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Look who’s moving to Lantern Hill

Meet Paul and Carole Thau from Berkeley Heights

Created date

April 16th, 2015
Paul and Carole Thau will move from Berkeley Heights, N.J., to their new home at Lantern Hill this winter. While they usually escape New Jersey winters by heading to Florida, they look forward to spending the season at home thanks to Lantern Hill’s climat
Paul and Carole Thau will move from Berkeley Heigh

New neighbors: Paul and Carole Thau

Moving from: Berkeley Heights, N.J.

Floor plan: Garfield model—two bedrooms, two baths, den, and balcony 

Most excited about: Maintenance-free living, worry-free winters, activities, less cooking


Paul: tennis, The Old Guard of Summit, fitness center, Temple, bridge

Carole: Hadashah Chapter, Temple, book club, mah-jongg, bridge

Paul and Carole Thau are no strangers to Erickson Living. They have friends who live at three sister communities: Crest in Pompton Plains, N.J.; Seabrook in Tinton Falls, N.J.; and Riderwood in Silver Spring, Md. 

“We’re very positive about Erickson,” says Paul. “We’ve gotten very good feedback from our friends who live at their other communities.” 

So when they heard Erickson Living was building in New Providence, just a few miles from their home in Berkeley Heights, “We were ecstatic,” says Carole.

“First of all,” adds Paul, “because we could stay involved with all our social activities and friends. Secondly, our daughter lives in Berkeley Heights.”

Time to take advantage of a CCRC

They had been tossing around the idea of moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) for some time. 

“A friend in a CCRC suggested we move [to a CCRC] when we’re in good health so we can take advantage of all there is to offer,” says Paul.

When they got word of Lantern Hill, the Erickson Living community coming to New Providence this fall, they immediately joined the priority list. “We were the sixth people to join the priority list. We joined three years beforeLantern Hill even got the okay [to build] from the town.”

All it takes to join the priority list is a fully refundable $1,000 deposit and a $150 per-person nonrefundable application fee. When prospective residents submit their deposit, that date is noted as their priority list date. As apartment homes become available, the sales team gives first right of refusal to priority list members based on the date they joined. 

The Thaus’ foresight put them at the top of the list so they had prime choice of their floor plan and location. They chose the popular Garfield—a two-bedroom, two-bath home with den and balcony. 

“The balcony was something we really wanted,” says Carole. 

In addition to choosing their apartment home, priority list members receive exclusive invitations to luncheons and special events. They’re the first to learn of new construction, updates, and other community news. 

Preparing to move

Members also receive complimentary real estate and moving assistance from Personal Moving Consultant Jennifer Kohan.

“I think Jenn, with her real estate background, has a heads up on a lot of things in terms of knowledge and experience,” says Paul. “When she first came through the house, she pointed out things that needed to be repaired, like our deck. And we made some repairs in our basement, replaced the fuel tank, and have made some improvements to our walkway and exterior.”

In preparation for putting their house on the market next month, they’ve been downsizing, plan to hold an estate sale, and have been making some additional interior improvements to the ranch house they’ve owned for 28 years. 

But their biggest concern isn’t downsizing—they’re too excited about life at Lantern Hill—it’s selling their house before their new home is finished this fall. The market’s recent uptick makes that a real possibility. 

“We’ll deal with that when we come to it,” Paul says, and Kohan will provide assistance if needed.

Looking ahead

As they prepare for life at Lantern Hill, the Thaus anticipate activity and friendships. 

“We figure there will be a lot to do there. And I want to get involved with groups and organizations there because that will be the bulk of our life,” says Carole. “We’re going to be in on the ground floor to get these organizations started, like the book club, bridge, mah-jongg, and the discussion group. I don’t know what’s going to be formed, but we’re going to be there to see what it is and help it get started.” 

“I’m not a shy little wallflower!” she laughs.

Paul has already started planning ways to integrate his interests with new neighbors. “There may be an option for a mixed tennis group at some time in the future,” he says. “I also look forward to using the fitness center and the indoor pool.”

And he hopes to meet more of the members of the Old Guard, a local men’s organization, who are moving to the community. “There may be others I haven’t currently met from the Old Guard that I may meet through Lantern Hill,” he says.

While they both look forward to getting involved, they also share eagerness for an easier lifestyle. While they’ve wintered in Florida for several years, they say they’re looking forward to staying close to home. “Certainly this year we are happy to be down here with the weather up north,” says Carole. 

Once they move to Lantern Hill, they won’t have to fear snow and ice—everything they need will be indoors, just a short walk from their front door. And with on-site maintenance included in their monthly service fee, they won’t have to worry about fixing a broken furnace, shoveling snow, or getting surprised by a huge heating bill.

“We expect winters will be easier at Lantern Hill,” says Paul.

And Carole, while she enjoys cooking, is ready for a break: “I think maybe it’s time to sit back and relax and let someone else do it for me.”