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

  • Redevelopers of old East Denver YMCA say they’ll “meet a promise to the community” with rowhomes priced under $375,000

    A 112-unit townhome development is rising from the site of the former East Denver YMCA north of City Park.
    Unlike many of Denver’s recent infill projects, though, Skyland Village at East 31st Avenue and Wilson Court will include a mix of moderately priced and high-end units, with rowhomes starting at $299,000 and going up to the mid-$600,000s.
    “We meet just about every buyer out there,” said listing agent Bryon Horvath of Wild & Mild Homes.
    About a third of the 68 units planned for the site’s north side will be priced under $375,000, said Patrick Guinness, one of the Skyland’s developers. (All 44 units on the south side, with rooftop decks and two-car garages, will be high-end units.)

    Read more

  • Massive columned portico creates street appeal for $1.6 million Park Hill mansion

    WHAT: 4101 East 17th Avenue Parkway is a three-story Greek Revival mansion, with seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms located in Denver’s South Park Hill neighborhood. The home was built in 1907 and is situated on an 11,000-square-foot lot.
    PRICE: $1.595 million
    SIZE: 7,080 square feet. $225 per square foot.
    LOCATION: Park Hill, located in the northeast part of Denver, is a historic neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets and classic architecture. According to realtor Taylor Lawton, Park Hill residents take pride in the community’s history and diversity — both racial and architectural. “People who like Park Hill, love Park Hill, and tend to move up within the neighborhood,” he said. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has chosen Park Hill as his home, rather than the governor’s mansion at the corner of East Eighth Avenue and Pennsylvania Street. The property is a short walk from City Park and its attractions, and offers an easy trip to downtown.
    Porchlight Real Estate GroupThe living room of 4101 E 17th Avenue Parkway features original hardwood floors and coved ceilings.
    ABOUT THE HOUSE: Perched above 17th Avenue Parkway and set back on its large city lot, the entry is framed by grand columns that highlight the blue door and red brick front porch. Mature landscaping and an iron fence provide a stately street presence.
    Inside, the 1907 home has been meticulously brought up to today’s standards, including mechanics, plumbing and structural, but much of its early 1900s character remains. Historic details include archways, coved ceilings, original hardwoods and built ins. The contemporary kitchen features a curved layout, maple cabinets and granite countertops and was updated in 2001. The large master suite includes an office area with coffee bar, a gas fireplace and a private balcony overlooking 17th Avenue Parkway.
    There are two additional bedrooms on the second floor, and two more on the third level along with a guest or children’s retreat.
    The garden level contains a 2,100-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment with a separate entrance, that can be used as a nanny quarters or mother-in-law space. Lawton said the apartment also would fall into the rules set by the city for use as an Airbnb rental.
    The backyard contains a covered herringbone-patterned brick patio, a pond with fountain and a two-car garage with upstairs storage.
    Related Articles

    Read more