Peter and Mary Zimmermann were one of the first couples to reserve a home at Siena Lakes, and they say they could not be more thrilled about their decision.
Since becoming future Siena Lakes residents, the Zimmermanns have been preparing for their big move when the Erickson Senior Living-managed community opens in North Naples.
"We sold our home, and we sold it furnished," says Peter. "The only downsizing we have to do now is get rid of excess clothing, books, art work, etc."
Sold it furnished? The Zimmermanns explain that this is not uncommon in Florida. People visit from the north, fall in love with the area, and often decide they want a move-in ready home.
"We met a couple from Massachusetts who decided they wanted to move into our country club community," says Peter. "We showed them our home, and they totally fell in love with it."
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of downsizing, Peter and Mary have some advice for those wondering how and where to start.
"For those who are just beginning to downsize, I recommend that you start drawer by drawer, closet by closet," says Peter. "Don't do it all at once if you have time. Develop a plan and do something each day or week."
"There are lots of charitable thrift stops that will come pick up your unwanted stuff," Mary adds. "It's easier than people think. Just close your eyes and let go."
The Zimmermanns also worked closely with Suzy McAllister, one of Siena Lakes' sales counselors. "She is an expert in all of this," Mary says. "She consults with you about downsizing, and then there are outside resources who can come in and help you do it."
Mary's referring to Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a special program that provides access to realty and moving assistance.
"When you are so attached to something, step away from the trees so you can see the forest," says Peter. "Really ask yourself, 'Will it fit in my new place?' You may have to make hard decisions and sacrifices. But, the Erickson Senior Living team is always there to help."
Don't miss the priority list boat
When you're ready to be a part of this exciting new community, take Peter's advice: "Get on that priority list. There are already over 180 people on the priority list for phase two construction. Get on or you'll miss the boat!"
When you join the priority list, you'll have a secure spot in line and the advantage of reserving available apartment homes ahead of those who join after you. Even if you decide to pass on an apartment home, it will be offered to the next person on the list, and your position in line won't change.
"When we move in, we won't be walking into a sterile environment," says Peter. "The sales team at Siena Lakes has already come up with a host of different events to bring future residents together, building a sense of community before we move in. It doesn't get any better than that."
Peter and Mary are eager to move into their new, beautiful Oceana floor plan.
"The Erickson Senior Living team has vast experience, and they've combined that experience to create an environment that will meet the needs of the future residents of Siena Lakes," says Peter.
"Everyone is thrilled and anxious to get on with it," adds Mary.