportunity to do whatever you want – whether it’s traveling, enjoying your family, or pursuing your hobbies. “Lock and Leave”. It’s what we are all about. You can travel for months and know that your home is safe. Spoil yourself – you’ve earned it!

5 Ways to Use Your Bonus Room

Categories: Blog, Home & Garden | Posted: June 24, 2016

Sure, you could use the bonus room featured in the Canterbury and Abbey models as a guest bedroom, but where’s the fun in that? Cornerstone Homes are designed to fit your lifestyle, so give yourself the space you’ve dreamed about. Here are five suggestions for other ways to use that extra room.

  1. Home Office. Run your home-based business. Check on your investments. Finally sit down to do the writing you’ve always wanted. Now you’ve got the time and this is the perfect space.
  2. Yoga Studio. Add calming tones and colors, a sound system, a TV for watching guided meditation videos or yoga videos. Begin your path to inner peace in a room designed to help you achieve your bliss.
  3. Craft Room. Keep all your supplies for painting, gift wrapping, knitting, sewing, and all your other projects organized in one place. If you’ve spent years trying to create at a cluttered dining room table or a cramped work bench in the garage, this is your chance to get the customized creative space you’ve always wanted.
  4. Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 10.14.52 AMMedia Room. For those who want to feel their entertainments. Watch games and wirelessly stream movies to your 60-inch television or install a state-of-the-art stereo and speakers, crank up the music and tear off the knob. Or throw away the remote. This is your media room and nobody can stop you from making the windows shake.
  5. Library. A sanctuary full of your favorite books–the bibliophile’s fondest dream. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Hardwood floors. Comfortable chairs (we won’t tell anyone if you use them for napping too). Plenty of light. Go analog in a digital world with your custom-built library.

10 Places To Travel After Retirement

Categories: Blog | Posted: April 26, 2016

One of the best things about living in a low-maintenance Cornerstone Home is the ability to “lock and leave.” Go. Travel. See the the world and while you do, take comfort in knowing that your home is fully cared for. Your HOA handles home and lawn maintenance and your friendly neighbors are always willing to help watch pets or check-in on the home.

But where to go? We’ve put together 10 suggestions for fabulous destinations for the beach bum, a snow bunny or thrill seeker in you.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 1.48.09 PMBaja California, Mexico

Baja California is home to the famous Spring Break party town, Cabo San Lucas, but the peninsula has plenty to offer to those who’ve grown beyond doing body shots at Senor Frog’s.

In the winter, you can watch gray whales return to give birth in the shelter of Magdalena Bay in the southwest corner of the peninsula. Take a tour with Sea Kayak Adventures and you watch whales, sea lions, and dolphins with a marine biologist serving as your guide.

In the northeast along the Gulf of California, Mulegé is an opulent oasis in a vast desert. The town sits at the foot of a river valley and the old Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé provides breathtaking views of the lush valley below.

Faroe Islands

Anybody can go to London and everybody has been to Paris. To really impress the neighbors, check out the Faroe Islands, an island chain between Norway and Iceland in the North Atlantic. The islands, an autonomous region of Denmark, boast all the dramatic cliffs and astonish views one expects from Scandinavia, but what really sets the Faroe Islands apart is the food. The New York Times says islands are at the bleeding edge of avant-garde cuisine, led by Restaurant KOKS, winner the 2015 Nordic Prize as the best restaurant in the Nordic countries. Let ‘em show off their pictures of Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, then break out the selfies you took at the ruins of Skansin a small fort built in 1580 to protect the town of Tórshavn, and watch your friends to green with envy.


Visit the subcontinent’s greatest cultural centers in luxury with a train journey on a The Deccan Odyssey. With six different itineraries crossing the India’s 1.2 million square miles, you’ll explore ancient temples and grand palaces, visit the Taj Mahal, take a boat trip on Lake Pichola, and stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Forbes’ best ski destination in North America (Pure Awesomeness Factor: 99.0) is still more popular in the summer as visitors flock to the national parks at Teton and Yellowstone, and not yet as well known as nearby Vail and Breckinridge in Colorado. That means it’s the perfect time to go. Jackson Hole boasts the finest ski lift on the continent, according to Forbes, and during your 4,139 foot journey up the mountain, the tram operators keep you entertained with a fine selection of classic rock from bands like the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin.

Kyoto, Japan

Dubbed “Japan’s Capital of Cool” by Forbes, Kyoto is a bit more laid-back that the hyperkinetic Tokyo, striking balance between the traditional past and the high tech present. The birthplace of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, the city was the capital of Imperial Japan for more than 1,000 years and was largely spared the ravages of war so much of its ancient character remains. That said, Kyoto, the birthplace of Nintendo, is also a city of bullet trains, and glass-walled buildings. You can find an (ultramodern) Starbucks at Kyoto Station, but visit to get the lowdown on local eateries.


In 2015, the New York Times named the City of Brotherly Love its top U.S. travel destination and its #3 destination in the world, just behind Milan and Cuba. Philadelphia boasts Ultimo, the nation’s best coffeeshop as determined by, the nation’s best hotels according to and some of the best shopping in the world according to Condé Nast Traveler. Wander along the city’s riverfront walking paths, step into the shoes of the Founding Fathers at Independence Hall, or take in one of the country’s largest art collections at the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Placencia, Belize

Belize has become one of the hottest travel destinations in the world thanks to attractions like the Great Barrier Reef, white sand beaches, pristine rainforests and jungles, and abundant wildlife. Placencia, a sandy peninsula along the Caribbean coastline, offers a laid-back vibe and the best restaurants in Southern Belize, along with scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and fly-fishing. Visitors arriving in May or June can take a whale shark expedition at the Gladden Spit Reserve where the giant beasts spawn by the light of the full moon.

The West Coast, New Zealand

This West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island is one of the most remote and sparsely populated parts of an already remote and sparsely country. Travelers can visit just about every kind of terrain imaginable in the area’s eight distinct regions from rugged mountains and steamy rainforests to unspoiled wetlands and craggy glaciers. After a day spent biking along the incredible Great Coast Road or challenging yourself at the West Coast Treetop Walk in Jade Country, you can rest in luxury at hotels like the romantic Te Waonui Forest Retreat or the majestic Franz Josef Oasis, even if you decide to skip the roughing it and go straight to relaxing.

Vancouver, British Columbia

TripAdvisor’s top Canadian destination for 2014, Vancouver is the ideal location for travelers who want to enjoy the great outdoors while staying in a place consistently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, the city can boast that it is one of the few places in the world where visitors can ski in the morning and go sailing in the afternoon. For tipplers, there are more than 270 wineries in British Columbia and the city hosts the Vancouver International Wine Festival every February. Stanley Park is the city’s most popular attraction, with more than 8 million people visiting the giant rainforest in Downtown Vancouver every year.


It’s easy to believe that Africa consists solely of violence and chaos, but Zimbabwe, the New York Times’ 14th-ranked destination in 2015, is here to change your mind. From the spectacular Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world, to the rough beauty of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe has become a must-see destination. Few places in the world can top the diversity of Zimbabwe’s animal life and you can spot elephants, hippos, lions and more from the comfort of a water safari on the luxury cruiser Matusadona. Explore humanity’s beginnings at Matobo Hills Humans have taken refuge at the Unesco World Heritage site since the Stone age.