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Baby boomers drive robust sales for area homebuilders

Baby boomers drive robust sales for area homebuilders

“Something for everyone” is an old cliché that gains new relevance in today’s real estate marketplace. Never before have home designs, community plans and prices been as carefully targeted as they are today, and baby boomers have been among the prime beneficiaries of this trend.

According to research by the National Association of Homebuilders, many baby
boomers prefer to buy newly constructed homes, townhomes and condominiums because they can thereby avoid irksome and expensive repairs and renovations.

D.R. Horton, pioneer of active adult communities for those 55 and better in the Chicagoland area, is presently developing Carillon Club in Naperville and Carillon at Cambridge Lakes in Pingree Grove, its sixth and seventh 55-and-better communities in the Chicagoland area.

“Sales continue to be brisk in these communities where one-level living and a recreational lifestyle enable baby boomers to reinvent their lives and their surroundings in new, exciting ways, with more convenience and varied opportunities to make new friends and try new interests,” says Chris Naatz, vice president of Sales for D.R. Horton’s Chicago Division. “Many buyers desire the open, attractive floor plans and ease of maintenance that these communities offer. In these communities, buyers typically can find different housing styles, including condominiums, townhomes and single-family detached homes of varied sizes. Some buyers want to downsize, while others choose larger homes with basements to accommodate big family gatherings and large groups of friends.

“While age-restricted and age-targeted communities remain a popular option, D.R. Horton is increasing the number of ranch plans available in its other communities,” he says. “For example, Bristol Park in New Lenox and Lions Chase in Huntley offer ranches for those who desire one-level living in a family-oriented neighborhood. Regardless of lifestyle preferences, many baby boomers desire one-level homes that are either maintenance-free or easy to care for.”

Another type of community that is attracting baby boomers along with a variety of other age groups is condominium living. Optima, Inc. has created a distinctive niche in this market and pioneered in the development of green roof sky gardens, and most recently has developed Optima Chicago Center in prestigious Streeterville. Optima Chicago Center is a contemporary 42-floor luxury rental apartment building with architectural panache and state-of-the-art recreational amenities. In addition, Optima offers equally impressive rental and for sale condominiums in Phoenix, Arizona, which attracts many Chicagoland snowbirds.

“Optima Kierland in North Scottsdale, our newest condominium building, is now open for sale, and offers the finest quality amenities and finishes available for luxury living,” says David Hovey, Jr., president. “This building will give baby boomers and other buyers a lifestyle with concierge services, outstanding amenities, no outdoor maintenance and a location with easy access to upscale Kierland Shopping Center, as well a variety of restaurants and other Scottsdale attractions. In addition, residents who travel frequently will appreciate the ability to simply lock the door and leave with confidence.”

Optima Kierland is a 12-story building with four towers, panoramic views and large outdoor living spaces for every residence. Amenities include a 16,000-square-foot fitness center, rooftop garden with heated pool, fully equipped Residents’ Club, sports bar, basketball courts, hydro steam sauna, squash court, yoga room and more. One, two, three, or four bedrooms and penthouse units are offered.

“At Optima Kierland, buyers, many of whom are baby boomers, have a unique opportunity to work with our architects to combine condominiums and customize them to their own preferences,” Hovey says. “They can enjoy personally designed residences, while we gain new insights for the evolution of our designs. Thus far, 50 percent of the people on our priority list want to combine units.”

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