When Barbara and Wendell August joined the Oak Crest priority list in September 2017, Irma, a category five hurricane, was causing widespread destruction, the Houston Astros were on their way to becoming the world champs and the words COVID-19 didn't exist.
A lot can change within a few years, but what didn't change was Barbara and Wendall's desire for a maintenance-free lifestyle in a community where they could enjoy world-class amenities and peace-of-mind for the future.
"We lived in our house in Bel Air for 40 years. Over time it felt too big for just the two of us," says Barbara. "Our kids were all grown, and we spread out in the house after they left, but there was no need for all that space."
They also grew weary of taking care of their four-bedroom colonial.
"We painted and kept it looking nice but things were getting old and we didn't want to invest more money into it. Plus, we liked to take care of the work ourselves but it was getting to be too much for us," says Barbara.
In early 2020 they decided to make good on their plans to move to Oak Crest. They didn't know it then, but their timing turned out to be perfect.
"We picked our apartment out just before the pandemic hit," says Barbara. "The apartment we wanted became available sooner than we expected, and we didn't want to miss out on it, so we decided to take a leap of faith and move a little sooner than we had planned, at the end of April."
Throughout the pandemic, Oak Crest's sales team continued to work with prospective residents and Oak Crest priority list members like Barbara and Wendell, who decided living at an Erickson Living community was a better option for retirement living than staying in their house—potentially with limited resources.
"One of the advantages of moving to an Erickson Living-managed community like Oak Crest is that you'll be part of a family of communities," says Sales Director Dan Plakatoris.
"We come together quickly to support each other, celebrate life and keep each other safe and connected during challenging times like a pandemic, hurricane, winter storm or heatwave. Our community has an expert team of on-site medical professionals, looking out for your physical and emotional well-being, so you and your family can rest easy," he says.
On average, Erickson Living-managed communities like Oak Crest boast one employee to every three community members and the community's team of professionals is always available to support residents' needs.
For example, during the height of the pandemic, while millions of Americans competed for on-line grocery pick-up and delivery slots, Oak Crest residents enjoyed three delicious and nutritious daily meals at no additional charge. Removing the burden of meal planning, shopping for food and cooking gave residents like Barbara and Wendell peace of mind. Everyday necessities such as toiletries and prescription medications were also readily available and residents had access to campus-based telemedicine services as well as on-site medical facilities to accommodate in-person consultations.
The pandemic also didn't stop the General Services team from handling all necessary home maintenance for residents. While senior homeowners struggled to find reliable people, who could or would do repairs, Oak Crest residents simply had to pick up the phone and the general services team was there.
"We've lived all over the country, and we looked at this move as a new adventure," says Barbara. "We never doubted we were making the right decision and are perfectly comfortable and feel safe in our new home."
One of Barbara's favorite features about her former house was the outdoor space. She was surprised to find that Oak Crest features dozens of apartments with balconies, patios and screened rooms in every budget, not to mention 87-park-like acres including walking trails, a pond and gardens.
"When people ask me, what do I like best about my apartment, I tell them, it's the balcony," says Barbara. "I love being able to go outside whenever I want. We are on the terrace level and our balcony is actually one floor up, so I can sit out there in the middle of the night if I want to and feel safe. It's funny when we first started looking for an apartment, the balcony is something I didn't think I would need. It turns out it's my favorite thing of all."
Lastly, with a shortage of listing inventory, an increase in the median sale price for homes in Baltimore County and an explosion of online real estate searches by buyers spending more time at home, Plakatoris says there is no better time to sell your home and say goodbye to the burdens of homeownership.
Barbara and Wendell agree. "I think if I could change anything about our move it would be that we would have done it earlier. If we had known how freeing it is, we might have moved a few years ago," says Barbara. "The people who live and work here are so friendly. When we drive past the front gate, the security attendant always says, 'welcome home' and it's like wow, we belong here!"
To learn more about living a vibrant and engaged lifestyle at Oak Crest, connect with us today!