I love Lowry. It's a great neighborhood, the town square is adorable, and it's all just a hop, skip and a jump from the center of town. If living on that side of town made sense for me, I'd move there in a heartbeat. Alas, my family is all on the west side, so I only look longingly eastward.
I spent this afternoon at Lowry with some clients of mine, looking at a new patio home community -- Arbors at Lowry -- going up in the East Park section. They were having a lovely grand opening celebration with sandwiches and cookies, which always makes me happy.
And I have to say the houses are really, really nice.
I'm a big fan of the patio home concept. So much so that I live in one myself. They encompass the best of both worlds -- a detached home on a lot with a yard, but with no lawn care and no shoveling. The HOA handles it all. That works very well for me. When I owned a "normal" home, I used to water my lawn once a month for a day. Not deliberately. I'd just forget to water until the lawn got all dry, then I'd water the heck out of it and eventually the water was running down the street and one of the neighbors would come over and turn it off.
The thing is, I'm not the only one who wants a real house and a real yard without the real work. That's what the Baby Boomers want as they retire. The kids are moving out, and they're tired of the mowing and pruning and shoveling. But they're used to having a real house with a yard. They don't want to go to a condo or a townhouse where they have to share walls.
The Baby Boomers create a seismic demographic shift every time they enter a new phase of life. And as they retire, they're creating an increasing demand for low maintenance detached homes. They don't want yard work. What they do want is ranch floor plans or at least main floor masters so they can get still get to their bedrooms on their creaky, arthritic, ACL-scoped knees. They want patio homes.
That's why I bought mine. It wasn't just the personal convenience. It was the investment. I knew the demand for patio homes -- especially those closer to the center of town -- would grow. And it has. In the three years since I built my home -- three years that have been relatively flat in the Denver real estate market -- my home has been appreciating. Homes rarely go on the market in my neighborhood. And when they do, they sell quickly.
That's why I'm a big fan of the patio homes I saw today. Homes in Lowry are already beating the appreciation odds in Denver, increasing in value in the midst of a flat market. I think that trend is only going to increase as gas prices soar. People like newer houses, but they want to live closer to the center of town. They don't want to waste a ton of money on gas driving to work (or to play!) There are only a few places to find new houses close to the center of Denver. There's Lowry, Stapleton and a few smaller infill areas (like my neighborhood in Lakewood). That's about it.
So take the appeal of patio homes, the past performance of Lowry and the rising gas prices, and the Arbors at Lowry starts looking like a danged good investment. Nice houses, too. Floor plans are well laid-out, and the finishes are high end. Slab granite, alder cabinets and extensive hardwood floors are all standard. Plus (this floored me) the back yards are fenced. That's a big deal in a patio home community. In my neighborhood we can't fence our yards, because the HOA needs to have access to them for mowing, etc. At the Arbors, the HOA actually comes into the fenced yard and mows it. Best of both worlds.
So check 'em out. Better yet, call me and I'll go along! (See June 23rd blog entry below "Do You Need a Realtor To Buy From a Builder?") If you go without me, at least tell Judi Phillips in the office that I sent you. She's very nice.
If you want to learn more about patio home communities throughout the metro area, let me know. I'd love to help!