The pandemic may not be over; but with the numbers way better than in 2020, many Coloradans are seeing their first big family gatherings for the past two years. Having Grandma and Grandpa in town, this is a good time to show them some places where they could make a year-round home in Colorado—close to their kids in Denver, or Arvada, or Aurora, or Highlands Ranch.
“Thanksgiving is a good time to have a conversation about downsizing, about Mom’s and Dad’s house, what they want to hold onto, and what stuff the kids will want,” says Conrad Steller, managing broker of The Steller Group, agents specializing in senior moves.
Patty and Steve Sieck, married 31 years, had that conversation five years ago, downsizing into a new retirement ranch. Now they’ve made a second move into Reserve at Green Valley Ranch near DIA, after deciding they could actually use a little MORE space rather than less.
Their new ranch, 3-bedrooms/3-baths, 3,889 sq. feet, includes a ‘smart space’ second level with an art studio for her, guitar studio for him; and a finished basement with a guest suite.
Conrad Steller notes that Denver has become a sophisticated market for seniors, as builders react to a widening number of buyers wanting to relocate near their Colorado grandkids.
“Agents trained in senior moves have a wide range of options to show you now,” Steller says.
Those include single-family ranches in new age-55-plus neighborhoods; but also rental communities, and ‘senior living cooperatives’—a new concept that’s popular in the upper Midwest, and is catching on in Colorado.
That option appeals to Judi Carrion, who moved from Nevada to Highlands Ranch in 2016 to be nearer to kids, but now is ready to sell her townhouse for a move into a much-lower-maintenance senior co-op arriving to Chatfield.
Those co-op purchases involve very low up-front costs; while new age-55-plus single-family ranches run from the $500s to over $1 million. All of them are designed around creating opportunities to form new relationships—with lots of amenities, many of them outdoor oriented.
Lots of ways to retire to Colorado, including co-ops and rentals
1. Montmere at Autrey Shores by Koelbel Urban Homes brings luxury low-maintenance living to a setting beside Autrey Reservoir, between the premium shopping and dining at Flatiron Crossing and trailheads leading into vast open space in Boulder County. These are all main-floor master suite designs, showing the chic, contemporary styling of other popular Koelbel designs, ranging in size from 1,460 to 2,979 sq. feet, some with an elevator, and/or a 3-car garage.
An on-site sales office is now open, for home deliveries in spring 2022. Views of the Flatirons behind Boulder are still available, and all homes have rooftop decks.
2. Applewood Pointe, an Independent Senior Cooperative, is the latest senior co-op to arrive in Colorado, already very popular in upper midwestern states. Co-ops look like an upscale condominium—but residents have democratic control of their community while enjoying a predictable investment with an active social lifestyle.
An up-front cost can be under $100,000 with 20% down, or you can opt for 40%, 60% or 80% down for a corresponding lower monthly fee. That monthly fee covers much more than a typical HOA dues does—including social-oriented amenities and extensive maintenance. Call for information about how to reserve a home. Sales are expected to begin in late winter 2022. Expected delivery will be in late 2023 or early 2024.
3. Heritage Todd Creek by Lennar offers a chance to put a large ranch together with a popular Arthur Hills golf course with choice club facilities, in an attractive Thornton location close to E-470. Lennar has new ranch models for its final neighborhood at Todd Creek, on an ‘island’ wrapped by fairways; along with and Oxford ranch, 2-bedrooms/2-baths plus a study, that you can be moved into by Christmas, priced at $589,900, with Lennar’s ‘Everything’s Included’ standard features. You’ll hear about the community’s very active social life centered around the golf club and a community center with a full-time activities director.
4. The Reserve at Green Valley Ranch by OakwoodLife is the newest age-55-plus neighborhood in Oakwood’s showplace community in northern Aurora, near DIA. Visitors tour eight ranch models in two collections, both of them exceedingly popular for their features and square-foot value; both provided with front yard maintenance.
Those models include the roomy Sanctuary series, with a ‘Smart Space’ second level for a guest suite or library, and options for expanded garages, even for 3-car and for taller entries for a recreation vehicle. Oakwood has several homes from that collection on track to deliver in time for the holidays, from where you can enjoy The Reserve’s new Farmhouse community clubhouse to offer a demo kitchen, five pickleball courts, a resort pool and spa, and an active social calendar.
5. Hilltop at Inspiration is the Denver area’s only age-55-plus community that offers a choice of three, highly experienced builders, where visitors can tour seven ranch models and pick from 35 single-story plans. Its location off E-470 at Gartrell in Douglas County is just 15 minutes from the heart of the Denver Tech Center, close to shopping and dining at Southlands and in Parker’s historic downtown.
Homes are arrayed about a Hilltop Club with resort-style pool, demo kitchen, fitness center, movement studio, event lawn, tennis, bocce, and pickleball courts; plus a full calendar of events and activities that make it easy to make friends and get as involved as you want. Trails wrap the community, providing views of the Colorado setting.
6. Hilltop at Inspiration by Lennar brings Lennar’s popular age-55-plus ranches to a fast-selling master-planned community near Parker’s downtown, situated within a very rapid commute of Park Meadows and the I-25 corridor, as well as DIA, via E-470. You’ll tour three models, and see one ranch that’s ready for move-in next month—$715,000.
Residents at Inspiration have parks, trails, and access to their own 8,000-sq.-foot Hilltop Club, with a fitness center, demo kitchen, resort-style pool, pickle ball, tennis, and lounge areas that spawn lots of clubs/activities. All homes have Lennar’s ‘Everything’s Included’ features—items that may be upgrades in other builders’ models.
7. Hilltop at Inspiration by Toll Brothers and its three spacious collections of ranches have been so successful with age-55-plus buyers that only a limited number remain available, including its lavishly appointed showhome of the ‘Trelease’ ranch—two bedrooms, two baths, with its designer landscaping and decorator appointments. You could be moved in before the holidays—$996,000.
Toll Brothers has a handful of other ranches are available as ‘QMIs’—quick-move-in homes; including one of its best-selling ‘Bancroft’ ranches, 2,400 sq. feet, on track for February move-in at $775,000; and a ‘Wakefield’ ranch at just $691,995. You’ll hear about the friendship-fostering holiday events centered around the Hilltop House, and 11 miles of trails linking into the Piney Creek Trail.
8. Regency at Montaine by Toll Brothers is beyond doubt the most scenic age-55-plus community in the Denver area, on bluffs just south of Castle Rock close to the city’s highest point. Toll Brothers has literally roared through its three collections of ranches; but the mid-priced Broomfield series still has a good selection of sites, featured from two ranch models that are stunningly wide open and imaginative.
Homes wrap a spectacular clubhouse, and are from the upper $600s—a real price that can deliver a ranch and its home site, with Toll Brothers high quality of standard features. A ‘Fletcher,’ over 2,100 sq. feet of finished space on its main level, plus a basement and a garage that can go 3-car on some sites. WHERE: Head south on I-25 past 470, 13 mi. to Plum Creek Pkwy, turn east 1 blk to S. Wilcox, turn south 2 mi. to Crystal Valley Pkwy, turn east 1/2 mile to Plum Creek Blvd, turn right
9. Vita Littleton is a rental community for active, independent adults that overlooks Littleton’s historic downtown and the Rocky Mountains. Built and operated by Zocalo, Vita includes a resort-style saltwater pool, year-round hot tub with spectacular views, community gardens, a ‘Velo Room’ bike shop, pet spa, well-appointed great room, and modern community spaces hosting an active social calendar. Offering one and 2-bedroom floor plans that include amenities, activities, assigned parking, and valet trash service. The location is very walkable to shops and restaurants; and trails and RTD Light Rail are right outside your door.
10. The Village Cooperative Chatfield is one of the most recent senior co-ops to arrive in Colorado—an age-62-plus concept that has become a surprise hit with buyers for the up-front purchase costs that seem modest compared to what regular homes go for now. And cooperatives have social-oriented amenities and super-low maintenance that people over age 62 want from a downsize home.
Co-ops were already hugely popular in the upper Midwest before arriving here. Real Estate Equities Development, which has popularized co-ops over the past 15 years, already has 41 either complete or under development around the country—including ten here in Colorado to date.
The one headed to Chatfield in south Jefferson County west of downtown Littleton will have 55 units —only a few remaining before it starts construction for 2023 delivery. You can still find 2-bedroom, bath-and-a-half plan with an ‘equity share’ of just $185,000. The buyer will get over 1,200 sq. feet of finished space—plus common spaces and amenities designed to foster quick friendships with like-minded neighbors. Owners get a flat 3% appreciation compounded annually, for whenever you sell.
Owners then pay a monthly fee that covers the master mortgage, property tax, grounds and amenities, and maintenance way beyond typical communities—even changing a lightbulb. On a larger home (2-bed/2-bath, 1,500 sq. feet) the equity share runs $245,000, and the monthly would be $2,200. Call to arrange an appointment to view what’s still available.
The Steller Group Senior Solutions are Realtors who specialize in senior moves…offering seminars on the challenges of downsizing after decades of homeownership, including listing and selling your older home, and finding single-level, low-maintenance living alternatives, either purchase or rental.
Steller agents can handle both sides of a senior sale—and can provide contractors that help with repairing and updating an older home for sale, or with helping get rid of the clutter and creating a trouble-free move.
You can find a series of webinars on ‘In-Depth Downsizing’ at Steller’s web site; and watch for a continuing series of live seminars beginning early in 2022.
The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.