Ashburn, Virginia—It's often said that timing in life is everything. For Celso and Jane Gatchalian, this axiom proved true when it came to their journey to Ashby Ponds.
The couple moved to the Erickson Living retirement community on January 22, 2018 after learning about the campus the previous fall.
"Like many people, we had thoughts of staying in our house in Lorton all our lives," described Jane. "We were familiar with Erickson Living through Greenspring, its sister campus in Virginia. We discovered the location in Ashburn and decided to pay Ashby Ponds a visit."
That meeting in September 2017 proved to be life-changing. The couple, married for 45 years, met with Melissa Bates, a sales counselor at Ashby Ponds.
"Melissa showed us what we considered to be the perfect apartment home for our lifestyle with the ideal location. It was a one-bedroom with a den in the new residential building called Birch Point," said Jane. "Plus, it faced the woods so we could enjoy the nature scenery in the morning over a cup of coffee on the porch."
Upon reserving the apartment, Celso and Jane had much to do, including the sale of their house. For that, they took advantage of the Erickson Realty & Moving Services program that provides future residents with expert guidance and support via a network of realtors®, downsizers and senior move managers.
"We met with Meg Olympia, a realtor® with Long and Foster," noted Jane. "We listed our house, and within four days, it was sold for our asking price. We closed on November 17. In between, the personal moving consultant at Ashby Ponds, Elizabeth McCumiskey, helped us with downsizing. Eventually, we threw some items away, but also donated and sold things, too."
Celso and Jane also became more familiar with the surrounding area of Ashby Ponds. "We only knew Loudoun County because of our trips to Dulles Airport," recalled Celso. Travel was part of their respective careers with the federal government: Celso was an engineer with the Department of Transportation, and Jane worked as an accounting investigator with the Housing and Urban Development Department.
"But our first impressions of Ashburn were very positive. It's clean and modern. Shopping and entertainment opportunities are very accessible," said Celso.
Now that they are settled, Celso and Jane are making new friends and participating in many resident-led activities.
"Exercise has always been very important to us. We play pickleball and bocce, utilize the fitness center regularly and take Zumba and Tai Chi classes. We enjoy walking so the loop road provides a nice 'track' in a safe setting," noted Jane. "We've even resumed our love of ballroom dancing."
The couple also likes to travel. "We have some long-distance trips planned for later this year, and it's very comforting to know that everything is secure. There are no worries about leaving a house unattended while we are away."
For employees at Ashby Ponds, knowing that new residents are happy makes the job rewarding.
"Our entire team is thrilled that Mr. and Mrs. Gatchalian are enjoying their experience at Ashby Ponds," stated Holly Henderson, Director of Sales. "While they moved earlier than expected, their decisions were sound, based on financial value, convenience of amenities, and most importantly, being true to their goals in life. As a result, they are able to take advantage of everything that Ashby Ponds has to offer."
Jane agrees. "Our daughter and grandchild live nearby in Falls Church, and it now feels like we're on vacation every day. Ashby Ponds is where retirement fun begins!"