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What Life Inside Your New, Free House Would be Like

If you somehow missed the memo, Newland Communities is giving away an energy-efficient home in Tehaleh, their new community that is being developed on the Bonney Lake Plateau. If you're having trouble envisioning what your life would be like in this brand, spankin' new (and did we mention free?!) house might be like, or you're having first day of school-kinds of jitters about moving into a community you know little about, let us help to allay your fears.

In 2010, Newland acquired the 4,200 acre property in unincorporated Pierce County from Home Street Bank to (re)start work on Cascadia, the community that was conceptualized 21 years ago. Now named Tehaleh, a Native American word for "higher ground," the building process for this development has already commenced with elaborate plans for its future.

As Newland's Vice President Scott Jones descrbies it, Tehaleh is a "home in the forest." This "fully contained community" -- one where, according to Jones, "you can live, work, play, and go to school all within the same community" -- is not one's average neighborhood even here in the Pacific Northwest, for at residents' immediate disposal will be over 1000 acres of parks and open space, as well as an intricate network of trails offering a wealth of opportunities for walking, biking, and hiking in the community.

In developing a "unique" community, it would also then be expected that the houses reflect that same spirit. Rather than constructing uniform houses typical of most suburbs, Tehaleh has recruited the help of five different builders to ensure diversity in architecture.

"Each of our builders has a different set of floor plans and different styles of architecture -- Craftsman, a kind of French Tudor-style, an English farmhouse kind of style," explains Jones. "So there are some different architecture styles in our community...that will be attractive to a wide range of buyers."

Upon completion in about 25 years, Tehaleh is slated to be home to 5,900 houses constructed to Built Green and Energy Star standards, ranging in size from 1,350 sq. ft. to 3,300 sq. ft. on plots as large as 7,000 sq. ft. In time also, the community will also have a 419 acre employment center and 3.9 million sq. ft. of commercial and retail space available for development.

The even better news is that these houses are wildly affordable, starting off at $210,000 and only going up as high as $400,000.

While the grand opening for the community will be on September 29, your chance to snag a free home is right around the corner. Literally. Tomorrow, September 6 is the deadline to be in the running for a free home in this cozy, nature-tastic neighborhood. But don't feel panicked. There's still time. And believe us, completing the few minor "challenges" that the competition requires is worth it. You could be a whole house richer, after all.

· Free, That's Right, Free Homes Upf or Grabs at Tehaleh [CS]
· You're Home Free [Tehaleh official site]