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When ‘one day’ becomes today

Virginia woman trades in vulnerability for new life

Created date

February 21st, 2012

For 15 years, Marilyn Henrickson lived in her Fairfax, Va., house. But she knew one day she would call Ashby Ponds home. She joined the priority list of the Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va., and waited for that one day to arrive. Then, when last winter s snow left her stranded and alone she knew the day had come. With the help of Personal Moving Consultant Elizabeth McCumiskey, she downsized her belongings, staged her house, found a generous buyer, and made her move.

Moment of truth

My house sat on 14 acres of woods, says Marilyn. One night as the snow fell I was talking on the phone with my daughter. Then the power went out. Then my phone went dead. It was dark so I went to bed. Not long after I heard a horrendous sound. A tree had fallen in my yard and the branches had brushed the house. Although my house suffered no damage, the tree had fallen just inches from a large window. I began to think what would I have done if something had happened? The more I thought about it, the more vulnerable I felt. I decided then and there that it was time to move.

Helping hands

Days later Marilyn chose her new apartment home at Ashby Ponds and met with McCumiskey to begin the process of moving. She came out to the house and was very helpful, says Marilyn. She brought the floor plan of my new home and we worked together to fill it with my belongings. Elizabeth also arranged for a downsizing and staging expert to come out and meet with me. Everyone was so helpful. The staging experts advised Marilyn to move out some furniture to show off the space in her house. Personal photos and trinkets were boxed up and painters freshened up both her bedroom and bathroom. Dark-colored ceiling fan blades were replaced with softer colors. These efforts paid off. When Marilyn s house went on the market a few weeks later, it sold in less than two weeks and for $100,000 over her asking price. I couldn t believe it, she says. I still can t believe it. When moving day came, Marilyn was at ease thanks to the help of experienced movers McKumiskey recommended. When I woke up the first morning at Ashby Ponds, there is only one word to describe how I felt, she says. Ecstatic! Making this move was one of the best decisions I ve ever made.