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There’s always something’ (wrong with this house)

Retirees opt for maintenance-free living at Tallgrass Creek

Created date

February 21st, 2012

One day a few months ago, as Ann and Jerry Brazil sat in the living room of their two-story house in Olathe, Kans., they looked up and noticed a crack in their 15-foot ceiling. I thought, Well, there s another $1,000 gone, Ann says. No matter how well you maintain your home there s always something, and you re not going to get it back when you sell like you used to. The Brazils had recently moved from Texas to Kansas to be closer to their family and to provide childcare for their young grandchildren. Their vision of retirement included attending the grandkids school plays and sporting events and enjoying holiday meals with their family, not finding contractors to fix a cracked ceiling or sacrificing weekends to pull weeds and clean rooms they didn t even use. My husband does not like doing yard work, Ann says. And our house was 2,700 square feet, so there was always something we had to do. We just said, We really don t enjoy all of this.

Freedom to enjoy retirement

Just 14 months after purchasing their Olathe house, the Brazils decided to sell it and move to Tallgrass Creek, where they could enjoy a stress-free lifestyle. Residents at the Erickson Living community in Overland Park, Kans., don t have to worry about hiring contractors, mowing lawns, or even changing light bulbs because it s all taken care of for them. I said, Let s put the money into a place where we won t have to keep shelling out for maintenance, Ann says. Tallgrass Creek Senior Facilities Manager Daniel Stapf says things like appliance repairs, plumbing and electrical issues, and heating and air conditioning upkeep don t cost residents an extra, unexpected penny all basic maintenance is included in their monthly service packages. When residents want help with other household chores like hanging shelves, rearranging furniture, or changing light fixtures, they can hire the Tallgrass Creek staff for just $29 an hour. If residents want to make larger changes like repainting or installing granite countertops, the Tallgrass Creek staff will find and make arrangements with outside contractors. The Brazils took advantage of a key perk of living at Tallgrass Creek outsourcing home maintenance shortly after they moved in. We went out and got shelves to put pictures on, and instead of Jerry fretting about whether they were even, we just called general services, and they put them up, Ann says. While [the Tallgrass Creek maintenance man] was here, he also changed a fluorescent light in the kitchen and turned a door around on a closet.

Winters made easy

Brenda Lopez also recently traded her Overland Park house for a maintenance-free retirement at Tallgrass Creek. She says not having to spend time looking for reputable contractors was a big draw for her to make the move. It was an older home, so there s always something, Brenda says. I had to replace a roof, plumbing, air conditioning you name it. Now Brenda is comfortably settled into a one-bedroom apartment home with a den, one and a half bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a living and dining room. On a recent cold, snowy day, she looked out her window and was comforted by the fact that she no longer had to worry about things like shoveling snow or dealing with the inevitable toll winter takes on old houses. That was one of my main reasons for getting rid of the house: I didn t want to deal with maintenance anymore, Brenda says. This apartment is exactly what I needed and wanted.

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