University of Pittsburgh psychiatry professor Richard Schulz has been one of the nation’s foremost researchers on caregiving stress for
After five years, Jim and Patty Toia still hadn’t found the perfect home in which to spend their retirement.
“We got tired of taking care of the yard and running up steps,” said Ms. Toia, 62. “We knew that we wanted a one-story home that was still near Seven Fields and had low taxes.”
The couple finally found what they were looking for at Traditions of America’s newest 55-plus community, Pinnacle at Adams. They plan to move into their custom-built home this month (october).
The first of its kind in Traditions of America’s 20-year history, the 55-plus community on Resolution Drive in Adams, Butler County, caters to those who enjoy spending time outdoors within a secluded and scenic community while still having the amenities and culture of a town right down the road.
“We really liked Pinnacle because there is a lot of space between houses and it’s in a natural setting, which provides for privacy and has many opportunities for outdoor activities,” said Mr. Toia. “These features are hard to find in single-floor houses for sale in this area.”
What makes Pinnacle at Adams attractive to couples like the Toias is that they can take part in a variety of activities such as kayaking, fishing, hiking, bird-watching and gardening on the community’s 77 acres. Though they own the land, they can use Tradition’s lawn care services.
Buyers also can choose to have a pool, a fence, another garage, a basement and a second floor.
“Because there is more land, the houses can be bigger than the ones in our other communities,” said Jay Goldberg, vice president of marketing at Traditions of America. “People really like the new design.”
Traditions of America spiced up its five signature floor plans — each named for a historical figure — by adding side-entry garages, Wi-Fi-enabled Nest thermostats and lighting packages and shutters. The floor plans range from 1,623 square feet (Betsy Ross) to 3,167 square feet (Franklin).
Traditions of America builds multiple model homes for buyers to use as a baseline. Then they can customize as much as they want.
“The options for customization are endless,” said Julia Rodemoyer, the developer’s new home counselor. “Anything residents need we can work with to accommodate to their lives.”
Buyers design their homes through an interactive program on the Traditions of America’s website (www.traditionsofamerica.com) and visit the company’s design studio. The Toias added a sun room onto their 2,000-square-foot Washington model.
The first model home on the street, The Hancock, is spacious — 2,400-3,037 square feet — and starts at $429,900, The Hancock II model includes several options. Like the other four house models (Betsy Ross, Lincoln, Washington and Franklin), it has two or three bedrooms and two to three bathrooms.
Upon entering the stone-fronted model through the covered front porch, visitors find an open floor plan. On the right is an 18- by-11-foot den with views of the sidewalk-lined street. The living room measures 18 by 11½ feet and has built-in shelves. The dining room is 14 by 12 feet. Columns separate the two rooms.
The 13- by- 12-foot kitchen has marble counter tops, high ceilings, built-in sinks and a pantry. Off the kitchen is a 10½- by-10-foot nook with a vaulted ceiling. The model has an optional sun room and an outdoor patio.
A fireplace is an option in the 20- by- 15-foot great room. The first-floor master bedroom measures 16½ by 14½ feet and includes a tray ceiling and two walk-in closets. The first floor of the house also includes a second bedroom that is 13½ by 11 feet and a 7- by 7-foot laundry room.
“It’s such a beautiful setting. It’s hard to describe without your own eyes,” said Ms. Rodemoyer. “We really want people to choose a house and make it their own here at Pinnacle.”
Ways to age in place
Those seeking housing as they age should look for features that will make day-to-day life more comfortable. For example, it’s easier for people to open doors using levers instead of twisting door knobs if they have arthritis in their hands or wrists. Among other features to look for are:
• No-step entry for front door and showers
• Grab bars in showers and bathtubs
• Shower seat
• Pocket doors to make doorways wider if you need walkers or a wheelchair
• Wider hallways
And for more background, options and local resources check out the Aging Edge guide “Aging at Home.”
Katharine Rohloff, a rising junior at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., was a summer intern at the Post-Gazette.