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Less than one week!

Elkridge couple sells historic home while on vacation

Created date

January 25th, 2011

When Bert and Linda Clegern bought and renovated their 4,000-square-foot, 160-year-old Elkridge home, they made a promise to each other: when the maintenance and upkeep became too much, they would sell and move to a retirement community. On October 22, 2010, they made good on that promise. We had bought the house which was a duplex and restored it into a single family home, says Mrs. Clegern. It was a five-bedroom house when we moved into it, but we redid the whole house and made one of the bedrooms into a large bathroom, another bedroom into a walk-in closet, and a third bedroom into a study. Linda did all the cleaning, including the 33 windows in the house, and I was taking care of all of the landscaping, gardening, lawn care, and tree trimming, says Mr. Clegern. Eventually we reached the point where it was taking more time than we wanted to spend finishing tasks around the house and we decided it was time to move on.

Ahead of the game

Having already joined Charlestown's priority list while researching their retirement options, all it took was one phone call to Retirement Counselor Steffany Byers to get the ball rolling. We had bought and sold homes over the years so we were already familiar with the process of getting our house ready to go on the market, says Mr. Clegern. But we thought it made sense to choose a real estate agent who had knowledge and experience with Charlestown. So Byers, along with Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard, introduced the Clegerns to the Erickson Realty and Moving Services program. Now with a variety of reliable, trusted moving services and resources at their fingertips, the Clegerns listed their home with a real estate agent Ballard recommended. Then armed with their wish list in hand, they began their search for the perfect apartment home. We knew we wanted a two-bedroom, two-bath something that had a lot of windows and a nice view, says Mrs. Clegern. We also wanted to be on the ground level because I like to garden, says Mr. Clegern. Prepared to wait a year or more for their house to sell, the Clegerns hoped they would have plenty of time to fulfill their longtime dream of visiting the national parks on the west coast. With the housing market the way it was and because our house was an unusual property, being that it was over a century old, we knew we would have to find the right buyer who was in the market for that kind of property, says Mr. Clegern. To their surprise, the couple s home sold less than a week after the for sale sign went up in their front yard and just a few days after they headed out west.

Long-distance sale

A few days after we arrived in Washington, we received a call from our real estate agent that there was a firm offer on our home, says Mr. Clegern. We were really surprised. We thought at the very least it would take three months to sell. We had even planned to take it off the market if it didn t sell and re-list it in the spring if we didn t receive any offers. Before leaving Maryland, the Clegerns gave their daughter, in nearby Westminster, power of attorney to sign any necessary paperwork regarding the sale of their home, just in case a buyer surfaced while they were gone. It s a good thing we did because we were gone for a month, says Mr. Clegern. We were able to continue our trip without any worries knowing things were in good hands back home and we were able to still keep close tabs on what was happening with the house through e-mail and the phone. When they arrived back home, the Clegerns hit the ground running as they began downsizing, packing, and taking care of the handful of repair requests set forth in their sales agreement. Everything went really smooth, says Mr. Clegern. The packers did a good job. The movers did a good job. And I was really impressed with the sales staff at Charlestown. Four months later and completely settled, the Clegerns says they feel right at home. We re content and relieved that we re finally moved and settled, says Mrs. Clegern. Everyone here has really gone overboard to make us feel welcome. The active couple continues to travel and walks three miles a day. Mrs. Clegern has joined a yoga class at the community and Mr. Clegern is teaching an environmental studies class at Charlestown through the Community College of Baltimore County s lifelong learning program. He has also staked out his own garden where he plans to grow tomatoes and cucumbers this summer.