LONGMONT – Lois and Gary Abbuhl vacationed in Colorado “every chance we could get,” Lois said, while raising their two children in Nebraska and then Kansas. So when Gary received a job offer in Longmont almost 20 years ago, “we jumped,” she said. They promptly settled into a traditional family home skirting Longmont, with Gary biking 20 to 30 miles most days and Lois, a classically-trained musician, teaching private piano and cello lessons, organizing and performing in musical festivals and serving as a church organist in Longmont and Boulder. “It was a dream come true,” she said about moving to the area.
Although Longmont – with its year-round cultural amenities, shopping and restaurants and phenomenal mountain views – remains the Abbuhls dream city, their large house eventually began to feel more cavernous than cozy, more difficult-to-maintain than enjoyable-to-keep-up. Thus, after Lois and Gary decided in 2017 to downsize, they resolved to go low-maintenance – to trade weeding for travel, raking leaves for cultural events and snow shoveling for more time on their bikes and, for Lois, an instrument in hand.
Low-maintenance enclave in Southwest Longmont
Tramonto, a quiet neighborhood in southwest Longmont, offered everything the Abbuhls desired. Built by award-winning lifestyle builder Boulder Creek Neighborhoods, Tramonto features low-maintenance homes showcasing elegant, ranch-style designs and Boulder Creek’s low-maintenance lifestyle. At 3,140 finished square feet, the Abbuhls’ open floorplan boasts tall ceilings, natural light, a lavish kitchen with room to entertain and a modern, tranquil aura. “We have a beautiful back deck,” Lois said. “It’s lovely to go out there.” Tramonto is certainly a lovely place to call home, especially with the view of Long’s Peak welcoming you into the neighborhood.
She continued, “It’s nice to have a new house with all brand new appliances, a tankless water heater and the latest in décor and design. The open floorplan works so well for entertaining.” They’ve hosted parties of more than two dozen people in the great room, and sitting 12 for dinner “is a breeze,” she said.
Lois and Gary are thankful for their finished basement, which includes two bedrooms and a full bath, as well as a large living area. “When family come,” Lois said, “they can camp out down there and have plenty of space.”
Low-maintenance means more time for family, hobbies
As much as Lois and Gary appreciate their new floorplan, Tramonto’s primary attraction, for the Abbuhls, is Boulder Creek’s renowned low-maintenance lifestyle. “I had done lawn and snow jobs for 50 years and thought that was long enough,” joked Gary.
Lois enthused, “We go out for many walks in various directions and see people trimming trees, cleaning in their gardens and shutting down their sprinkler systems. We come home and see this green grass that we get to enjoy – just enjoy.”
Boulder Creek Community Manager Rebecca Lucero explained that Tramonto is an “intelligently designed neighborhood created with a neighborhood Lifestyle Association,” Tramonto’s take on a home owner’s association. “The HOAs manage a handful of exterior home maintenance chores, leaving more time for you,”
Right-sized floorplans, efficient and durable craftsmanship
Indeed, the “right-sized” floorplans by Boulder Creek Neighborhoods maximize living space and cater to all stages of life, with zero-step entryways and spacious bathrooms. “Boulder Creek works hard to design our homes with some details that others may not consider. Some of those details include 36-inch wide interior doors, wider hallways, raised wall plugs and wider walking areas in the kitchen. These little details are not really the first things that come to mind when looking for a new home, but they are a real difference-maker for those seeking to age in place” said Lucero.
Boulder Creek’s commitment to a low-maintenance lifestyle goes beyond the outdoor maintenance chores. “Durability and efficiency contribute to a low-maintenance lifestyle by reducing the likelihood of expensive home maintenance and repair projects,” mentions Lucero. Homes by Boulder Creek Neighborhoods offer top Energy Star-rated appliances – among Lois and Gary’s favorite features – and environmentally-conscious construction. Less repair “frees up time and resources to spend on other activities, such as friends and family, hobbies and travel,”
Downsizing – or ‘right-sizing’ – is liberating
Lois said enjoying life is the theme at Tramonto. “It was good for us to have to go through the process of downsizing, of getting rid of unneeded stuff.” Lois had carted boxes from Nebraska to her former Longmont home that remained unopened for years. “I sat down with each one and went through things before saying goodbye, like visiting one more time.” She even found her report cards from first grade – “all sorts of things I hadn’t intended to save, but our last house had a lot of storage in the basement, and it happened,” she recalled.
“This was a good time for us to move – while we can still haul boxes, clean up the yard and get ready to sell. If we had waited, say, another few years, it would have felt overwhelming and more physically difficult,” Lois said. “Moving freed us up. We got rid of the junk we didn’t need, and we have room for all we do need. We’re thankful to not leave that burden of going through
things to our children.”
Longmont charm, neighborhood warmth
Liberated from maintaining square footage they don’t need and cumbersome exterior chores, the Abbuhls volunteer extensively and relish hiking and socializing, in addition to time in the bike saddle. “I always have my nose in something,” Lois said with a chuckle. Not only does she coordinate her church’s social dinners, she’s active in a local PTO group, volunteers as a docent during school tours at the Longmont Museum, practices her music and dabbles in photography. Together Lois and Gary sing in their church choir, and Gary continues to work in financial planning. On Wednesdays, Lois meets with the ladies of Tramonto, who takes turns hosting neighborhood gatherings.
Indeed, Lois and Gary have happily melded into the Tramonto community, weaving two decades of Longmont experiences with new friends from across Colorado and the United States. “We’ve found this to be such a very friendly and interesting community. Everyone seems to be active and well-traveled,” Lois said. “We’ve found a warm group of friends.”
Gary said, “I truly love living in Colorado. I love living in this town, this house and this neighborhood.” Lois added, “This great community keeps us here. There is a fabulous symphony and a lot of cultural things, plus shopping and restaurants.” Tramonto’s park and community garden are peaceful getaways in the neighborhood, and Longmont’s vibrant festivals and concerts spice up weekends. Several medical facilities are nearby, and Boulder, downtown Denver and the Denver International Airport are a short drive.
The Tramonto neighborhood is currently offering a limited number of move-in ready homes. This rare opportunity means you will be in your new home in time to welcome friends and family for the holidays! Low-maintenance living at Tramonto is now available starting the $600s, with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and finished lower level. Not to mention, these homes benefit from Boulder Creek’s signature low-maintenance lifestyle.
By Sarah Huber. Photography by Timothy Seibert and Boulder Creek Neighborhoods.