The Cliffs Of Fontana Offers A Vacation Lifestyle - In Summertime And All The Time

The Hillers and their new Ashton home.

Many suburban Chicagoans aspire to own a home at a popular weekend getaway spot like Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva area. For Tom and Mary Ellen Hiller, that wish became a reality when they purchased at The Cliffs of Fontana from Plote Homes.

“Finding a vacation home was always in the back of our minds,” said Tom Hiller, who moved with his wife to The Cliffs of Fontana in February. After countless visits to the area, the couple decided it was the right time to buy.

“We were familiar with The Abbey Resort, which is just down the street from The Cliffs of Fontana,” he explained.  “Ultimately, the community had all the things I was looking for. “

An avid outdoorsman, Hiller wanted a place where he could “stay and play.” Also on his wish list was being close enough to his primary residence in Libertyville. With the property in Fontana, the commute is only one hour door to door.

After 15 years in their large single-family home in Libertyville, the Hillers were ready to downsize once their sons moved out. They recently purchased a smaller residence in Libertyville and the Ashton at The Cliffs of Fontana was the perfect fit—now—for their active lifestyle. Nearby is boating on Geneva Lake, golfing, hiking, and even snowmobiling in winter. Plus, the couple really enjoys the small town vibe of Fontana, especially in the offseason.

“We have a walkout basement and you look around 180 degrees and see nothing but trees, and lake and sky,” he explained. “And I know there will never be anything else but this view. It’s the ultimate in privacy.”

The Cliffs of Fontana is set on a bluff overlooking the lake.

The 66 single-family homes at The Cliffs of Fontana are set on a bluff overlooking the lake so there’s a real sense of openness. Plus, the neighborhood has its own private pool, bocce ball court and playground. Additionally, the community is close to downtown Lake Geneva and all the area highlights.

Originally, the Hillers thought they wanted a cottage-style home near the shores of Geneva Lake. But once they viewed existing homes, they realized the older ones that were available needed repairs and would need to be updated. The homes at The Cliffs of Fontana, on the other hand, were brand-new and came with many of today’s sought-after amenities and are just a short walk to the lake.

Currently, buyers can choose from five floor plans offering 1,710 to 2,592 square feet of living space, two or three bedrooms, two or 2-1/2 baths, and two-car garages. Base prices range from $345,400 to $419,400.

The Ashton, which the Hillers selected, is a 1,946-square-foot ranch with two bedrooms and two full baths on the main level. The open layout is ideal for entertaining with the kitchen and dinette flowing into the Great Room and dining room. A den and full bath are next to the secondary bedroom and create a private space for overnight guests or family visits. The master suite has a large bedroom, his and her closets, and a luxury bath with separate shower, dual-bowl vanity and soaker tub. The finished lower level adds an oversize family room, full bath and den/bedroom.

And since the Ashton was newly built, the Hillers were able to add their own personal touches. For example, they took the walkout lower level option, which creates an entire extra level of living space. With high ceilings downstairs and the natural light that comes in from the expansive windows, the home feels more like a two-story than a ranch. The couple also incorporated fine details such as a tray ceiling in the family room and a vaulted ceiling in the front bedroom to enhance the home’s architectural interest.

Outside, the Hillers added on a deck and screened-in porch so they could enjoy the outdoors nearly year-round. Sitting on the deck they have exceptional views of the lake, valley and treetops, while the patio below offers a more intimate and private spot to relax or entertain guests.

Screened-in porch is an added option.

Overall, the Hillers had a positive homebuilding experience with Plote Homes.

“They are a high quality builder that does top-notch work,” said Tom, who had worked a bit in construction during college and was therefore familiar with the building process. “The house is very quiet and well insulated, so we are very comfortable.”

And though this is not the Hillers first home, it is their first new home. 
“The process went smoothly,” he said. “There was some urgency to make selections at the beginning, but once we made our decisions, everything ran according to plan.”

In all, the homebuilding process took about a year. The couple started home shopping in March of 2016 and actively engaged in The Cliffs of Fontana in June—ultimately signing a contract in July 2016. In February 2017, they moved in. Fast forward a few months and the Hillers already love their neighbors, most of whom share their love for the outdoors and vacation-like lifestyle.

This summer, a new model is debuting at The Cliffs of Fontana, decorated by Brick & Mortar. The local Lake Geneva family owned and operated store is known for its unique and cutting-edge interior design pieces. 

The new Brentwood model is located at 146 Lake Vista Circle in Fontana, just west of Valley View Drive/Rt. 67. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be on display as part of the 2017 Parade of Homes July 29th and 30th and August 5th and 6th.  

Plote Homes is hosting a special event on July 22nd and 23rd to kick of this year’s Parade of Homes. Anyone who purchases a home at The Cliffs of Fontana that weekend will receive a free finished basement plus an additional $10,000 in free options.

Call (262) 275-6000 or log onto for more information.

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