There's no doubt we're living in challenging and uncertain times. Ever since COVID-19 hit the U.S. in March, social lives and travel plans have been largely put on hold and worries about health risks are at the top of our minds. But the 1,300 residents who live at Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living developed and managed community in Hingham, Massachusetts, have been able to take great comfort in the security that the community has offered throughout the pandemic.
Cross-country move goes smoothly amid pandemic
That was one of the factors that motivated Joe and Dottie Bezanilla to move from Florida to Linden Ponds in July. The pandemic didn't deter them from making the move, and, in fact, they were relieved to get out of Florida when infection rates were rapidly increasing in the state.
Joe and Dottie started considering a move to Massachusetts about a year ago because they wanted to be closer to their son and his family. Taking care of their two-story house was also becoming a burden, so they toured five retirement communities in Massachusetts and fell in love with Linden Ponds as soon as they stepped on campus.
"This place is bigger—there are 1,300 people living here, and when we walked around, there seemed to be more activity," Joe says. "The other places we visited, people were sitting around doing nothing. Here, there are all kinds of clubs and activities. My wife loves to paint and do craft work and I love to read and they even have a mystery book club here."
Even though they moved more than 1,000 miles in the middle of a pandemic. Joe and Dottie did not have to go it alone. Sales Counselor Karmin Der along with Linden Ponds' Personal Moving Consultant Lynne Smithson-Ford were on hand with help and referrals every step of the way. As prospective Linden Ponds residents, they had access to Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a special program that offers complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional.
"The people here are just so great. That is another thing that impressed me," Joe says. "It seems to be more than just a job for them—it seems like a family; they go out of their way to help."
Joe and Dottie selected a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath apartment home at Linden Ponds. Their first-floor unit has a patio, which Joe says made it convenient to enjoy the summer weather even during the pandemic.
With all of the safeguards and support systems in place at Linden Ponds, Der says interest is moving to the community has not waned. In fact, she says the pandemic has made the amenities that Linden Ponds offers even more appealing to retirees. Close to 30 people reserved apartment homes during the initial months of the pandemic, and there were 20 move-ins during that time period.
Reopening with safeguards in place
Over the summer, in accordance with public health guidelines, Der says Linden Ponds was beginning to reopen in a "pragmatic manner." In August, the community was beginning to accept dinner reservations at the on-site restaurants with social distancing measures in place. Residents could also opt to continue to have meals delivered. The fitness center also began offering exercise classes outdoors, and some resident-run groups, such as the woodshop, resumed activities in July
"Residents are able to take walks, garden, work out in the pool and gym area—by appointment and socially distanced of course," Der says. "The café and Acorn Pub are open for carryout options for both lunch and dinner."
Smithson-Ford recently resumed in-person meetings and home visits for people who want that option. But she is also able to help people prepare for their upcoming moves via phone and FaceTime.
"We also recently partnered with a local real estate photographer to create several virtual tours of our community and several apartments," Smithson-Ford says. "We have a number of virtual tools that have been very helpful for our prospects and have had and have scheduled upcoming Zoom events that have also helped them to take next steps."
Real estate market comes back strong
A big question mark for many people hoping to move to Linden Ponds is how the real estate market has been impacted by coronavirus. Smithson-Ford is happy to report that the market is both safe and robust. The onset of COVID-19 in March meant the traditional spring real estate market was dampened, creating pent-up demand among buyers over the summer. She says inventory of available properties continues to be low, resulting in well-attended open houses and multiple offers over list prices.
Stay-at-home orders initially forced homebuyers, sellers and realtors to conduct showings and other parts of the sale process virtually. But as restrictions have loosened, Smithson-Ford says the industry is returning to in-person meetings, with the necessary precautions in place, of course.
'We are now able to visit with sellers within their homes for all aspects of the home sale process," Smithson-Ford says. "Realtors, photographers and prospective buyers follow all CDC recommendations and wear face masks, social distance, use hand sanitizer and disinfect any surfaces that may have been touched. Due to the current sellers' market, now is an excellent time to sell quickly and for strong sales prices."
Whether you're ready to move now or in the near future, Linden Ponds can help you every step of the way. Request more information to learn more about vibrant senior living today.