Maintenance-free communities increase in popularity

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Though intended for the age-55-plus market, Magnolia Gate at The Gates of St. John in Crown Point, Ind., the neighborhood actually is part of a multi-generational community that provides benefits greater than just maintenance-free living. | SUPPLIED PHO

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Phillippe Home Builders has noticed a steady increase in business from baby boomers in transition, and many are downsizing and selling their large family homes. Some are moving to Northwest Indiana from other states, lured by low property taxes, and proximity to Chicago and the Indiana Dunes. Others are simply looking for a fresh start with a new home.

Perhaps they are drawn to the appeal of the maintenance-free lifestyles that is offered in such communities as Magnolia Gate and Coffee Creek, where residents don’t have to shovel snow or mow the lawn ever again. Those landscaping chores, along with trimming the trees and shrubs, are taken care of for them in exchange for a monthly maintenance fee.

Located within The Gates of St. John in Crown Point, Ind., Magnolia Gate is designed to appeal to the age-55-plus market, but still part of an award-winning, multi-generational community that includes the appeal of open space with ponds, parks and trails. Magnolia Gate is for those looking for a single-family home that suits their needs without the hassle of tasks that go with it. These detached cottage homes range from 1,600 and 3,000 square feet, and start at $209,900.

The Village Green at Coffee Creek is Phillippe’s gem in Porter County. The Village Green is made up of a small community of luxury townhomes that back up to the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve in Chesterton. Residents have more than 150 acres of protected woodland, wetlands, and trails in their back yard. The project has picked up speed in this last year, and Phillippe Home Builders has added several more duplex and triplex units.

“Currently, there is a two bedroom, two bath ranch townhome available and move in ready,” said Laura Hetherington, Phillippe’s Coffee Creek Home Consultant. “We’d like to see this particular unit filled before the end of the year, so we’re willing to cover $2,000 in closing costs if we can close before Dec. 31.”

Homes with master suites on the main floor are also increasing in popularity. Levered door handles, wood floors, wider hallways,and walk-in showers are other features that are frequently added to homes. Selections are made with consideration for what will make aging in place easier. There is also a demand for flex space, a spare room that can be adapted to suit their current needs. What may start out a home office may become a hobby room after retirement.

Phillippe Home Builders has been family-owned and operated since 1959 and prides itself on building high-quality, energy-efficient custom homes. Phillippe Home Builders is a member of the Southwest Suburban Home Builders Association and the Home Builders’ Association of Northwest Indiana. Phillippe Home Builders is also an Accredited Member of the Better Business Bureau. Learn more by visiting on-line at