SUPERIOR – Dan and Kathy Mihelic have been married for 26 years. With the kids out of the house, they decided it was time to leave Wichita. Kansas was a great place to raise their family, but they are excited to be back in Colorado.
“Dan and I met 30 years ago at CU Boulder,” Kathy said. Even though they’ve been gone for a fair bit, Boulder feels like home to them. “We’re excited to be back.”
The Mihelics are hardly alone in making a Colorado-bound move. More and more families are relocating to the Boulder County area. For some, it’s a return home. For others, the fulfillment of a lifelong desire to live near the mountains.
Either way, there’s an influx of out-of-state home buyers. And the folks at Boulder Creek Neighborhoods, one of Colorado’s top home builders, have worked with more than a few of them.
For Dan and Kathy, Boulder Creek was a perfect match. Their realtor suggested they take a look at the Boulder Creek homes at Calmante, and they were sold on some of the core features right away. At the top of their list was the low-maintenance lifestyle offered by Boulder Creek.
Boulder Creek understands that owning a home can be a lot of work. There’s yard care, snow removal, and other exterior odds and ends. All those chores add up. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates normal home maintenance to take up to 6-8 hours a week, which is why Boulder Creek’s low-maintenance approach is so appealing to so many.
Imagine winning back all of that time. No more pushing a mower in the heat of the summer. No more snow shoveling in freezing temperatures. That’s hours of time back every single week.
The Mihelics were on board.
“When we’re not working, we want to be playing,” Kathy said. She and Dan both laughed. They may not be in their young 20’s anymore, but these two are adventurous. They enjoy skiing, snow shoeing, mountain biking, hiking, and have even participated in a few triathlons. And they’re not done adding to the list. “I want to learn how to fly fish!” Kathy said with enthusiasm.
As active as the Mihelics are, it’s no surprise that they’ve done all their own lawn care in the past. However, Dan was curt. “There’s just so much here [in Colorado] that’s so much more fun to do than that.” Why spend their limited time and energy on upkeep? Why not instead spend it exploring the many outdoor activities they enjoy?
A second major requirement for Dan and Kathy was location. They wanted to have outdoor options close at hand, of course, but they also wanted convenience. Calmante was a great fit.
Close to both Boulder and Denver, with easy access to the airport as well as nearby trails for hiking and biking, this is exactly the sort of neighborhood they were seeking. There’s even a grocery store and restaurants near by. “It’s a nice blend of outdoor activities and still being close to the city,” Dan said.
The final non-negotiable for the Mihelics was space. They weren’t looking for a huge 5,000 square foot home, but they wanted to make sure they had room where they needed it. This is one more area where Boulder Creek simply shines.
“We really liked the idea of a ranch [style home],” Kathy said of their new house. The model they picked is designed with a convenient emphasis on main-floor living—something for which Boulder Creek is well known. The master suite, living room, kitchen, laundry room and an additional room which can function as either a guest bedroom or an office are all located on the main floor of the house.
Dan and Kathy have kids, and they wanted to make sure they also had enough space for the occasional visit. That’s where the fully finished lower level really comes in handy. Downstairs there’s another big entertaining space and even more room for overnight guests, as well as another bathroom.
Kathy Rittenberry is the Community Manager for Calmante. Like the rest of the Boulder Creek team, she has a term for what the Mihelics were seeking. “We call it right-sizing,” she said.
Right-sizing is not the same as down-sizing. The goal isn’t just a reduction in square footage. Instead, Boulder Creek’s architects have created floorplans that eliminate superfluous space while preserving an overall open feel. The great room on the main floor, for example, is roomy and comfortable. The master suite is generous.
The result is a home that is neither unnecessarily big, nor cramped. Extra space, like the lower level family room, is tucked away, there when you need it and out of the way when you don’t.
Rittenberry also spoke to the kind of community that’s developing out at Calmante. “Everybody moving here has made a lifestyle decision,” she said. The neighborhood is filling with folks who are interested in making the most of their free time, both when relaxing and when engaging in active hobbies. Naturally, that lends itself to a strong sense of community.
“We have a lot of really fun people who have decided to move here,” Rittenberry said. She and other Boulder Creek staff have watched as the neighborhood has begun to fill. It didn’t take long for residents to make their own connections, inviting each other over for dinner and hosting block parties. Folks are even making connection with future neighbors through social media networks before they move from out of state.
But there’s a downside to Calmante. Because the community and floorplans are so popular, the houses are selling quickly. Rittenberry reports that there are three floor plans still available – two with a main floor master, and one with all three bedrooms on the second level.
“We’re now getting down to the end,” she said. In fact, the last homes to be released at Calmante will be available later this month.
To borrow Rittenberry’s words, “Anyone who’s really considering making a lifestyle change…consider Calmante.” Sage advice, provided that you consider Calmante quickly. Boulder Creek’s top-tier craftsmanship combined with amazing floor plans and a flourishing neighborhood make for an opportunity that won’t be around for long.
If you’re interested in a home in Calmante, now is certainly the time to act.
By A. Martin, At Home. Photos by Timothy Seibert