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Many individuals in Olde Oak Village are first-time homeowners, and would not otherwise be able to find the same space and physical quality that they enjoy at Olde Oak Village for a price that they can afford. Ben Marrero, a father of two young children who works with his wife as a nurse, explains that, while finances are always a principal concern, their affordable-rate home at Olde Oak Village allows them to live in an attractive, peaceful home with a yard, rather than the apartment in downtown Wallingford that they previously rented. His family is able to invest in their own home and build up wealth by being homeowners.
Affordability is not just for young individuals and families, however. Louis Pechmann, a semi-retired man who formerly worked in the construction field and was in the Navy, lives with his wife on a fixed income in a market-rate unit. The affordable nature of their home in Olde Oak Village allowed them to trade their home in Branford eight years ago for a quiet, low-maintenance home in Wallingford, closer to their grandchildren.
Greg Bachand, a lawyer, and his wife, a nurse, also moved into Olde Oak Village later in life, after deciding to downsize from their former home in Fairfield County, Connecticut. He says he can’t tell the difference between the affordable and market-rate units: “I cannot tell one from the other. I’m not aware of the rates of my neighbors.”
Bachand’s daughter, Tanya, lives in a neighboring home in Olde Oak Village. She praises her ability – and her neighbors’ – to own a home affordably. “Residents feel personally invested here,” she says. “There is a sort of self-policing. People pick up their own garbage. People are invested because the value of their home is important to them. If it hadn’t been for this, I could not have lived near my parents. They have saved up money their whole lives, but I am still young. We can live in the same neighborhood now.”
The added benefits, she says, are an enhanced quality of life, diversity, and the ability to build wealth as incomes rise and equity increases. “There is no bar to earning more money, even if you have an affordable home. You don’t get kicked out just because you starting making more, so there is motivation.”
As a complement to the low-maintenance lifestyle that owning a condo provides, residents like Pechmann still feel invested in their homes. They pay a mortgage; perform their own exterior home care; live in a free-standing unit rather than sharing a wall with a neighbor; are part of a dues-paying residents’ association. Because Olde Oak Village condos are affordable, individuals and families with fewer economic resources are able to settle down and make an investment in their home, rather than renting it on a temporary basis.
“There is a real pride of ownership,” says Tanya Bachand, who works as a lawyer, is mother of a 12-year-old son, serves as president of the residents’ association, and lives in an affordable-rate home. Most residents are pleased with the physical durability of their home over the years: Marrero has only had to make minor repairs to his home; Pechmann and his wife are fond of both the interior and exterior of their homes. Angela Poureshmentalemy, who lives with her husband and three children in a market-rate home, talked of the high-quality, spacious environment that her home—which appears compact from the outside—provides for her young family.
Affordability also means that multiple generations can share a neighborhood, preserving family ties and deepening new relationships. For example, Tanya, a young professional, is able to live in the same neighborhood as her parents, who in turn frequently look after her son. Marrero shares a community with a former classmate of his mother’s, who visits their home on holidays and spends time with their two children. If not for the affordable nature of a home in Olde Oak Village, these relationships across generations might not be able to reap the benefit of sharing a diverse neighborhood.
Has Olde Oak Village been a success? Take a look at what the experts and statistics tell us about the following issues in this mixed-income community:
Read more about the quality of life inside Olde Oak Village's mixed-income community:
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