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Back to basics

Expert Molly Bowman answers questions about Catonsville’s most sought-after retirement community

Created date

July 6th, 2015

Molly Bowman

We asked Charlestown Sales Counselor Molly Bowman to share the questions most commonly asked in her day-to-day interactions with active retirees. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: The residences at Charlestown are referred to as apartments, but the financial setup sounds different from a traditional rental apartment. Can you explain the difference?

Bowman: There are several major differences that you should consider when comparing Charlestown’s financial structure to that of a traditional apartment rental. 

First, the apartment homes at Charlestown are part of a very inclusive monthly service package, which provides far more than a traditional rental. It includes nearly every utility and service you use on a monthly basis. 

Charlestown residents also have full access to a multitude of medical services right here on campus. 

The refundable entrance deposit ensures a home for life in which residents are supported even if they experience genuine financial difficulty for reasons beyond their control (carefully read the Residence and Care Agreement for full details). This provides peace of mind and is not available in traditional apartment rentals. 

Q: Is there a general rule of thumb I can use as a guide to determine whether or not I can afford Charlestown before I schedule an appointment to go over my finances in detail? 

Bowman: We generally find that folks who own a home can afford a move to Charlestown. But that’s a general rule of thumb, as many people who are not homeowners have also moved to our community. Because each person’s financial portfolio varies, we recommend meeting with a member of our sales team to review what options are available. 

Charlestown offers more than 100 floor plan sizes and styles, resulting in a wide range of affordable entrance deposits and monthly service packages from which to choose. We encourage you to call us and find out more about what your financial
options are. 

Q: Why should I join the priority list now when I’m not even considering moving to Charlestown for three to five years? 

Bowman: As the sales counselor, I have seen firsthand the great benefits that come with being a member of the priority list. Because of Charlestown’s high occupancy (currently, 97% of Charlestown’s apartment homes are spoken for), the priority list offers the opportunity for people to plan ahead to ensure that the apartment of their preference is available when they are ready to move. 

When apartments become available, we offer them based on the order in which one joins the priority list. Priority list members are offered the first right of refusal on apartments. 

One major perk of being a priority list member is that members are entitled to a complimentary visit from our Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard. Additionally, we offer exclusive priority list-only events. 

Q: Why should I start downsizing now if I’m not planning on moving for another two years? Also, if I do decide to move sooner, is it even possible to downsize from my house to an apartment in just a few weeks or months? 

Bowman: Our motto is any time is a good time to downsize! Though there technically isn’t really a right or wrong time to downsize, we do encourage folks to get an early start when possible. Some people know they will be moving to Charlestown in the future and opt to get a head start and pace themselves. 

We encourage everyone to meet with Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard for a downsizing strategy and planning session to work at a pace that is comfortable for them. That being said, however, others might prefer or need to move at a quicker pace. You can be assured that we have the support to help manage the downsizing process, regardless of the size of the job or how quickly it needs to be done. 

Q: How can I find out more about Charlestown and if it’s right for me?

Bowman: Simply call our sales office. We will be happy to answer your questions and send a free brochure. If you choose, you can schedule a personal visit at your own convenience to tour the campus. During your visit, you’ll also receive a portfolio of available floor plans. It’s very low pressure and easy to do.