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Ortonville man trades acres of work for community living

Created date

December 21st, 2010

To list his house prior to moving to Fox Run last summer, Dick Warren did major decluttering, but no updating. He d built the two-story, 2,000-square-foot house in 1976. It sits on 5.8 acres some three miles outside of Ortonville in an area where deer are common and retail services are not. In 2002, intent on living there for quite some time, he started renovating. He and his general contractor repainted the interior and replaced the roof, the garage door, the deck, the siding, even some windows and doors. A few years later, Warren learned about Fox Run and eventually paid a visit. He liked what he saw but didn t plan to move. Then he started thinking. Through the years three of his neighbors had died. One man who lived alone, as did Warren, died without anyone knowing. It was a wakeup call.

Thinking ahead

But not just that, Warren says, it s also the rational knowledge that you don t want to become less independent in [rural] circumstances. The thought that brought me to look at Fox Run was to get into a more organized environment. Warren is in great health; for decades he d walked four and a half miles of dirt roads every day and had hand-shoveled his 250-foot driveway, But who knows when health problems might start? he says. If something serious should happen, that s the wrong time to start shopping for where to go. Fox Run offered places to walk and an on-site medical center more food for thought. And last winter, when Retirement Counselor Carolyn Ives showed him a Lansing apartment two bedrooms, a den, and a balcony Warren knew he wanted to live there. His apartment provides space for all the things he likes having within arm s reach his CDs and DVDs, his quilts, and the books and periodicals that feed his eclectic range of interests. In short, it has room for everything that made his house comfortable for him but cluttered to prospective buyers. Both Mary Wolfe, Fox Run s personal moving consultant withErickson Realty and Moving Services, and real estate agent Donna McDonald, recommended by Wolfe, had advised him: When staging a house, simpler is better. They told him to cull items on his side tables, remove piles of magazines from his floors, and clear his kitchen counters. He did. In fact, Warren started downsizing and moving in last February. He d interviewed a moving firm Wolfe recommended and was pleased with the company s professionalism but opted to move himself over several months.

Fair price

He d listed his property in early June. This is a tough time to price a house, he says. But Donna knows her business, not only in terms of economics but in what s happening today. I never second-guessed the price she suggested, and I got a fair price in this economy. The house closed July 27. The price I got for it makes me whole in terms of what I spent refurbishing it, Warren says. I probably didn t make any profit but I m free of it. I ve got no baggage to carry around. At Fox Run he s out every morning on his four-and-a-half-mile fitness walk. But he s glad he no longer has to shovel snow. And being single, he says, I like the food arrangements, a dinner that s already prepared and my job is just to eat it.