Dallas, Texas--Turning the page to a new chapter in life can be an adventure. Just ask John and Susan Macaulay. The couple sold their Richardson home of 33 years and moved to Highland Springs, the Erickson Living community in North Dallas, in September 2017. "We knew the time was coming, but we didn't anticipate the move would happen as quickly as it did," says Susan, who worked for the federal government as a program coordinator for the Dallas office of the Administration for Children and Families. Both Susan and John had reasons to consider a move. Susan was ready to shed the responsibilities of maintaining a home. John saw the example of his parents, who'd downsized and moved to Sun City in Phoenix, Ariz. "Susan and I have two sons, and we didn't want to leave it to them to sort through everything in our house," says John, an accountant who spent the better part of his career with Dresser Industries. "My parents did a similar thing for us. They made the decision for themselves to downsize and move to a place where they could enjoy a new chapter in life." Choosing their next home Since their Richardson home was only two miles from Highland Springs, John and Susan watched as the community was built in 2006 and have seen it grow ever since. They joined the priority list at Highland Springs three years ago. "I knew Highland Springs was the place for us," says Susan. "I was absolutely certain." A variety of factors played into the couple's decision to embark on a new adventure at Highland Springs. "We liked the number of activities and the sense of community," says Susan. "Several of our friends moved to Highland Springs, so we were able to ask them questions and get an idea of the lifestyle." Practical considerations also came into play. "We liked the size of the community. Highland Springs is growing, which brings more amenities and more opportunities to the campus." Compressed timeline Yet while the couple knew where they wanted to move, they couldn't have imagined it would happen so quickly. "We planned a trip to New England in late September 2017," says Susan. "Five weeks before we left, we reserved our apartment at Highland Springs and picked September 26 as our move-in date." A confluence of factors impacted the couple's timeline. One consideration was financial and based on a promotion Highland Springs offered in 2017 and again in 2018. The community's priority list members are always the first to learn of special offers and incentives. Choice of apartments was another factor. "We knew we wanted to be in the Pecan Grove residence building because of its proximity to so many amenities on campus," says John. When the couple saw a two-bedroom, two-bath Weston-style apartment in Pecan Grove, they liked its open layout, kitchen design, spacious bedrooms and ample closet space. Knowing what they could bring was another consideration propelling them forward. John and Susan worked with Cindy Gay, Highland Springs' personal moving consultant, who offers complimentary coordination of resources. Gay maintains a network of trusted real estate agents, senior move managers and estate sale planners who can assist with every aspect of the move. "Cindy was very helpful," says Susan. "Once we identified which furniture pieces we were bringing to Highland Springs, it made it much easier to downsize." Fresh outlook Susan, for her part, says the compressed timeline left her with little time to second-guess her decisions. "We had 33 happy years with lots of memories in our Richardson home," she says. "Now we're pursuing a new life. I kept asking myself, 'What's it going to take to make that life a success?" The couple contracted with a senior move management company to pack up their things and unpack them in their apartment at Highland Springs. "We moved on a Tuesday," says Susan. "The move managers put everything in its place. By Tuesday evening, we were drinking a glass of wine in the living room of our new apartment. The pictures were on the walls, and there wasn't a box in sight." Three days later, the couple left on their trip to New England, putting their Richardson home in the capable hands of a real estate agent recommended by Gay. "The real estate agent listed our home on a Friday," says John. "We had three offers by Sunday evening. We sold the house for more than our asking price." The couple returned to Highland Springs three weeks later, refreshed and ready to embark on the new life they'd been anticipating. "I love not having to cook anymore," says Susan. As part of the monthly service package, the couple enjoys a meal plan that allows them to dine in their choice of onsite restaurants. John, an avid cyclist who enjoys working out, appreciates the onsite fitness center. The couple also enjoys the ease of locking their apartment door when they want to travel. This year, they've spent three weeks in Ireland, three weeks in Indiana and Ohio, and another two-week trip to New England. "It was a good time to move," says Susan. "We have the downsizing and decision-making behind us, and we look forward to the new opportunities waiting for us here."
August 15, 2018