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Lighten their load

When downsizing, Charlestown residents have nothing to lose, everything to gain

Created date

August 3rd, 2016
Ed and Priscilla DeLong fast-forwarded their decision to move to Charlestown to take advantage of all the amenities and activities available to the people who live in this popular Catonsville community.

Ed and Priscilla DeLong fast-forwarded their decision to move to Charlestown to take advantage of all the amenities and activities available to the people who live in this popular Catonsville community.

If you are a fan of HGTV then you’re probably aware of the tiny house movement that’s growing across America. People across the country are opting to live larger in smaller spaces. 

So what’s driving the downsizing trend?

For one, smaller homes come with a smaller price tag. They also cost less to heat and cool. Smaller spaces have less to clean and cost less when routine maintenance, like replacing a roof, is needed. And the less square footage you have, the less you pay on property taxes. 

But tiny houses aren’t the only option if you are looking to simplify your life. Hundreds of seniors have discovered a maintenance-free alternative to living in an oversized house. Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md., lets you spend less time worrying about what will break next and more time doing what you love. 

Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard provides complimentary in-home consultations for members of Charlestown’s priority list to assess their downsizing needs. 

“I think it’s natural to be nervous when it comes to any major life change,” says Ballard. “For many people, the thought of moving from the house they raised their family in and parting with the possessions they’ve lived with for so many years can be intimidating. It’s also a common misconception that when you move to a community like Charlestown, you lose your independence. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Charlestown frees you from the house that’s holding you back and robbing you of living your best life.” 

Worry-free living

Laurie and Samuel Cushman sold their four-bedroom house in Baltimore and moved into a two- bedroom apartment overlooking Charlestown’s Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in late 2015.  

“We don’t miss the house at all. It was just more to keep up and maintain,” says Laurie. “We had two levels with four bedrooms, but we basically lived in the kitchen, the study, and the bedroom. That’s what got us talking about moving to Charlestown in the first place. We had all that space we weren’t using. 

“Our apartment now is the perfect size. It’s easy to keep clean, and we don’t have to worry about any maintenance. During this winter’s blizzard, we looked out the window and said this is the reason we are here. It was just a worry-free experience. We are very happy we made the move.”

Charlestown offers dozens of different floor plans ranging from one-bedroom to spacious two-bedroom designs—all of them maintenance-free. 

Monthly and quarterly bills like electric, property taxes, water, cable, Wi-Fi, and the cost of the apartment home are all bundled into each household’s monthly service package, allowing residents to write one check each month. 

Upside to downsizing

Priscilla and Ed DeLong originally planned on moving to Charlestown when they were in their 80s. But after attending an open house they decided the sooner they moved, the better. 

“We had a four-bedroom house, and we needed to get rid of things. It was beginning to run our lives,” says Ed. “When we visited Charlestown, we talked to several residents who said they weren’t able to take advantage of all the things that Charlestown offers because they waited too long to move. We are in our early 70s, and we thought maybe we should move now so we can enjoy everything there is to do.” 

Within four months of their decision, the DeLongs sold their house and moved into their new apartment home at Charlestown. 

“We love it here!” says Ed. “The community is great. The accommodations and the food are great. Our apartment is everything we were looking for. It’s a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment on the corner on the first floor. We have a wooded view. 

“We feel right at home,” he adds. “We have made a life for ourselves here. I have a garden. I use the woodshop. We eat dinner with different people every night. The opportunities here at Charlestown to socialize have given me a zest for life. I can’t even remember what it was like living in our house, and we’ve only been here a few months.” 

Priscilla and Ed say fast-forwarding their plan to move to Charlestown was the best decision they could have made.

“We encourage others to come sooner than later while they can still be fully involved in all that the community has to offer,” says Priscilla.