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Old 08-02-2013, 08:05 PM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,490,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amd17 View Post
I can't thank you enough for your help.

We live in NY, so a quick is not available to me at this time.

I'd love to know how it "feels": friendly? people happy? how is clubhouse maintained? how large is pool? Is the landscape barren or developed? out in the middle of no where?

Again, thank you so much. Everyone I speak with says they'd love to visit and/or move to Colorado, clearly it is due to the much nicer than average people who live there!

Anne Marie
Hi Anne Marie,

I visited Heritage Eagle Bend today.

Very friendly people. Lots of waving 'hi' as you go by. Everyone I talked to chatted away with me and answered my questions. Everyone seemed very happy. The clubhouse was maintained. Very clean and very impressive. Had a nice relaxed Colorado mountain resort feel similar to what you find when you go to Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain etc. The clubhouse employees were very pleasant to interact with. The dining room didn't feel much like a restaurant, more like a meeting room with tables and chairs but they do seat you and there is a menu. Unfortunately I wasn't able to eat there. They have a lovely outdoor eating/seating area. They will also bring drinks and food down to the pool for you. Very resort like!

The pools were clean and not crowded. They weren't very big. The indoor one was 50 ft and too warm for lap swimming (85.5 to 86.5 F). The outdoor one was a better length at 75' (84 to 85 F).

The workout room was small but had a good variety of equipment. There are only two showers in the women's locker room. I did not see any sauna or steam room. There were multiple tennis courts, lots of golf carts, people golfing, a driving range and a small putting green.

The street scapes were lovely. The community was very well maintained. The houses have a nice distance between them. The single family homes had mail to a box out at the curb whereas the town homes and maybe the duplexes also (can't remember) had them to the larger more centralized mail boxes.

There were undeveloped areas beyond the perimeter. I met with a realtor who took me around. I think some of it is slated for development. There is a public bike path trail that one section of the development backs to.

With all that said I wasn't too thrilled. Some things that bugged me.

The event rooms were above the indoor pool. They whole area smelled strongly of chlorine and I suspect I wouldn't use them because of this. This included the card room and the library.

The homes aren't properly set up for seniors. I toured two of them and there were steep, shallow depth and narrow width steps (6 or 7) between the garage and the house. There were also a fair number of steps getting to the front door. The walkways leading up to the houses were cracked. They do have expansive soils and the realtor said the foundations were fine but the streets and sidewalks in at least one area were heaving. The streets and sidewalks I saw looked fine. He mentioned something about pylons being used. I think that is now considered an unacceptable method for expansive soil mitigation.

The ones I toured didn't feel like very good quality. One was empty and stuffy so that didn't sit well but I struggled to figure out why they felt a bit like cheap apartments. I think it was because there wasn't any molding around the windows and that was the way apartments were when I lived in them. However, one lady I talked to in a duplex felt they were really well built and said neither she nor her roof mate ever heard each other.

The two people I saw selling their homes had mobility issues. Everyone was very active and seemed in pretty good shape except for the two home sellers. I wonder if the stairs issue drives people out. My current house has two broad, easy stairs from the garage to the house and no stairs at all if you go through the front door. My previous house had one step up to a front patio and one step up from a garage. A previous owner had installed grab bars in the bathroom and at the entrance from the garage. When I was on crutches I found out how useful they can be. I'd never give up a proper single level living house to navigate the difficult stairs I found at Heritage Bend.

The area had a very close Safeway grocery store (essentially across the street). There is a nice outdoor mall not too far with loads of national chain stores and chain restaurants. I did not see, and no one mentioned, any of the healthy grocery stores like Sprouts, Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods that we have throughout most of the metro area. There may have been smaller more unique places at the Southland Mall also but I wasn't able to see them on a first/quick visit. The traffic there was more stressful for me as the north area to me seems more laid back and less dense.

I didn't like how the development was chopped up into sections by major streets that I would not enjoy crossing. Not that they had heavy traffic but they were big and multiple lanes each direction. There weren't any walking paths within the development that I found out about (I asked several people). One person said you could walk on the golf course path after it closed. There were nice side walks and people were walking their dogs. There were very small open spaces. But I wasn't very impressed with that element. They allow you to put in up to 20 ft x 20 ft 4 ft fence panels to let your dog out but these areas were really small.

I would not say it was pedestrian friendly like a neighborhood that had paths, parks and was all together without public streets running through. Each section was gated. In 13 yrs they only had a couple of crimes (so said the realtor) and they were minor like stuff stolen from the garage.

If you would like my pictures send me your e-mail in a direct message and I'll send them to you. I tried not to get people in them but couldn't always avoid it so don't want to post them.

In summary I am going to pass on it because I didn't find the homes had senior friendly features like grab bars in the baths, wider doors, no steps for basic living etc. The staircases to the basements were really narrow also. Walking paths are really important to me. I also like independent ethnic restaurants. I'd have to do more investigation to see what there is in the area but on first look I didn't see much.

To compare and contrast with Anthem in Broomfield. We actually drive there just to walk the paths with our dogs. From Anthem you have really easy access to downtown Lafayette with small independent restaurants and Lousiville with even better restaurants. You also have pretty quick easy access to Orchard Town Center which has some chain shopping (JC Pennys, Macys, Target, Ross, etc) but also more unique restaurants. Lafayette has a Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage which is a fabulous all natural grocery store with great prices (much better than Whole Foods). Heritage Bend wins for closeness though with their Safeway.

In terms of shopping the Costco/Home Depot etc. center is about 4 miles from Anthem. Lafayette is less than 4 miles with the Vitamin Cottage being 4 miles. Orchard Town Center is about 5 or 6 miles. So everything is in the 4-6 mile range. Safeway in Broomfield is about 3 miles away.

For Heritage Bend their main shopping mall is 4 miles away. So they are about equal with the exception of the really close Safeway grocery store.

Let me know if you have any questions. Maybe I'll go visit Anthem with more a critical eye just to compare the two.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:50 PM
 
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I went to visit Anthem today. It was a beautiful day, not too hot. I think for me Anthem would be the clear choice. I really like their path system. I saw a couple people out riding bikes on it and one guy fishing at one of the little ponds/water ways with water falls that go through the green belt near the rec. center.

I think the mountain views at Anthem are fabulous. It is much closer to the mountains than Heritage Bend.

The lots are more flat so better options for little to no stairs. Although their are plenty of view lots with full mountain views.

There is a new section going in by Toll Brothers on the south side that gives one the opportunity to be further from the airport runway. They have homes available with 3 car garages. Heritage Bend only had 2 car garages. All the homes in Anthem are single family. Heritage Bend had options for single family, paired and town homes. Heritage Bend paired and town homes include all the exterior maintenance in the HOA fee.

The Anthem rec. center was well built. Had beautiful common rooms with no chlorine smell. The work out room was larger than Heritage bend and there was also a dance room as well as a small indoor track. The indoor pool was 75 ft long and cool enough to swim laps. The outdoor pool was pretty but more a lounging pool.

They seem to have more clubs and activities.

You can build a fence out 20 ft. from the back of the home for the dog and it can run the length of the back of the home. This is a little better than Heritage Bend where it could be up to 400 sqr ft (20x20).

Negatives include there not being a restaurant at the club house.

There was no social scene that I observed. This was in stark contrast to Heritage Bend that I visited on a Fri. afternoon when there were groups having lunch together, people chatting on the patio, people playing cards together in the game room, golfers chatting and playing, people stopping to chat while walking their dogs, and people chatting together at the pool. There were alot of visible active seniors at Heritage Bend. In contrast on a Sun. afternoon I saw almost no one out and about at Anthem. There were some people in the pool but those out of the water were by themselves. I saw no one out walking that I could stop and chat with. In fact I got to chat with no one at all except the sales lady for Toll Brothers and the volunteer tour guide at the club house. As a result I didn't come away with the warm fuzzy feeling of friendliness like I got at Heritage Bend.

That being said, I would still choose Anthem. I really need my walking trails and open spaces. I think the mountain views are fabulous and the proximity to Lafayette old town and Louisville old town provide the small town festivals and activities that can make life fun. Boulder activities are also very close. There may be similar opportunities near Heritage Bend that I'm not aware of because I'm more familiar with the north area. Curiously enough these areas are not touted in the Toll Brothers sales material. I wonder if they only included local attractions that had paid a fee to be featured in their material.

But I can certainly see why someone would choose Heritage Bend. Particularly golfers and those who like to be really social. Anthem looked like a deserted resort. Heritage Bend felt like an active resort.

Oddly enough neither community seems to offer senior friendly features to the houses. You can request them of the builder but both emphasized they aren't senior communities but rather active adult. To them this means no need for wider doors, grab bars, limited stairs etc. Personally I value the ability to age in place so I guess this means I would have to have a home built with the items I would want to be there I as I age. Since Heritage Bend is already built out I would be limited to resale homes. Anthem is still building so the option to customize is there.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:41 AM
 
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I decided to complete my look at the 55+ communities by visiting Heritage Todd Creek.

It has 4xx homes sold out of a planned 1300. Very nicely kept. But is taking a long time to sell since I think they started in 2006. They were the only neighborhood with homes being built that you could tour and were available. I have to say I liked the homes very much. The floor plans were good and the construction seemed good. I really don't understand why they all include so many stairs for single story senior housing. Another couple was touring with me and the lady was the same as me. She kept looking at all the stairs and shaking her head.

Despite having the least number of residents it had lots of friendly people out and about. It was very similar to Heritage Bend in that sense. They have good meeting rooms for cards and a library. There were poker players, multiple card groups, a women's group and multiple groups in the dining room all doing something while I was there. A nice lady saw me peer into one of the rooms and she gave me a cheery wave. People gave me a cheery wave alot so it felt very welcoming. I saw multiple people out walking their dogs. Their dog restrictions were the strictest of the lot. They only allow a 200 sqr ft enclosure so 20 ft long by 10 ft deep.

The indoor pool has a great feature, it is saline! This is a big deal because salt water is alot easier on your skin than chlorine. They had a nice but crowded work out room. The have a small outdoor leisure pool. I couldn't find the length information posted anywhere around the pools.

They have a very nice restaurant that feels like a restaurant. I had a good meal there for a reasonable price.

Negatives for me include no walking trails and no open spaces in the development beside the golf course. They say you can walk on the sidewalks outside the community. Very unusual for CO to not have a good trail system with open spaces.

Drive time to Costco/Sears/Home Depot was about 10 min. on a 60 mph two lane road. Grocery store probably about 5 min more.

The area where Heritage Todd Creek is very dry, brown and plain. It felt like the moisture was being sucked right out of your skin. I like the water features in Anthem as well as the scenery better.

-----------------
For me I think I'm not a good candidate for 55+ communities around here. They are heavily car dependent and the two with a good social scene, Heritage Bend and Heritage Todd Creek, don't have any walking trails. Also my queries about aging in place features, which I had assumed would be standard, were basically all rebuffed unless I wanted to pay alot extra for an ADA home. I just want some basic consideration for aging in place like grab bars in the bathroom. Minimum of steps from garage to house. Zero steps through the front door. Wider hallways and doorways. Minimum of steps out to back yard. Lever style handles for doors and faucets.

I'm glad I looked at the option. I had always wondered if this was something to consider and now I know alot more about it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:15 PM
 
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Hello Anne Marie,

Did you find an active 55+ community in Northern Colorado? I am starting a similar search. Will be heading to Colorado to look at community options next month (June 2014).

I took a look at 55places.com for 55+ active adult retirement communities. There doesn't appear to be many options at this point. Your timing was much better -- hope you were able to find a new home.

Regards,

Pat
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Old 10-17-2015, 05:39 PM
 
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I LOVE living in the Heritage Todd Creek Community best by far
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