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New look at retirement living: Co-op owners like their very-low maintenance lifestyle, and social life it fosters



New look at retirement living: Co-op owners like their very-low maintenance lifestyle, and social life it fosters

Colorado buyers are just getting used to the idea of senior cooperatives—but 700 miles north in Minnesota, age-62-plus co-ops are so well accepted and popular that buyers there focus less on the ownership structure, and more on the results they deliver—VERY low maintenance, and more vivid relationships with neighbors.

You can find out more about how those work at an informational coffee Wednesday, Oct. 6, at The Ranch Country Club in Westminster—a few miles east of where Applewood Pointe will take shape on a ten-acre site wrapped by trails near Standley Lake.

Developer United Properties has done over 30 senior living communities (a mix of rental, assisted living, and cooperatives), 17 of which are cooperatives in the Twin Cities area, with three more there in the works. United Properties has a 100-year reputation in Minnesota.

Director of Sales Molly Goenner says Twin Cities buyers are overwhelmingly lured by a low-maintenance lifestyle (no more shoveling walks, raking leaves, or climbing ladders to change a light bulb); as well as by the intangible feeling of being part of a neighborhood community.

Goenner adds that Applewood Pointe’s concept offers roomier homes (all are 2-bedroom, and some have an option for an added den/sunroom), and a higher level of luxury finishes than other co-ops deliver. Owners also get a wide range of social-nurturing amenities: big great room, club room, and party areas, library, art/woodwork studios, and outdoor living spaces.

On Applewood Pointe’s large site at Wadsworth Parkway at W. 108th, that’s envisioned to include a 3/4-mile trail feeding into Westminster’s Walnut Creek Trail; along with a putting green and bocce ball court, outdoor kitchen, and an RTD stop.

Residents don’t get a pool—an add-on that owners prefer to avoid, particularly with Westminster’s widely regarded rec centers and golf courses close at hand.

Reservation holders earn a priority number that can hold a position in the 85-home community for a refundable $500 deposit, and once 60% of total available sales is reached members can select a home with an initial payment installment of $4,500. Members then choose their share percentage tier—the value of their selected home.

You might choose to invest just 20% (as little as $97,300); or can opt for 40%, 60%, or 80%. A higher investment means a lower monthly co-op fee. Either way, the monthlies cover much more than typical HOA dues do—mortgage, reserves, landscaping, inside/outdoor maintenance, property tax, water, cable TV, dedicated heated parking spot, and storage.

Goenner says that buying into a cooperative is a safe and predictable investment that will earn appreciation each and every year.

“And you’re becoming part of a rich member-run community designed around rewarding social interactions, low maintenance, and easy living.

“Watching the relationships form,” she says, “is the most beautiful part of cooperative living. It just happens and it’s magical.”

Her presentation is Oct. 6 at The Ranch, west of I-25 on 120th Avenue at Tejon Street. Make a reservation at 720-499-1083.

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

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