They say in real estate, location is everything. For retired nurse Barbara Bigelow the ideal location for her new home was 20 minutes north of Baltimore, Md., in Parkville, at an Erickson Living-managed community called Oak Crest.
"I really like the area. Most of my friends are from here. I grew up in Catonsville and, after I was married, moved to Pasadena with my husband, but everyone I know was on this side of town," says Barbara.
However, location wasn't the only motivating factor that prompted Barbara to sell her Pasadena house and move to Oak Crest. Freedom from the never-ending work and headaches that go along with homeownership weighed heavily in her decision.
"After my husband passed away, I just couldn't keep up the house by myself. It became more than I could handle," says Barbara. "I have a friend whose parents lived at Oak Crest for 18 years, and I heard so many good things about the community. I came to a luncheon and just had a really good feeling about the community while I was here."
In April 2019, Barbara decided the time was right to sell her waterfront house and look for a maintenance-free apartment home at Oak Crest.
"I wasn't sure at first what size apartment I wanted," says Barbara. "But I have always had a backyard, and I have a ten-year-old Pomeranian mix named Tux, so it was important to me to have space where we could sit outside."
Sales Counselor Kelly Friend showed Barbara a variety of apartment styles and layouts, including the two-bedroom, two-bath Kingston, which she chose.
"The Kingston is one of our most popular floor plans because it comes with either a patio or a recessed balcony like the one Barbara chose," says Friend. "The outdoor space offers plenty of space for a patio table and chairs where you can sit and enjoy your morning coffee or relax with a book. Inside, the open floor plan is perfect for entertaining and adds to the spaciousness of the apartment."
The Kingston design turns out to be the perfect size for many residents. It offers plenty of natural light, generous bedrooms, a recessed private balcony or walk-out garden patio, a modern kitchen, two full baths, and a walk-in closet.
Barbara's apartment was completely gutted before she moved in, which suited her just fine. Transforming a blank slate into the home of her dreams was easy with the help of Oak Crest's Custom Interiors department. Selecting paint colors and finishes like cabinet pulls and appliances, as well as upgrades like luxury vinyl flooring and crown molding, helped turned her new apartment into a unique, beautiful home.
To help with her move and the sale of her house, Barbara turned to Personal Moving Consultant Ashley Ruth and Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a company-wide program established to help people sell their houses quickly and move easily.
"They were able to help me find a mover and a real estate agent," says Barbara. "Then Ashley helped me figure out what would fit where in the apartment. I really like how the kitchen, dining room, and family room are one big open space. It all worked out well."
Barbara says although she's only been at the community for a short time, she doesn't miss maintaining a large house, and she's glad she made the move when she did.
"I do all the same things here that I did in my house, but I don't have to worry about the yard work or the furnace going up and those little things that are in the back of your mind when you own a home," says Barbara. "Here, I don't have any of those things to worry about.
"Also, at times I could go a few days without seeing or talking to someone. Here I always see my neighbors when I'm out walking the dog. In the future, if I would have medical problems or need more care, everything is in place and already available here," she says.
As her first anniversary in her new home approaches, Barbara is enjoying her newfound freedom that comes with every apartment at Oak Crest.
"I use the fitness center quite a bit," says Barbara. "As a nurse, I was always on my feet and walked a lot. But now that I am retired, I enjoy having the fitness center right here in the community. This spring, I am also looking forward to traveling on some of the special trips offered through Oak Crest."