Luxury Living By necessity or by want, less is more for downsizers
In context to real estate, the term “downsizing” may evoke images of empty nesters and retirees, but of course there are other reasons why someone — or a family — may want to scale down their home and diminish the amount of time and resources spent on it. It may be a matter of lifestyle choice or time management, too.
“I think downsizers right now are not only looking for smaller spaces, but more so a sense of simplicity in where they are living,” according to Sally Maloney, a Realtor with Houlihan Lawrence and the listing agent for 15 Watchtower Lane, a remodeled three-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath colonial ranch.
“For those looking for single-family homes, it could be less space, less land, fewer amenities to take care of compared to what they have. For others looking for even more convenience, it could be moving into a condo building or townhouse, where amenities and caretaking are covered in your common charges, and you have the ability to lock the door and leave without worry,” Maloney suggested.
Her current listing at 15 Watchtower Lane may be a home that appeals to downsizing buyers; plus, it has the added bonus of one-level living.
“[It is] easily accessible and offers a great layout,” Maloney said. “It’s a three-bedroom home, with two bedrooms on one side of the house and a master suite on the other, which offers a great amount of privacy. It also sits on a level 0.33-acre [lot], at one of the highest points in Old Greenwich. The location, simplicity and convenience of this house are a great draw.”
Downsizing buyers may also be interested in 37 Sheephill Road (Unit 7), a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath townhouse-style condominium, with 1,480-square-feet of living space. Joan Suter of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the listing agent for the $629,000 home in Riverside.
“In my experience, downsizers are trying to simplify their lives and make things easier,” Suter said. “Often, they have a home elsewhere or want to travel, and they are looking for a new home that has zero maintenance. When they decide to leave town to travel or winter in Florida for six months, they have a home that is being looked after — especially on the outside — by a management company. Also, for security reasons, being in a condominium-type complex is helpful if the house is left vacant for certain stretches of time.”
Located in the Meadowpark Townhouses Association, Suter suggested that 37 Sheephill Road, Unit 7, is “perfect for any downsizing buyer. It’s an updated and move-in-ready townhouse in a private and quiet community of only 17 units, with a heated pool. … There are extensive grounds around the townhouse building, so you have the feeling of space around you, which is desired, especially if you are downsizing from a single-family home.”
A “hybrid” option — a standalone condo unit — is 624 West Lyon Farm Drive in Greenwich, a five-bedroom condo that was completely renovated in 2008. Janet Milligan of William Raveis Real Estate is the listing broker for the $1.95 million property.
This particular standalone condominium has the added perk of a first-level master bedroom, which can sometimes be hard to find in the Greenwich market, Milligan noted.
Downsizers also “want no maintenance and just to turn the key and leave,” she suggested. “They want extra closets and storage, because they are coming from a house.”
“This condo has a flexible floor plan, so there is a lot of space — approximately 4,200 square feet,” Milligan described the condo. “It has beautiful moldings, details and quality throughout. The sunny living room has a fireplace and high, beamed ceiling. There is also a formal dining room with a high, tray ceiling; a handsome library, and an updated large kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances.”
The garden level has a family room with a wet bar, a bedroom and a second laundry. The garden level walks out to the yard; plus, there’s an oversized deck and a two-car garage.
“This home makes for such an easy transition from a larger home to a condo lifestyle,” Milligan said. “The added bonus is that these condos are not attached to other condos. The atmosphere is like living in Vermont in this complex. It has more than 60 acres, with beautiful walking roads and paths, seven ponds, a covered bridge, historic stone walls, rolling hills and a well-maintained landscape. It also offers country-club living, with a heated pool, tennis courts, clubhouse, and putting green.”