Thursday, March 9, 2017

Retirement Community News for March 2017

March will celebrate St. Patrick's Day and mid-March the beginning of spring.

Spring on the East Coast

 What to Look for at Retirement Communities

It is my opinion that as we age, the rooms we live in become more important than at any other times of our lives.  It used to be the living room, the family room, the den or computer room.  But things change as we age.  I realize everyone has a different opinion on this but these rooms are now the most important to me:  
  • the kitchen
  • the bathroom
  • the bedroom
  • the entry and security features
  • the den/office
  • the sunroom
I'd like to continue our chatting about the rooms in retirement communities.  There are so many improvements in home design and floor plans that I feel I need to bring them to your attention.  The last couple months we focused on the kitchen and even talked about food.

This month I'd like to switch to the bathroom. 

The Bathroom

You may think the bathroom is not important but I think it can be the next most important room in your new home after the kitchen.    Why?
  • As we age, bathing, personal appearance and comfort take center stage. We find we have more time for these things and also tending to them makes us feel better.
  • Aging can be a difficult time.  Our bones ache, our skin is wrinkling, our middles are getting wider, our memories dimming, and our spirits may need uplifting.
  • The bathroom can be a place to compose ourselves and do the things that will make us feel better.  It truly can be a sanctuary.

Features of a Comforting Bathroom for retirement

  • Separate Shower from tub with seat
  • Soaking Tub
  • Lots of Storage
  • Products
  • Lighting 
  • Seating
  • Double sinks and lots of room around them for soaps, candles and accessories
  • Elegant accessories that remind us of luxury
  • Tiles that create an atmosphere
  • Fragrance, oils, creams, sprays, bath salts
  • Space and airiness 
  • A window 
  • Ventilation, heating
First of all, what makes a great bathroom.  For that I went to some top builders to see what they are doing with their bathrooms.    Most builders will agree that function is inherent but you want to go to the next level and create something beautiful and luxurious. 

There are many elements to use to do this.  If you don't have a knack for color or design, don't worry.  When you purchase your new home, your best "friend" is the builders' design centers.  The professionals there can help you put it all together.   Here is a video from Toll Brothers Design Studio:

Think of what mood you would like to create.  This is a smaller room so it is easier to furnish.   Since it is a small room, think spacious.    Make sure you have shelf space, an airy feeling, a large bathing area, and storage areas for products, towels, etc.

I personally find a white shower curtain brightens the space.    

After my yoga class, I get into the soaking tub at home.  I have a few favorite fragrances that I choose from and put in the tub as it fills.  One is a "restorative" oil that smells good and moisturizes the skin.  It is composed of sweet orange, lavender and rose geranium oils.   It is best for a cold day when ones skin feels extra dry.  

The other is a product I purchase regularly at a farmers' market.  It is layered with bath salts, epsom salts, goat milk powder and dried calendula and rose petal flowers.  It smells really good and it's very relaxing.   Muscles can be sore after exercising and tub soaking after exercise is a routine I really enjoy.  It also helps me to sleep.  Find a natural product to add to the bath and you may find, like me, that a good soaking tub is something you don't want to be without. 

Look at photos in magazines and Pinterest for ideas to make your bath an elegant and soothing place to be any time you want to renew your spirit. 

If you are putting your home up for sale, an inexpensive improvement to the bathroom might be a fresh white shower curtain (the Pottery Barn has a white waffle one) or a new shiny sink faucet.  Costing more would be to add granite counter tops.   

Builders Improvements from Querying Customers

Del Webb lists the following new improvements to select homes:

  • Raised dishwashers
  • Lowered microwaves
  • Flex rooms
  • Spa-like Owners Baths
Builders are doing a lot of research to find out what buyers want.  Taylor Morrison NextAdventure communities asked:

1) Where to live
2) What the home offers

"Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation" Summary:

Top community features:

  • Prefer suburbs over city
  • Near retail
  • Near park or walking and jogger spaces
  • Has a lake
  • Maintenance
  • Pool
  • Exercise Room

My View of What to Look For:

When I look at communities, I want to find something new, edgy, imaginative, the next big thing.

Which builders will thrill us to where we say: "I want that," and that something goes to the top of the list of things people want.  

I remember when granite counters first appeared in model homes and how much excitement they created.   That's what I mean. 

Two coming communities of special interest:

  • Coming:  Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach, Florida is creating excitement.  The sales office is planned to open later in 2017 and homes not ready until 2018, but already 10,000 people have registered as being interested. 

It will be a large community fashioned after the popular The Villages in central Florida, with a twist.    The Minto Group is the  builder and is partnering with the Margaritaville brand.  This will be their first retirement community together with plans for more.

This may be the start of a brand new kind of retirement community.  I will know more after I visit, but it sounds like a creative idea, and maybe offering something many boomers are looking for:  a lot to keep them busy and having fun in their retirement years. 

  • Coming:  Del Webb at Rancho Mirage in California - Somehow the image of Del Webb at a very high-end community like Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs, is another concept that peaks my interest.   
Prices aren't out yet.  That will be one to watch since Del Webb usually is in the medium price range.  Although I have noticed a trend to a more upscale profile with their communities in California. 

More interesting communities to watch:

  • Florida

  • Coming:  La Morada by WCI - WCI is now part of the Lennar family of homes.  This new community is coming to Naples.  I always thought WCI had beautiful communities and building one in upscale Naples is an exciting combination for me.   I can't wait to see what they do. 
Discovery Days Deal in Florida:  Solivita in Kissimmee, Central Florida:  3 days and 2 nights for $129.  This is another popular Florida community.

  • California

  • Heritage Vineyard Creek in Sacramento by Lennar.  They have a plan with casita and their Grand Opening was March 4th.  Homes priced in $300's and $400's.

  • Maryland: 

  •  Much anticipated, Bay Bridge Cove on the Eastern Shore, and just over the Bay Bridge,  has a Grand Opening March 25th.  Villa homes priced in the $300's.   Please call to verify Opening by calling 215-600-4871.  Closed Wednesdays.  

  • New Jersey:

  •  Three new communities coming to Ocean County, New Jersey:  Venue at Lighthouse Station and Seacrest Pines in Barnegat, and Lennar at Lake Ridge in The Pines, now open.


New Sponsor:  We are happy to announce that we have a 2nd sponsor of our website.  In addition to Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida, we now have Kolter Homes Cresswind Active Adult Communities.

Cresswind community homes are gorgeous, very popular and located in all our favorite retirement states:   Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.  Wherever you see a Cresswind community, you'll do yourself a favor to check it out.  

There are many more new and coming up 55 plus communities.  See them all on the website:



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