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Homes for Empty Nesters RANCH HOMES WITH NO YARD MAINTENANCE ARE POPULAR WITH BABY BOOMERS By Eric Spangler

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atio-style homes, or ranch homes that have yards maintained by a homeowners association, are becoming more popular as baby boomers retire and downsize from their larger home. Randy Terry, owner/manager of Liberty Land Co., developer of the 450-acre Carriage Hill community in Liberty Township, says patio-style homes are one of the hottest sellers in his development. 100

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And the trend in popularity of patio-style homes continues to rise. “We certainly see the demographics moving in that direction,” he says. The demographics driving the market for patio-style homes are people in their 50s to those well into their 80s, says Terry. The typical buyer of a patio-style home is a couple whose children are grown and living on their own, also known as empty

Many empty nesters are turning to patio homes, like the ones in the Carriage Hill community.

nesters. Many are retired, but others are still working, he says. The attraction to a patio-style home for baby boomers is that most of the living space is located on the first floor and someone else handles all the yard work, Terry says. “We certainly have some homeowners who love doing their gardening and some of that type of thing, but we do have a first-class lawn care company to maintain the landscape beds, plants, lawns and in the winter time issues of snow and ice removal.” The homeowners association fees pay for that yard maintenance, he says. “I think that a lot of the aging population is coming out of older homes, which are high cost and maintenance, and the challenges of dealing with larger properties and homes are too large for what their


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Cincy Home needs are today,” he says. The opportunity to buy a new home with all of the new amenities combined with no steps and no yard maintenance at a comparable price to their current home is driving many of today’s buyers into patiostyle homes, says Terry. The Carriage Hill community caters to those empty nesters with a clubhouse and pool that is designated for adults and community activities and events that are geared toward the older age group, he says. Three types of patio-style homes are offered in the Carriage Hill community, says Terry. One style includes a master bedroom and a second bedroom on the first floor along with a full lower level for entertainment or additional bedroom space, he says. A second style offered at Carriage Hill is called a courtyard home and it consists of a garage entry that faces the front door of the home instead of the street, creating a courtyard driveway effect. It also has a full lower level, Terry says. One of its newest home styles is located in The Retreat section of the Carriage Hill

The Carriage Hill Community pool

development that will include smaller units, usually without lower levels. Each unit will be separate but will include a common driveway for four units. Each unit will have a two-car garage and a third dedicated parking space, he says. “Some of them have very similar upscale features and home design along with the

maintenance-free aspects,” Terry says. The Carriage Hill development, site of the Homearama showcase in 2013 and 2014, is conducive to extended families, he says. The development includes singlefamily homes with large lots for younger families along with the patio-style homes for parents or grandparents, says Terry.

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“We see a huge mix of that,” he says. “We see a lot of grandparents. I think they tend to follow their grandkids rather than their children, and then we also certainly see the children following their parents as

their parents age.” Homes in the Carriage Hill development range from the smaller patio homes in the 2,000-square-foot range up to grand estates on larger lots that are approaching

the $2 million price point, he says. The Carriage Hill development, which is about 80 percent completed, now has about 100 empty-nester type homes. Once completed the development will have an equal mix of empty-nester homes and single-family homes—about 225 units each, Terry says. n

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