CATONSVILLE, MD – When Bodil Tice and her husband John moved into Charlestown they had one issue to deal with: the delicate move of Bodil's cherished collection of pewter Norwegian-themed Christmas plates from their former home in Severna Park, MD.
The one-of-a-kind collection was passed down to Bodil by her mother, who gave a new plate to her each Christmas. "I am an American citizen, but Norway always has a special place in my heart," said Bodil, who grew up in Aalesund, Norway and who is a former Administrator of Radiology for Kimbrough at Fort Meade.
Bodil and John turned to Erickson Realty & Moving Services, a free program offered by Erickson Living, Charlestown's management company, that simplified their move from start to finish and made it possible to bring the collection – as well as other Norwegian-themed pewter items such as vases, candle holders and serving trays -- to the Tice's new apartment home.
Their move was coordinated by a team of personal moving consultants, retirement counselors and a comprehensive resource network of specially-selected real estate professionals, downsizers, home stagers, contractors, and trusted movers.
Bodil and John moved from a two-story, five-bedroom and four-bath house into a two-bedroom and den apartment at Charlestown. And they couldn't be more pleased.
"Our move went so smoothly," said Bodil. "It is a good feeling to know the things that are significant to John and I moved with us to Charlestown."
Preferred vendor Let's Move, LLC, partnered with Erickson Realty & Moving Services to help the Tice's plan for their move. "Over the years we've supported countless individuals, such as the Tices, to preserve their history while envisioning their future," said Account Executive Wanda Boucher.
Nearly 90 percent of the 71 moves to Charlestown during the first half of this year was done with the help of Erickson Realty & Moving Services. That percentage held steady throughout Erickson Living's nationwide network of 19 communities where a total of 1,068 moves took place during the same period. And the results are defining industry-setting trends.
"Most of the incoming residents we meet with are struggling with what to do with the excess. While many are interested in selling their excess items, they have come to understand the limitations of a 'soft market' for used furniture/contents," said Charlestown Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard. "Seeking a simpler solution, many incoming residents are opting to donate to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and A Second Chance rather than trying to sell. "
In working with young retirees, Ballard said she is seeing a growing trend towards full-service moves. Though still physically able to handle downsizing and packing, most are opting to work through the community's realty and moving services program, which frees them up to spend more time on things they enjoy," she said.
In addition, having their home completely unpacked on move day, enables incoming residents to begin embracing their new lifestyles immediately, which is a big appeal to most residents we are working with, she said.
Charlestown and its sister communities nationwide are also seeing a trend towards embracing a simpler lifestyle. While some retirees still want to bring everything they own, many are ready to release their excess in order to obtain more peace and order in their new homes.
This year is projected to be a hot year for home sales nationwide. An increase in home buyers has resulted from millennials turning away from renting and being at a point where they can begin to buy. Moreover, home prices have steadily risen in the past 12 months and are anticipated to continue to rise. Consequently, home prices are now at near pre-recession marks.
"The economy has improved greatly, so there are many buyers ready and not enough homes available," said Ballard. "We have actually seen houses by incoming residents sell quickly, some in just one day.
"Our incoming residents have done their homework and have prepared for their new lifestyles," she said. "They are appreciative of the assistance we can provide to them to make their moves as seamless and worry-free as possible."