Tribune Print Share Text

‘Just the right size for me’

Cedar Crest’s services make moving stress-free

Created date

January 25th, 2011

Like climbing a mountain to reach the summit s view, moving to a new home can be a challenging but rewarding process. When Jean Jellema decided to move from her house of 45 years in Wayne, N.J., she had conflicting feelings. I hated to leave my home, but I felt it was too big for me and hard to keep up, she says. Having visited family at Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, Jellema already knew she wanted to live there. She visited and toured a one-bedroom apartment home at the community in January 2010 and fell in love with it, she says. It has a beautiful view and is just the right size for me. Having confidently made her decision, the selling and moving process began. Luckily for Jellema, Cedar Crest provides plenty of help along the way.

Making moving happen

Soon after visiting the community in January, Jellema met with Personal Moving Consultant Margaret Semezko, who helped her choose a real estate agent, stage her home, and coordinate moving. Semezko meets with everyone moving to a home at Cedar Crest to help them with the processes of staging, selling, and moving. First, Semezko provided Jellema with a list of recommended real estate agents. From the list, she chose agent Pat Lowe of Coldwell Banker. [Lowe] is well-known in the area, so I trusted her. She suggested we put the house on the market after April 15, Jellema says. The timing allowed for potential home buyers to receive their tax reimbursements and feel more comfortable putting money down on a house. Second, Jellema downsized by donating and selling unused or rarely used items. She donated unneeded furniture to her church, Preakness Valley United Reformed Church, in Wayne. She kept much of her furniture, including her mahogany dining set and corner closet, and moved it to Cedar Crest. Finally, Semezko provided staging advice. I gave her staging suggestions to get the house ready to market, Semezko says. Among her suggestions: remove carpet to reveal original wood floors, paint walls a neutral off-white color, and rearrange furniture to highlight the house s strengths. She did everything I noted, and her house sold in 25 days, Semezko says.

Just my size

With her house sold, Jellema moved to her new Cedar Crest apartment home last June. I love my new home, she says. She was able to bring most of her furniture and feels more comfortable without the housework and having 24/7 maintenance on-call. Her dining set and corner closet fit perfectly in the dining area, and her mahogany grandfather clock stands stately, keeping time, in the hall. Upon settling in, Jellema joined a Bible study group, invited her son and his fiance to Thanksgiving dinner, and meets new friends constantly. Now that I m here, I m really very happy I made the move, Jellema says. I have a balcony overlooking the mountains, and I ve made many wonderful friends. It was my decision to move, and I m happy I did it.