Lock it, and leave it.
For baby boomers, this is an attractive and rapidly rising trend. With an empty nest at home and retirement on the horizon, lock-and-leave homes offer an enticing lifestyle shift for those looking to downsize, travel more, or simply to embrace a more active lifestyle.
What is a "Lock-and-Leave" Home?
Lock-and-leave homes are traditionally single-level condos, townhomes or bungalow-style properties that offer a flexible, low maintenance lifestyle without sacrificing comfort along the way. Each home style offers a similar set of perks, and developers are beginning to cater to the changing baby boomer lifestyles in new and innovative ways.
Take the popular attached-bungalow, a relatively new home look in the Calgary area. Attached bungalows – which are vertically attached single-level homes – are designed with the same luxuries of a detached residence, such as multi-car garages and outdoor space, while integrating services that most city condo and townhome dwellers enjoy.
We believe this is not just a passing trend and has real, tangible advantages to buyers when measured against detached home living. Below are some of the best advantages to consider.
1. Less Maintenance, More Living
For condo and townhome dwellers, yard care, garbage collection, exterior maintenance and most other seasonal duties are typically taken care of by fully equipped property management companies. Even new stacked-bungalow communities – such as Streetside Development’s new Hunter House design – are adopting condo-style management systems to ensure hassle-free living for current and incoming residents. But handing off your snow shovelling and lawn care duties isn’t the only reason to consider a move.
2. The Safety and Protection You Deserve
Lock-and-leave communities offer added securities that single family homes don't have. For condo communities in particular, concierge service or on-site security are often standard practice. Even in smaller townhome and attached-bungalow communities without this infrastructure in place, like-minded neighbours are just a few steps away. Should you wish to have someone check your home now and again, and collect your stack of mail, it’s helpful to have a tight knit community.
3. Added Flexibility for Your Busy Lifestyle
Perhaps the best feature of lock-and-leave homes is the flexibility they provide. For those with an active lifestyle this means coming and going worry-free. Weekend getaway; lock it, and leave it. Out of town visiting friends; lock it, and leave it. Escaping Calgary for the winter months; rest well knowing your portion of snow, is in fact, being removed. And for the families spread across the country, visiting children and grandchildren for extended periods of time no longer requires the preparation and planning it once did. You know the routine. It's as simple as locking up your home and returning when you want.
Whether it is a travel bug, or family far away, the flexibility lock-and-leave homes provide cannot be overstated. But even if you are not a globetrotting retiree or winter snowbird there are other practical appeals that are nearly universal regardless of your current age or lifestyle.
4. A Space That Makes Sense for You and Your Wallet
For starters, there is the opportunity to shed the mortgage from that large, family home. As cost of living continues to rise it simply makes more sense to downsize these days. Why continue to heat and cool empty rooms? And why not eliminate a few spaces that will inevitably need to be cleaned, and even painted now and again. Downsizing removes the burden of unused space, but fear not, it does not have to cost you in comfort.
Most new condo and town home developments offer a wide range of design options to choose from including stainless steel appliances, engineered hardwood floors, quartz and granite countertops, and customizable finishings.
What’s more, an urban relocation positions you in closer proximity to day-to-day needs, eliminates the commute factor, and the accompanied stresses. It all plays a part in freeing up more time for you to enjoy the things and people you love.
If this all sounds quite appealing, you are not alone. The good news is lock-and-leave homes are a rising trend in Canadian cities. You certainly do not need to wait until retirement to make the transition though – and it may be in your best interest not to. While developers continue to shift their focus to meet the low maintenance, active lifestyle demands of today’s baby boomers, their popularity continues to grow.
There are a lot of good reasons to make the move; the best reason is for you to decide.