Trading Up

A post-retirement or downsize move used to mean shifting into a condo or even a retirement community, but Atlanta builders and architects are noticing an uptick in high-end custom, right-size infill homes in neighborhoods like Peachtree Park and Garden Hills. “We have been seeing a trend of elder baby boomers downsizing from large homes to smaller homes that better fit their empty-nester lifestyle,” explains builder Jon Berndsen of Berndsen Custom Homes. 

For instance, on a current project with architect Norman Askins, a young retiree in her early 50s is moving out of her luxe Buckhead condo and into a custom-built house on a lot in Garden Hills. “She wanted a small, charming house,” Askins explains, adding that the project will have high-end features like an iron-canopied front entry, limestone trim and French doors throughout. “It’s nice when clients want something in the correct scale for the whole neighborhood. It’s a breath of fresh air,” he says. 

Similarly, Michael Ladisic of Ladisic Fine Homes is working on a $1.85 million home on East Paces Ferry (pictured), sized just right for the lot and neighborhood; it’s peppered with rich architectural details and finishes. “For many of these baby boomers, they realize this is likely the last home they will build,” says Berndsen. “Their standards are high, and at this point in their lives, they deserve it.”