By MARK SAMUELSON | [email protected] | Denver Post
PUBLISHED: November 23, 2018 at 9:50 am
As everyone but a few Tibetan monks knows, Colorado’s Front Range is a place where home prices increased rapidly over the past few years. Nonetheless, Colorado ranks high among competing destinations for a place to retire. The consumer site WalletHub.com puts Colorado as the second-best state in the entire nation to retire in 2018, after Florida — based on 41 metrics that include affordability, quality of life and health care.
If you’re visiting Colorado kids or grandkids over this Thanksgiving weekend, you’re already hearing about the very forgiving weather and the lifestyle attractions in every direction: major urban cultural and sports venues, mountain sports, and a huge variety of dining, shopping and other allures.
Here’s a quick tour of Denver and Front Range communities with specific appeal to retirees — some designated age-55-plus, some for-purchase, some rental, all offering single-level living with less maintenance.
1. Rental community in Fort Collins lets you move in while your home is for sale
Affinity Fort Collins seeks to “change the conversation about senior communities,” starting with a way of life enhanced by resort-like amenities at an affordable price. Studio units with full kitchens, laundry and balconies start from just $1,425/month, and Affinity offers one bedroom and a variety of two bedrooms, including a roomy two-bedroom/two-bath unit. If you need time for your house to sell, a Home Sellers Program allows you to move now, take the first month’s rent free, and if you haven’t sold, pay a discounted rate for a second or third month (proof of MLS listing required).
At Affinity Fort Collins, north of Harmony Road near Front Range Village, one check pays your rent, utilities, and provides a fitness center and pool, movie theater, dog park, pickleball, billiards, and outdoor kitchen with barbecue and fire pit. Residents enjoy clubs, activities and a weekly happy hour at Dilly Dally’s, Affinity’s own pub. And there’s a dining room you can reserve for special events and a guest apartment for hosting family. LOCATION: 4201 Corbett Dr., Fort Collins; from I-25 take Harmony Rd west 1.7 mi to Corbett, north 1/2 mile. WHEN: Daily and weekends 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PHONE: 888-838-6588 WEB: affinityatfortcollins.com
2. With a choice location midway between Denver and Boulder, Skyestone has homes for holiday move-in
Skyestone, the age-55-plus low-maintenance ranch community by Taylor Morrison, shows a rare location midway between Denver and Boulder, close to neighborhoods in Arvada, Westminster and Broomfield, and exceptionally close to mountain recreation and vast open space and trails. With two-bedroom and three-bedroom ranch plans from the $400s to $600s, you’ll tour six models along with a lodge community center with resort-style pool fitness center, yoga studio, pickleball courts, and a contemporary bar and lounge.
If you like the looks of Skyestone, you’ll find a choice of low-maintenance ranches that could have you moved in by Christmas — including a two-bedroom plan at 12715 W. Montane Drive, ready now, $524,424 (a “’Tis the Season” program for move-ins before New Year’s could pay all of your closing costs). If you have time, you can personalize one of these plans, including options for finished basement space and/or a three-car garage. LOCATION: 12091 Red Fox Way, Broomfield; from U.S. 36, take Wadsworth south to W. 108th, head west 2 miles, past Simms. WHEN: 10-to-5 daily, 11-5 Sunday. PHONE: 303-325-2444 WEB: SkyestoneDenver.com
3. Value-packed Bungalows models are now open at Fairway Villas in Green Valley Ranch
Oakwood Homes’ creative, low-maintenance ranch designs at age-55-plus Fairway Villas have sold rapidly beside Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, and this month, Oakwood has opened a new series of Bungalows models with an even better value on size, starting from $410,672. A Conifer plan with 2,704 finished square feet comes with a chef’s kitchen, attractive master, and a guest bedroom suite in a finished lower level. If you like its looks, Oakwood has a Designer Showcase Home of the same plan, with the guest bedroom, that could have you moved in time for Christmas, priced at $421,629.
Bungalows are on an “island” in the fairways, close to a private clubhouse with pools, where residents enjoy year-round events (a second club is under construction adjacent to the newest homes). All Bungalows are low maintenance, with landscape provided and maintained, including snow removal, in exchange for a metro district assessment that also covers amenities. WHERE: 19394 E. 54th Pl., Denver. From Peña Blvd, go east on East 56th Avenue to Dunkirk, then south 2 blocks. WHEN: Daily 10-to-6 PHONE: 303-486-8713 WEB: OakwoodHomesCo.com
4. An age-55-plus rental alternative in Stapleton is steps from restaurants
At a moment when for-purchase communities have seen a run-up in prices, The Grove Stapleton is a rental retirement alternative with luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments that are literally steps from all of the restaurants and shopping in Stapleton’s Town Center. Open for tours daily including weekends, The Grove has a full complement of amenities and activities centered on its resort-styled clubhouse — all wrapped into rental payments from $1,699/month.
Included is a maintenance-free lifestyle, breakfast in the community center offered three times a month, tai chi classes, yoga and fitness classes, and “Wine-down Wednesday” socials. Residents enjoy special outings to festivals, concerts and dining, with transportation provided. You’ll see a resort-style pool, community garden with a greenhouse shed, woodwork shop, a “Barks-n-Rec” dog park, yoga studio, art studio, and “School of Minds” classroom space. The Grove has a choice of homes ready for move-in right away. WHERE: 2980 Syracuse, Denver; from Quebec St., take E. 29th Ave. east thru Stapleton’s Town Center, 2 blks to Syracuse, turn north 1.5 blk to entry. PHONE: 303-333-2980 WEB: GroveAtStapleton.com
5. Patio home rentals in an age-55-plus enclave near Cherry Creek State Park start at $2,800
At V-Esprit, an active adult community just 13 miles from downtown Denver near Cherry Creek State Park, you’ll find a rare opportunity to rent a low-maintenance patio ranch with amenities and full services, at prices from $2,800/month. Locally owned and managed, V-Esprit enjoys a 14-acre campus east of Parker Road at Belleview with spectacular mountain views and walking paths, situated so close to Shalom Park and its care facilities that some V-Esprit residents live there to be close to a spouse at Shalom Park.
In addition to patio homes, V-Esprit has a limited number of one- and two-bedroom apartments from $1,950/month. Residents of both types get amenities including a new putting green and bocce ball court; a robust calendar of social, educational, cultural and fitness activities; transportation; light housekeeping; and membership to the award-winning J. Leonard Levy Family Wellness Center at Shalom Park, with its 90-degree pool, group classes, custom exercise equipment, bistro and salon. Ask about a special holiday move-in incentive. WHERE: 5240 S. Shalom Park Cir., Aurora; from I-225, head southeast on Parker Rd. 3 mi. to Belleview, turn east 1 block to Belleview Dr. PHONE: 303-400-2399 WEB: v-esprit.com
6. New to Colorado, Village Cooperatives are an alternative purchase concept familiar to retirees in the Midwest
If you’re from Minnesota, where Village Cooperatives began, you already know about senior housing cooperatives that offer a lower equity-share investment and a modest, set monthly fee, in exchange for an upscale condo-style, age-restricted home accompanied by community-building amenities. Those concepts by Real Estate Equities Development have already expanded to over 30 communities across eight states; and are arriving in Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Longmont, Loveland and two Denver locations.
At Village Cooperative of Centennial, near Centennial’s Civic Center, residents (age-62-plus) choose from a variety of one-bedroom and two-bedroom single-level homes. “Our buyers not only want to get rid of the oversized house, but also to live better, to have closer ties to neighbors and the little luxuries they deserve,” says Steve Von Schmidt. Residents purchase an equity share, typically around $150,000, and then a continuing share of the monthly operating budget of around $1,500 that covers exterior and interior maintenance, owning their building in common in an ownership that appreciates at a fixed 3 percent per year until they leave and sell. A Village Cooperative is also headed for Lakewood, off Wadsworth at Jewell. Visit the web to sign on to attend a detailed briefing. WHERE: Office, 6551 S. Revere Pkwy, Ste. 125, Centennial. PHONE: 720-399-9949 WEB: VillageCooperative.com/Centennial-CO
7. At Inspiration, Toll Brothers offers luxurious patio-ranch models with Black Friday incentives
Nothing proves more of a success with age-55-plus buyers in Colorado than Toll Brothers’ luxurious ranch designs — now on view in a special enclave within master-planned Inspiration, off E-470 at Gartrell Road in the southeast area. Just 15 minutes from I-25 and the Denver Tech Center, you’ll see six roomy ranch models, plus a Hilltop Club with resort-style pool, walk-up bar, three tennis courts, demo-kitchen, yoga studio and areas for an active social calendar, organized by a full-time lifestyle director.
After a year that has already seen close to 100 sales, Toll Brothers still has a choice of four homes that could match you to the lifestyle here this year, with prices from the $520s (a Black Friday discount of $10,000 if you contract now). Or you can pick a site for Toll Brothers’ Jefferson Series designs from the mid-$400s, where some sites back to open space. As at Toll Brothers’ Anthem Ranch in Broomfield, residents here already rave about their neighbors and a growing range of clubs. WHERE: 8393 S. Winnipeg Ct, Aurora; take E-470 to Gartrell Road, south 1 mi. to Inspiration Ln, turn right. WHEN: Daily 10-6 PHONE: 303-708-1856 WEB: TollBrothersAtInspiration.com
8. A few remaining opportunities in an all-luxury-ranch enclave with no age restriction, by Lennar at Inspiration
CalAtlantic Homes by Lennar has a few remaining opportunities for luxurious plans in an all-ranch enclave that share Inspiration’s amenities, and that have no age restriction for entry. In a location off E-470 at Gartrell Road, with good access to shopping and good commuter access, you can tour four ranches ready now — including a three-bedroom ranch, almost 1,900 square feet of finished space, not counting a walk-out basement overlooking open space, and a full-wide three-car garage. It’s priced at $549,900.
Residents take advantage of a lower HOA dues than age-restricted areas often require, yet enjoy Inspiration’s trails, community pool, event lawn and an ambitious schedule of community events. Lennar’s neighborhood is designed for an intimate feel, nearing its buildout of around 120 homes. Park Meadows and Southlands Town Center with their many dining options are each convenient, as are restaurants and entertainment in old-town Parker. WHERE: 23615 E Del Norte Pl., Aurora; take E-470 to Gartrell Road, south 1 mi. to Rockinghorse, left to Del Norte. WHEN: Sat 10-6, Sun noon-6 PHONE: 303-479-3453 WEB: Lennar.com
9. At Stepping Stone in west Parker, Shea’s Watercolor ranches draw praise for their wide-open interiors
From the moment they were introduced into Shea Homes’ master-planned Stepping Stone in west Parker close to Lone Tree, buyers have expressed an unusual attraction to these Watercolor designs featured in an all-ranch enclave. You’ll tour two eye-catching models that show size and luxury appointments, along with three-car garages, many with a side-facing carriage bay, and popular options for adding finished basement space. This location is already coveted for its easy commuter access to the south I-25 corridor, as well as recreational sites arriving here, including Rueter-Hess Reservoir.
Homes start from the $550s, a real price that delivers a ranch with a three-car garage and basement, site premium included, plus room for some upgrades. Stepping Stone, a Community of the Year winner, has miles of trails, clubhouse and pool, four parks and 150 acres of open space. You’ll also see a ranch ready now with an in-law suite with separate kitchen and entry instead of the third garage bay, over 2,800 square feet, at $674,900. WHERE: 13834 Watermark Ln, Parker; take I-25 south past Park Meadows to RidgeGate Pkwy, east 2.5 miles to Stepping Stone Cir. WHEN: Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5 PHONE: 720-541-6078 WEB: SheaHomes.com/Watercolor
10. An active-adult rental community overlooking Littleton’s dining district has great views, disappearing fast
Vita Littleton, an age-55-plus rental concept by Zocalo Community Development, has a setting that’s doubly alluring — a short walk from Littleton’s downtown dining district and a light-rail station connecting to Union Station in LoDo; and with memorable views of downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains from its attractive amenity areas. Some of Vita’s one-bedroom and two-bedroom units share those views, but if you want one, you need to visit right away, says community director Justin West.
You’ll see a community with covered parking, saltwater pool and lounge/activity areas watched over by a lifestyle coordinator. Vita has already attracted a pilates studio and a dentistry adjacent, and Bacon Social House, with brunch and dinner menus and a happy hour with craft cocktails, arrives this spring. You can find units from $1,945 to $3,600/month, including a Lark Bunting two-bedroom/two-bath ready now with 1,055 square feet. If you need time for your older house to sell, Vita can hold an apartment for you up to six months. WHERE: 2100 W. Littleton Blvd, Littleton; from Broadway, west on Littleton Blvd 1.3 mi. to Bemis, turn south. WHEN: Mon-Fri 10-to-6, Sat 10-to-5, Sun 1-5. PHONE: 720-697-2100 WEB: VitaLittleton.com
11. Real estate agents at Steller Group help sellers get over the hurdle of a senior move
Even in a city with good resale values and plenty of places offering lower-maintenance ranch plans, the prospects of downsizing from a home you’ve owned for decades are daunting. “There are so many things, from pricing and staging their longtime residence, to getting rid of things, to weighing different new-home concepts, to planning a trouble-free move, that senior sellers can become paralyzed by indecision,” says Conrad Steller, broker/owner of The Steller Group. Steller specializes in all facets of downsizing moves: His team has agents specially trained for making those decisions, contractors to make necessary improvements before sale, and trusted vendors to carry out the move. His agents make discerning choices about what you should improve to get the best price on your old home, and are experts in new senior living alternatives.
Kathy Brendlinger, who just arrived at Vita Littleton after a few interim steps, says she started smiling again after Steller’s moving contractor finished the move (they even replaced knickknacks to their original places on her shelves, working from photos of the previous home). “I just went to lunch,” she recalls.
The Steller Group hosts a series of downsizing seminars to help educate seniors on the process and the options available. Visit the web for a list of their free senior seminars coming next month, on topics including “Estate Sales and Downsizing Services,” “Blueprint for Success: Steps for a Low-Stress, High-Yield Move” and more. PHONE: 720-593-9355 WEB: DenverSeniorSeminars.com
To read the original article in the Denver Post, click here.