Tribune Print Share Text

Old man winter comes a-knocking . . .

‘Don’t suffer through another winter in your house’

Created date

December 16th, 2014
At top, Northern New Jersey got more than 60 inches of snow last winter. Lucky for Cedar Crest residents, they just watched the snow fall from the comfort of their apartment homes and clubhouses. Above, Engineering Supervisor Pete Kolb plows snow in Cedar
At top, Northern New Jersey got more than 60 inche

With winter knocking at the door, many people are preparing for all the chores and safety precautions cold weather requires. To-do lists include purchasing salt for sidewalks, putting the snow shovel within reach, and making sure the furnace is in working order. 

But not at Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J. The maintenance-free retirement community takes care of snow shoveling, salting sidewalks, even transportation. 

It also has nearly everything one could need within its campus: restaurants, a market, a bank, a fitness and aquatics center, and community space for activities. And with glass-enclosed walkways connecting every building, residents need not venture outside during icy and snowy conditions and risk a slip or fall. 

“Cedar Crest is designed for convenience and safety,” says Sales Counselor Ruth Phillips, “not to mention social activity. When others are isolated in their houses, our residents are playing cards, practicing choral concerts, taking a painting class, and enjoying dinner together.”

Life keeps rolling along

Eileen Ziegler knew she was ready to downsize for a simpler lifestyle when she started looking at retirement communities in 2009. When she made the decision to leave her large four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house behind and move to a home where she could have more peace of mind and less maintenance, Eileen knew she would soon seek out volunteer opportunities.

Five years after moving to Cedar Crest, she now volunteers for nearly ten activities, including the Treasure Chest resale shop, box office, performing arts center, and the Getting to Know You Committee, among others. 

“I wouldn’t be this involved if I still lived in my house,” she says. “Everything is on campus, all indoors, so I don’t have to drive anywhere.”

Plus, Cedar Crest’s 180 activities continue even on the snowiest of days, so Eileen doesn’t have to miss out due to slick roads or a snowed-in driveway. She just walks down the hall.

Aside from all the volunteer opportunities, Eileen appreciates Cedar Crest’s maintenance-free lifestyle. 

“All the services make life easier. You don’t have to worry about lining up the landscaper or snow removal guy or the repairman,” she says. 

Wellness Manager Nicole Cox says Cedar Crest’s weatherproof lifestyle is a big plus when it comes to staying healthy, too. “Even in cold weather, residents can swim laps in the pool, take an aqua aerobics class, lift weights, use the elliptical trainer or NuStep machine, or take a group fitness class,” she says. “We’re always open and easy to get to.”

Many people take advantage of the glass-enclosed walkways that connect every building to get their exercise in the form of walking during the heat of summer and the cold of winter. 

Good-bye, snow shovel!

Other people appreciate the maintenance-free lifestyle most. 

Originally a Florida snowbird, Joseph Monroe moved back to New Jersey to be near family this summer. But thanks to Cedar Crest’s maintenance and grounds crew, he can still appreciate some of Florida’s benefits—mainly, no snow shovel needed! 

Instead of maintaining a house, Joseph plans to sharpen his billiards game and join the woodshop. 

Backup generators and trained emergency medical technicians provide extra assurance in the case of a weather-related emergency. 

Lower heating costs

The financial aspect of winter heating bills weighs heavily on many people’s decision to move to Cedar Crest, says Phillips. “In a 20- or 30-year-old house, you have inefficient windows, heating, and unused rooms, making your heating bill much higher than it needs to be. 

“Here, all utilities, including heating and air-conditioning, are included in a fixed monthly service package that corresponds to your apartment home, so not only are you cutting costs, you have a predictable monthly budget for almost all your expenses,” Phillips explains. 

The monthly service package includes a flexible meal plan for the community’s four restaurants, all utilities except telephone, even a shuttle bus that provides transportation around campus and to popular local destinations. 

Serious home buyers abound

“Don’t suffer through another winter in your house,” says Phillips.

Cedar Crest Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor says winter is actually a great time to put your house on the market. “Serious buyers come out in the winter time, especially around the holidays,” she says. “So if you’re contemplating a move, don’t hesitate because of the weather or because of the stereotype that winter is a bad time to sell your house.”

Regardless of when you move, Cedar Crest has resources available to make selling and moving as easy as possible. The community provides complimentary real estate and moving assistance as part of its Erickson Realty and Moving Services program, so even if you choose to move later this winter, help is available.