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Out of the storm, into a new home

Life’s easier for this new Novi resident

Created date

March 20th, 2012

Last spring, Barbara Byrum was living in a four-bedroom, four-bath house in Farmington Hills, Mich. The 3,000-square-foot house sat on a 1.5-acre wooded lot with a long sloped driveway in front and a swimming pool in back. For a young family interested in spending a lot of time enjoying and maintaining every inch of that property, Barbara s house might be the perfect match. But for her retirement lifestyle, it started to become more of a burden than an amenity. It was a beautiful area, but there was a lot of maintenance, she says.

Weathering a big house

That long sloped driveway, she says, was lovely until snow pounded Michigan in the winter. She had to hire a snow plowing contractor to plow the drive after every snow storm. Contractors charge you per inch for snow over six inches, Barbara says. It starts to add up. Come springtime, Barbara says she was still dealing with snow. The icy winter of 2011 left her with a five-foot-high mound of snow next to her driveway that accumulated from all of the plowing. In the spring, I thought, I can t go another winter here, Barbara recalls. It wasn t just the snow that caused her house maintenance headaches. During the warmer months, Barbara says she had to deal with issues like the pool heater going kaput and an outage of the power generator that controlled everything in the house, including flushing the toilets. It s always something, Barbara says. And it s hard to find good contractors.

No more maintenance messes

A few months ago, Barbara said goodbye to house maintenance and hello to worry-free retirement living atFox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. Barbara says she had wanted to move to a smaller home, and initially, she thought that would be an apartment or a condo. But, when she visited Fox Run, she realized that the community had so much more to offer her. Barbara chose a Lancaster-style floor plan, which features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large, open living room, spacious kitchen, and sunroom. Barbara says she has a corner unit, so ample sunlight flows in through her windows. It s more than adequate for one person, she says of her new apartment home at Fox Run. Barbara also loves that she no longer has to worry about fixing things when they break or finding reliable contractors to do the job. Fox Run Director of General Services Leonard Gringlas says all electrical, plumbing, structural, and appliance repairs are included. That means, if the heating or air-conditioning goes out, if there s a leaky faucet or a clogged toilet, if the oven breaks, or even if a light bulb burns out, the Fox Run staff is on hand to take care of it with no charge. So far, Barbara hasn t had any maintenance issues with her apartment home, but she s already enjoyed the benefits of having access to a full-time staff prepared to deal with anything. Shortly after she moved in, Barbara went out on a cold winter day only to find her car wouldn t start. If she were alone at her house in Farmington, it could have been a big ordeal. But at Fox Run, a member of the general services team quickly came to Barbara s rescue, and they had a mechanic on site within 30 minutes. Even when the problem isn t urgent, Fox Run s general services team is there to help, and residents know them and trust them like family. For a minimal hourly rate, residents can get assistance with things like hanging photos or artwork or assembling furniture. Our residents are always singing our praises, Gringlas says. My team shows up when scheduled, gets the work done in good time, and always leaves homes tidy. Barbara recently purchased a new light fixture for her apartment home, and rather than trying to hang it herself or wait for one of her kids to lend a hand, she simply called Fox Run s general services staff. Here, I can just call, and in a short time it s taken care of, Barbara says.

Worry-free travel

In addition to making her life easier, Barbara says moving to Fox Run has also given her peace of mind. When she was living in her large house, she was afraid to travel because of all of the things that might go wrong on the property while she was away. Now that s no longer a concern. Barbara can just lock her door and head for the airport. It s not a whole house I have to worry about anymore, she says. It s a nice feeling that if something should break loose or freeze, I know [the Fox Run staff] will take care of it.