Best Place to Retire in WNY?

Local real estate agents point out the best places for retirees

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

When the children leave home and you want to simplify and downsize your digs, you won’t have to look far to find a home that better suits this phase of your life. Area real estate agents offer a few suggestions based upon where their 60-plus aged clients are buying their re-starter homes.

• “Cheektowaga has some smaller homes in nice areas.
• “Green Acres is a mostly ranch home community in Tonawanda. It’s close to the main shopping strip. There are some patio home developments, but they’re much more expensive.”
 – Sandy Pond, real estate agent with Roncroft Realty, Kenmore

• “Amherst has a suburban/metropolitan area. Within the town it has many little pockets. That’s because of when we were in postal zones, they formed hamlets within the town. Williamsville is within Amherst and it has a lot of that small-town flavor, but not a lot of senior housing.
• “There seems to be a lot of desire for people 55-plus wanting to get into Canterbury Woods in Williamsville, a private, for-profit development company that built a multi-stage senior living situation. They have townhouses, detached ranches and condos.
• “At Southtowns in Orchard Park, you can stay there and as you need more help, you move along down the line to another type of living are on the campus.
• “In Clarence, The Brothers of Mercy has just built a brand new section where it’s more single family houses and detached patio homes. They also have senior apartments and assisted living.
– Joe Sorrentino Jr., MJ Peterson Real Estate in Buffalo

• “People are buying high-end properties in the city of Buffalo, Tonawanda, Kenmore and Amherst. The trend has gone from fixer-uppers to things that are perfect.
• “A lot of 55-plussers are moving out to Wheatfield, Pendleton and other Niagara suburbs.
• “They’re looking for single-family Cape Cods, ranch or patio homes. You get a little more property for your money with a larger lot size. It’s attractive to a lot of people.”
– Vince Arnone real estate agent with Century 21 Balesteri, Inc., Buffalo

• “We’ve got a number of areas that are popular places to live for people downsizing or simplifying. Patio homes or similar type of properties like ranches in Lancaster is one market where we’re seeing lots of movement.
• “Clarence is also an area that has brisk sales.
• “Amherst is also a strong market for those reasons.
• “In the Southtowns, Orchard Park and West Seneca have a lot, both in new builds and existing homes.”
– Christian Voigt, real estate agent, Howard Hanna Real Estate,

When considering where to downsize, think about what amenities you want nearby. For example, if you love golfing, a property near a golf course is a natural

fit. But also think about the convenience of living near your needed services, such as medical provider, shopping, and hair stylist.
Consider how long you plan to live there. One-story homes and building plans that are otherwise accessible or easily made accessible  can help ensure you remain independent and living in your home longer.

Even if retirement is several years away, think about what you want to do at your home once you retire, such as putter in a shop, garden and host large dinner parties. Before you know it, your time will be your own. Choosing the right property now can ensure you enjoy it for many years to come.