Downsizing in Lafayette

What I love more than anything about Lafayette is the small town feel.  When I go to the grocery store I love running into childhood friends, my parent’ neighbors, and even my elementary school teachers.  There are so many reasons to love our small town which is why I believe multi generations of families choose to stay and raise their families in Lafayette.  My parents still live in my childhood home.  My Dad grew up in Lafayette and he would never consider leaving. I think the same could be said for so many people who have spent their lives in our beloved town. 

Recently a client asked me to list off all potential options for downsizing in Lafayette.  Unfortunately, there are very few choices.  Although I don’t think this is entirely a new problem, I do believe the lack of inventory in Lafayette stems from more and more people staying in their homes longer because there are so few options when it comes to finding something smaller and low maintenance.

Twenty-five years ago many of my friends’ parents downsized to smaller homes near downtown on streets like Moraga Blvd.  But now Moraga Blvd is the “Hot Spot” for families who value walkability and proximity to BART and are willing to sacrifice smaller yards and square footage for the more urban like lifestyle.  In December of 2015 a two bedroom one bath home sold for $1,100,000 and a 1,563 square foot fixer sold for $964,000.  A slightly larger home with 2,121 square feet sold for $1,410,000 in May of 2015.  My Mom’s friend bought a home on Moraga Blvd. in the mid 1990’s for $350,000 when her kids left for college.  

The Woodbury is a new housing option that offers a lock and leave lifestyle.  The location is extremely convenient to downtown and the reservoir.  Units are all single story and accessible by elevators.  In January of this year a 2 bedroom sold for $1,340,000 and in November of 2015 a three bedroom sold for just shy of $1,500,000. The ongoing joke for my parents is that a three bedroom in the Woodbury is in fact larger than their current home.  The option to end a forty-year battle with a leaky sprinkler and pesky deer that eat my mom’s roses, is appealing.  Although my parent’s are staying put in their home, just yesterday a client of mine put their name on a list to for a unit at the Woodbury.

Merrill Gardens is another new option in Lafayette that is centrally located on Second Street and Mount Diablo Blvd.  There are 85 senior living apartments and several different levels of care provided to residents.  For example, there is independent living, assisted living, memory care and respite care services.  Monthly rent, which includes all meals, housekeeping, transportation, utilities, maintenance and more starts at $3,500 per month.  Other services include any time dining, activities, and Concierge Services. The apartments have kitchens and washer/dryers, and current availability includes Studio and 1 Bedroom apartments, with a waitlist for 2-bedroom apartments.

The city of Lafayette planning department offers an up-to-date list of housing options in Lafayette including rentals and new potential building projects under review.  This is a great source of information.  You can follow plans like the KB Homes project on Dewing between BART and Petco. Check out their website to learn more:
http://www.ci.lafayette.ca.us/city-hall/city-departments/planning-building/housing

Please email or call with your real estate questions.  I can be reached at erin@erinmartinhomes.com or (925) 951-3817 if you would like I free home valuation.