When Glenna Wilson, founder and owner of Charis Homes, in North Canton, Ohio, set out to build homes for the 55-plus cohort at The Courtyards at New Seasons, she had a clear vision in mind. “The focus is on right-sizing, not downsizing,” she says. “We want to provide a great home for buyers who have an increasingly hard time finding products in their price range.”
The poster child of that mantra is the Sustainable, Healthier Home, a 2,931-square-foot single-level, two-bed, two-bath house—including a second-floor loft option for a third bedroom and bath—built in collaboration with Pro Builder Media and the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) to showcase what can (and should) be done to serve the middle market of the Boomer generation.
“This home represents a new level of performance, with rigorous requirements that ensure outstanding energy savings, comfort, health, and durability,” Wilson says. “We built the home of tomorrow today.”
A Common Vision for the Sustainable, Healthier Home
In 2018, Wilson recognized that buyers born between 1946 and 1967 were struggling to live up to the media stereotype of wealthy Baby Boomers living out their golden years in gated communities playing pickleball, hosting charity events, and traveling the world.
In fact, the vast majority of the 55-plus segment is far more moderate and mindful of rising monthly costs for home maintenance, utilities, and other ongoing expenses, she says, beyond the price of their home.
Which is a big reason why Wilson dedicates her company to build to the highest levels of energy efficiency and indoor air quality. “Offering homes at an affordable price is critical, but giving our buyers the confidence and peace of mind that they’ll pay less to maintain and operate it is equally important,” she says. “Our goal is to keep costs down when they buy and as they live in our homes.”
A clever combination of vinyl clapboard siding, manufactured stone, and vertical siding on gables and bump-outs adds curb
appeal and value to the home’s façade.
The side courtyard is private but also extends the living spaces of the public areas (right) and owner’s suite (left). “It’s my favorite area of the house,” builder Glenna Wilson says.
Looking for a partner to build and market her brand, Wilson came across Epcon Communities Franchising, a developer of 55-plus master plans serving several states out of Dublin, Ohio, and found an easy fit with their business and development model. “Epcon buyers are in a life stage where single-level living is appealing, and the idea of spending their precious time on yard work no longer sounds like a good idea,” says Rob Krohn, VP of marketing at Epcon. “They just want to find a home that will work better for them.”
The Sustainable, Healthier Home checks all of those boxes and more. And while buyers will certainly see and appreciate the finer lifestyle details—a generous owner’s suite with a sitting room and direct access to a secluded side courtyard; a welcome den (“Many …….