Shrinking Footprints, Living Large

A creative carriage house helps homebuyers live the downsized dream.

FOR BEVERLY AND D WALKER, downsized living was a prosperous mutual decision. And an alternative housing solution in a crazy, pricey Northern Colorado market.

The Loveland empty nesters built their 980-square-foot, two-bedroom second-floor living space in 2016, strategically placed over the heated garage that doubles as a gym to facilitate the 50-somethings’ active lifestyles.

The new turnkey, low-maintenance modern carriage house sits on the alley in the heart of Old Town Loveland, allowing the Walkers to long-term lease their recently renovated two-bed, one-bath brick bungalow and stay in the neighborhood they adore.

D is a project manager for HighCraft Builders and Beverly serves as deputy city clerk for the City of Loveland. The Walkers worked with HighCraft licensed architect Jeff Gaines to perfect the open-concept carriage house plans and incorporate design elements that fit their style.

Their bottom line: Less stuff means more time and money to travel, see family and participate in Colorado endurance races.

Trends to Watch

According to D’s work at HighCraft, these market shifts are worth noting: 

Update What You Have
Years ago, standard practice was to buy a smaller starter home and then sell that to buy a bigger, more expensive home. Today, more and more families are remodeling to fit their changing lifestyles.

Age in Place
Empty nesters are investing in one final forever home and making practical senior-minded adjustments like wider doorways and hallways and sliding pocket doors, which take up less room and can be easier to operate.

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