Tribune Print Share Text

Title

From Delaware to Dallas

Northern transplant finds warm welcome in Lone Star State

Created date

June 28th, 2016
Melinda Acaac sold her home in Newark, Del., and moved to Highland Springs, the Erickson Living community in North Dallas, Tex.

Melinda Acaac sold her home in Newark, Del., and moved to Highland Springs, the Erickson Living community in North Dallas, Tex.

The first time Melinda Acaac learned of Erickson Living, she was intrigued by the idea of having an abundance of amenities under one roof.

“I was living in Newark, Del., and a friend of mine moved to Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living community in New Jersey,” says Melinda, a retired operating room nurse. “She encouraged me to consider a move to Cedar Crest.”

Melinda liked the active lifestyle and social opportunities at Cedar Crest, but she wasn’t eager to stay in the Northeast.

“I emigrated from the Philippines to the United States in the ’70s,” she says. “I’ve lived in New York, Philadelphia, and Delaware—all places that experience winter weather. I was ready to move someplace warmer, because I find weather really influences my mood.”

Melinda searched for Erickson Living communities located in warmer climates. Highland Springs in North Dallas, Tex., caught her eye.

“Dallas appealed to me because of its location,” says Melinda. “It has a nice climate, and it’s a quick flight to visit my family in California and my friends in Las Vegas.”

A Suite Experience

To acquaint herself with the community, Melinda contacted the sales team at Highland Springs to schedule a three-night visit to the community.

“We encourage members of our priority list to take advantage of our Suite Experience program,” says Sales Director Jennifer O’Reilly. “They can spend a night in our fully appointed guest suite, dine with our resident ambassadors, and participate in any classes or clubs of interest. The overnight stay gives them a firsthand look at the Highland Springs lifestyle.”

Priority list members are those interested in moving to Highland Springs at some point in the future. They’ve put down a fully refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve their place in line for the floor plan of their choice.

For Melinda, the opportunity to test-drive the community was invaluable.

“I flew down to Dallas in November 2014 for my Suite Experience stay,” she says. “I enjoyed meals with residents, took fitness classes, and was able to walk around and familiarize myself with the community.”

When she returned to Delaware, Melinda felt comfortable with her decision to move to Texas.

“I got a call from the sales team at Highland Springs a few months later to let me know that a one-bedroom, Gilmore-style apartment was available,” says Melinda. “I flew down to Dallas once more to look at the apartment.”

Melinda liked the one-bedroom, one-bath apartment with a den and decided the time was right to migrate south.

“The winter of 2014–2015 was tough,” says Melinda. “I didn’t want to spend another winter in Delaware.”

Moving help from a team of experts 

To help map out Melinda’s move, the sales team at Highland Springs enlisted the help of Suzanne McAllister, personal moving consultant at Maris Grove, the Erickson Living community in Glen Mills, Pa., which was the closest community to Melinda’s home in Delaware.

“Suzanne visited me in my home and helped me decide which pieces of furniture would fit in my new apartment,” says Melinda. “She also recommended a [real estate agent] and moving company.”

Melinda’s five-bedroom Cape Cod-style home of 26 years sold after four weeks on the market. She arrived in Dallas on July 3, 2015, just as Highland Springs was preparing to celebrate Independence Day.

“As I started to feel at home in my apartment, I realized that downsizing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” says Melinda. “I brought the things I really treasure and was able to let go of the rest.”

Smart financial decision

While Melinda’s Suite Experience stay introduced her to Highland Springs, the northern transplant found even more to love as she got acquainted with life at the North Dallas community.

“I like the idea that the continuing care neighborhood is located right on campus,” she says. “I’m active and independent, but it’s nice to know that care is available should I ever need it.”

Highland Springs offers a fee-for-service financial structure, allowing residents to only pay for services needed. Unlike a life care community, where residents pay a substantial monthly fee that covers all levels of care, Highland Springs residents only pay for additional care when and if they need it.

“Our fee-for-service structure ensures residents aren’t prepaying for services they may never use,” says Sales Counselor Christina Christie.

Melinda also felt comforted by Highland Springs’ home for life commitment, which ensures that a resident never has to leave the community if they experience a genuine and unforeseen change in their financial situation. The Residence and Care Agreement has complete details.

“I don’t have family nearby, so the home for life commitment gives me peace of mind,” says Melinda.

Full social calendar

As a newly minted Texas resident, Melinda takes advantage of the amenities and social offerings at Highland Springs to make friends and fill her calendar.

She’s joined the resident life committee, the diplomat committee, and the Highland Springs chorus. She takes several fitness classes a week, including balance and strength, and tai chi.

Melinda also spends time exploring the area beyond Highland Springs. She’s found a church home at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano. Last October, she took the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system to the Texas State Fair. She also enjoys the shopping and dining opportunities in North Dallas.

“Highland Springs is in a booming area,” she says. “Everything you can imagine is here.”

Comments