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Waste not, want not

Oak Crest’s Brighton floor plan is the perfect size for living large

Created date

April 23rd, 2013

Over the last 60 years, the average home size continued to increase from 983 square feet, in 1950, to 2,392 square feet, in 2010. But according to the National Association of Homebuilders, America s appetite for super-sized homes seems to be waning. A recent survey shows that 75% of homebuilders predict the average new home in the U.S. will shrink to 2,152 square feet by 2015. So what s fueling the downsizing trend? For one, the sticker price of smaller homes is less than the sprawling McMansions of the 1990s. They are also less expensive to heat and cool. Another factor: upkeep. Smaller spaces have less area to clean and maintain. And the less square footage you have, the less you pay on property taxes.

Waste of space

Chris Giesler, sales director atOak Crest, the Parkville, Md., Erickson Living community that caters to retirees looking to trade an oversized house for a maintenance-free apartment, says buyers are searching for a home that allows them to live the life they want, instead of being a slave to their house. People are discovering they would rather spend their time golfing, traveling, or with their grandkids than cleaning a big house or mowing the lawn, says Giesler. Giesler says Oak Crest residents never have to worry about coordinating monthly or quarterly bills like electric, mortgage, and property taxes, because all costs (except telephone) are bundled in each household s monthly service package. A variety of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom floor plans are available at the community. One of Oak Crest s most popular floor plans, the one-bedroom Brighton, features a large bay window, private balcony or walk-out garden patio, modern kitchen, full bath, and a walk-in closet. This is one of our most affordable apartment homes and offers ample space for single people or couples, Giesler says.

Perfect fit

Last June, Lucie Portier moved from her two-story house, in Towson, to a one-bedroom Brighton at Oak Crest after she grew tired of lugging heavy laundry baskets up and down the stairs. I chose Oak Crest because I had friends here from my professional life and from my church, and they consistently praised the place, says Lucie, a retired social worker. I m also familiar with the area having lived around here for almost 35 years. Lucie quickly settled in at Oak Crest. Her Brighton apartment home has ample living space and plenty of natural light. But Lucie says what she enjoys the most about her new home is the outdoor space. My apartment is comfortable, convenient, and efficient. I have enough space for everything I need, says Lucie. I like the layout very much. I have a built-in washer and dryer. My bedroom is large enough to hold my bedroom furniture, a desk, and my sewing table. But I really love my balcony. That was the one thing I knew I had to have. It gives me lots of light, and it s really a great addition to my living space.

Trade up

Aside from plenty of space, the Brighton s most popular feature continues to be the large-scale community that comes with every apartment at the Parkville campus. The community provides residents with access to three clubhouses featuring five on-site restaurants, a fitness center, an indoor swimming pool, a game room, an art studio, and several other communal spaces residents can use at any time. For many, it s that amenity-rich lifestyle that often makes downsizing easier. I liked the size of the community and the fact that there are so many things to do, says Lucie. I use the fitness center. I m taking a computer course here in the community. I volunteer as a pen pal with a local elementary school. And I m getting ready to join a new speakers bureau. I also see a lot more people here than I did living alone in my house, and I run across different things happening all the time, like music and interesting presentations. As she approaches her one-year anniversary at the community, Lucie says she s happy she made the move. Everybody is friendly, helpful, and quick to give you directions when you first move in, she says. It s really a pleasant place to live.