EDMOND — Edmond has been on CNNMoney’s list of Best Places to Live, and that’s one of the things that attracted retirees Ron and Doris Schnuelle of Virginia Beach, Va., to the Parkview neighborhood at Touchmark at Coffee Creek.
“I did some research, and we were impressed with that,” she said.
Touchmark is benefiting from Edmond’s reputation for excellent schools and the city’s recognition for livability, said Melissa Mahaffey, executive director of the Touchmark community.
The Schnuelles are among buyers contributing to the retirement community’s expansion, she said. Ground for five more houses will be broken this summer, she said.
Parkview is a gated community of single-family homes for adults 55 and older just north of the main Touchmark campus, on the north side of Covell Road, east of Kelly Avenue. Parkview’s 32 complete homes were all constructed by Red Rock Builders of Edmond.
“Parkview is the best-kept secret in Edmond,” Mahaffey said. “It is located just a stone’s throw from our main campus, which makes it convenient for people to come over for meals, if they like, or for meetings and different activities or simply to get together with friends.”
Homes range from 1,624 to 2,300 square feet in a variety of styles built to buyers’ specifications, Mahaffey said.
“For example, if you choose Lot A, then you can choose a variety of floor plans for that lot,” she said. “People work with an interior designer and can pick out the color of the carpet, the color of the stain for the cabinets, all the way to the roof color.”
Those personal touches appealed to the Schnuelles, who are both 69.
“I love the idea they build you a home,” Doris Schnuelle said. “When we came out to visit Edmond last fall, we were impressed with the city and quality of these homes. They bent over backward to say, ‘We’ll build it the way you want it built.’ ”
Touchmark provides all maintenance and landscaping, which will free the Schnuelles from typical homeowner headaches, such as leaky faucets or lawn care. Doris Schnuelle said she and her husband expect to move into their 2,200-square-foot home — the “Madison” plan — by September.
Demand is up nationally for 55-plus housing, according to a study commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders and the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
“Housing Trends for the 55+ Market” revealed a surge in homes built in “age-qualified” housing communities — a 30 percent increase in 2011, the most recent statistics available.
As baby boomers continue to move into their retirement years, demand will grow even stronger, said David Crowe, chief economist for the builders group.
The report also noted that residents of 55-plus neighborhoods had greater satisfaction with their housing situation than do retirees not living in communities built specifically for retirees.
Mahaffey said she sees lifestyle satisfaction every day in residents.
“Every morning, a group of Parkview residents come over and eat breakfast within our main campus; that’s how they get their day started,” she said. “The camaraderie, the socialization they experience on a daily basis, keeps people healthier. The quality of life is better.”
The Schnuelles were seeking a retirement community close to Ron’s sister, who lives in Guthrie. Their son lives in Kansas City, Kan.
“Edmond is a great place to live; real estate values are strong and now (a) mom and dad are moving toward their kids,” Mahaffey said.