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55+ Active Adult Community: North Woods of Colchester

Builder: North Woods of Colchester LLC
Price: $289,900 to $345,900
Style: Ranches, two-story Capes and Colonials
Rooms: 4 to 8
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 2 to 2.5
Square footage: 1,200 to 3,000
Acreage: 78 acres
Tax Rate: 25.85 mills
Best Features: High-end quality at an affordable price
Contact: Alan Williams, Williams Realty

After Clifford Bartiss moved into North Woods of Colchester year-and-a-half ago, he became known around the 55+ active adult community for saying, “Every day is Saturday.” The retired fire fighter says, “It’s like being on a holiday. You come and go and do what you want. If you want to go on vacation, people come over and take care of your plants for you. You just ask, and someone helps out.”

Bill Farrell, another homeowner, mentions the resident who needed a ride to the eye doctor and sent out a notice in the residents’ newsletter, the North Woods Owl. “She got more responses than she ever expected, but all it would have taken was a phone call to anyone here.” The two men talk about picnics and parties, neighborly support and a lifestyle that has come as part of the package of living at North Woods of Colchester. “We have a very active community,” says developer Alan Williams. “The members of the community have started the next chapter of life. Truly, they have gone back in years and are having fun.” Community members get together often and frequently include management in the mix.

Parties take place at sales models, community brunches are held, bike and ski trips are organized and a monthly birthday luncheon is thrown for residents.

Williams notes that management has actively encouraged residents to enjoy the next stage of life. “We have set an active tone for the community,” he says. “We have an activities director that has really brought the neighborhood together. The residents also have an activities committee that gets together once a month to plan things to do.” Williams credits the eclectic mix of residents for the vital atmosphere in the development. It is the residents who have brought the vision of an active community to life.  Williams says that North Woods residents are “a mix of couples and single individuals who have moved here for a better quality of life. They want to live life to the fullest.”

The neighborhood design consists of open spaces, walking trails and woodlands. There are a total of 134 single-family detached homes planned for North Woods; 34 homes are currently occupied with another eight homes sold and under construction. In addition, there are three decorated models. A community center is also being planned.

In 2011, North Woods won HOBI awards from the Home Builders Association of Connecticut for the “Best Affordable 55-Plus Community” and the “Best 55- Plus Detached Home Under 2,000 Square Feet” for the Birch model. No matter which of the community’s eight models you tour, says Williams, “You get a ‘wow factor.’ There is a feeling of openness. We use materials, colors and textures to create an elegant but not overstated look. We use marble, granite, natural stone flooring, a number of different finishes of hardware. A lot of them come standard.”

Williams adds that this is a key reason why the development has been able to grow in a down market. Clients appreciate the fact that many upscale features come standard and the developer makes every effort to customize layouts for customers. “We customize many of the kitchen layouts, room layouts and even closet layouts at no extra charge. We have an extensive light fixture package. All our units include appliances and air conditioning, as well as wide casings and tall baseboards as standard.”

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