The Newberry Ranch

Builders Respond to Home Buying Needs of Growing Active-Adult Market

March 18, 2021

 According to the U. S. Census, in 2020 45% of American households had a resident over the age of 55 and projected that by 2060 the United States will be home to more than 49 million seniors.  Today’s ‘Baby Boomers’, defined as those 57-75 years old, boast more than half, 57% in fact, of the nation’s wealth, making them an influential consumer.

“Active- adult buyers have a powerful presence in today’s home building market,” said Pierre Alexander, Heritage Harbor Resort Marketing Manager. “Approximately 35% of our buyers at Heritage Harbor are ‘Baby Boomers’. They have very specific needs and wants, including single-level living designs, community amenities and access to nearby services.”

In a joint study between New Home Source and Met Life Mature Market Institute, active -adults identified their top four needs when making a move: (1) Stay close to family and friends;  (2) Ability to live on a fixed income; (3) Desire for new construction rather than remodel or worry about repairs; (4) Low-maintenance environment with accessible amenities.

‘Boomers’ also listed what was most important when it came to community amenities: (1) Walking trails and community gardens; (2) Pickleball courts;  (3) Community/gathering room or clubhouse; (4) Fishing/water access; (5) Close proximity to quality healthcare; (6) pet-friendly; (7) on-site or nearby dining.

“Our ‘Boomer’ buyers choose Heritage Harbor because they can live a resort life with boating, fishing, walking, swimming and more while being within an hour of loved ones,” Alexander said.  “We have multiple pools and clubhouses through-out the community, on -onsite restaurant, dog park, beach, activity director and our new active adult communities will feature pickleball and a community garden.”

Just 90 minutes from Chicago, Heritage Harbor is situated along the Illinois River in the heart of Starved Rock Country and is across from the 97-mile I&M Canal walking trail. The community is centered around a 152-slip marina with 32-acres of 8-foot- deep harbor and features the Red Dog Grill Restaurant and Tiki Bar, Knot’s Landing sand beach and 3.2-mile Harbor Walk.  The Heritage Harbor activity director plans year-round events for residents and guests, including live music on weekends, crafts, cooking classes, tours, and the weekly, Saturday 5K walk and run.

Heritage Harbor features several distinct neighborhoods all offering single-level living and a low maintenance living environment. Port Place, an enclave of 12 maintenance-free homes, is the newest neighborhood to be introduced at Heritage Harbor, offering ranch and two-story homes, with main level master bedroom suites, priced from the $270s. In addition, a new neighborhood, Navy Town, is coming soon and will offer one and two-bedroom single level condominiums as well as two-story cottages.  The popular Boat House neighborhood offers ranch cottages with direct boat slip access from $309,000. Single-family ranch, two-story and first-floor master bedroom cottages are offered in the established West Peninsula neighborhood with prices starting from $429,000.

Building homes and neighborhoods in west suburban Chicago and Wisconsin for 60 years, Shodeen Homes, a family-owned and operated company headquartered in Geneva, has seen a significant increase in empty-nester buyers looking who want single-level living close to family and familiar surroundings.

“We’ve increased our ranch home portfolio and added low-maintenance Village Homes at two of our communities in direct response to the growing baby boomer market,” said Craig Shodeen, President of Shodeen Homes. “Many of these buyers are downsizing and looking for single-level detached living with their own yards. While remaining near friends and family, they also want to be close to vibrant downtown areas and commuter transportation as well as highly-rated doctors and hospitals.”

Shodeen features a collection of 15 ranch designs ranging from 1, 043 to over 2,598 square feet in size and communities such as The Village Homes at Elburn Station and South Mill Creek Village Homes in Geneva offer low-maintenance living options. The company also offers a wide variety of two-story home plans with first-floor master bedrooms which also provide a single-level lifestyle.

Newberry Ranch
Newberry Ranch 

“South Mill Creek has been very popular with empty-nesters who enjoy, not just what the larger Mill Creek community offers, but the shopping, dining and Metra train service minutes from their door in downtown Geneva and along Randall Road as well as being within five minutes of Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital,” Shodeen said.

South Mill Creek is part of the larger award-winning Mill Creek community, which offers 195 acres of parks, 17 miles of walking/biking trails, two 18-hole golf courses,  community center and pool, two on-site community churches and a downtown Village Retail Center.  Only three homes remain at South Mill Creek.

According to Shodeen,  ‘Baby Boomers’ are also gravitating to Shodeen’s Stone Ridge community within walking distance of downtown Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Stone Ridge offers empty-nesters a resort lifestyle yet is 12 miles from the Illinois border,” Shodeen said.  “The affordable single-family ranch plans, priced from the upper $300s, allow buyers to build their lake dream home with plenty of room for visiting friends and family and enjoy all that southeast Wisconsin has to offer.”

Shodeen’s Stone Ridge Subdivision in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, features a 21-mile shore path around Geneva Lake

Homeowners can walk to Geneva Lake known for its endless water sports, boat tours and beaches as well as its 21-mile Shore Path.   Other area attractions include Black Point Estate, Riviera Beach and music and picnics in the park. Lake Geneva is known for its championship golf courses, balloon rides, snowshoe hiking, horseback riding tours and aerial adventures.  Dozens of restaurants, from 5-star gourmet to lakefront pubs, can also be found.

Shodeen also offers ranch plans in communities with walking trails, ponds, convenient commuter access  and vibrant downtown areas at Elburn Station and Blackberry Creek in Elburn, Norton Lake in Campton Hills, Heron Creek and Reston Ponds in Sycamore and Heritage Hills Estates and Squires Crossing in Maple Park.

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