The New Social Network


The Rise of Pocket Neighborhoods

“I feel like I have 30 new friends since I moved here,” says Maureen Harris, a resident at The Cottages at River Hill in West Newbury. She and her husband arrived three years ago after leaving a town where they hardly knew their neighbors. She didn’t want to live among strangers again.

“It’s so much fun to sit out on the porch. … [I]f you’re on your porch, you’re open for company,” she Harris says of River Hill, “or, if you’re just not in the mood, or you want a little personal privacy, you go out to your back deck. This gives you the best of both worlds.”

Besides privacy, the back deck offers the perfect place for homeowners to admire the landscape and the various creatures who inhabit it. This is in keeping with the vision of Howard Hall. Hall founded Cottage Advisors, the development company responsible for River Hill, in 2005.   

Cottage Advisors’ mission is, as their website states, “building communities, one cottage at a time.” The results exemplify a relaxed, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, and echo back to the close-knit communities of yesteryear. They built what is known as pocket neighborhoods, in which homes are nested together for the sake of fostering interaction while maintaining privacy. There are other benefits as well.

Photos courtesy of Forzese Group.

“Clustering the homes closer together allows you to set more land aside for the betterment of the community,” says the founder’s son and Cottage Advisors manager, Howard “Chip” Hall Jr. 

“We consider ourselves eco-friendly,” says Hall. “We’re an Energy 5 Star builder so we’re meeting very stringent energy codes. Because we’re using less land and we’re moving the homes closer together, there is less impervious surface, which means you have less storm-water management to worry about. We know that our clients enjoy nature so we try to leave as much of the land as we can undisturbed so it’s in a natural state.” 

All that reserved space allows the cottage concept communities to include pocket parks, community gathering areas and walking trails nestled in conservation land. The West Newbury location even has a community garden that fed about 15 families last year, according to Harris.

“It’s just nice, easy living,” says Harris, “The snow is plowed and the landscaping is done and the trash is removed so that makes it really easy. … but, for me, the really strong part of it is the social part.” 

Marketed exclusively by The Forzese Group of RE/MAX On the River, The Cottages at Port Place and The Cottages at Drakes Landing are two of the Cottage Advisors newest communities. The Cottages at Port Place in Newburyport offers 38 homes with six cottage styles to choose from and 26 acres of green space with direct access to miles of walking trails. Located just 10 minutes away in West Newbury, The Cottages at Drakes Landing boasts 34 homes with six distinct cottage styles to choose from. Owners in each community can enjoy an Own Easy Lifestyle while taking advantage of great amenities. To learn more, contact The Forzese Group. 




(978) 308-9102

The Forzese Group of RE/MAX On the River


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