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Hot housing market motivates Michigan couple to leave winter worries behind

September 26, 2018

The turning point for Calvin and Elizabeth Morgan came on what Calvin quite accurately described as "cold Michigan winter morning in December" in Waterford with eight inches of fresh snow on the ground.

"I went out and spent two, maybe two-and-a-half hours, with the snow-blower," the retired General Motors toolmaker said. "When I came in, I told my wife, 'I've had enough.'"

By that, Calvin meant that he was convinced it was time to leave their quad-level family house for a home that required a lot less upkeep.

Elizabeth was already eager for something more comfortable, a home with fewer steps to go up and down. For a while, it had been Calvin who was a bit resistant to making a move, because he loved their large wooded lot that invited wildlife – birds, deer and even a "pet" squirrel that had taken to being fed by hand.

Their search for a new home eventually took them to Fox Run, an Erickson Living retirement community in Novi, Mich.

Being prudent, the Morgans were thorough in researching their next home. For instance, at Fox Run alone they looked at 20 to 25 apartments before deciding on a model that met their needs.

"We went on some tours and looked at a lot of apartments," Calvin said.

Then came a day where, during an open house at Fox Run, the conversation turned to how the area's housing market was becoming quite a hot "seller's market."

With Fox Run in the midst of a spring sale, "We put our house up for sale and got more than our asking price--and the house was on the market just two days," Calvin said.

Meanwhile, Fox Run was offering several value-added incentives for folks who could move in by a certain time. The expeditious way the Morgans had sold their own home made the timing absolutely perfect. They received $5,000 of apartment upgrades and another $2,000 for moving expenses in a move that Calvin said went "smooth as silk."

Then, once again, the Morgans were the beneficiaries of some good fortune.

As is often case, their old home held more possessions than they could take with them to their new apartment that has one bedroom, one-a-half baths, a kitchen and large living room.

The moving company transported whatever the Morgans were unable to use or give away to a warehouse and began selling items on a consignment arrangement. In the end, the Morgans' share of the sales helped offset the cost of taking all those possessions to the warehouse.

With the move to Fox Run, Elizabeth was relieved not to have to navigate the steps of their old home or to try to keep up with the demands of living spaces that occupied four levels. But there was more. There was peace of mind.

Being at Fox Run, which provides continuing care for those who require it, gives Elizabeth reassurance.

"From the day we were married, I've always been concerned about the future," Elizabeth Morgan said. "I want to be in a position where things are going to be taken care of and I don't want to have to worry about, 'What if the roof comes off.'"

She especially likes the idea of someone else doing the cooking. "The food is delicious," she said.

Like all Erickson communities, Fox Run has a range of restaurant choices and the Morgans have opted for a 30-meal plan. But since they will also occasionally eat out, they often have a handful of meals left over as the month comes to a close.

That gives them the chance to invite family and friends to a Fox Run restaurant for built-in family socializing.

And at Fox Run, Calvin discovered he can still enjoy the outdoors just as he did at back home in Waterford.

"They have 108 acres here and I think I've explored just about every square foot. The trails are wonderful. The place is extremely scenic," said Calvin who participates with the Fox Run birders group.

He talks excitedly about migratory birds that have used Fox Run as a resting locale and seeing a bald eagle nesting.

Perhaps thinking about that snow-blower he doesn't need any longer, Calvin Morgan said, "They have a great landscaping crew here but now I get to watch them work – and I just enjoy it."