Special Features

As 70 million baby boomers reach retirement, will just any ranch do? Introducing easyHouse by Boulder Creek

By Mark Samuelson

Boulder Creek s David Sinkey joins Teri Winchester (left) and Connie Archer in front of the easyHouse ranch model at Outlook in Castle Rock.
With 70 million baby boomers headed for retirement across the country, including many empty-nest types searching here in Colorado for ranch style homes, will just any single-level plan work okay for an aging buyer? Builders all over offer ranch plans - but the builder that led the field in single-level living believes that being a ranch isn't enough - that a home designed to work for those buyers needs to go way beyond traditional ranch design.Boulder Creek Neighborhoods has been talking with its hundreds of buyers - combing their needs and experiences to find out what a ranch really needs in order for a buyer to live life to the fullest. The result is easyHouse - single level designs that have dozens of features that buyers headed into those post-50 years are going to need.

"We knew lots of competition would be coming," says Boulder Creek president David Sinkey during a quick preview. "We see other builders trying to design for this market, and while they get two or three things right, they often make compromises on the rest." In easyHouse you'll see virtually NO steps - not from the garage, the deck, nor into the shower. Doors are 3-foot-width - even closet doors and pantry doors. Kitchen islands are set well back from surrounding counters.

Stairwells are wider (Boulder Creek includes large finished lower level space standard in these); and every plan has flexible spaces - say, an office, or morning room, or for a grand piano. Homes each have at least two full bedroom suites on the main-level (some three) - situations that can work for a 'cross-generational' buyer that may have a parent coming home, or a kid moving back in. "I like the openness," said Doug Carnahan of Larkspur, who with wife Patricia got in for a look last week, after exploring alternatives to their older house for some time.

Meanwhile, whether or not you're part of the 50-plus set, you'll see considerations designed to appeal to any experienced buyer: "People who have owned homes for years have artwork, and we're showing places to put that," says Teri Winchester, who along with Connie Archer will be on hand at the Castle Rock community.

easyHouse is set to open Saturday, Sept. 6 at Outlook in Castle Rock, in the Plum Creek golf course community; and at The Lakes at Centerra, a new Loveland master plan taking shape near the Centerra shopping center. Both will feature Boulder Creek's signature low-maintenance services such as lawn care and snow removal - along with two dozen features that may be less visible, but that make easyHouse work better for fifty-plus buyers than many other ranches.

This weekend you can visit EasyHouseforLife.com to join the VIP list for upcoming easyHouse Grand Openings and information (Boulder Creek expects to bring easyHouse to from five to seven Front Range communities over the coming year).

WHERE: VIP interest list for easyHouse single-level homes designed to age-in-place, by Boulder Creek Neighborhoods; models open Sept. 6 at Outlook at Plum Creek in Castle Rock, and at The Lakes at Centerra in Loveland. Visit the web site now for advance information, and to receive details on future grand openings.

PRICE: $450,000 - $600,000, varying by location

WEB: easyHouseforLife.com

Mark Samuelson writes on real estate and business; you can email him at mark@samuelsonassoc.com.You can see all of Mark Samuelson's columns at DenverPost.com/RealEstate. Follow Mark Samuelson on Twitter: @marksamuelson